- Code LING2040
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of Culture History and Language
- ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
- Course subject Linguistics
- Areas of interest Asian Languages, Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, Language Studies, Linguistics
This course is an introduction to Austronesian languages, exploring the history, linguistic and socio-cultural-political diversity of the Austronesian world. Austronesian is the world's largest language family in terms of geographical spread, spanning more than half the globe: from Madagascar to Easter Island, and from Taiwan to New Zealand. This vast and diverse language family is also one of the best documented. It includes both major world languages with millions of speakers, like Indonesian and Tagalog, and tiny Oceanic languages spoken on a remote island with only a couple of hundred speakers. During the course students will learn about the migration and dispersion of the Austronesian people and salient features characterising their languages, social organisations and cultures. Case studies are used to represent certain salient Austronesian features in relation to particular (sub)regions and societies to cover topics in Austronesian sound systems and grammars, writing systems, ritual language and religions, language contact and change, language ecology, the politics of language, language landscape and verbal arts.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the basic terminology, concepts and issues of the field of linguistics and related fields as they pertain to the Austronesian languages;
- Identify and discuss the salient linguistic and socio-cultural characteristics of the varieties of the Austronesian language family;
- Assess the typical arguments pertaining to the history and typological properties of the varieties of Austronesian languages;
- Analyse and compare linguistic systems, and related socio-cultural-political aspects based on concrete data;
- Undertake guided research and analysis of data for a selected topic for a given project;
- Present and justify the research results of the project with clarity and focus, both orally and in writing.
- Two problem-sets (40) [LO 1,4]
- Research plan (5) [LO 4,5]
- Critical summary (1000 words) (5) [LO 1,2,3]
- Oral presentation (10) [LO 2,3,4,6]
- Research essay (2000-2500 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
WorkloadThe workload consists of a total of around 10 hours per week for various activities: 3 contact hours (2 hours lectures and 1 hour tutorial) and around 7 hours for weekly readings, tutorial preparation, and assessment items (problem sets and term paper).Total workload for the course is 130 hours including independent study.
The lectures provide the students with the background knowledge and skills on the relevant weekly topics; the tutorials provide them with practical exercises and further discussions of topics and problems, issues and crucial points of the lectures. The students are expected to do all home assignments (usually in the form of problem sets and basic research), which are assessed to demonstrate their progress in learning and acquiring new knowledge and skills.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsBlust, Robert. 2013. The Austronesian languages (the revised edition). Canberra: Asia-Pacific Linguistics
Preliminary ReadingArka, I Wayan. 2013. "Language management and minority language maintenance in (eastern) Indonesia: strategic issues." Language Documentation and Conservation 7:74-105.
Blust, Robert. 2013. The Austronesian languages (the revised edition). Canberra: Asia-Pacific Linguistics.
Crowley, Terry. 2000. "The Consequences of Vernacular (II)literacy in the Pacific." Current Issues in Language Planning 1 (3):368-388, DOI: 10.1080/14664200008668012.
Fishman, Joshua A. 1997. "Language, ethnicity and racism." In Sociolinguistics: a reader and coursebook, edited by Nikolas Couplan and Adam Jaworski, 329-340. New York: St. Martin's Press
Fox, James J. 1982. "The Rotinese chotbah as a linguistic performance." In Papers from the third International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics, edited by S.A. Wurm, 311—318. Canberra Pacific Linguistic
Himmelmann, Nikolaus P. 2005. The Austronesian languages of Asia and Madagascar: Typological characteristics. In The Austronesian languages of Asia and Madagascar, ed. by Alexander Adelaar and Nikolaus P. Himmelmann, 110-181. London and New York: Routledge.
Michael, Lev. 2014. ‘Social dimensions of language change.’ In Bowern, Claire & Evans, Bethwyn (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Historical Linguistics, pp. 484-98.
MÃ¼hlhÃ¤usler, Peter. 1996. Chapter 1 ‘The changing linguistic ecology of the Pacific region’ in Linguistic ecology: language change and linguistic imperialism in the Pacific region London: Routledge.
Ross, Malcolm. 2003. Talking about space: terms of location and direction. In Malcolm Ross, Andrew
Telle, Kari. 2016. "Ritual Power: Risk, Rumours and Religious Pluralism on Lombok." The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology 17 (5):419-438. doi: 10.1080/14442213.2016.1206614
Assumed KnowledgeThe course assumes some prior knowledge in linguistics.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.
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- 6 units
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Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|7975||21 Jul 2025||28 Jul 2025||31 Aug 2025||24 Oct 2025||In Person||N/A|