PROF Rachel Nordlinger

PROF Rachel Nordlinger


  • Australian Indigenous languages
  • Description of endangered languages
  • Language Typology
  • Morphological and Syntactic theory
  • Structure of language



  • Rachel Nordlinger is a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, and Director of the Research Unit for Indigenous Language, in the School of Languages and Linguistics. She completed her PhD in Linguistics at Stanford University, USA. Rachel's research centres around the description and documentation of Australia's indigenous languages, and she has worked with the Bilinarra, Wambaya, Gudanji, Murrinhpatha and Marri Ngarr communities to record and preserve their traditional languages. She has also published on syntactic and morphological theory, and in particular the challenges posed by the complex grammatical structures of Australian Aboriginal languages. She is the author of numerous academic articles in international journals, and five books, including A Grammar of Wambaya (Pacific Linguistics, 1998), Constructive Case: Evidence from Australian languages (CSLI Publications, 1998) and A Grammar of Bilinarra (Mouton de Gruyter, 2014 - coauthored with Dr. Felicity Meakins). She is co-editor (with Harold Koch) of The Languages and Linguistics of Australia (Mouton de Gruyter, 2014).

    For more information please see the Rachel Nordlinger Academia web page.



Member of

  • Research Network for Linguistic Diversity. Member of the Committee of Governance 2011 -
  • Australian Linguistic Society. Past President (2005-2007) 2005 -
  • Association for Linguistic Typology. Member, Nominating Committee 1998 -
  • International LFG Association. Chair, Executive Committee 1997 -
  • Linguistic Society of America. member 1995 -


Selected publications


Investigator on

Additional Grant Information

  • Downloadable pre-publications and presentations

    Nordlinger, Rachel. "Constituency and grammatical relations."  ( To appear in Koch, Harold and Nordlinger, Rachel (eds.,). The Languages and Linguistics of Australia: a comprehensive guide (The World of Linguistics, Volume 3). ( Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. To be published September 2014

    Nordlinger, Rachel. "Inflection in Murrinh-Patha." ( To appear in Baerman, Matthew (ed.,). Handbook on Inflection. Oxford: Oxford University Press

    Kelly, Barbara, Wigglesworth, Gillian, Nordlinger, Rachel and Blythe, Joseph. Under Review. "The acquisition of polysynthetic languages." ( Under review for Language and Linguistics Compass, 2013

    Nordlinger, Rachel. "Complex predicates in Murrinh-Patha: problems for analysis."  ( Handout for paper presented at Australian Linguistics Society Conference, Perth, December 2012

    Caudal, Patrick and Nordlinger, Rachel. "A Murrinh-Patha view of counterfactuality and the irrealis." ( Handout for paper presented at the Australian Linguistics Society Conference, Canberra, December 2011

    Nordlinger, Rachel. "From body parts to applicatives." (



Education and training

  • PhD, Stanford University 1997
  • MA, Stanford University 1994
  • MA, University of Melbourne 1993
  • BA (Hons), University of Melbourne 1991



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • I supervise topics in Australian Indigenous languages, morphology, syntax, Lexical-Functional Grammar, and the description and documentation of endangered languages.