Nick Thieberger's home pages


Recent work history and projects

2014 - ARC Future Fellow & Associate Professor in the School of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Melbourne.

2009 - 2014 ARC QEII Fellow in the School of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Melbourne.

2013 – Visiting the Linguistics Institute at the University of Cologne as a Humboldt Fellow (April-September).

2008 - 2010 Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa.

Founding Project Manager and now Director of PARADISEC (Pacific And Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures) a project run by a consortium of Sydney University, ANU and Melbourne University which has established an archive of digitised material representing over 500 languages, mainly from the Pacific, PNG and Indonesia, but also from all parts of the world.

Editor of the journal Language Documentation & Conservation

From 2004-2007 - ARC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Linguistics & Applied Linguistics at the the University of Melbourne.

I managed the ARC project Ethnographic Eresearch, a collaborative research project working on online annotation of complex linguistic data that resulted in the online system EOPAS.

I have been a consultant on linguistic issues, including Native Title (see for example the judgment in the Ngarluma-Yindjibarndi case, or the judgment in the Single Noongar claim, or Bennell v State of Western Australia [2006] FCA 1243 (19 September 2006), see the report I wrote for that claim) and computer-based linguistic tools (see the CALW dating back to the 1990s).

From 1995 to 1997 I lived in Vanuatu and worked at the Vanuatu Cultural Centre and also helped manage the Pactok e-mail system.

1991-1994 Visiting Research Fellow, Aboriginal Studies Electronic Data Archive, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) an Australian government statutory authority where I also ran the AIATSIS Aboriginal Dictionaries Project (1993-1994).

1987 - 1990 Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre linguist/co-ordinator in Port Hedland, Western Australia.

1985 - 1986 Linguistic project officer with the Institute of Applied Aboriginal Studies (IAAS), Mt.Lawley Campus of WACAE (now Edith Cowan University).

In the early 1980s I worked at the School of Australian Lingustics in Batchelor, NT.

Professional Affiliations

Co-founder of the Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity

Former Secretary of the Australasian Association for Digital Humanities

Former Secretary of the Australian Linguistic Society

Member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

Member of the Foundation for Endangered Languages

Member of the Australasian Association for Digital Humanities

Recent Grants

Endangered Languages Documentation Programme, Legacy Materials Grant titled "Digitisation of North Malaita recordings." £10,000 (2018)

Endangered Languages Documentation Programme, Legacy Materials Grant titled "Digitising tapes from Madang, PNG." £10,000 (2018)

Endangered Languages Documentation Programme, Legacy Grant titled "Vanuatu Cultural Centre tape digitisation". £8650 (2017)

CI in the ARC grant DP150100094 collaborating with Sally Treloyn and others titled "Hearing histories of the western Pilbara: an interdisciplinary study of Indigenous songs composed in the Pilbara region of Western Australia in the twentieth century and technologies to sustain them into the future". $359,489. (2016-2018)

Developing the Vanuatu collection in PARADISEC, Max Planck Institute Jena, (2016) $65,000.

ARC Future Fellowship (FT140100214) titled "Small Stones can break big canoes: Securing records of the world's indigenous languages". (2014-2018) $755,000.

Endangered Archives Programme (UK), $22,000 to digitise 200 tapes from the Solomon Islands Museum (2014)

ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (I am a CI in this $28 million project) (ARC CE140100041) (2014-2021)

ARC LIEF scheme ‘PARADISEC equipment and facilities’ $238,000 (collaborative Sydney and ANU project) (2012)

Projects I lead or have initiated

Wordgenerator, a way to generate possible words in a language for which there is an existing dictionary:

Metadata entry tool


Mobile viewer for PARADISEC data:

PARADISEC catalog item viewer

Raspberry Pi delivery of archival records:

Open Language Archives Community explorer. See what is in OLAC archives by each of the world's languages. See changes in holdings over time:

OLAC data visualiser see amount of data for each language:

Dataloader - a way to create meaningful collections of files for loading onto a hard disk or Raspberry Pi for delivery in remote areas onto mobile phones:

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