Projects per year
Joe Blythe is an Interactional Linguist specialising in Australian Indigenous languages. He conducts field research on the Murrinhpatha language of the Northern Territory and on the Gija and Jaru languages from northern Western Australia.
Joe is interested in the relationships between linguistic structure and social action, and what these relationships reveal about social cognition and culture. He is concerned with how interlocutors coordinate with each other in making themselves understood, and in how they package their talk, gaze and gestures, etc., as moves directed towards interactional goals. He is especially interested in what social interaction reveals about why words and constructions are structured the way they are. Thus, do particular structures reveal affordances for delivering particular actions? Are these structures better adapted than alternative structures for delivering the desired actions? Can constraints on language use be observed to be driving structural and semantic change?
- Australian Aboriginal Languages
- Conversation Analysis and Interactional Linguistics
- Child Language Acquisition
- Language Evolution
An ARC Discovery Project, DP180100515: Dr Joe Blythe, Associate Professor Ilana Mushin, Professor Lesley Stirling, Associate Professor Rod Gardner
The CIARA project will provide the first large-scale exploration of conversational style in Australia. The project investigates everyday conversation, comparing social interaction across different languages, cultures and geographic locations. Using modern Conversation Analytic/Interactional Linguistic techniques, we aim to re-examine claims that Aboriginal Australians conduct conversations in different ways to Anglo-Australians. We will record and transcribe Australian English multiparty conversations in remote Kimberley and rural Victorian towns, and compare these with multiparty conversations conducted in four endangered Aboriginal languages (Gija, Jaru, Garrwa and Murrinhpatha) and in Kriol, from remote communities in WA and the NT. These corpora will provide a new evidence-base for investigating Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal conversational norms and contribute to the scientific study of social interaction.
- OzSpace: Landscape, language and culture in Indigenous Australia
An ARC Discovery Project, DP200101079: Associate Professor Bill Palmer, Associate Professor Alice Gaby, Dr Joe Blythe, Dr Maïa Ponsonnet
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. The project will conduct the first Australia-wide survey of Indigenous spatial description correlated with landscape, and the first large-scale investigation of diversity in spatial behaviour among individuals within communities. The findings are expected to inform crucial debates on the formative role of landscape in language, and advance our knowledge of human spatial cognition. It will collect completely new experimental and natural data in six endangered languages, with significant benefits for the maintenance of Indigenous languages and cultures.
- Multiparty conversation in Gija, an endangered language of the East Kimberley, WA
A MQNS funded project to build a video corpus of Gija conversation.
- Acquiring Kinship Terminology in an Australian Aboriginal Community.
This project investigates how Murrinhpatha speaking children acquire the lexicon and grammar of kinship. (ARC DECRA project DE130100399)
- Language Acquisition of Murrinhpatha.
This project studies the acquisition of the polysynthetic language Murrinhpatha (Wadeye, NT) by children from 2-6 years. (ARC Discovery project DP110100961, with Jill Wigglesworth, Barbara Kelly, Rachel Nordlinger).
Research student supervision
Available for supervision
Associate Secretary, Australian Linguistic Society
Benson, P., Barnes, S., Blythe, J., Chang, M., Chappell, P., Chik, A., Djonov, E., Falloon, G., Forrest, J., Gorfinkel, L., Keith, S., Kim, J., Li, P., Moloney, R., Murray, J., Ollerhead, S., Parr, N., Roger, P., Xu, H. L. & Yates, L.
1/07/19 → 30/06/22
Blythe, J., Mushin, I., Stirling, L., Gardner, R., MQRES, M. & MQRES (International), M. (.
30/01/18 → 29/01/22
1/01/17 → …
He's not heavy, he's my brother: The acquisition of kinship terminology in a morphologically complex Australian Language
1/02/16 → 31/12/17
Blythe, J., Tunmuck, J., Mitchell, A. & Rácz, P., Sep 2020, In : Language. 96, 3, p. 661-695 35 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › ArticleOpen Access
de Dear, C., Possemato, F. & Blythe, J., 29 Jul 2020, In : Language Documentation and Description. 17, p. 134-141 8 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › ArticleOpen AccessFile11 Downloads (Pure)
Dahmen, J., Possemato, F. & Blythe, J., 29 Jul 2020, In : Language Documentation and Description. 17, p. 142-149 8 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › ArticleOpen AccessFile23 Downloads (Pure)
Blythe, J., Sep 2020, Getting others to do things: a pragmatic typology of recruitments. Floyd, S., Rossi, G. & Enfield, N. J. (eds.). Berlin: Language Sciences Press, p. 231– 280 50 p. (Studies in Diversity; no. 31).
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › ChapterOpen AccessFile5 Downloads (Pure)
Blythe, J., Gaby, A., Hoffmann, D. & Ponsonnet, M., 2019, Proceedings of the Workshop on Speaking of Location 2019: communicating about space. Stock, K., Jones, C. B. & Tenbrick, T. (eds.). Regensburg, Germany: CEUR Workshop Proceedings, Vol. 2455. p. 17-27 11 p. (CEUR Workshop Proceedings; vol. 2455).
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Conference proceeding contributionOpen AccessFile8 Downloads (Pure)