In May this year linguist Jill Vaughan from the University of Melbourne, in collaboration with Margaret Carew from Batchelor Institute, gave a presentation about multilingualism in Maningrida at a conference at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, U.S.A.
The conference was the International Symposium on Bilingualism, a large conference where language researchers, teachers and experts get together to discuss their research and ideas about bi- and multilingualism in communities, families, education and the media across the world. Jill and Margaret talked about multilingualism in the Australian context, the languages spoken in Maningrida and how they are used in the community, based on their work with local language experts. The audience was very interested to hear about language in Maningrida and Arnhem Land, and asked lots of questions!
The presentation presented research from Margaret’s work with Gun-nartpa speakers and Jill’s work with speakers from several language groups for her research project on multilingualism in Maningrida. Now they are working on writing up a paper on the topic to publish in an academic journal so that even more people can hear about the rich linguistic diversity of Maningrida.
Jill is a researcher with RUIL – the Research Unit for Indigenous Language at the University of Melbourne. RUIL seeks to develop research partnerships with local people in order to learn more about Indigenous languages and support ways to support these languages into the future.