Dr James Bednall

BA (Hons) (University of Western Australia), BMus (University of Western Australia), PhD (Australian National University/Université de Paris)
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Languages 200319
  • Linguistic Structures (Incl. Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) 200408
  • Discourse And Pragmatics 200403
  • Lexicography 200407
  • Applied Linguistics And Educational Linguistics 200401
  • Linguistic Anthropology 160103

Research interests

Australian Aboriginal languages; language documentation and description; language revitalisation and maintenance; morphosyntax; semantics; pragmatics; tense-aspect-modality; information structure; narrative structure; semantic and grammatical typology; lexicography


My research focuses on morphosyntax, semantics and pragmatics; language documentation methods and practices; and community-led language revitalisation and maintenance. I work in collaboration with a number of communities in Mid-West Western Australia and north-east Arnhem Land.

I completed my PhD at the ANU & U.Paris in 2020. My thesis Temporal, aspectual and modal expression in Anindilyakwa, the language of the Groote Eylandt Archipelago, Australia provides an empirically driven and theoretically informed examination of temporal, aspectual and modal expression in Anindilyakwa, the language spoken across the Groote Eylandt archipelago.

I am a lecturer in linguistics at Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE), a visiting fellow at the Australian National University, and a research affiliate with the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL).

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Updated:  29 January 2023 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers