Dr Alice Gaby

Alice Gaby
 

Biography

My research interests lie in three intersecting domains: the documentation and analysis of endangered languages, especially those of the Australian continent; semantic and structural typology; and the relationship between language, culture and cognition.

Much of my research focuses on the Paman languages spoken in and around the community of Pormpuraaw (Cape York Peninsula, Australia).  My ongoing collaboration with this community has impressed on me the importance of language documentation, especially in contexts of language obsolescence.

It has also given me an appreciation of how linguistic analysis can be enriched by acknowledging that grammatical structures are part of a larger communicative system, encompassing multiple languages, registers and modalities.  Empirical in orientation, my research explores the relationship between language, culture and cognition, as well as the range of cross-linguistic variation.

Current research interests include: how time is represented in terms of space (in both language and thought); the lexical semantics of kin terms; politeness and the indirect expression of desire in Australian languages.

Qualifications

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
Institution: University of Melbourne
Year awarded: 2006

Publications

Books

  • Evans, N., Gaby, A., Levinson, S., Majid, A. (eds), 2011, Reciprocals and Semantic Typology, John Benjamins Publishing Company, Amsterdam The Netherlands.

Book chapters

  • Gaby, A., Singer, R. 2014. Semantics of Australian languages. In Koch, H. & Nordlinger, R. (Eds). The Languages and Linguistics of Australia: a comprehensive guide. (World of Languages 3). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. <available here>
  • Gaby, A., Inkelas, S. 2014. Reduplication in Kuuk Thaayorre. In Kager, René. Janet Grijzenhout & Koen Sebregts (eds). Where the Principles Fail: A festschrift for Wim Zonneveld on the occasion of his 64th birthday. Ridderkerk: Holland Ridderkerk. <available here>
  • Gaby, A., 2012, The Thaayorre lexicon of putting and taking. in Events of Putting and Taking: A crosslinguistic perspective, eds Anetta Kopecka and Bhuvana Narasimhan, John Benjamins, Amsterdam The Netherlands, pp. 233–252. <available here>
  • Evans, N., Levinson, S., Gaby, A., Majid, A., 2011, Introduction: Reciprocals and semantic typology, in Reciprocals and Semantic Typology, eds Nicholas Evans, Alice Gaby, Stephen C. Levinson and Asifa Majid, John Benjamins, Amsterdam The Netherlands, pp. 1-28. <available here>
  • Gaby, A., 2011, Reciprocal-marked and marked reciprocal events in Kuuk Thaayorre, in Reciprocals and Semantic Typology, eds Nicholas Evans, Alice Gaby, Stephen C. Levinson and Asifa Majid, John Benjamins, Amsterdam The Netherlands, pp. 251-264. <available here>
  • Majid, A., Evans, N., Gaby, A., Levinson, S., 2011, The semantics of reciprocal constructions across language: An extension approach, in Reciprocals and Semantic Typology, eds Nicholas Evans, Alice Gaby, Stephen C. Levinson and Asifa Majid, John Benjamins, Amsterdam The Netherlands, pp. 29-60. <available here>
  • Gaby, A., 2008, Distinguishing reciprocals from reflexives in Kuuk Thaayorre, in Reciprocals and Reflexives: Theoretical and Typological Explorations, eds Ekkehard Konig and Volker Gast, De Gruyter Mouton, Germany, pp. 259-288. <available here>
  • Gaby, A., 2008, Gut feelings: locating emotion, life force and intellect in the Thaayorre body, in Body, Culture and Language: Conceptualizations of Internal Body Organs Across Cultures and Languages, eds Farzad Sharifian, Rene Dirven, Ning Yu and Susanne Niemeier, De Gruyter Mouton, Germany, pp. 27-44. <available here>
  • Gaby, A., 2008, Pragmatically case-marked: non-syntactic functions of the Thaayorre ergative suffix, inDiscourse and Grammar in Australian Languages, eds Ilana Mushin and Brett Baker, John Benjamins, Amsterdam, Netherlands, pp. 111-134. <available here>
  • Gaby, A., 2005, Some participants are more equal than others: case and the composition of arguments in Kuuk Thaayorre, in Competition and Variation in Natural Languages: The Case for Case, eds Mengistu Amberber and Helen deHoop, Elsevier, Netherlands, pp. 9-39.

