Newsletter May 2000


ALS 00/2, MAY 2000

From the Editor

This is an advance announcement that with regret I will have to offer my resignation as Newsletter at the AGM in July. A noise that could - by a trained ear - be interpreted as assent was emitted by Tim Curnow when I twisted his arm behind his back and mentioned the possibility of his taking over the position. If anyone else is interested in the job, or in being involved, or would like more information, please get in touch asap, either with me or with a member of the executive, so that arrangements can be made for a changeover at the AGM in July.

Since this may be my last newsletter, I would like to say how much I have enjoyed doing this job over the last 3.5 years. I would gladly continue it if only I could find the time - and indeed my only regret as editor has been the lack of time to do more with the job.

Of course the thing that made it so enjoyable was you the members, and I thank everyone who has contributed in any way great or small to the newsletter. It has also been great working with the Executive, and I thank all of them too for their many contributions.

This last issue of mine is rather a little one, due to a less than usual response to my call for copy - I get the impression that linguists everywhere are also busy, especially with organising the Linguistics Extravaganza in Melbourne.

Best wishes to all


Table of Contents

Current issues
About ALS - office bearers, membership details, how to change your address, etc
Next newsletter - want to contribute?


Current issues

Survey Results

The survey on whether we should rent the ALS email list to publishers returned a landslide victory for 'No'. The survey on whether we should hold ALI every three years instead of every two years returned some cautious support but also some opposition. No doubt this issue will be discussed again at the AGM.

Back to Table of Contents



Three-year Research Fellowship (Level B)

This position attracts a remuneration package of $56,877 to $67,541 per annum which includes 17% superannuation with a salary component of $48,613 to $57,728 per annum.


Applications are invited for a three-year Research Fellowship in the Research Centre for Linguistic Typology (La Trobe University). This is to commence no later than 1 January 2001 (an earlier starting date is possible).

The successful applicant will work as part of a team with Professor R.M.W. Dixon, Professor Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, and other members of the Research Centre, on a topic relating to languages from either South America or the New Guinea region (primarily relating to Papuan languages). They will undertake extensive fieldwork and will either (i) produce a comprehensive description of some previously undescribed language; or (ii) pursue an in-depth study of a language contact situation. Option (ii) will be suitable for someone who already has good knowledge of one or more of the languages involved in a suitable contact situation. The choice of project will be made after discussion between the successful applicant and Professors Dixon and Aikhenvald.

Further information about RCLT will be found at our website (address below). Prospective applicants are invited to write to us at if they have any queries.


Applications should be marked Private and Confidential and forwarded to:

Office of the Director (Personnel)
La Trobe University
Bundoora, Victoria 3083

Applications should address the selection criteria and include a curriculum vitae, list of publications, and the names of three referees (plus addresses, e-mail addresses, phone and fax numbers). A copy should also be sent to the RCLT (address below).


Essential Requirements

1. Thorough professional training in linguistics, with special reference to language description and linguistic typology.

2. Applicants should either already have a PhD or be in the final stages of a Doctoral Program (the dissertation must be submitted beofre taking up the appointment), with their dissertaion dealing with a topic in descriptive linguistics in terms of basic linguistic theory (not in terms of any non-basic formalism).

3. Ability to work, under direction, as a member of a research team.

4. Ability to work to a timetable, and produce results on time.

Desirable Attributes

1. Some training in anthropology is desirable.

2. Ideally, to have produced a description of a language, preferably (a) a language for which there had previously been no good description; and (b) a language other than that of which they are native speaker.

3. Demonstrated research experience which has resulted in publications, conference papers, reports or professional or technical contributions which give evidence of research ability.

Mailing address

Research Centre for Linguistic Typology
Institute of Advanced Study
La Trobe University
Bundoora Victoria 3083
phone: +61 3 9467 3128
fax: +61 3 9467 3053

Back to Table of Contents




This book marks a new development in the field of grammaticalisation studies, in that it extends the field from relatively homogeneous languages to those possessing well-established and institutionalised second language varieties. In Hypothetical Modality, special reference is made to Singaporean English, a native-speaker L2 dialect of considerable importance in the South-East Asian region, and to the expression in the dialect of hypothetical modality in terms of the use of preterite or past forms of modal verbs.

