Trilingual language contact in an Indigenous community (2015–2019)
The linguistic cradle of many Aboriginal children in remote Australia is a multilingual setting involving
considerable mixing between languages. Children bring this linguistic background to the task of learning
English. This project is the first investigation of a trilingual Indigenous community, Elliott (NT), where children
grow up hearing Jingulu, Mudburra and Kriol. It examines how people at Elliott manage multiple languages
and how these languages have changed through mixing processes such as creolisation and code-switching.
Exploring this dynamic language ecology is crucial to tailoring educational programs to suit the needs of
Aboriginal children. It will place Australia at the forefront of studies of complex language change.