Language and culture in the Pacific
Not available in 2012
Previously offered in 2011, 2009
The course investigates the role, nature and status of language in the Pacific. It gives a basic understanding of the distribution and structure of the Indigenous languages of the south-western Pacific, focusing particularly on New Guinea, and on Australia's Pacific Island neighbours, along with their pidgins and creoles. It examines what language tells us about the region's cultures and its prehistory, investigates the causes and nature of language endangerment and death, and considers what the future holds for the Indigenous languages of the region.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate:
1. an understanding of the basic structural features and distribution of the Indigenous languages of the Pacific, particularly those of the south-western Pacific;
2. an understanding of the basic structural features and distribution of the pidgins and creoles of the Pacific, particularly those of the south-western Pacific;
3. an awareness of the Indigenous cultural diversity of the south-western Pacific region as revealed in the region's languages;
4. an awareness of the causes and nature of language endangerment and language death in the region;
5. an understanding of the role of language in reconstructing the regions prehistory;
6. research and general information literacy skills.
The course investigates Indigenous and vernacular languages and culture in the Pacific, particularly those of the south-western Pacific, with emphasis on the following areas:
1. The distribution of Indigenous languages of the region, and the relationships between them.
2. The distribution of and relationships between the region's pidgins and creoles.
3. The basic structural characteristics of the languages of the region.
4. The basic structural characteristics of the region's pidgins and creoles.
5. The relationship between language and culture in the region, focusing on the linguistic expression of aspects of Indigenous cultures and conceptualisations that include kinship, colour, traditional technology, and the relationship between people and their physical spatial environment.
6. The role of Indigenous languages in understanding the region's prehistory, including the prehistory of its cultures and technology, along with ancient migration patterns and the spread of human populations in the region.
7. The cause of language endangerment and language death in the region.
8. The status of Indigenous languages in the countries of the region.
9. The future of the region's Indigenous languages in the 21st century.
10 units in linguistics at 1000 level
Modes of Delivery
Lecture: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term