Dr Stephen Morey
Senior Lecturer, Department of Languages and Linguistics
College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce
Humanities and Social Sciences
Department of Languages and Linguistics
Hu2, Room 422, Melbourne (Bundoora)
Centre for Research on Linguistic Diversity
PhD, Monash University
Membership of professional associations
Australian Linguistics Society; North East Indian Linguistics Society
Area of study
Stephen Morey's research is undertaken in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh States, India, as well in the neighbouring areas of Burma. His research covers three language groups: Tai, Singpho and Tangsa. Stephen has transcribed and analysed a large corpus of text in these various languages. In many cases the languages that Stephen is researching had never been recorded before he commenced his work. A huge number of recordings are now being archived to help preserve the linguistic diversity of the India-Burma border. A particular area of Stephen's interest is traditional song, particularly ritual songs. In 2016-19 he is leading a project to examine the Tangsa Wihu Song.
In addition, Stephen has also worked on the Aboriginal languages of Victoria, Australia, particularly Yorta Yorta (formerly spoken on the Murray River), Woiwurrung (the Aboriginal language of Melbourne) and Mathi-Mathi / Wati-Wati (Murray River from Swan Hill to Mildura and lower Murrumbidgee. A current project is to study the traditional songs of Aboriginal people in Victoria, mostly written down as text only in manuscripts, but some of which were recorded on tape. These represent only a tiny portion of the incredible richness of the poetic and musical traditions of the Aboriginal people of Victoria.
After completing his PhD at Monash University in 2002, Stephen joined what is now the Centre for Research on Language Diversity in 2003. He has also held fellowships from La Trobe University, the Endangered Languages Documentation Program, and from the Volkswagen Foundation through the DoBeS Program, as well as an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship (2011-2014) and an ARC Discovery grant (2016-19).
Asian Cultural Studies- Please contact me to discuss a topic.
- Language documentation
- Linguistic typology
Religion and Society- Please contact me to discuss a topic.
LIN1IML, LIN3SYN, LIN3SEM
- Blake, Barry, Luise Hercus, Stephen Morey with Ted Ryan. 2011. The Mathi group of Languages. Canberra, Pacific Linguistics.
- Morey, Stephen. 2010a. Turung – a variety of Singpho language spoken in Assam. Canberra: Pacific LinguisticsMorey, Stephen. 2005a, The Tai languages of Assam – a grammar and texts, Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.(Accompanying CD contains an electronic version of the text, where language examples are linked to text documents containing transcriptions of the texts from which they come and also to sound files of the language examples. The CD also contains a text collection in transcription with audio files, duration approximately 7 hours. The audio format is mostly mp3)
- Morey, Stephen. 2005a, The Tai languages of Assam – a grammar and texts, Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. (Accompanying CD contains an electronic version of the text, where language examples are linked to text documents containing transcriptions of the texts from which they come and also to sound files of the language examples. The CD also contains a text collection in transcription with audio files, duration approximately 7 hours. The audio format is mostly mp3)
Refereed Book Chapters:
- Morey, Stephen. in print. (accepted for publication in March 2016). The sociolinguistic context of the Tangsa languages. In Picus S. Ding and Jamin Pelkey (Eds.) Sociolhistorical Linguistics in Southeast Asia: New Horizons for Tibeto-Burman Studies in honor of David Bradley. 169-187
- Morey, Stephen and Jürgen Schöpf. under review. The Language of Ritual in Tangsa – The Wihu Kuh Song. To appear in Martin Gaenszle and Michael Witzel (eds.) Ritual Speech in the Himalayas: oral texts and their contents. Harvard Oriental Series
- Morey, Stephen. in print a (accepted for publication in July 2015). ‘Two traditional stories in the Ganai language of Gippsand. In Peter Austin, Harold Koch and Jane Simpson (eds). Language, Land and Story in Australia. London: EL Publishing
- Morey, Stephen. in print. (accepted for publication in September 2015). ‘Tangsa’. To appear in Graham Thurgood and Randy LaPolla (eds). The Sino-Tibetan Languages. London and New York: Routledge (2nd Edition).
