Sasha Wilmoth is a postdoctoral fellow in Australian languages and linguistic processing at the University of Melbourne, within the Research Unit for Indigenous Languages. I recently completed my PhD, also at the University of Melbourne and the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL).

You can email me ( or find me on Twitter, Google scholar, or ORCID. Occasionally I upload scripts to GitLab.

I am interested in the description and documentation of Australian Aboriginal languages; linguistic typology; morphology and syntax; variation and change. I also have an interest in digital methods for the development of corpora of under-documented languages.

Currently, I am working on the ARC Discovery Project ‘How Free is Free?: word order in Australian languages‘, combining psycholinguistic methods and corpus data to investigate word order variability in Pitjantjatjara. I am also visiting Areyonga School regularly to support their bilingual Pitjantjatjara program and facilitate culturally relevant curriculum development.

My PhD thesis was an intergenerational study of Pitjantjatjara, as spoken at Pukatja (Ernabella) in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands in South Australia. Pitjantjatjara is spoken as a first language across many communities in central Australia. However, like all Aboriginal languages it is under constant pressure from English. I investigated several areas of variation, change, and maintenance in the language, against a backdrop of rapid social change, language contact, and community concerns. These topics were phonetics/phonology, verbal morphology, case marking, possession, nominalisation, and negation. The recordings made for this project are archived with PARADISEC. You can read a bit about my PhD experience in this interview.

I used to work in language technology, and was interviewed about it by Superlinguo. Among other things, I have worked extensively on the development of the Gurindji Kriol corpus with Felicity Meakins at the University of Queensland, and co-authored a sketch grammar of Ngalia (Pama-Nyungan) during a ‘grammar boot camp’ with Claire Bowern at Yale.

I live and work on the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. I pay my respects to their Elders past and present.


  • Levshina, Natalia, Savithry Namboodiripad, Marc Allassonnière-Tang, Mathew A. Kramer, Luigi Talamo, Annemarie Verkerk, Sasha Wilmoth, Gabriela Garrido Rodriguez, Timothy Gupton, Evan Kidd, Zoey Liu, Chiara Naccarato, Rachel Nordlinger, Anastasia Panova, Natalia Stoynova. (2023). Why we need a gradient approach to word order. Linguistics.
  • Wilmoth, Sasha. (2022) “The Dynamics of Contemporary Pitjantjatjara: An Intergenerational Study.” PhD Thesis, University of Melbourne.
  • Wilmoth, Sasha, Rebecca Defina & Debbie Loakes. (2021). They Talk Mutumutu: Variable Elision of Tense Suffixes in Contemporary Pitjantjatjara. Languages, 6(2), 69. (open access)
  • Wilmoth, Sasha & John Mansfield. (2021). Inflectional predictability and prosodic morphology in Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara. Morphology. Download preprint.
  • Meakins, Felicity & Sasha Wilmoth. (2020). Overabundance resulting from language contact: Complex cell-mates in Gurindji Kriol. In P. Arkadiev & F. Gardani (Eds.), The Complexities of Morphology (pp. 81–104). Oxford University Press.

Indigenous perspectives in linguistics: a bibliography

Under the direction of Dr Sana Nakata, I compiled a bibliography of work relating to the following questions:

  1. How has the discipline of linguistics produced knowledge about Indigenous peoples, in Australia and around the world?
  2. How have Indigenous peoples responded to that knowledge production?

This is currently available as a google doc, and as a public Zotero library.


  • Wilmoth, Sasha. (2023). Paradigm shift? Variation and change in Pitjantjatjara verbal morphology. Surrey Linguistics Circle seminar. Download slides.
  • Wilmoth, Sasha. (2021). Variation in the expression of possession in Pitjantjatjara. Talk at Global Australian Languages Workshop, online. Slides, recording of talk.
  • San, Nay, Martijn Bartelds, Mitchell Browne, Lily Clifford, Fiona Gibson, John Mansfield, David Nash, Jane Simpson, Myfany Turpin, Maria Vollmer, Sasha Wilmoth & Dan Jurafsky. (2021). Leveraging neural representations for facilitating access to untranscribed speech from endangered languages. ArXiv:2103.14583 [Cs, Eess].
  • Wilmoth, Sasha. (2020). Negation as a nominal property in Pitjantjatjara. Talk at Australian Linguistic Society Conference, online. Download slides.
  • Garrido Rodriguez, Gabriela, Sasha Wilmoth, Rachel Nordlinger, & Evan Kidd. (2020) What drives word order flexibility? Evidence from sentence production experiments in two Australian Indigenous languages. Talk at Societas Linguistica Europaea (online). Slides, recording of talk (captioned).
  • Wilmoth, Sasha. (2020). Negation as a nominal property in Pitjantjatjara. Talk at Australian Languages Workshop, Minjerribah. Download slides. [Note this is a different set of slides to the ALS talk with the same title.]
  • Wilmoth, Sasha, Rachel Nordlinger & Evan Kidd. (2020). Word order across apparent time: An experimental study of Pitjantjatjara. CoEDL Fest, University of Queensland. Download slides.
  • Wilmoth, Sasha & Rachel Nordlinger. (2019). Case marking and nominal structure in Pitjantjatjara. Talk at Australian Linguistics Society Conference, Macquarie University. Download slides.
  • Wilmoth, Sasha, Simon Hammond & Alice Kaiser-Schatzlein. (2019). Fuzzy search for historical records of Aboriginal languages. Poster at CoEDL Fest. Download poster. You can use the fuzzy search feature here, or check out the code.

Last updated April 21, 2023.