Alice Gaby

LSA 228: Semantic categorization in Australian languages

Alice Gaby is an Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley. Her 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. Though she claims to love all Australian languages equally, she regularly betrays a bias towards the Paman languages spoken in and around the community of Pormpuraaw (NW Cape York Peninsula). During the fieldwork leading to her 2006 PhD dissertation (A Grammar of Kuuk Thaayorre), she became convinced that grammatical structures are best understood as part of a larger, culturally-embedded communicative system, encompassing multiple languages, registers and modalities. She has recently published papers on Kuuk Thaayorre lexical semantics, the role of pragmatics in co-conditioning ergative case morphology, reciprocal constructions and valency in Australian languages and the conceptualization of internal (emotional and intellectual) experiences in terms of the body.

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