Emeritus Professor Jeffrey Siegel

Appointment Citation

Professor Jeffrey Siegel is an international scholar of the highest standing.  His expertise is in language contact, and the consequent development of pidgin and creole languages.  His 1985 ANU doctoral dissertation on Fiji Hindi was published as a book by Cambridge University Press (Language contact in a plantation environment: A sociolinguistic history of Fiji, 1987), and has become a classic in the field.  He has since published two further substantial, sole-authored books, The emergence of pidgin and creole languages, Oxford University Press, 2008, and Second dialect acquisition, Cambridge University Press, 2010.  The latter was described by one eminent reviewer as defining an entirely new subfield of Linguistics.  He has edited or co-edited major collections with first-rank publishers in Linguistics (John Benjamins, Mouton de Gruyter, Otto Harrassowitz), and he co-authored with Terry Crowley, John Lynch and Julie Piau a major textbook (The design of language:  An introduction to descriptive linguistics, Longman Paul, 1995).

Professor Siegel has also published over 50 book chapters, many with the same and other high-profile publishing houses (Blackwell, Wiley, SOA, Routledge, Elsevier Science, Lawrence Erlbaum), and other with various professional and university presses.  He is also (mostly) sole or (occasionally) co-author of a similar number of refereed journal articles, all in high-ranking outlets such as Language in Society, Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, and Applied Linguistics.

Professor Siegel currently holds an ARC grant with Professor Nick Evans of the ANU for the study of the languages of southern Papua New Guinea, and has had four previous ARC grants.  He was also funded by the US National Science Foundation between 2004 and 2006 for an important study of Hawaiian Creole English.  He has received funding from a variety of agencies such as AusAID and from UNE in the form of IRGs for specific research projects, mostly to do with the educational implications of his research.

Professor Siegel's scholarship has been recognised in his recent election as Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities.  He is also an External Fellow of the highly prestigious Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies in Germany.

Professor Siegel has served his profession well, in editorial roles, as journal and grant reviewer, as conference and symposium organizer and presenter, as PhD examiner, and as instructor on various "summer" courses for linguistics associations.

He has likewise served UNE well, for instance as Head of Linguistics for the years, 1990-1995, and as the supervisor of six successful PhD candidates, with two more currently enrolled.  His was the second appointment made at UNE in Linguistics.  Dr Steven Johnson, the founding lecturer, had, appropriately, developed a strong basis in theoretical linguistics.  Professor Siegel complemented this with an equally strong strand in applied linguistics, including his own language contact work.  Indeed, it is now these applied aspects, with additional areas such as language and the law, bilingualism and psycholinguistics, that contribute most strongly to UNE's linguistics group being seen as a "jewel" of Australian linguistic studies, in the words of another member of staff. The quality of the discipline is reflected in the two available ERA ratings, both at "world standard."  Professor Siegel's work was a major plank in the ERA cases that were forwarded to the ARC.  He was awarded professorial status at UNE in 2005, having joined UNE in 1988.