- Morey, Stephen. 2015. ‘The internal diversity of Tangsa: vocabulary and morphosyntax.’ In Mark W. Post, Stephen Morey and Scott DeLancey (eds). Language and culture in Northeast India and beyond: in honour of Robbins Burling. Canberra, Australia-Pacific Linguistics, Language and Peoples of the Eastern Himalaya Region (series). 23-40.
- Morey, Stephen. 2015. ‘Metadata and Endangered Archives: Lessons from the Ahom Manuscripts Project’. In Maja Kominko (ed). From Dust to Digital: ten years of the Endangered Archives Programme. Open Book Publishers. 31-65.
- Morey, Stephen. 2012. ‘Documentation of traditional songs and ritual texts: issues for archiving’. In Nick Thieberger, Linda Barwick, Rosie Billington and Jill Vaughan (eds). Sustainable data from Digital research.’ Custom Book Centre, University of Melbourne. 119-136.
- Morey, Stephen. 2011. ‘Nominalisation in Numhpuk Singpho’, in Yap, Foong Ha, Karen Grunow-Hårsta and Janick Wrona, Nominalization in Asian languages: Diachronic and Typological perspectives. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 289-311.
- Hercus, Luise and Stephen Morey. 2008. Some remarks on negatives in Southeastern Australia. published in Bowern, C, B. Evans and L. Miceli, Morphology and language history in honour of Harold Koch. Amsterdam: John Benjamins; 139-154
- Morey, Stephen. 2008. ‘The Tai languages of Assam’, in Anthony Diller and Jerrold A. Edmondson (eds.) The Tai Kadai languages. London: Routledge. 207-253
Refereed Journal Articles
- Margetts, Anna, Nick Thieberger, Stephen Morey and Simon Musgrave. 2015. ‘Assessing annotated corpora as research output’. Australian Journal of linguistics. 36,1: 1-21
- Morey, Stephen. 2014. ‘The realisation of speech tone in Tai Phake music: the case of the Khe Khyang style’, in Gerda Lechleitner, Christian Liebl and Jürgen Schöpf (eds.) Jahrbuch des Phonogrammarchivs der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 4, 5: 79-105
- Morey, Stephen. 2014. ‘Studying tones in North East India – Tai, Singpho and Tangsa’, in Larry Hyman and Steven Bird (eds) How to Study a Tone Language, in Language Documentation and Conservation. 8: 637-671 (Downloaded from http://hdl.handle.net/10125/24619)
- Morey, Stephen. 2014. ‘Ahom and Tangsa: Case studies of language maintenance and loss in North East India’, in Hugo Cardoso (ed). Language Endangerment and Preservation in South Asia, special publication No. 7 of Language Documentation and Conservation. 46-77. (Downloaded from http://hdl.handle.net/10125/4601)
- Morey, Stephen. 2012. ‘The Singpho agentive – functions and meanings’ special issue of Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, edited by Shobhana Chelliah and Gwendolyn Hyslop. 1-14
- Morey, Stephen and Jürgen Schöpf. 2011. ‘Tone in speech and singing: a field experiment to research their relation in endangered languages of North East India’ in Language Documentation and Description, special issued edited by Niclas Burenhult, Arthur Holmer, Anastasia Karlsson, Håkon Lundström and Jan-Olof Svantesson. 10:37-60
- Morey, Stephen. 2011. ‘Transitivity in Cholim Tangsa’, in a special issue of Studies in Language, edited by Alexander R. Coupe, Frantisek Kratochvil and Randy LaPolla. 35.3:676-701
- Morey, Stephen. 2010. ‘Syntactic variation in different styles of Tai Phake songs.’ In Turpin, Myfany, Tonya Stebbins and Stephen Morey (eds). Special Issue on Language in Song in Australian Journal of Linguistics. 30(1): 53-66.
- Morey, Stephen. 2006. ‘Constituent order change in the Tai languages of Assam.’ Linguistic Typology, 10: 327-367.
