Newsletter November 2003

ALS Newsletter November 2003

ALS 03/4, November 2003


News and information

Australian Journal of Linguistics

The editors of the Society's journal, the Australian Journal of Linguistics invite members of the Society to submit papers (although contributions by non-members are also accepted). Did you give a paper at the recent ALS conference? Some other conference? Got a paper you're considering submitting somewhere? Think AJL! Papers should be sent to the editors, Toni Borowsky and Mark Harvey at the Linguistics Department, University of Sydney, NSW 2006.

Back to News Back to Contents

Minutes of the 2003 Annual General Meeting of ALS

The President opened the meeting at 4:35pm on Saturday the 27th of September in the University Union (Shortland) at the University of Newcastle, with the following members present: Eve Danziger, Doug Absalom, Margaret Sharpe, Alan Libert, Pam Peters, Diana Eades, Brett Baker, Cliff Goddard, Jennifer Lee, Mary Laughren, Nicholas Evans, Kyung-Joo Yoon, Aet Lees, Caroline Jones, Bill Foley, Mark Donohue, Wiem Burung, Ludmilla A'Beckett, Louise Skelt, Shannon Clark, Johanna Pendler-Short(?), Wayan Arka, Bethwyn Evans, Jean Harkins, Helen McLagan, Verna Rieschild, Tim Curnow, John Henderson, Michael Walsh

1. Apologies

Michael Clyne, Jeff Siegel, Ilana Mushin, David Nash, Jane Simpson, Rachel Nordlinger

2. Minutes of the 2002 AGM

Accept minutes, moved Doug Absalom, seconded Alan Liebert. Passed unanimously.

3. Matters Arising

i. OzBib (Pacific Linguistics)

OzBib reported to be nearly out-of-print. Patrick McConvell is looking into possibilities for an updated bibliography. Michael Walsh to follow up with PacLing.

ii. Profile of Linguistics

Verna Rieschild reported on possibilities for raising the profile and proposed that a list of members' areas of expertise should be added to the website. When this is set up, members could bring this to the attention of media contacts. The proposal received general support. Tim Curnow volunteered to set up the list on the website.

iii. Contribution to Pacific Linguistics

Jane Simpson and David Nash now represent ALS on the board of PL. Wayan Arka thanked ALS for its support and gave a report on PL activities. Harold Koch drew attention to the new 'Studies in Language Change' series jointly published by PL and the CLRC at ANU.

iv. Foundation for Endangered Languages

ALS has agreed to support the FEL through a corporate membership; subscription is in progress.

v. Domain name

Tim Curnow reported on the possibilities and costs for an ALS domain name ('' is not available) and, after some general discussion, agreed to look into this further. Michael Walsh proposed that the executive be empowered to make a decision.

vi. Report on ALI 2002

[See separate report, given below - click here]

4. Officeholders' Reports

4.1 President

i. Drew attention to the possibility of departments/programs being re-banded as a fieldwork discipline for university funding purposes.

ii. International Association of Forensic Linguists held their conference in Sydney in July. Plenary papers are available at

iii. NSW Board of Studies K-10 Indigenous Languages curriculum, includes linguistics.

iv. Foundation for Endangered Languages conference was held in Broome; proceedings volume will be available for sale.

v. Placenames: an article on indigenous placenames appeared in the Bulletin magazine 20/9.

4.2 Secretary

Apart from a few minor items of correspondence, nothing to report.

4.3 Treasurer

[See separate report, given below - click here]

4.4 Journal Editors

i. A motion was proposed by Mark Harvey and seconded by Nick Evans, who spoke to the motion, proposing a re-modelling of the editorial board's functions to include a more active role in attracting papers, in finding reviewers, and in helping to maintain an efficient turnaround in the reviewing process. There was general discussion on the best model for the editorial board and the best way to achieve this. A number of speakers suggested that board members should be given a clear statement of what is expected of them.

The motion was amended to allow for an orderly changeover , and passed as follows:
The editorial board of the Australian Journal of Linguistics has not been systematically reviewed since its inception in 1981. The Society considers that the editorial board should be systematically reviewed in order to accommodate changes since the inception of the journal, and to best position the journal for the future. In order to facilitate a systematic review the Society authorises the Executive to:
(1) Invite nominations for membership of a newly constituted editorial board.
(2) Having considered nominations, to appoint 8-10 members to the editorial board for a 5 year term.
The Society greatly appreciates the contributions of all board members since 1981 and looks forward to their continuing contribution to the journal and to the new board.

ii. Alan Libert reported that there are enough reviews for the next issue.

iii. Peter Peterson asked whether sufficient papers were being submitted and queried whether publication of the Conference Proceedings was undercutting submissions to AJL. It was noted that the requirements for Proceedings and AJL papers were different and that publication in the Proceedings should not preclude publication in AJL. The editors were recommended to actively pursue suitable conference papers for the journal. [Mary Laughren suggested that the Proceedings should have an ISBN.]

