Annual Review of Applied Linguistics

Bilingual Communities: Linguistic Minorities and Their Verbal Repertoires

Australia as a Multilingual Nation

Anne Pauwels

For the benefit of readers unfamiliar with Australia's multilingual situation, the following statistics on language are provided, all derived from the 1976 Australian Census, the most recent one to provide detailed information on language use.l

A wealth of languages is represented in Australia: depending on what is considered a language and what a dialect, the number of languages present in Australia is estimated at around 150 for the Aboriginal languages (100 of which are threatened by extinction) and between 75 and 100 for the immigrant languages.