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Peter Austin

  • Märit Rausing Chair in Field Linguistics, Director: Endangered Languages Academic Programme
  • SOAS - University of London
  • 2PublicationsNumber of items in Peter's My Publications folder on Mendeley.
  • 24Followers

Recent publications

  • Dying to be counted: the commodification of endangered languages in documentary linguistics

    • Dobrin L
    • Austin P
    • Nathan D
  • Inbox - - Gmail


Professional experience

Märit Rausing Chair in Field Linguistics, Director: Endangered Languages Academic Programme

SOAS - University of London

October 2002 - Present

Humboldt Researcher

Goethe University Frankfurt

January 2002 - December 2002(a year)

Foundation Chair in Linguistics

University of Melbourne

July 1996 - December 2002(6 years)



Australian National University

February 1975 - February 1978(3 years)

BA (AS) Hons

Australian National University

February 1971 - December 1974(4 years)


Peter Austin joined SOAS in October 2002 after having held a Humboldt Prize at Goethe University, Frankfurt. He was previously Foundation Professor of Linguistics at the University of Melbourne (1996-2002) and Reader in Linguistics at La Trobe University (1981-1996). He has held visiting appointments at University of Frankfurt, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, University of Hong Kong, and Stanford University. He studied at the Australian National University, completing a BA with first class Honours in Asian Studies (Japanese and Linguistics) in 1974, and a PhD in 1978 on the Diyari language spoken in the far north of South Australia. He taught at the University of Western Australia (1978), held a Harkness Fellowship for post-doctoral research at UCLA and MIT (1979-80), and in 1981 returned to Australia to set up the Department of Linguistics at La Trobe University. Peter's research interests cover descriptive, theoretical and applied linguistics. He has extensive fieldwork experience on Australian Aboriginal languages (northern New South Wales, northern South Australia, and north-west Western Australia) and in 1996 co-authored with David Nathan the first fully hypertextual dictionary on the World Wide Web, a bilingual dictionary of Gamilaraay (Kamilaroi), northern New South Wales, as well as publishing seven bilingual dictionaries of Aboriginal languages. Since 1995 he has been carrying out research on Sasak and Samawa (or Sumbawan), Austronesian languages spoken on Lombok and Sumbawa islands, eastern Indonesia. His theoretical research is mainly on language documentation, syntax (with a focus on Lexical Functional Grammar), morpho-syntactic typology, computer-aided lexicography and multi-media for endangered languages. He has also published on historical and comparative linguistics, typology, and Aboriginal history and biography.

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