- Code PASI2020
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Culture History and Language
- ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
- Course subject Pacific Studies
- Areas of interest Anthropology, Asian Languages, Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, Pacific Studies
- Academic career UGRD
- Mode of delivery In Person
This course provides an introductory overview to the languages of the Pacific, extending from Timor in the west through the island of New Guinea out through Melanesia into Pacific Polynesia. It deals equally with the Austronesian languages which have arrived in the region some three millennia ago and the many Papuan languages whose presence in the region goes back much further in time and which are geographically centred on the island of New Guinea with outliers in Timor, the Moluccas, and the Solomon Islands.
The emphasis is on giving an understanding of these very diverse language structures, an appreciation of the astounding linguistic diversity of the region (containing around a fifth of the world's languages), the way linguistic evidence can help us understand the deep history of the region, the cultural context of language function and structure, and the continuities between traditional languages and the emergent pidgins and creoles of the region (e.g. Tok Pisin, Bislama, Solomons Pijin and Melayu Papua). No previous exposure to linguistics or to Pacific languages is assumed.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
Students completing this course will have:
a) Gained an appreciation of the indigenous languages of the Pacific, their diversity, significance, and cultural embedding, with exposure to both Austronesian and Papuan languages.
b) Have acquired asuitably flexible conceptual framework for the analysis of languages of a very different type to their own, and a basic understanding of the methods linguists use to analyse them
c)The ability to communicate clearly and concisely about linguistic structures and conceptual systems different from those found in English
Specific language profile for one “adopted” language (30%) [1500 words]
Two transcription and analysis problem/s (30%) [1500 words equiv.]
Final Essay [individual or group options] (30%) [1500 words]
Final Quiz (10%)
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One three- hour meeting per week, taught in mixed lecture/ tutorial mode ( with coffee break in the middle)
Requisite and Incompatibility
Evans, Nicholas. 2010. Dying Words. Endangered Languages and What They Have to Tell Us . Wiley Blackwell
Lynch, John. 1998. Pacific Languages: an Introduction, University of Hawaii Press is recommended.
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- 6 units
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