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The Australian National University

Dr Alan Jones

PhD (ANU), BA Hons (Sydney)
Adjunct Professor (Macquarie); Associate Professor, Honorary (Anthropology, ANU)
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
T: 61614162

Areas of expertise

  • Linguistics 2004
  • Linguistic Structures (Incl. Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) 200408
  • Language In Culture And Society (Sociolinguistics) 200405
  • Discourse And Pragmatics 200403
  • Applied Linguistics And Educational Linguistics 200401
  • Anthropology 1601
  • Linguistic Anthropology 160103
  • Social And Cultural Anthropology 160104

Research interests

I devoted six months last year to the terminology of emotions, dispositions, values and practices in Austronesian languages spoken in the west of Central Province, Papua New Guinea. See: 'Disparate dimensions of a Mekeo socio-moral order: Values, emotions and dispositions in language, discourse and practice,' in The Australian Journal of Anthropology 26(3): 365-380. I am currently working on allusions and oblique references to myths in popular Mekeo folktales.

I have two projected papers on the grammar of Mekeo, the Austronesian language that I initially described for my doctorate (see Towards a Lexicogrammar of Mekeo. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. 1998). The first paper deals with an emergent passive voice in Mekeo and related languages, the second with the somewhat unusual consonantal inventories of the four Mekeo dialects. And I am finishing another paper on visual metaphors in Mekeo folktales and myths, specifically the tree and the hill and images of spontaneous growth.

In 2013 and 2015 I published book chapters dealing with discourse and communication in the context of professional accounting practice. In the first I focused on the role of communicative expertise in accounting work, while the second (with Samantha Sin) deals with the nature of critical thinking in accountancy. See:

Jones, A. and Sin, S. (2013). Achieving professional trustworthiness: Communicative expertise and identity work in professional accounting practice. In Christopher Candlin and Jonathan Crichton (Eds), Discourses of Trust. Palgrave.

Sin, S., Jones, A. and Wang, Z. (2015), Critical thinking in professional accounting practice: Conceptions of employers and practitioners. In Martin Davies and Ron Barnett (Eds), The Routledge Handbook of Critical Thinking in Higher Education. Routledge.

Most recent publication:

Townley, A. and Jones, A. (2016).The role of emails and covering letters in negotiating a legal contract: A case study from Turkey. English for Specific Purposes 44: 68-81.

To appear:

Jones, A., How Kolukolu out the moon's eyes out: Engaging with a Kuni folktale from Papua. To appear in Anthropos 113(2) later in 2018.

Under review:

Jones, A. and Sin, S. n.d. Discoursing the Ethics of Accounting Work: Analysing the Self-Reflective Talk of Three Professional Accountants.

I continue translating and analysing grammatically Mekeo, Kuni and Motu folktales, legends and myths. A paper on Mekeo mythology and core values appeared in 2014: 'Mythic origins of moral evil: Moral fatalism and the tragic self-conception of the Mekeo (Journal of the Polynesian Society 122(4): 333-371). Another paper, 'Disparate dimensions of the Mekeo socio-moral order', appeared in TAJA in 2015. In my forthcoming publication in Anthropos I turn my attention to Kuni mythology as it is embodied in folktales

Recent supervisions

Anthony Townley PhD. Analysis of Authentic Legal Negotiation Discourse: Towards and ELP Pedagogy.

Mahmud Khan PhD. Medium of Instruction (MOI) Policy as a Symptom of Nationhood: A Critical Analysis of MOI Policy Discourse in Malaysia. 

Kong Wo Tang PhD.  A Critical Study of Discourse and Interaction in the Australian Migration Review Tribunal (MRT).

Kevin Knight PhD. Discourses of Leadership in Educational Institutions.

Dana Skopal PhD. Exploring the Concept of Communicative Expertise: The Relationship between Features of the Written Text and Perceptions of Readability.

Janet Brady PhD. A Discourse Approach to the Interactions and Learning that Accompany the Transition to Management.

Jihuan (Ally) Xu PhD. The temporal (re-)construal of experience: How native speakers of English and advanced Chinese learners select and interpret simple past/present tenses.

David Rear PhD. The Challenge of Higher Education in Japan: Perceptions of Human Resource Managers regarding the Attributes, Skills and Competencies of Graduates from Japanese Universities.

Heather Jackson PhD. Trust Work: Discursive Investigations of How Trust is Established, Developed and Evidenced in Organisation-Stakeholder Relationships.

Several of my published and unpublished works can be downloaded from my web page: or from Researchgate.

Researcher's projects

I am a consultant on the following funded research project:

Towards Maximising Graduate Employment Competitiveness in the National Asia Capable Workforce: Honing Transcultural Capabilities and Skills. (Strategic Priority Grant, Macquarie University)

PI: Dr Samantha Sin, Macquarie University.

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Updated:  25 June 2018 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers