Matthew J Carroll


I am a postdoctoral fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language and the School of Culture, History & Language at the Australian National University.

Prior to my current fellowship, I was a Newton International Fellow at the Surrey Morphology Group where I retain visitor status.

I am fascinated by the exuberant and finely detailed structures found in languages which linguists call 'morphological complexity.' I explore this using traditional qualitative linguistics (description, typology and historical linguistics) enhanced with computational and mathematical methodologies.

I am interested in role that variation, function and adaptation might play in explaining linguistic structures.

The core of my work is fieldwork on undescribed and (often) endangered languages of New Guinea. I practice community-led partnerships in language documentation to produce collections of endangered languages serving both scientific and community needs.


One current project is the digitisation of the 'Lexicon of proto oceanic.' This involves migrating the seven volumes reconstructing the lexicon of Proto Oceanic by Malcolm Ross, Andrew Pawley and Meredith Osmond into an accessible online database.

My most recent completed project was the documentation of the Yei language funded by the wonderful Endangered Language Documentation Programme.

My previous project was a typology of distributed exponence where I am examined the boundaries of redundant structures in morphology across languages from around the world. Funded by the British Academy. [NF160104]

I run the Yamfinder: Southern New Guinea Lexical Database website. A comparative database of core vocabulary from over 30 languages across southern New Guinea.

Along with Rachel Nordlinger, I organise the New Fields for Morphology Workshop which seeks to bring together linguists working on morphological theory and those with new and exciting data.

mattcarrollj [at]