4.5 Newsletter Editor

Tim Curnow reported another successful year for the newsletter. [Applause.]

4.6 ALS 2003 Organisers

Peter Peterson presented the report, giving formal thanks to Karen Asher for her excellent work. A letter of appreciation to be sent by the Society.

4.7 Heads of Departments/Programs

Meeting on Sunday 28/9.

5. Future

i. Conferences: Michael Walsh reported that ALS 2004 would be hosted by Sydney Uni, most likely dates are 13-15 July (articulating with the LFG conference). A tentative offer has been received from the Uni of Queensland to host the conference in 2005.

ii. ALI: Michael Walsh referred to the discussion note which was circulated on 'ALS Online' by the executive. [No replies were received before the conference.] It was not possible to organise a host for ALI in 2004, and this has raised the question of its sustainability. There was considerable discussion: there was a general acceptance that the current format was difficult to sustain but strong support was shown for continuation in a more limited form. Discussion favoured a one-week program probably with fewer courses, a two-year cyle and offering course credit, particularly with a view to the potential for attracting postgraduates from Europe, US and elsewhere. [25 people took courses for credit in 2002.] It was recognised that there might need to be some flexibility in the model for future ALIs depending on the capacity of host institutions, and that ALAA would need to be consulted. Cliff Goddard indicated that UNE might be prepared to host a one-week ALI in 2006; a formal offer could not be made until colleagues could be consulted. He also suggested that in the meantime some courses/workshops be offered as part of the intervening two ALS conferences.

6. Honorary Memberships

Doug Absalom proposed the following for Honorary membership:
Barry Blake
Ian Malcolm
Velma Leeding.

7. Election of Officers

i. President: Michael Walsh. Elected by acclamation.

ii. Vice-Presidents: Rachel Nordlinger and Ingrid Piller. Both elected by acclamation.

iii. Post-graduate Student representative: Nick Thieberger. Elected, subject to his acceptance - in the absence of which the executive is empowered to co-opt a new representative.

8. Other Business

i. Margaret Sharpe raised the problem of the cost of professional indemnity insurance and noted that some other professional organisations had negotiated advantageous rates on behalf of their members. Mary Laughren volunteered to look into this.

ii. Harold Koch noted that ICHL would be held in the region again in 2007, in Christchurch.

iii. Mary Laughren suggested that information on ALS for postgraduates should be made available on the website.

The President closed the meeting at 6:30pm.

Back to News Back to Contents

Report on ALI 2002

From 5th July -19th July 2002, the Linguistics Department of Macquarie University was host to over 400 participants in the 6th Biennial Australian Linguistics Institute, and the Annual conferences of the Australian Linguistic Society and the Applied Linguistics Association of Australia.

The Australian Linguistics Institute (ALI-2002) provided 23 courses in the General Linguistics Programme. These week or fortnight long courses were given by 8 international and 26 national presenters, 9 of whom were from Macquarie University. Over 30 of the students were from overseas (the Pacific Rim, Europe, and the USA). The dynamic Indigenous Programme, with 35 courses held in the first week, brought together language workers and researchers from overseas and from indigenous communities, government departments, universities and schools throughout Australia. ALI-2002 was supported by the Australian Linguistic Society, the Applied Linguistics Association of Australia, various sections of Macquarie University, and the University of Sydney.

Verna Rieschild's full report on ALI 2002, containing information about participants, sponsors, presenters, the general programme, the indigenous programme, finances including a complete financial statement, and the organizing committee, is available as a small PDF file by clicking here.

Back to News Back to Contents

Treasurer's Report

Australian Linguistic Society Inc.

ABN 55 533 808 998.

Financial Statement 13/7/02 - 25/9/03.

Income.         Expenditure.  
Membership $14,255:-       G.I.O. $ 462:-
A.J.L. $10,942:11       A.J.L. $ 8,659:50
A.L.S. 2001 $ 1,000:-       Pac. Ling. $ 5,000:-
Interest $ 4,116:34       ALS 2002 $ 3,325:95
ALS 2003 $ 6,361:-       ALS 2003 $ 3,389:72
School grant. $ 1,500:-       Bank charges $ 729:61
ALI float $20,000:-          
Total $58,174:45       Total $21,566:78

Operating surplus $ 36,607:67
Accumulated funds 12/7/02 $103,156:47
Total funds 25/9/03 $139,764:14

Represented by:-

Fixed Dep. $36,733:88
ALI account $20,000:-
Money Managers $76,184:83
Cheque Acct. $ 8,592:38
Grant acct. $ 654:28
Total $142,165:37
Cheque 117. $ 2,401:23
Accum funds. $139,764:14