Refereed book chapters based on conference presentations:
- Barkataki-Ruscheweyh, Meenaxi and Stephen Morey. 2013 ‘Wihu song of the Pangwa Tangsa: poetry and linguistic forms, meaning and the transformation to a symbol of identity.’ In G. Hyslop, S. Morey and M. Post (eds) North East Indian Linguistics, Volume 5. Delhi: Cambridge University Press, India. 280-303
- Morey, Stephen. 2013 ‘The marking of noun phrases: Some observations on the languages of North East India’ In G. Hyslop, S. Morey and M. Post (eds) North East Indian Linguistics, Volume 5. Delhi: Cambridge University Press, India. 169-191
- Morey, Stephen. 2012. ‘Poetic forms in Nocte, Singpho, Tai and Tangsa.’ In Gwendolyn Hyslop, Stephen Morey and Mark W. Post (Eds). North East Indian Linguistics, Volume 4. Delhi: Cambridge University Press, India. 145-165.
- Morey, Stephen. 2011. ‘Tangsa agreement markers’, In Gwendolyn Hyslop, Stephen Morey and Mark W. Post (Eds). North East Indian Linguistics, Volume 3. Delhi: Cambridge University Press, India. 76-103.
- Morey, Stephen. 2010c ‘The realisation of tones in traditional Tai Phake songs’, in Stephen Morey and Mark W. Post (Eds). North East Indian Linguistics, Volume 2. Delhi: Cambridge University Press, India. 54-69.
- Tabassum, Zeenat and Stephen Morey. 2010. ‘Linguistic features of the Ahom Bar Amra,’ in Stephen Morey and Mark W. Post (Eds). North East Indian Linguistics, Volume 2. Delhi: Cambridge University Press, India. 70-89.
- Bowe, H., and Stephen Morey, 1999, Yorta Yorta (Bangerang) language of the Murray-Goulburn including Yabula Yabula. Pacific Linguistics. xiii, 286 p. : ill., tables.
Refereed Book Chapters:
- Morey, Stephen, 2002, ‘Tai languages of Assam, a progress report – Does anything remain of the Tai Ahom language?’ in David and Maya Bradley, (eds). Language Maintenance for Endangered Languages: An Active Approach. London: Curzon Press. 98-113.
Refereed Journal Articles
- Morey, Stephen. 2005. ‘The place names and words collected by Philip Chauncey: a linguistic examination.’ Victorian Historical Journal. 76 (2): 180-198.
- Morey, Stephen. 2005. ‘Tonal change in the Tai languages of Northeast India.’ Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area. 28 (2): 139-202.
- Morey, Stephen. 2001. ‘The literature of the Tai of Assam’ in Melbourne Papers in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics. 1 (1): 1:37-46.
- Morey, Stephen. 1999., ‘Previously unexamined texts in Victorian Languages - The manuscripts of Rev. William Thomas (1793-1867)’ in Monash University Linguistic Publications 2 (1): 45-60.
Refereed book chapters based on conference presentations:
- Morey, Stephen. 2008c. ‘Working with Tones in Northeast India - the tonal system of Numhpuk Singpho, Assam.’ In Stephen Morey and Mark W. Post (Eds). North East Indian Linguistics. Delhi: Cambridge University Press, India. 26-44.
