Professor Catherine Travis is the Chair of Modern European Languages in the School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics.

Catherine is a sociolinguist, with a particular interest in language variation and change – how different people speak differently, what influences the way we speak, what the way we speak says about our social background (gender, social class, ethnicity), and how that changes over time.

She is currently conducting a large-scale project examining language variation and change in Australian English as spoken among diverse populations in Sydney, including Australians of Anglo heritage, but also Australians of diverse ethnic backgrounds (Chinese, Greek, Italian, Lebanese). She also works in the area of bilingualism and language contact, and has expertise in Spanish in contact with English in the USA.

Catherine has lived in Colombia and the USA, and is a NAATI certified Spanish-English translator. As the Chair of Modern European Languages, Catherine has expert knowledge about the teaching of a range of European Languages, and she also has a background in Asian Studies, having studied Japanese and Korean, and having lived in both countries.

Catherine is also a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Fields of expertise



G’day mate! How ANU is helping Hollywood actors perfect the Aussie accent

Hollywood actors have found the Australian accent a notoriously tough nut to crack. Megastars including Elizabeth Moss, Benedict…

7 December 2022

Subscribe to ANU Reporter

Anu Logo

+61 2 6125 5111

The Australian National University, Canberra

CRICOS Provider: 00120C

ABN: 52 234 063 906

EDX Logo
Group of eight Australia Logo