ATS3666 - Eastern Austronesian languages of Indonesia, East Timor and Oceania - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit



Dr Anna Margetts

Dr Simon Musgrave

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


The unit introduces students to Eastern Austronesian languages and cultures of Indonesia, East Timor and Oceania, covering issues in linguistic structure (comparative linguistics, phonology, morphology, syntax), sociolinguistics, and anthropological linguistics. Students will learn about the linguistic structure of Eastern Austronesian languages as well as the history of the Austronesian language family and the dispersal of the Austronesian people by examining linguistic, archaeological, anthropological, and genetic evidence. The unit will discuss issues such as language contact (including with neighbouring languages groups of Indonesia and New Guinea), special registers, language endangerment and language socialization.


After successfully completing this unit, students should be able to:

  1. describe and analyse data from Austronesian languages from the relevant geographic area,
  2. identify key features of the phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics of these languages,
  3. discuss the relationships between languages in this geographical area and identify phenomena resulting from contact between them,
  4. use linguistic, archaeological, and anthropological evidence to evaluate theories of the history of Austronesian languages and of the dispersal of the Austronesian people. More generally students are expected to develop their abilities to:

  5. use analytic and interpretative skills in dealing with language data
  6. read critically
  7. assess evidence supporting various theories and thereby evaluate these theories
  8. present logical, coherent arguments both orally and in writing.


Within semester assessment: 75% + Exam: 25%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


One of ATS2676, ATS2681 or ATS2683 if taken as a capstone unit


ATS1338 and ATS1339, and 12 credit points in Linguistics, Indonesian or Anthropology at level 2 units