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Personal profile


My first job after graduating with a PhD was Specialist in Linguistic Analysis, Australian Development Assistance Bureau, Department of Foreign Affairs, Australian Government (1981-1985). I was stationed in Singapore, at the SEAMEO Regional Language Centre. I then taught at the Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education (now University of Southern Queensland), Toowoomba, for one year. I was a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer at Massey University, Plamerston North, New Zealand from 1986-2002. In 2002 I was appointed Professor and Chair, Department of Linguistics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. In 2016 I returned to Australia.

Research interests

My research interests are quite broad and include cognitive linguistics, corpus linguistics, typology, and in an earlier life phonology (including a textbook on Feature Geometry). I have has published on a diverse range of languages —Germanic, Sinitic (especially Chinese dialects), and Austronesian— and I have carried out fieldwork in Sarawak in (Malaysia), Manus Island (in Papua New Guinea) and in Alberta, Canada.

For some years, I have been engaged in cross-linguistic research on verbal concepts, resulting in a number of book-length publications and journal articles on this topic. The names of some of the journals in which I have published speak to the diversity of my interests: Oceanic Linguistics, the Journal of Philippine Linguistics, the Journal of Chinese Linguistics, Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale, and the Southeast Asian Journal of Social Science.

Education/Academic qualification

Linguistics, PhD, University of California San Diego

German Linguistics, MA, MONASH UNIVERSITY

German, BA (Hons), University of Queensland

External positions

Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta

1 Jul 2013 → …

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Research Output 2017 2019

  • 4 Article
  • 1 Chapter (Book)
  • 1 Conference Paper

The subject of ROAR in the mind and in the corpus: What divergent results can teach us

Newman, J. & Sorenson Duncan, T., 2019, In : Linguistica Atlantica. 37, p. 1-27 27 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

A corpus investigation of english cognition verbs and their effect on the incipient epistemization of physical activity verbs

Rice, S. & Newman, J., 2018, In : Russian Journal of Linguistics. 22, 3, p. 560-580 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

"Spilling the bag" on idiomatic variation

Geeraert, K., Baayen, R. H. & Newman, J., 2018, Multiword expressions at length and in depth: extended papers from the MWE 2017 workshop. Markantonatou, S., Ramisch, C., Savary, A. & Vincze, V. (eds.). Berlin Germany: Language Science Press, p. 1-33 33 p. (Phraseology and Multiword Expressions; no. 2).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

Open Access

The linguistics of imaginary narrative spaces in Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca

Newman, J., 26 Dec 2018, In : East European Journal of Psycholinguistics. 5, 2, p. 42-61 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
6 Citations (Scopus)

Idiom Variation: Experimental Data and a Blueprint of a Computational Model

Geeraert, K., Newman, J. & Baayen, R. H., 1 Jul 2017, In : Topics in Cognitive Science. 9, 3, p. 653-669 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review