Within a grammaticalisation framework, a number of factors can be seen to be relevant to an explanation, including substratum and contact features such as tense/aspect marking, levels of lexical retention as an individual (psychological) phenomenon, and the fact that such dialects have a discontinuity in their development. In addition, the book defines pragmatic approaches to the understanding of hypothetical modality, in both diachronic and synchronic terms.

Studies in Language Companion Series, 51 2000. Hb ca. xx, 278 pp. + index 902723054 4 NLG170.00 1 55619937 6 USD 85.00

Order through:
or by mail:
John Benjamins Publishing Co.
Amsteldijk 44, PO Box 75577
1070 AN Amsterdam
Fax: +31 206739773


Loose Talk

A new web site for linguists and their friends - a not-too-serious place where you can kick around ideas, tell a story, and maybe get some useful information.

Loose Talk is an idea that might or might not be interesting to linguists and the language-minded. It has been set up by Thor May <> and will be run if and while folk are prepared to contribute to it, and generally show an interest.

Back to Table of Contents


ESL Pronunciation

Helen Fraser has just finished a major report for the Australian National Training Authority, called 'Coordinating improvements in pronunciation teaching for adult learners of English as a second language', and a CD-ROM on pronunciation for learners of ESL, called 'Learn to Speak Clearly in English'. Both will be distributed through Language Australia <>, available in the next few weeks. In the meantime, if you would like further information, contact Helen on <>.




Pragmatics & Cognition announces a special issue on


Guest Editors - Nick Enfield and Anna Wierzbicka

'Emotions' combine feelings, thoughts and bodily events/processes in complex ways. The role of the body in emotion has commonly been a subject of clinical research, but it has less often come into the discussion of the semantics and pragmatics of how languages encode ideas about emotion. Apart from well known work on 'metaphor', concentrating on English, there is little data available on how the body enters into the way that languages codify ideas about emotions. This includes meaning extensions (by metaphor or metonymy) of the basic vocabulary of emotion, idiomatic phrases and common discourse about emotional experience, folk theory and description of exactly what goes on in the body when emotions occur.

The main question which we would expect the submissions to address is: How do speakers of the world's languages refer to the body in talking about emotions?

One of the most fruitful and empirically sound ways to investigate 'emotions' in social context is to investigate their codification in linguistic signs and other semiotic phenomena. While much work on emotions has assumed that (scientific?) English provides clear and non-ethnocentric terminology for the description of emotions in various ethnolinguistic spheres, some recent research has questioned this assumption. This has been supported by evidence that most linguistic categories (words, constructions) referring to emotions in natural languages reveal complex and culture-specific configurations of ideas about how thoughts, feelings, and bodily processes may be 'normally' (i.e. in a given social realm) related to. English-language terminology is no exception, and it must thus be recognised that English-language descriptions of emotion are also 'folk descriptions', not culture-free, and this makes data from all languages equally valid and valuable in informing our understanding of the complex relationships inherent in ideas of 'emotions'. It is then necessary to understand, compare and contrast as wide a range as possible of the various 'folk descriptions' of emotions which the rest of the world's languages allow us access to. In particular, data on how speakers refer to the body in their talk about emotions will be a valuable addition to the limited corpus of broad cross-linguistic data on the linguistics of emotion.

In general, recent research into emotions can be dramatically improved by the contribution of detailed descriptions of emotion talk, referring to the body, from as wide a range as possible of the world's languages. One purpose of this special issue is to contribute to current research by providing empirically sound descriptions from typologically diverse and geographically widespread languages, with at least some representation of languages of Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, Europe, and Oceania.

The special issue will provide an original and much needed cross-linguistic perspective on the question of how the body is referred to by people talking about emotions around the world and hence it will provide a basis for an informed discussion of the human conceptualization of emotions and of the relationship between emotion and cognition.

