Professor Aikhenvald Linguistics Research Leader
Professor Sasha (Alexandra) Aikhenvald worked in the Middle East section of the Department of Languages in the Institute of Oriental Studies (of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR) in Moscow, and was then Professora Titular (Full Professor) of Linguistics at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina in Brazil before coming to Australia in 1994. She has worked on descriptive and historical aspects of Berber languages and has published, in Russian, grammars of Modern Hebrew (1990) and Biblical Hebrew (forthcoming). She is a major authority on languages of the Arawak family, from northern Amazonia, and has written grammars of Bare (1995, based on work with the last speaker who has since died), Warekena (1998) and Tariana (2003), in addition to essays on various typological and areal features of South American languages, a collection of texts in Tariana (1999) and a lengthy Tariana-Portuguese dictionary (2002). She has written a monograph Language contact in Amazonia (Oxford University Press, 2002). Her monograph, Classifiers: a typology of noun categorization devices, was published by Oxford University Press in 2000, and reissued in paperback in 2003. Her monograph Evidentiality was published by Oxford University Press in 2004 and was reissued in paperback in 2006. She is currently working on a monograph Imperatives and Commands (to be published in 2010). Her reference grammar of Manambu, a Ndu language from the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea (with the assistance of Yuamali Jacklyn Benji Ala and Pauline Agnes Luma Laki) was published by Oxford University Press in 2008.
She came to Australia in 1994 as Australian Research Council Senior Research Fellow (at the rank of Full Professor) and relocated to La Trobe University in 2000. She was co-founder and Associate Director (together with Professor R. M. W. Dixon, who was co-founder and Founding Director) of the Research Centre for Linguistic Typology. This was founded at the Australian National University in 1996 and later relocated to La Trobe University, where it continued to prosper until 2008.
In January 2009 she accepted appointment as Professor and Researches Leader, People and Societies of the Tropics, at the newly established Cairns Institute within James Cook University. Together with Professor R. M. W. Dixon she has established a Language and Culture Research Group.