 Journal articles

  • Gaby, A., 2012, The Thaayorre think of time like they talk of space, Frontiers in Psychology [E], vol 3, Frontiers Research Foundation, Switzerland, pp. 1-8. <available here>
  • Majid, A., Evans, N., Gaby, A., Levinson, S., 2011, The grammar of exchange: a comparative study of reciprocal constructions across languages, Frontiers in Psychology [E], vol 2, Frontiers Research Foundation, Switzerland, pp. 1-15. <available here>
  • Gaby, A., 2010, From discourse to syntax and back: the lifecycle of Kuuk Thaayorre ergative morphology, Lingua [P], vol 120, Elsevier BV, Netherlands, pp. 1677-1692.<available here>
  • Boroditsky, L., Gaby, A., 2010, Remembrances of times East: absolute spatial representations of time in an Australian aboriginal community., Psychological Science [E], vol 21, issue 11, Sage, USA, pp. 1635-1639. <available here>
  • Gaby, A., 2009, Teaching & learning guide for: rebuilding Australia’s linguistic profile – recent developments in research on Australian aboriginal languages, Language and Linguistics Compass [P], vol 3, issue 5, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd., UK, pp. 1366-1373. <available here>
  • Gaby, A., 2008, Rebuilding Australia’s linguistic profile: Recent developments in research on Australian aboriginal languages, Language and Linguistics Compass [P], vol 2, issue 1, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd., UK, pp. 211-233. <available here>
  • Gaby, A., 2007, Describing cutting and breaking events in Kuuk Thaayorre, Cognitive Linguistics [P], vol 18, issue 2, Mouton de Gruyter, Germany, pp. 263-272. <available here>
  • Evans, N., Gaby, A., Nordlinger, R., 2007, Valency mismatches and the coding of reciprocity in Australian languages, Linguistic Typology [P], vol 11, Mouton de Gruyter, Germany, pp. 541-597. <available here>
  • Anderson, S.R., Brown, L., Gaby, A., Lecarme, J., 2006, Life on the edge: there’s morphology there after all!, Lingue e linguaggio [P], vol 1, Societa Editrice Il Mulino, Italy, pp. 33-48. <available here>
  • Gaby, A., 2006, The Thaayorre ‘true man’: lexicon of the human body in an Australian language, Language Sciences [P], vol 28, Elsevier, Netherlands, pp. 201-220. <available here>

Other

  • Gaby, A., 2006, A Grammar of Kuuk Thaayorre, PhD thesis, University of Melbourne, Melbourne Australia. <under revision for publication>

Research

Research Areas

  • Australian languages
  • Morphosyntax
  • Semantics
  • Pragmatics
  • Metaphor
  • Grammaticalization
  • Language, culture, and cognition
  • Language documentation and description
  • Linguistic typology, particularly semantic typology

Hear more…

2005. Gut feelingsLingua Franca, December 17th. Radio National 621AM.

2008. You Say Potato, I Say Cassava: Language, Culture and PerceptionScience Talk, February 6th. Scientific American (www.sciam.com).

2008. Interview with Linguist Alice GabyBrain Science Podcast 41, July 11th.

2010. Place and time. Lingua Franca, September 11th. Radio National 621AM.

2012. How language shapes thoughtAll in the Mind. October 28th. Radio National 621AM (rebroadcast Radio Australia).

Supervision

I have supervised students working in the following areas:

  • Fieldwork-based grammatical description of a range of languages from Indonesia, East Timor, Vietnam, USA, Maldives and Australia
  • Sociophonetics of language acquisition
  • Conceptual metaphor
  • Interactional pragmatics of interjections
  • Affix ordering
  • Anaphora

Current Postgraduate Research Supervisions

Research PhD. The Dhivehi system of spatial reference: thinking and talking about physical space on a Maldivian atoll. Supervisors: Gaby, A (Main), Margetts, A (Associate), Palmer, B (Associate).

Research PhD. A Grammar of Wik-Mungkan. Supervisors: Gaby, A (Main), Musgrave, S (Associate).

Research PhD. Gun-ngaypa rrawa ‘my country’: intercultural alliances in language documentation and conversation. Supervisors: Gaby, A (Main), Musgrave, S (Associate).

Research PhD. Polysemy in the lexeme ‘head’: a cognitive linguistic investigation. Supervisors: Gaby, A (Main), Musgrave, S (Associate), Manns, H (Associate).

Research PhD. Cultural conceptualisation among Chinese immigrants. Supervisors: Gaby, A (Main), Margetts, A (Associate), Davies, G (Associate).

Research PhD. Thinking and Talking about Atolls: Spatial reference in Marshallese. Supervisors: Palmer, B (Main), Gaby, A (Associate).

Research PhD. When languages collide: negation strategies in Australian creoles. Supervisors: Burridge, K (Main), Gaby, A (Associate).

Research PhD. Blending: No longer a minor word formation process. Supervisors: Burridge, K (Main), Gaby, A (Associate), Margetts, A (Associate).

Research PhD. Multiple world expression. Supervisors: Musgrave, S (Main), Gaby, A (Associate).

Research PhD. Nouns and noun phrases in Fataluku: a non-Austronesian language of East-Timor. Supervisors: Musgrave, S (Main), Gaby, A (Associate).