Deadline for submission: September 1,รพ 2000
Editorial decisions: December 1, 2000
Revised papers due: February 1, 2001
Expected publication: October 2001

Papers should be submitted according to the guidelines of the journal:

All submissions will be peer reviewed. Please send five copies of your submission to:

Professor Anna Wierzbicka (
Department of Linguistics (Faculties), Australian National University
Canberra ACT 0200. Australia, Fax: 61-2-6279-8214

Back to Table of Contents


News from RCLT

Typology Club

The Typology Club is presenting a series of seminars followed by a reasonably priced dinner at a nearby restaurant. We aim to make these seminars an enjoyable intellectual and social event for all linguists in Melbourne. The opening seminar on 'Person, Mirativity, Evidentiality and Awa Pit' by Dr Timothy Jowan Curnow was held on 6 April. We intend to hold seminars at 6pm on the first Thursday of each month, except for July and August, when the Club will not meet. More information about seminars will be distributed by email closer to the event or you can visit our website on To ensure that you are notified about the Typology Club seminars, please send your email address to:


Professor Fritz Serzisko from the University of Cologne arrived in early April and will be with us till October on an IREX Fellowship (awarded by the ARC to Professor Aikhenvald), to work on 'The typology of tense and time'.

Professor Robert Rankin, a leading specialist on Siouan languages, from the University of Kansas arrived at the end of April and will spend six months with us.

Both Prof Rankin and Prof Serzisko will be giving several lectures at the La Trobe University Linguistics Department and the Typology Club.

Professor Jane Hill, of the University of Arizona (past President of the American Anthropological Association and current editor of the journal Language and Society) will be a Visiting Fellow from July until December.

Dr Ken Hill, of the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology and the Department of Linguistics at the university of Arizona, will also be a Visiting Fellow from July through December.

Recent Books from the Research Centre

The Amazonian Languages, edited by R.M.W. Dixon and Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. xxviii, 446 pp.

Changing Valency: Case Studies in Transitivity, edited by R.M.W. Dixon and Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. xvi, 403 pp.

Handbook of Australian Languages, Volume 5, edited by R.M.W. Dixon and Barry J. Blake. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 2000. xxii, 507 pp.

Classifiers: A Typology of Noun Categorisation Devices, Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. xxvi, 507 pp.


We shall be holding an International Workshop in August 2000 on 'The status of "word": its phonological, grammatical, cultural and cognitive basis' from Monday 7th until Saturday 12th August 2000. Auditors are welcome to attend (at no fee); but please note that we are unable to organise accommodation, etc for auditors. The provisional program includes speakers from RCLT, Michael Dunn (Max Planck Institute, Niemegen), Larry Hyman (UC Berkeley), Francis Katamba (U of Lancaster), Alice Harris (Vanderbilt U, Nashville), Brian Joseph (Ohio State U), John Henderson (U of Western Australia), Nicholas Evans (U of Melbourne), Karl Franklin (Summer Institute of Linguistics, Dallas), Hilary Chappell (Linguistics, La Trobe U), Anthony Woodbury (U of Texas, Austin), Larry Trask (U of Sussex) and P.H. Matthews (U of Cambridge).

Back to Table of Contents



Useful sources of information on Linguistics and related conferences around the world are:

Back to Table of Contents


Australian Linguistics Institute ALI-2000 3-14th July 2000

All information about ALI-2000 is available from

To everyone who has asked for hard copy of the ALI-2000 course documents, application form and timetable, we will be sending them out shortly. Thank you all for your patience. We are extending the early bird date to 26 May 2000 because of the delay. Registration forms can also be downloaded from our website.

Julie Bradshaw


ALS 2000

Information about ALS 2000 is available from

or from Keith Allan (address below).

Abstracts and timetable are available at the following addresses:

Keith Allan
Linguistics Department
Monash University
Victoria 3800
TEL: 9905 2299 FAX: 9905 2294
STD prefix: 03 IDD prefix: 613

Back to Table of Contents


ALAA 2000 (Applied Linguistics Association of Australia)

Conference, 7th - 9th July 2000. University of Melbourne.

Contact: Howard Nicholas, <>


Australex 2000 10th July 2000,University of Melbourne


A one-day conference will be held on 10 July, 2000 at the University of Melbourne's Trinity College. The date has been chosen to fit in with a variety of linguistic activities taking place in Melbourne at that time: for links to further details see

A modest conference fee (in the order of $30) will be charged to cover costs.

