Lysbeth Ford has spent the last 18 years documenting endangered languages of the Daly River region of the Northern Territory of Australia. She has a BA in Classics from University College, London, an MA and PhD in Linguistics from the Australian National University, Canberra, and a Grad Dip TESL. Since 1994, Ford has worked on songs in eight Daly language varieties with musicologists Prof Allan Marett and Dr Linda Barwick and is currently co-authoring with them two books on Daly song genres.

Photo: Lys and friend Peg.

From 2001-2006, Ford trained Indigenous linguists at Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education. In March 2006, she retired to Tasmania, and is is currently an Honorary Research Associate with the Department of Linguistics at the University of Sydney where she is revising for publication her MA thesis decribing the grammar of Batjamalh, and her PhD thesis, describing the grammar of Emmi-Mendhe.

In 1997 Ford co-authored the monograph Open and Flexible PhD Study and Research published by the Evaluations and Investigations Program of the Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DEETYA), Canberra.

In 1997 Ford’s Batjamalh Dictionary was published and she has since published texts in seven Daly language varieties for use in the region’s bilingual schools.

In 2003 she co-authored the article "It won’t matter soon: we’ll all be dead: documenting endangered languages of the Daly River region," which was published by Batchelor Press.

In 2005, she co-authored a Legal Glossary in Murriny Patha and the article The Murrinh-patha Glossary: translating legal concepts across cultures, which was published in March 2006 in the journal English For Special Purposes.

Ford is currently one of four Chief Investigators on this ARC Discovery project to document Wadeye song genres. As part of this, her article "The language of Marri Ngarr Lirrga Songs" will appear in Musicology Australia in 2006. and her Learner’s Guide to Marri Tjavin are currently in press.

Contact Lys via email at lysford@bigpond.com

Six major publications:
2006 Ford, L.J. and McCormack, D. The Murrinh-patha Legal Glossary. Batchelor Press (in press).
2006 Ford, L. J. and McCormack, D. “The Murrinh-patha Legal Glossary: translating legal concepts across cultures” English for Special Purposes 2, University of Foggia.
2006 Ford, L.J. “Marri Ngarr lirrga song language: a linguistic analysis”, Musicology Australia 28 2005 (forthcoming in 2006).
2003 Ford L.J. and Klesch, M.“It won’t matter soon: we’ll all be dead”: endangered languages and action research. Wadeye Aboriginal Languages Project." Ngoonjook 23: 27-43, and online at http://www.uq.edu.au/insideout/proceed.htm
1997 Ford, L. J. Batjamalh-English dictionary and texts. Panther Press, Canberra.
1997 Pearson, M. & L. J. Ford. Open and Flexible PhD Study and Research, E&IP Monograph, DEETYA, AGPS, Canberra.