Kolik jazyků znáš, tolikrát jsi člověkem.

As many languages you know, as many times you are a human being.

Traditional Czech proverb, translated by Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk

I am a linguist passionate about sign languages. I am also interested in multimodal communication, cognitive-functional approaches to linguistics, field linguistics, language documentation, sign language typology, and Papuan languages. I am a native user of Auslan (Australian Sign Language).

My current research focuses on two sign languages of Papua New Guinea. Firstly, I work with Kailge Sign Language, a small sign language centred on one deaf individual in a rural community in Western Highlands, Papua New Guinea. I also work with Papua New Guinea Sign Language (PNGSL), the new language of a fiercely proud Deaf community in Port Moresby and beyond.

In addition, I have also worked with directionality and associated motion in Ende, a language of southern New Guinea. I am proud to have supported the Ende Language Committee’s vernacular literacy goals through the collaborative production of two traditional storybooks in Ende language. Over 2018 I worked with Winanga-Li Aboriginal Child & Family Centre in Gunnedah, NSW, to co-produce a YouTube video to support the learning of colours in Gamilaraay and Auslan.

I am a both an affiliate of and a research assistant at the Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. I head the RA team on Alan Rumsey’s large longitudinal child language acquisition study in Ku Waru, a Trans New Guinea language of Western Highlands, Papua New Guinea. As part of this work, we are investigating clause chain acquisition by children in this community.

I was raised in a bilingual Auslan-English household. I speak Tok Pisin, French, Modern Standard Arabic, and some Darija (North African Arabic, specifically that spoken in northern Morocco).

I am a Master’s candidate at the Australian National University, Canberra.

Julie, Lauren and Wendy going fishing; Limol, Papua New Guinea. Photo: K Lindsey