Photo by Michael Gill

Mühlhäusler, PhD
Conference Speaker


Title of talk:  "Ned Young, Creator of the Linguistic Landscape of Pitcairn Island"
Video of talk   Background text (PDF)  


Dr. Peter Mühlhäusler was born in Freiburg Black Forest (Germany) and attended a classical gymnasium there.  His studies of contact languages began with a BA and Hons-BA degree in Afrikaans from Stellenbosch University (South Africa), followed by an M.Phil on Pidginization of languages from the University of Reading (UK) and a PhD on Melanesian Pidgin English of Papua New Guinea from the Australian National University.  His first academic appointment was as a Creolist at the Technical University of Berlin, followed by many years as the University Lecturer in General Linguistics and Fellow of Linacre College in the University of Oxford. 

In 1992 Dr.
Mühlhäusler took up his present position as the Foundation Professor of Linguistics at the University of Adelaide (South Australia) where he continues to work as a research professor.  He began working on the Pitkern-Norf'k language in 1997 and has worked ever since with the speakers of this language on Norfolk Island (in fact, he made his nineteenth visit there in 2011), concentrating on the documentation, maintenance and revival of the language.  He was instrumental in getting Norf'k recognized by UNESCO as an endangered language and in preparing the legislation that has made Norf'k co-official with English on Norfolk Island.  He is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and a Supernumerary Fellow of Linacre College, Oxford.

Mühlhäusler's publications include numerous papers on the Pitkern-Norf'k language (copies are kept at the Pitcairn Islands Study Center).  His latest book, Ucklun's Norf'k (produced with Norfolk Islanders Piria Coleman and Rachel Nebaur and with the help of Meralda Warren) is scheduled to appear shortly.  It portrays the history of some of the culturally most important words of the language.  The next project is a definitive history of the structural and social development of the language on Pitcairn Island and Norfolk Island.



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Last updated October 17, 2012

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