Language Revival and Wellbeing


Language revival is right, beautiful and beneficial - ask speakers of Hebrew, Welsh or Aboriginal languages.

Start Date

21st Jan 2019 6:00pm

End Date

21st Jan 2019 7:30pm


VOS-Rory Spence Lecture Theatre, School of Architecture and Design, Inveresk Campus

RSVP / Contact Information

Enquiries: T. 6324 3062, E.

Catch up on

This talk will explain why language revival is 1. right, 2. beautiful and 3. beneficial. In our globalized world, more and more groups are losing their heritage. Language reclamation, revitalization and reinvigoration are becoming increasingly relevant. Just ask speakers of Hebrew, Welsh or the Barngarla Aboriginal language in South Australia. More and more people are seeking to reconnect with their ancestors, recover their cultural autonomy, empower their spiritual and intellectual sovereignty, and improve their wellbeing and mental health.

There is an urgent need to offer comparative insights, for example from the Hebrew revival, which is so far the most successful known linguistic reclamation. This lecture will also examine the advantages of multilingualism.

About the Speaker

Professor Ghil‘ad Zuckermann (D.Phil., Oxford, Ph.D., Cambridge) is Chair of Linguistics and Endangered Languages at the University of Adelaide. He is a chief investigator in a large research project assessing language revival and mental health, funded by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council.

Zuckermann PhotoProf Zuckermann is the author of the seminal bestseller Israelit Safa Yafa (Israeli – A Beautiful Language), numerous book chapters and the first online Dictionary of the Barngarla Aboriginal Language. He is the editor of numerous publications and the founder of revivalistics, a new trans-disciplinary field of enquiry surrounding language reclamation, revitalization and reinvigoration. He launched, with the Aboriginal communities of Eyre Peninsula, the reclamation of the Barngarla language.

Professor Zuckermann is elected member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and the Foundation for Endangered Languages. He is President of the Australian Association for Jewish Studies and was President of AustraLex in 2013-15, Australian Research Council Discovery Fellow in 2007–11 and Gulbenkian Research Fellow at Churchill College Cambridge in 2000-04. He has been a consultant and expert witness in lexicography and forensic linguistics in court cases all over the globe. He has researched and taught at universities in China, Japan, the UK and Europe, Singapore, Israel the US and Australia. His MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), Language Revival: Securing the Future of Endangered Languages, has attracted 12,000 learners from 190 countries.

Refreshments from 5.30pm.