Fields of Research (FoR)Linguistics, Linguistic structures (incl. phonology, morphology and syntax), Lexicography and semantics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander linguistics and languages
Dr Clair Hill is a Lecturer in Linguistics in the School of Humanities and Languages. Clair’s research explores cross-cultural and individual variation in semantics and storytelling. It is based on long-term fieldwork on Australian languages, especially Paman languages (Umpila and Kuuku Ya’u) of north-eastern Cape York Peninsula. There are two central threads in her work: an exploration of the interaction between language, cognition and...view more
Dr Clair Hill is a Lecturer in Linguistics in the School of Humanities and Languages. Clair’s research explores cross-cultural and individual variation in semantics and storytelling. It is based on long-term fieldwork on Australian languages, especially Paman languages (Umpila and Kuuku Ya’u) of north-eastern Cape York Peninsula. There are two central threads in her work: an exploration of the interaction between language, cognition and culture, and collaborating with communities to translate this research into useful language documentation and language revitalisation products. Her main research interests include: Semantic Typology; Interactional Linguistics; Narrative; critical approaches to Language Documentation; Language Revitalisation.
Clair has participated in a number of team-based collaborative projects on cross-cultural variation in semantics, language documentation and language revitalisation. In connection with this collaborative research, she held research positions and research affiliations with Macquarie University 2003-2004, 2006), University of Leuven (2006-2009, 2010-2012), Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (2007-2012), University of Sydney (2015-2017), Lund University (2014-2020), and Western Sydney University (2019- ). Clair has also worked closely with Indigenous communities supporting local needs for language documentation and language revitalisation (Katherine Language Centre (2001), Lockhart River Aboriginal Council and Lockhart River Arts and Cultural Centre (various projects spanning: 2003, 2004-2005, 2006-2009, 2010-2014, 2021), Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa (2014-2016).
PhD in Linguistics, Radboud University (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics) and University of Leuven (2018)
Bachelor of Arts and Honours, University of Sydney (2002)
My Research Activities
Current research activities:
- Landscape, language and culture in Indigenous Australia. This project aims to determine how culture and social diversity interact with landscape in representing physical space in the minds and grammars of speakers of Australian Indigenous languages. Discovery Project funded by Australia Research Council.
- Familiar places and familiar faces: exploring the role of familiarity in language use with and by older adults. With familiar people (e.g., partner, family), older adults use language to verbally co-construct and maintain memories; this interdependence is particularly critical for people with dementia (Harris et al., 2019). This project aims to investigate how language interaction between elderly people and visitors changes with increasing familiarity, through analyses of video corpus of visitor-led sessions in which older adults in aged care shared stories about special places in their lives. Funded by ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language and undertaken at MARCS, Western Sydney University.
- A dictionary of Umpila/Kuuku Ya’u. This project is developing a dictionary of Umpila/Kuuku Ya’u, a language of Lockhart River region in north-eastern Cape York Peninsula.
- Emotions and expressivity in Umpila/Kuuku Ya’u storytelling. This project explores the ways in which storytellers in Umpila/Kuuku Ya’u (Paman language, Cape York Peninsula) represent emotions and employ expressive resources to build up a story.
Past Research Projects:
- 2011 – 2016 Language, cognition and landscape (LACOLA) project. A project to Funded by the European Research Council. Humanities Laboratory, Lund University.
- 2010 – 2013 Lockhart River Language Learners Guide Project. Funded by Indigenous Languages Support program.
- 2007 – 2014 Language of Perception project, Language and Cognition group, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
- 2007 – 2010 Online Language Community Access Pilot project, Australian Institute of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Studies.
- 2006 – 2009 Documentation of five Paman languages of Cape York Peninsula, Australia. Funded by Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project, and hosted by the University of Leuven.
- 2004 – 2005 Cape York Peninsula Language Documentation: Emergency Documentation Team Pilot Project. Funded by the Maintenance of Indigenous Languages and Records program.