Nick Evans

Australian National University

Nick Evans is Head and Professor at the Department of Linguistics, Division of Society and Environment of the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies (RSPAS) at the Australian National University (ANU), having previously taught at the University of Melbourne and the University of Cologne. He holds the Ken Hale Professorship at the 2011 Linguistic Institute. He has worked on numerous Australian Aboriginal languages as linguist, anthropologist and interpreter, recently extending his fieldwork into Papuan languages of Southern New Guinea. His recent publications include Dying Words: Endangered Languages and what they have to Tell us his call to arms concerning the scientific and humanistic importance of fieldwork with little-known languages, and his paper with Steve Levinson on why language diversity should be placed at the heart of the field ("The Myth of Language Universals", BBS 2009). These general works build on a foundation of descriptive work on specific Aboriginal languages, including grammars of Kayardild (1995) and Bininj Gun-wok (2003), dictionaries of Kayardild (1992) and Dalabon (2004, with Francesca Merlan and Maggie Tukumba), and edited books on linguistics and archaeology (with Pat McConvell), polysynthesis (with Hans-Jürgen Sasse), the classification of north Australian languages, and grammar-writing (Catching Language: the Standing Challenge of Grammar Writing, with Felix Ameka and Alan Dench). More generally, his research interests span typology, the semantics/pragmatics interface, historical linguistics, contact and areal linguistics, language documentation and description, linguistics in musicology and the interactions of language, culture and thought.