Luca Ciucci studied Linguistics at Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, in Italy. Moved by a passion for learning new languages, in September 2007 he began his research on the Zamucoan languages (Ayoreo, Chamacoco and Old Zamuco) with a special focus on morphology and the genetic relationships between these languages spoken in southern Bolivia and northern Paraguay. In 2009 he discovered the earliest grammar of Ecuadorian Quechua. His doctoral dissertation, defended in April 2013, concerned the study of the morphology in Zamucoan and his recent book Inflectional morphology in the Zamucoan languages (published by CEADUC) is considered the most detailed morphological description of a South American language family. He is now working on a descriptive grammar of Chamacoco (Ebitoso), an endangered and undescribed language spoken in Paraguay by approximately 1,800 speakers. He aims at preserving a part of our cultural heritage through language documentation. He is also working on the reconstruction of Proto-Zamuco and on an up-dated grammar of Old Zamuco, now extinct, based on the data collected by the Jesuit missioner Ignace Chomé in the 18th century. In May 2017 he began the documentation of Chiquitano (aka Bésɨro), with a particular focus on language contact between Chiquitano and the surrounding languages, and the evolution of Chiquitano through the comparison between different Chiquitano varieties spoken nowadays and the historical documents available on this language.

For more information: http://www.cairnsinstitute.jcu.edu.au/luca-ciucci/

Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2005 - Winner of a full-time scholarship at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (Pisa), Economic Sciences.
  • 2015 to 2016 - Young Researcher Grant from Scuola Normale Superiore for the project "Critical edition and linguistic comment of Chomé’s Vocabulario de la lengua zamuca" (Principal Investigator).
  • 2014 to 2015 - Young Researcher Grant from Scuola Normale Superiore for the project "Language contact in the Chaco linguistic area: morphological borrowing in and from the Zamucoan family" (Principal Investigator).
  • 2014 - Prize for the best presentation by young scholars (category Post-docs) at "Chronos, 11th th International Conference on Actionality, Tense, Aspect, Modality/Evidentiality". Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa. June 16-18, 2014.
  • 2013 to 2014 - Young Researcher Grant from Scuola Normale Superiore for the project "Lexicographical and Morphological Studies on Ancient Zamuco and its Dialects" (Principal Investigator).
  • 2008 to 2012 - Winner of a Ph.D. position with full-time scholarship at Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa).
  • 2005 to 2008 - Winner of a full-time scholarship at Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa), Litterary Studies (Classe di Lettere).

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters
  • Bertinetto P and Ciucci L (2023) Non-prototypical Derivation in Zamucoan. In: Between Derivation and Inflection. Veröffentlichungen zur Linguistik und Kommunikationsforschung / Publications on Linguistics and Communication Science. Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna, pp. 47-76
  • Ciucci L (2022) The healing words of the Ayoreo. In: The Art of Language. Brill's Studies in Language, Cognition and Culture, 32. Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands, pp. 251-267
  • Ciucci L (2022) ‘Eye’ in the Zamucoan languages. In: Embodiment in Cross-Linguistic Studies: The �Eye�. Brill's Studies in Language, Cognition and Culture, 31. Brill, Leiden, Netherlands, pp. 259-284
  • Ciucci L (2021) How grammar and culture interact in Zamucoan. In: The Integration of Language and Society: a cross-linguistic typology. Explorations in Linguistic Typology. Oxford University Press, New York, NY, USA, pp. 235-287
  • Ciucci L (2020) Wordhood in Chamacoco. In: Phonological word and grammatical word: a cross-linguistic typology. Oxford University Press, Oxford, U.K., pp. 78-120

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 39+ research outputs authored by Dr Luca Ciucci from 2008 onwards.


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These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Child Language Acquisition in Lewo, Vanuatu (Masters , Primary Advisor)

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  • 5+ collaborations
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