This website was created by Peter K. Austin and Alan Dench.
Peter Austin is Emeritus Professor in Field Linguistics at SOAS, University of London, where he was previously Märit Rausing Chair in Field Linguistics (retired 31st December 2018). His research covers descriptive, theoretical and applied linguistics, particularly the theory and practice of language documentation. He has done fieldwork on several Australian Aboriginal and Austronesian languages (eastern Indonesia), and revitalisation work with the Dieri Aboriginal Corporation (South Australia) and the Baiyungu Aboriginal Corporation (Western Australia). He began his studies of Gascoyne Region languages and cultures in 1978, and has published a number of books and articles about them, including short dictionaries for several languages in 1992, and a collection of stories in Jiwarli with English translation in 1997.
Alan Dench is Emeritus Professor at Curtin University, Western Australia. He was born in Carnarvon, and went to school with Yinggarda people. His research has focused on the general description of Australian Aboriginal languages with special emphasis on the languages of the Pilbara region of Western Australia. His work includes grammatical descriptions of four languages, field-based research on more than ten Western Australian languages, detailed historical and comparative analyses of these languages, leading to discussion of methodological and theoretical issues in language description, reconstruction, typological comparison, and temporal semantics. Other strands of work have included the investigation of the sociolinguistic context of contact between speakers of Australian and European languages in the early days of Australia’s European colonisation. He began fieldwork in the Gascoyne Region in 1978 with work on Yinggarda.