Warlpiri Speakers and U-M Professor Participate in Kriol and Contact Languages Workshop in Australia
Carmel O'Shannessy and 3 speakers of Warlpiri and Light Warlpiri from Lajamanu Community participated in the first Kriol and Contact Languages Workshop, at Charles Darwin University, Katherine, Northern Territory, Australia. Speakers of contact languages from the wider Katherine area and beyond, and linguists with whom they work, came together to explore notions of language variation in the area.
From the website: "This workshop brings together researchers, research assistants, community members and other professionals living and working in areas of Northern Australia where Kriol and other contact languages like Light Warlpiri, Gurindji Kriol and Wumpurrarni English are spoken. The workshop is a combination of three areas: Sharing – where each group has the opportunity to share what they are working on and hear about what others are doing Helping – where each group gets to contributes to different projects Learning – where we provide skills and training to people working on different projects."
The workshop was the first to be dedicated to contact languages in the region, despite the area being the birthplace of varieties of Kriol, the local creole language. Speakers enjoyed discussing similarities and differences in their respective ways of speaking, and valuable research material was collected. The workshop was featured on media outlets in Australia. The workshop was funded by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, and an additional contribution for the Lajamanu group was provided by an NSF grant #1348013.