Carmel O’Shannessy and Felicity Meakins (University of Queensland) ran a workshop: Language Contact in Australia Since Colonisation, as part of Australian Languages Weekend, March 5 - 8, at the Australian National University (ANU), Canberra, Australia. The workshop brought researchers from many parts of Australia together, with papers on Kriol (an English-based creole in north Australia), mixed languages, and influences between Indigenous languages and English, in both directions. The workshop was a forum for authors to receive feedback in preparation for a volume to be edited by Carmel and Felicity. Commentaries were given by Jeff Siegel (University of New England, NSW) and Harold Koch (ANU). Language contact phenomena in Australia are complex and pervasive, and interest in them is growing. Researchers increasingly realize the importance of documenting and explaining current language use, in addition to documenting endangered traditional languages. The workshop was sponsored by the University of Michigan (Linguistics Department and College of LSA) and the University of Queensland.
Following the language contact workshop there was a workshop involving many perspectives on Australian languages. Carmel gave a speech to launch the volume: Language Description Informed by Theory, a festschrift in honor of Dr. Mary Laughren, edited by Rob Pensalfini, Myfany Turpin and Diana Guilleman. Dr. Laughren made many significant contributions to understandings of Warlpiri language and culture, linguistic theory, and Warlpiri education and literacy.