• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Transitional
  • Course subject Linguistics
  • Areas of interest Australian Indigenous Studies, Linguistics and Applied Linguistics

Introduction to the languages of the traditional and modern Indigenous societies of Australia. History of research on Australian languages. Language and territoriality. Main characteristics of the sounds and grammar of Australian languages (including some learning of one of the traditional languages). Vocabulary and semantic structure (especially kinship and placenames), and how these reflect the physical, social, and cultural environments of the speakers. Speech use and etiquette, including specialised codes and respect language. The impact of English on traditional languages: borrowing, language reduction, loss and shift. New varieties of language: pidgins, creoles (some Northern Territory Kriol will be learned), and Aboriginal English. Language reclamation and revitalisation. Language and education: policy, bilingual education, etc. Language and the law, including land rights and Native Title.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

To gain a relatively non-technical understanding of the nature and role of language in traditional and post-contact Australian Indigenous society.

Indicative Assessment

3 exercises (30%), a 2500 word essay (40%), and a 1500-word critical report on a topic other than that of the essay (30%)

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26 hours of lectures and 7 tutorial hours. Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but have a different assessment pattern. Expect to devote two hours outside of class for each hour of class.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed LING2016. Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convener to enrol in this course.

Preliminary Reading

Use resources of the AIATSIS library http://www.aiatsis.gov.au/library

Assumed Knowledge

No prior linguistic knowledge is assumed.



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3054
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $4368
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4886 19 Feb 2018 27 Feb 2018 31 Mar 2018 25 May 2018 In Person N/A

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