Papers will cover a range of topics in lexicography. One session will be on Makers and users: making dictionaries useable. (How do users cope with explicit and implicit structures, macro- and micro-? How can dictionary makers help? How much do difficulties have to do with makers theorising of the lexicon(s) involved, how much with their presentation of it? What are the prerequisite skills for making the intended uses of a given dictionary? What else may users try to do with it, and what may result?)

Everyone interested in attending is invited to send, preferably by email, their contact details (name, position/institution if applicable, postal address, phone number, fax number, and email address) to the Secretary,Flavia Hodges, Department of English, Macquarie University, NSW 2109 (


Vice-President David Blair is expected to succeed Jane Simpson as President for the period 2000-2002. Nominations for the positions of Vice-President/President Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and Committee Members at large will be accepted in advance or at the meeting. Nominations submitted in advance should include an indication of the willingness of the nominee to stand.

Jane Simpson <>
Linguistics, Transient Building F12, Sydney University NSW 2006

Back to Table of Contents


ISFC 2000 (27th International Systemic Functional Linguistics Conference)

9th - 14th July, University of Melbourne.


Back to Table of Contents


Patterns of speech sounds in unscripted communication: production - perception - phonology

8th to 11th October 2000

Institute of Phonetics and Digital Speech Processing, Kiel

We request abstracts (approximately 400 words) for contributionsappropriate to discussion within one of the following sub-topics:

analysing and describing spontaneous speech in a variety of languages
supplementing the traditional word-based phonetics and phonology with a new paradigm of phrase-level phonetics and phonology in the following domains:
- articulatory reduction and elaboration and their conditioning variables
- (dys)fluency and dialogue structure
multilingual comparisons
- generalizing phrase-level regularities across languages
- phonetic and phonological typologies at the phrase level
- phonetic and phonological universals at the phrase level
developing adequate scenarios for spontaneous speech data collection
the perception of reduced speech and the development of a new paradigm for its analysis.

Abstracts will be reviewed for suitability of oral presentation.

There will be no parallel and no poster sessions.

Invited speakers are Bill Barry (Saarbruecken), Luke van Buuren (Amsterdam), Francesco Cutugno (Naples), Gerry Docherty (Newcastle), Danielle Duez (Aix), Olle Engstrand (Stockholm), Paul Foulkes (Leeds), Steve Greenberg (Berkeley) and Nina Gronnum (Copenhagen), John Kelly (Leeds), Diana Krull (Stockholm), John Local (York), Sam Obeng (Indiana), Richard Ogden (York), John Ohala (Berkeley), Manjari Ohala (Berkeley), Linda Shockey (Reading), Elizabeth Shriberg (Menlo Park), Maria Josep Sole (Barcelona), Hans Tillmann (Munich), Bill Wells (London), Hans Wodarz (Frankfurt).

We are at present applying for funding for the symposium. Active participants can expect to receive financial assistance for their travel expenses. Fees to attend the symposium will be at a reduced rate of DM100.- for members of the IPA (DM200.- for non-members).

The symposium will be held in residence at the conference centre Akademie Sankelmark, set in idyllic surroundings near the north German town of Flensburg (web-site with pictures to follow).

A selection of the papers presented at the symposium will, after review, appear in a volume of the Journal of the International Phonetic Association.

Queries to:

Adrian Simpson and Klaus Kohler
Institut fuer Phonetik und digitale Sprachverarbeitung
der Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet zu Kiel
24098 Kiel, Germany
Tel: +49 431 880 3318 Fax: +49 431 880 1578

Back to Table of Contents



The XVth International Conference on Historical Linguistics will be hosted by the Department of Linguistics, La Trobe. It will be held at the Hotel Ibis, Therry St, Melbourne from 13 to 17 August 2001. Further information in the next newsletter.

