New Books in Language

Interviews with Scholars of Language about their New Books Support our show by becoming a premium member!


episode 7: What Can Australian Message Sticks Teach Us About Literacy?

Ingrid Piller speaks with Piers Kelly about a fascinating form of visual communication, Australian message sticks.

What does a message stick look like? What is its purpose, and how has the use of message sticks changed over time from the precolonial period via the late 19th/early 20th century and into the present? Why do we know so little about message sticks, and how has colonialism shaped our knowledge about message sticks? How did message sticks fit into the multilingual communication ecology of precolonial Australia? And, of course, the million-dollar question: are message sticks a form of writing?

First published on August 18, 2020.

“Chats in Linguistic Diversity” is a podcast about linguistic diversity in social life brought to you by the Language on the Move team. We explore multilingualism, language learning, and intercultural communication in the contexts of globalization and migration.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Support our show by becoming a premium member!

fyyd: Podcast Search Engine

 February 21, 2024  48m