Seminar 01: Not Just Bilingualism!

While most studies on bilingualism concentrate on the use of two or more spoken languages (speech), studies on Bimodal Bilingualism (speech-sign) are rare. The term ‘Bimodal Bilingualism’ is used for the use of two or more languages in two modalities (spoken and signed).  Although Bilingualism in Indigenous Australia has been studied, ‘Bimodal Bilingualism’ which is the norm in Arnhem Land, is still not well known. Thus, this paper is a contribution to raising public awareness on this phenomenon which is rare in the world and yet culturally anchored in Indigenous Australia.

Seminar 02: “What are Alternate Sign Languages? Well…they are Languages in their own right”

Recent development in the field of Sign Languages reveals different types of sign languages. One type is known as alternate sign language, which has been identified in Indigenous Australia and outside Australia (Kendon 1988, Adone and Maypilama 2014, among others). The main aim of this paper is to raise public awareness on this are of research. First, it addresses some current misconceptions on sign languages. It then presents some useful definitions, especially of ‘alternate sign languages’ , followed by a discussion of  the prominent grammatical features that make alternate sign languages distinct.

Organised by Prof. Dr. Ruth Wallace
Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University
People. Policy. Place Seminars

1st September 2017, 10 am