Barry Blake


6th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing
16-20 October, 2000
Beijing International Convention Center Beijing China

Back to Table of Contents


About ALS

ALS Website


  1. To further interest in, and support for, linguistic research and teaching in Australia.
  2. To organise an annual meeting and visits of local and overseas speakers.
  3. To publish a journal of international standing.
  4. To organise an International Congress of Linguists when appropriate.
  5. To organise an Australian Linguistic Institute.

Benefits of membership

  1. Free quarterly Newsletter.
  2. Free subscription to the Australian Journal of Linguistics.
  3. Membership rates for ALS conference registration.
  4. Entitlement to present papers at the Annual Conference.
  5. The more intangible benefits of belonging to the network of Australian linguists.

Back to Table of Contents


ALS Office Bearers


Mary Laughren (UQueensland)

Vice Presidents

Jane Simpson (USydney)
Malcolm Ross
Robert Hoogenraad


Michael Walsh (USydney)
Linguistics, F12 Transient, University of Sydney, NSW 2006.
Ph.02 9351 4228; Fax 02 9351 7572 <>


Doug Absalom (Newcastle)
Box 8, Hunter Building, Newcastle University, NSW 2308
Ph.02 49216437; Fax 02 4921 6895

Journal Editors

Peter Collins (UNSW)
Linguistics Department, Univ of New South Wales, NSW 2052.
Peter Peterson (Newcastle) (reviews editor)
Dept of Linguistics, Univ of Newcastle, NSW 2308.
Tel: 02 (02) 49 215155 Fax (02) 49 217170
Doug Absalom (Newcastle)
Faculty of Education, Hunter Building, Newcastle University, NSW 2308
Ph.02 49216437; Fax 02 4921 6895
< >

Newsletter Editor

Helen Fraser (UNE)
School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics, UNE, Armidale NSW 2351
Tel: 02 6773 3189; Fax: 02 6773 3735
Email: <>

Back to Table of Contents


Next Newsletter

The ALS Newsletter is published four times per year. This is the second issue for 2000. The next issue (00/3) will come out in mid August. Copy will be due on the first Monday in August. If you would like to be on the email list for a reminder that the date is approaching, contact the Newsletter Editor.

Please send copy, and any queries, comments or suggestions to the Newsletter Editor, Helen Fraser, contact details in office bearers section.


The ALS journal

The ALS publishes a journal, The Australian Journal of Linguistics (AJL) twice a year. The latest issue is 19/2. The journal is publised by Carfax,

Correspondence regarding general AJL matters should be sent to Peter Collins. Correspondence regarding papers and reviews should be sent to any of the editors or the reviews editor (contact details in office bearers section).

Back to Table of Contents


ALS membership and address changes

In general, subscriptions are due at the beginning of each calendar year, unless you pay for several years at a time. The year you are paid to is shown on the address label on the envelope your journal comes in. If you don't happen to have kept the last label framed on your wall, you can get in touch with the Treasurer, Doug Absalom, to find out your status, or wait till the next journal comes.

This may be a good time to remind you that apart from email addresses, there is only one membership list and that is maintained by the Treasurer, Doug Absalom. If you need to change your address or make other enquiries, please do it through him (see form below).

Please use the form below for both subscriptions and address changes, or email directly to the Treasurer, Doug Absalom, contact details in office bearers section.

Please note that the Treasurer maintains the only membership and address list, so this information should be sent directly to him rather than to the Newsletter or Journal editors. Thanks.



Please copy this form to email or paper and send completed form to ALS Treasurer (contact details in office bearers section).


Title _____ Surname

First name

ADDRESS (institutional address greatly preferred)



State __________ Postcode____________

Country (if not Australia)____________________

Email address: _____________________________

PAYMENT ENCLOSED (Please delete those not applicable):

$50 Full membership, one year
$60 Joint m'ship, one year (two people at same address)
$20 Concession membership (full-time student)
$5 discount on all fees if paid by 1st April 2000


Please enclose cheque payable to 'ALS'


Please fill in the following details

Which card? Bankcard Mastercard Visa

Number: ______ ______ ______ ______

Expiry date (month/year) _ _ / _ _

Amount: $________ Today's date: _ _ / _ _ / 19 _ _

Signature: __________________


Back to Table of Contents



Access Counter