Our balance sheet is again looking fairly healthy, due to several factors. The first is that the ALI float has been returned in its entirety, due to the persistent hard work of Verna Reischild in working her way through the intricacies of Macquarie University's money system and our government's devious means of demanding taxes. Congratulations and sincere thanks, Verna, for a job well done. Secondly, our membership payments are about double that which we normally receive. This is partially due to e-mail reminders that I sent out and which resulted in a large amount of back fees being paid, and partially to the fact that almost 25% of our membership have opted for the auto-pay system whereby their credit card details are recorded and ALS fees are automatically debited, at the discount rate, in February each year. A third factor which has inflated the balance sheet a little is the fact that the current conference, along with the associated school grant from Newcastle University's School of Language and Media (sincere thanks) is shown as being almost $4,500 in profit. This is because I haven't paid most of the bills yet. I expect the conference to make a small surplus of about $1,000, so there will be a loss of about $3,500 shown on next year's figures. The only outstanding commitment that I am aware of is our second payment of $5000, approved at last year's conference, to Pacific Linguistics, and they simply haven't asked for it yet. Thus, financially, the Society continues to be in good shape, our journal continuing to more than pay for itself, and our membership standing at a fairly healthy 400 people.

Doug Absalom, Hon. Treasurer, ALS.

Back to News Back to Contents

ARC Grants

The Society would like to congratulate those members who recently received ARC Discovery Grants for 2004 on. The ARC has yet to release the second round of offers to those on the reserve list. At this stage, I was able to find the following grants received by ALS members, in the 'Linguistics' category unless otherwise indicated:

  • Mr AR Coupe, La Trobe University, 'A typology of adverbial subordination and clause linkage in Tibeto-Burman languages' (Postdoctoral Fellowship; 2004: $90,000; 2005: $87,000; 2006: $87,000)
  • Prof RM Dixon and Prof AY Aikhenvald, La Trobe University, 'Basic Linguistic Theory' (2004: $100,000; 2005: $100,000; 2006: $100,000)
  • Dr LA Hercus, 'Aboriginal song cycles from the Simpson Desert and the Cooper: An integrated linguistic and musicological study' (Language Studies category; 2004: $25,164; 2005: $24,919; 2006: $25,228)
  • A/Prof AJ Liddicoat, Griffith University, 'The status and conceptualisation of cultural knowledge in language-in-education policy for second/foreign language education' (2004: $25,000; 2005: $26,000; 2006: $27,000)
  • Prof AJ Marett, Dr MJ Walsh, Dr N Reid and Dr LJ Ford, University of Sydney, 'Preserving Australia's endangered heritages: Murrinhpatha song at Wadeye' (Performing Arts category; 2004: $125,000; 2005: $110,000; 2006: $160,000; 2007: $115,000; 2008: $140,000)
  • A/Prof PH Peters and A/Prof PC Collins, Macquarie University, 'Australian English grammar: A dialectal and stylistic description' (2004: $60,000; 2005: $60,000; 2006: $60,000)
  • Mr NA Thieberger, University of Melbourne, 'New methodologies for representing and accessing resources on endangered languages: A case study from South Efate' (Postdoctoral Fellowship; 2004: $75,000; 2005: $69,000; 2006: $69,000)

Back to News Back to Contents

LTU awards Mithun with honorary degree

The Vice-Chancellor and President of La Trobe University, Professor Michael Osborne, has instituted an annual event. Each year, a leading world linguist will, at a special ceremony, be awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) after which they will deliver a public lecture.

Professor Marianne Mithun, from the University of California, Santa Barbara, was the first recipient of this honour. On 13 August 2003, Professor Mithun, was presented with the Honorary Degree and delivered a most well-received public lectures entitled 'Alternative worlds in peril: what do we lose when a language disappears?'

Back to News Back to Contents

News from Sydney University

Recent PhD theses:

  • Zeid Al-Dakkan, 'A translation problem: consistency in Arabic-English translations. With special reference to 5 English translations of the Holy Quran'.
  • Takahiro Teranishi (, 'Concept formation through iconicity: basic shapes and their related metaphorical extensions in English and Japanese'. Abstract: One of the ways for a speaker to make sense of an object or event in the real world is to make use of iconicity between two things. Through iconic metaphorical extensions, the speaker connects the object or event to something else. In this study, I consider how speakers form concepts through iconic metaphorical extensions, examining how they metaphorically extend one concept to another. I suggest that all speakers use the same ways of forming metaphorical extensions and control metaphorical extensions according to their intentions and contexts. Using basic and simple shapes and their related metaphorical expressions (e.g. a circular argument), I discuss the role of iconicity in metaphorical understanding, the relationship between concept and language, and metaphorical extensions as tools of concept formation. I conduct descriptive investigations using dictionaries and compare related senses for particular basic shapes between English and Japanese, looking at their polysemous networks and historical changes. Using questionnaires, interviews and tasks with native speakers of English and Japanese, I conduct experimental investigations to examine the speakers associations in relation to basic shapes and the degree of iconicity in metaphorical extensions. This study suggests that concepts, although probably stored in the mental space, are recreated every time they occur. Concept formation through iconic metaphorical extensions must be dynamic because it is based on extensions of existing concepts, and must be universal to all speakers because metaphorical extensions are among the most basic mental activities of human beings. I propose dynamic and universal models which represent the way in which a speaker forms concepts, connecting a linguistic form and a mental picture and controlling iconic metaphorical extensions. These models contribute to understanding both similarities and differences in use of metaphorical extensions between English and Japanese.

