Bimodal bilingualism in Arnhem land

Marie Adone, Elaine Maypilama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper briefly presents the research conducted on bilingualism in several communities of North East Arnhem Land. What makes this study special is its focus on bimodal bilingualism, which is prevalent in Arnhem Land. While most studies on bilingualism concentrate on the use of two or more spoken languages (speech-speech), also known as unimodal bilingualism, studies on bimodal bilingualism (speech-sign) are rare. The term 'bimodal bilingualism' is fairly recent in the field of bilingualism and is used to cover the use of two or more languages in the two modalities (spoken and signed). This report also aims to raise awareness. Bimodal bilingualism is the norm rather than an exceptional state in Arnhem Land. We illustrate this bilingualism across modalities with some examples of pointing gestures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-106
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Aboriginal Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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