- Morey, Stephen and Mark W. Post. 2008b. ‘Introduction.’ In Stephen Morey and Mark W. Post (Eds). North East Indian Linguistics. Delhi: Cambridge University Press, India. v-viii
- Morey, Stephen. 2008. ‘Tones in the Tai languages of Northeast India’ Bangkok: Khanittanan, Wilaiwan and Paul Sidwell (eds) SEALS XIII: Volume I. Papers from the 14th annual meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. 239-250 (electronic publication, available at http://pacling.anu.edu.au/catalogue/SEALSXIV_Vol1.pdf)
Refereed conference papers
- Morey, Stephen. 2006. ‘Small languages in a polylingual situation – the case of Turung.’ in R. Elangaiyan, R. McKenna Brown, Nicholas D.M. Ostler and Mahendra K. Verma eds. FEL X: Vital Voices - Endangered Languages and Multilingualism. Mysore: Foundation for Endangered Languages. 87-94
- Morey, Stephen. 2005. ‘The tone and syllable structure of Turung’, in Paul Sidwell (ed.) SEALS XV - Papers from the 15th annual meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics (Electronic Publication E1) 149-168
Non-refereed Journal Articles:
- Morey, Stephen. 2014. ‘The Tai Language Family’ Indian Journal of Tai Studies. Vol XIV 71-82
- Morey, Stephen. 2013. Comparing the old Tai Ahom manuscripts with the prayers (mantras) used by Tai Ahom Deodhai today.’ in Indian Journal of Tai Studies. Vol XIII
- Hosken, Martin and Stephen Morey. 2012. ‘Revised proposal to add the Ahom script in SMP of the UCS.’ This is a technical document prepared for the Unicode Consortium. Downloaded from http://www.unicode.org/L2/L2012/12309r-n4321r.pdf, accessed 2015-02-18
- Morey, Stephen. 2012. ‘Documenting, Conserving and Archiving the Tai Ahom Manuscripts of Assam’ in Indian Journal of Tai Studies. Vol XII
- Morey, Stephen. 2011. ‘A sketch of Singpho’ in Das, Biswajit and Phukan Basumatary (eds). Axamiya aru Axamar Bhasa. (Assamese and The languages of Assam). Guwahati: AANK-Bank.
- Morey, Stephen. 2011. ‘A sketch of Tai Ahom, as recorded in original manuscripts’ in Das, Biswajit and Phukan Basumatary (eds). 2010. Axamiya aru Axamar Bhasa. (Assamese and The languages of Assam). Guwahati: AANK-Bank.
- Morey, Stephen. 2010. ‘Bringing the Ahom Script into the Unicode’ in Indian Journal of Tai Studies. Vol X
- Morey, Stephen. 2009. ‘The solar eclipse of July 22nd 2009 and the Ahom Lakni book,’ in Indian Journal of Tai Studies. Vol IX 90-104
- Morey, Stephen and Chaichuen Khamdaengyodtai. 2008. ‘Ahom Poetics – some preliminary observations’ in Indian Journal of Tai Studies. Vol VIII 17-34
- Morey, Stephen. 2007. ‘Preservation and study of Tai manuscripts – some ideas’ in Indian Journal of Tai Studies. Vol VII 58-72
- Morey, Stephen 2004. ‘The Practice of Buddhism in Northeast India’ in Ven. Chatsumarn Kabilsingh (ed) Yasodhara (Newsletter on International Buddhist Women’s Activities) p2-4.
- Morey, Stephen 2004 ‘Tones in the Tai Languages of Assam’ in Indian Journal of Tai Studies. Vol IV:53-68
- Morey, Stephen 2004. ‘Transcriptions of the Linguistic Data relating to the Language of the Melbourne Area’ in Pauline Byrt The Thomas Papers in the Mitchell Library: A comprehensive Index. Melbourne: Monash University Faculty of Arts.
- Morey, Stephen. 2002. ‘The Study and Revival of the Ahom Language’ in Indian Journal of Tai Studies. Vol II: 89-103
- Morey, S.D., 1993. Mandolins of the 18th Century. Cremona: Turris Press
Editions of Tai texts (non refereed)
- Morey, S.D., 1999., Tai Aiton history. Dibrugarh: Triograph Press. 32p. (the first book ever published containing a complete text in one of the Tai languages of Assam, this is an edition and translation of three Tai Aiton historical texts).
- Morey, S.D., 2001., Book of calling the Khon. Dibrugarh: Triograph Press. 32p. (an edition and translation of an important Tai Khamyang ritual text)
- Morey, S.D., 2001., Grandfather teaches grandchildren. Dibrugarh: Triograph Press. 44p. (an edition and translation of an important Tai Phake text, containing proverbs and cultural mores)
- Morey, S.D. 2006. Turung Khong na Pung (Turung area stories), printed by Screenotec Printing, Titabar, Jorhat Assam. 54pp.
