Dr Julie R Barbour

Julie Barbour

Senior Lecturer, Linguistics

Qualifications: BA (English & Linguistics) Waikato; MA (Linguistics) (Hons) Auckland; CTEFLA RSA/Cambridge; PhD (Linguistics) Waikato

Papers Taught

Research Supervised


PhD(Linguistics) Kanauhea Wessels. (enrolled 2019). A grammar of the Atchin language (Malekula, Vanuatu).

PhD(Linguistics) Ian Flaws. (enrolled 2021) A grammar of Paicî (New Caledonia).


PhD(Linguistics) Royce Dodd. (2021). Serial Verb Constructions and Echo-Reference Constructions in the Languages of Northwest Malekula: V'ënen Taut, Tape, and Tirax.

PhD(Linguistics) Tihomir Rangelov. (2020). A grammar of the Ahamb language (Vanuatu).

PhD(Education) Gayleen Tarosa. (2020). Becoming a Teacher: Experiences and Perceptions of Beginning Teachers in Vanuatu Secondary Schools.

PhD (Linguistics) Daryl Macdonald. (2017). Information structure in the Oceanic Languages.

DEd Mark Holt. (2014).  Writing Lawa: Stimulating indigenous ownership of vernacular literacy through action research.

MA(Applied) Claudia Williams. (2019). A grammar sketch of Lamap.

MA(Applied) Alice Moore. (2019). A grammar sketch of Uripiv.

MA(Applied) Jean Murray. (2018). Ninde: topics in nominal and verbal morphology.

MA(Applied) Royce Dodd. (2015). V'enen Taut: Grammatical topics in the Big Nambas language of Malekula.

MA(Applied) Roxanna Holmes. (2014). Espiegles Bay: Grammatical Topics.

MA(Applied) Kanauhea Wessels. (2013). Malua Bay: A grammar of the Malua Bay language (Malekula, Vanuatu).

MA(Applied) Daryl Macdonald. (2010). A grammar sketch of Kwaraqae (Solomon Islands).

Research Interests

Julie's research interests are in the general areas of language documentation and description of the Oceanic language family. Within this, she has developed interests in linguistic typology, particularly morphological systems associated with the verb, in anthropological linguistics, and in vernacular literacy.

She completed her doctoral research on the Neverver language, funded by a graduate studentship from HRELP (ELDP). Her project was published as A grammar of Neverver. She has been working on a comparative study of Vanuatu languages in general, and Malekula languages in particular. The Exploring Mood in the Oceanic languages of Vanuatu project was funded by a Fast Start grant the Royal Society's Marsden Fund. The Malekula Languages Project (also Malakula) is now the focus of her long term research interests. She has supported a number of research students in the field, and in 2015 and 2016 she led a team including Dr. Nicola Daly (FEDU) and four student linguists to participate Vanuatu Ministry of Education workshops to develop literacy materials for seven of Malekula's languages.

The Malekula Languages Project houses Terry Crowley's archived research data from Malekula, and has developed working corpora for the following languages: Neverver, Neve'ei (in collaboration with Jill Musgrave), Avava, Naman, V'enen Taut (in collaboration with student Royce Dodd), Uripiv/Northeast Malekula (in collaboration with missionary linguist Ross McKerras, and student Alice Moore), Larevet, Malua Bay (in collaboration with Kanauhea Wessels), Teperav/Espiegles Bay (in collaboration with student Roxanna Holmes and with speaker Gayleen Tarosa), Ninde (in collaboration with speaker Leina Isno), Atchin (in collaboration with Kanauhea Wessels) and Lamap (in collaboration with student Claudia Williams). Additionally, the project is supporting the development of literacy materials for Maskelynes/Uluveu (in collaboration with David and Sue Healey), V'ao,  and Tirax/Mae.

Julie supervises masters (APPL594) and doctoral (LING900) student research with descriptive and typological aims. She particularly welcomes inquiries from students with an interest in the languages of Malekula, Vanuatu.

Recent Publications

  • Rangelov, T., & Barbour, J. (2020). Multi-verb constructions in Ahamb (Vanuatu): Between serialisation and echo reference. In SLE 2020 Book of Abstracts (pp. 153-154). SLE 2020 Platform.

  • Daly, N., & Barbour, J. (2019). ‘Because, they are from here. It is their identity, and it is important’: teachers’ understanding of the role of translation in vernacular language maintenance in Malekula, Vanuatu. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. doi:10.1080/13670050.2019.1604625

  • Rangelov, T., Bratrud, T., & Barbour, J. (2019). Ahamb (Malekula, Vanuatu) - Language Contexts. Language Documentation and Description, 16, 86-126. Retrieved from Open Access version:

  • Barbour, J., Rangelov, T., Dodd, R., Moore, A., & Williams, C. (2019). Common, local and personal noun formation in the languages of Malekula. In 11th International Austronesian & Papuan Languages & Linguistics Conference. Conference held at Leiden University, Leiden, Germany.

Find more research publications by Julie Barbour



Language Documentation and Description; Oceanic Linguistics; Linguistic Typology; Field Methodology; Vernacular Literacy, Ethics.