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Jane Helen Simpson

Professor emerita, Australian National University

Jane Simpson studies several Australian Aboriginal languages: Warumungu, Kaurna and Warlpiri. She has worked on land claims in the Tennant Creek area, on maintenance of Indigenous languages and establishing electronic archives of text and audio-visual material. Areas of research include the structure of languages, child language acquisition, intercultural communication, Australian English, Australian place-names, South Australian history, and dictionaries for endangered languages. She sometimes blogs at Endangered Languages and Cultures (formerly 'Transient Languages').


  • 2011–2022
    Chair of Indigenous Linguistics, Australian National University


  • 1983 
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PhD


  • 2009
    Gaps in Australia's Indigenous Language Policy: Dismantling bilingual education in the NT, (with Caffery & McConvell)
  • 2008
    Children's language and multilingualism: Indigenous language use at home and school, [with Gillian Wigglesworth, eds] Continuum, London
  • 2002
    A learner's guide to Warumungu: Mirlamirlajinjjiki Warumunguku apparrka, Alice Springs, IAD Press

Research Areas

  • Linguistics (2004)
  • Linguistic Anthropology (160103)
  • Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Languages (200319)
  • Language Studies (2003)