Alex FRANÇOIS, BA Hons (Paris), MA (Paris), PhD (Sorbonne, Paris)
Visiting Fellow, School of Culture, History & Language
Alex François has conducted fieldwork on a number of hitherto undescribed – and often endangered – Oceanic (Austronesian) languages from north Vanuatu (Banks & Torres Islands) and eastern Solomon Islands. He works on the description and analysis of these languages, both in their typological and historical dimensions. Beyond linguistics, his projects also aim at documenting the oral literature, poetry and music of these communities, as well as supporting the maintenance of endangered languages. His permanent affiliation is with Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris
His current plans include writing a grammar of Hiw (Torres Is, Vanuatu) and one of Teanu (Vanikoro, Solomon Is), and publishing a selection of musical recordings from north Vanuatu.
He is the author of Araki: A disappearing language of Vanuatu (2002), and La Sémantique du Prédicat en Mwotlap (2003).
Phonological systems and sound change; typology of polysemy and lexical semantics; pragmatics of face-to-face conversation; historical linguistics; language geography and areal phenomena; verbal art, folkloristics, ethnomusicology.
- forthcoming. (with Jean-Michel Charpentier) Atlas Linguistique de Polynésie Française – Linguistic Atlas of French Polynesia. Mouton de Gruyter.
- forthcoming. Shadows of bygone lives: The histories of spiritual words in northern Vanuatu. In Robert Mailhammer (ed.). Lexical and structural etymology: Beyond word histories. Studies in Language Change. Berlin: DeGruyter Mouton.
- forthcoming. “Show her to me”: Ditransitivity and referential hierarchies in Araki. In E. van Lier (ed), Referential Hierarchies in Three-participant Constructions, special issue of Linguistic Discovery.
- 2012. The dynamics of linguistic diversity. Egalitarian multilingualism and power imbalance among northern Vanuatu languages. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 214, 85–110.
- 2011. Social ecology and language history in the northern Vanuatu linkage: A tale of divergence and convergence. Journal of Historical Linguistics 1 (2), 175-246. Nov 2011.
- 2011. Where *R they all? The history and geography of *R loss in Southern Oceanic languages. Oceanic Linguistics 50 (1), 140-197. June 2011.
- 2010. 'Phonotactics and the Prestopped Velar Lateral of Hiw: Resolving the ambiguity of a complex segment'. Phonology 27 3. 34 pp.
- 2010. 'Pragmatic demotion and clause dependency: On two atypical subordinating strategies in Lo Toga and Hiw (Torres, Vanuatu)'. In Isabelle Bril (ed.), Clause hierarchy and Clause linking: the Syntax and pragmatics interface. Amsterdam, New York: Benjamins.
- 2009. 'The languages of Vanikoro: Three lexicons and one grammar. In B. Evans' (ed.), Discovering history through language: Papers in honour of Malcolm Ross. Pacific Linguistics 605. Canberra: Australian National University. Pp. 103 126.
- 2009. 'Verbal aspect and personal pronouns: The history of aorist markers in north Vanuatu'. In Andrew Pawley & Alexander Adelaar (eds). Austronesian historical linguistics and culture history: A festschrift for Bob Blust. Pacific Linguistics. Canberra: Australian National University. Pp.179 195.
- 2008. 'Semantic maps and the typology of colexification: Intertwining polysemous networks across languages'. In Martine Vanhove (ed.). From Polysemy to Semantic change: Towards a Typology of Lexical Semantic Associations. Studies in Language Companion Series, 106. Amsterdam, New York: Benjamins. Pp.163-215.
- 2007. 'Noun articles in Torres and Banks languages: Conservation and innovation'. In Jeff Siegel, John Lynch & Diana Eades (eds.), Language Description, History and Development: Linguistic indulgence in memory of Terry Crowley. Creole Language Library 30. New York: John Benjamins. Pp.313-326.
- 2006. 'Serial verb constructions in Mwotlap'. In R.M.W. Dixon & Alexandra Aikhenvald (eds), Serial Verb Constructions: A cross-linguistic typology, Explorations in Linguistic Typology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pp.223-238.
Lecturer, Univ. Paris-3 Sorbonne Nouvelle (1999-2002); Research Fellow at Langues et Civilisations à Tradition Orale (LACITO http://lacito.vjf.cnrs.fr/) of French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (2002-present); Visiting Fellow, Linguistics, CHL, ANU (2009-2012).