Fields of Research (FoR)Linguistics, Linguistic structures (incl. phonology, morphology and syntax), Lexicography and semantics, Cognition, 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 interaction. 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 interaction. 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; Cognitive Linguistics; 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:
- Kuuku ngampulungku kuupathangka “Speaking our language”: This project will develop and evaluate a phrase-based digital resource (utlising Listen N Talk shell) to support language revitalisation of Umpila and Kuuku Ya’u. This project is undertaken in partnership with Umpila and Kuuku Ya'u speakers, Lockhart River Aboriginal Council and MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development (WSU). Funded by an Indigenous Languages and Arts Grant
- 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. This is a large-scale team based project lead by CIs, Bill Palmer, Alice Gaby, Joe Blythe and Maïa Ponsonnet. Discovery Project funded by Australia Research Council, University of Newcastle led.
- Language of smell and colour: This project explores the cross-cultural representation of colour and smell in both language and thought. This is a continuation of research and questions that arose in Language of Perception project (2007-2016) and is focused on understanding low codability or expressability of some perceptual experiences in Umpila and Kuuku Ya'u in a cross-linguistic context.
- Familiar places and familiar faces: exploring the role of familiarity in language use with and by older adults. With familiar people, older adults use language to verbally co-construct and maintain memories; this interdependence is particularly critical for people with dementia. 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.
Past Research Projects:
- 2011 – 2017 Language, cognition and landscape (LACOLA) project. A project to Funded by the European Research Council. Humanities Laboratory, Lund University.
- 2010 – 2015 Lockhart River Language Learners Guide Project. Funded by Indigenous Languages Support program.
- 2007 – 2016 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.