- Khamdaengyodtai, Chaichuen, Stephen Morey, Nabin Shyam Phalung and Zeenat Tabassum. 2008. Ma Likha Lit . Dibrugarh: published by the authors, printed at Designer Graphics.
Tai primers (non refereed)
- Morey, S.D., 1999, Tai Aiton Primer. Dibrugarh: Triograph Press. 32p.
- Morey, S.D., 2000, Tai Phake Primer. Dibrugarh: Triograph Press. 32p.
(1) Tangsa Wihu song: insight into culture through language, music and ritual
An Australian Research Council (ARC) funded Discovery Project for 2016-19
he Tangsa Wihu song-cycle is a ritual and poetic tradition common to people in a very linguistically diverse community situated in the newly opening India-Myanmar border region. This project will make a deep and well grounded study of this song-cycle, which was traditionally performed over many hours and days, examining the linguistic, historical and musicological features of the song in its various contexts. The rich and complex linguistic diversity of Tangsa is shining a light on traditional patterns of human linguistic and social development.
(2) Howitt & Fison’s anthropology: using new methods to reveal hidden riches.
An Australian Research Council (ARC) funded Linkage Project for 2016-19
Led by Associate Professor Helen Gardner (Deakin University), with chief investigators from Australian National University and Western Sydney University, and partner organisations Native Title Services Victoria, Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages, State Library of Victoria and Museum Victoria.
Lorimer Fison and A. W. Howitt’s deep engagement with Indigenous experts produced ground-breaking archival materials in the 19th century. In partnership with Aboriginal communities, and integrating the perspectives of anthropology, history and linguistics, we will systematically analyse their accounts of kinship, social organisation and local languages, as well as the historical encounters between settlers and Indigenous peoples. This will open up new dimensions in Australian history, anthropological theory, and Australian linguistics. Assembling these materials into best-practice digital formats, with widely accessible interactive data presentation, we will bring these extraordinary records to the broadest possible community.
(3) Songs in the Aboriginal Languages of Victoria – Linguistic and Musicological Analysis.
A project funded by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (COEDL).
Traditional songs in Victorian Aboriginal Languages were recorded from 1840 to 1965. Some of these were accompanied by rich detailed information about social and ritual context, particularly those noted by R.H. Mathews, A.W. Howitt, Rev. William Thomas and Luise Hercus. Most songs are in manuscripts but many of these sources are not yet comprehensively searched. Our proposal, working with Luise Hercus, Grace Koch and Ted Ryan is exploring the manuscripts, identify songs and contextual information and carefully transcribe them, leading to a substantial monograph with linguistic, and where possible musicological, analysis of these songs, grounded in their contextual background.
OLDER RESEARCH PROJECTS
a. A multifaceted study of Tangsa – a network of linguistic varieties in North East India.
An Australian Research Council (ARC) funded Future Fellowship for 2011-14
This project investigates the complex linguistic diversity of the Tangsa languages, spoken on the India-Burma border, and documents the traditional knowledge of those communities with a particular emphasis on ritual texts and traditional songs. The recordings are being archived for public access at the DoBeS archive and on-line dictionaries are being produced for as many varieties as possible.
The Tangsa (termed Tangshang in Myanmar) is around 80 subtribes, each of which has a distinct linguistic variety. Some of these are almost the same, but others are completely unintelligible, differing in vocabulary, grammatical structures, tone systems and sound systems.
Up to now four on line dictionaries are ready for the following Tangsa varieties
Chamchang (Kimsing) http://sealang.net/chamchang
Cholim (Tonglum) http://sealang.net/cholim
Joglei (Yugli) http://sealang.net/joglei
Mueshaungx (Mossang) http://sealang.net/mueshaungx
b. Documenting, Conserving and Archiving the Tai Ahom Manuscripts of Assam
A British Library funded project under the Endangered Archives Programme (EAP), for 2011-14
This project aims to photograph the many Tai-Ahom manuscripts that have been preserved in the Ahom villages in Assam, India, and to catalogue them and where possible transcribe and translate them. An online dictionary is being progressively updated as the work of analysis continues.
Tai Ahom, Tangsa and other texts that have been analysed are available to searched at http://sealang.net/assam