Back to News Back to Contents

News from RSPAS, ANU

Malcolm Ross is spending three months in the Institute of Linguistics at the Academia Sinica in Taipei, where he is teaching Oceanic linguistics and doing collaborative research on the Austronesian languages of Taiwan.

Back to News Back to Contents

News from the RCLT

Visiting Fellows: Professor Östen Dahl, of the University of Stockholm, is currently at RCLT, for a period of a month between 15 October and 15 November, sponsored by the Swedish Royal Academy of Letters and the Australian Academy of Humanities. Professor Zygmunt Frajzyngier, of the University of Colorado, and Professor Andrew Butcher from Flinders University are currently at RCLT until the end of the year.

New appointments: Dr David Fleck (PhD Rice University), an expert on Panoan languages of Peru and Brazil, has been appointed for a three year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at RCLT. He is expected to take up this position in early January 2004.

International Workshop will be held on 'Complement clauses and complementation strategies', from Monday 16th until Saturday 21st August 2004.

For more information, please visit our website at

Back to News Back to Contents


A grammar of Tariana (Aikhenvald)

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald (2003), A Grammar of Tariana, from northwest Amazonia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 705+xxiv pp. Hardback: ISBN: 0521826640; Price: GBP 85, USD $115

This is a comprehensive reference grammar of Tariana, an endangered Arawak language from a remote region in northwest Amazonia. The language is spoken in the multilingual area of the Vaupés River Basin. This area is renowned for its language group exogamy and institutionalized multilingualism. Language is the badge of identity for each group, and people who speak the same language do not marry each other. As a result of this rampant multilingualism, Tariana combines a number of features inherited from the protolanguage with properties diffused from neighbouring but unrelated Tucanoan languages. Typologically unusual features of Tariana include: an array of classifiers independent of genders; complex serial verbs; case marking depending on the topicality of a noun, and double marking of case and of number. Tariana has obligatory evidentiality: every sentence contains a special morpheme indicating whether the information was seen, heard, or inferred by the speaker, or whether the speaker acquired it from somebody else. The volume can be used as a source-book for grammarians, typologists and scholars of language contact. It poses analytic problems for linguists who work in terms of formal theories.

Contents: 1. The language and its speakers; 2. Phonology; 3. Word classes; 4. Nominal morphology and noun structure; 5. Noun classes and classifiers; 6. Possession; 7. Case marking and grammatical relations; 8. Number; 9. Further nominal categories; 0. Derivation and compounding; 11. Closed word classes; 12. Verb classes and predicate structure; 13. Valency changing and argument rearranging mechanisms; 14. Tense and evidentiality; 15. Aspect, Aktionsart and degree; 16. Mood and modality; 17. Negation; 18. Serial verb constructions and verb compounding; 19. Complex predicates; 20. Participles and nominalisations; 21. Clause types and other syntactic issues; 22. Subordinate clauses and clause linking; 23. Relative clauses; 24. Complement clauses; 25. Discourse organisation; 26. Issues in etymology and semantics; Appendix: The main features of the Tariana dialects; Texts; Vocabulary; References; Index.

Back to Books Back to Contents

Maintaining the links (FEL Proceedings)

Maintaining the links: Language identity and the land, Proceedings of the seventh conference presented by the Foundation for Endangered Languages

The volume is available for AUD47.00 including postage within Australia. For other countries the price is AUD43.00 + postage. If you are interested in purchasing a copy contact: Joe Blythe, Ph/Fax: (+61) (0)8 9192 8382, Mob: (+61) (0)409 881153, email:,

For details of other past FEL proceedings:


  1. Languages and Land Claims: Nigel Crawhall 'Rediscovery of Nu and the Khomani Land Claim Process, South Africa'; Janet Sharp, 'Karajarri, Historical and Contemporary Connections with Country and Kin'
  2. Toponymy and Topography: Thomas Thornton, 'Tlingit Place Names and the Language of Subsistence in Southeast Alaska'; David Nash, 'Authenticity in Toponymy'; Frances Kofod, 'My Relations, My Country: Language, Identity and Land in the East Kimberley of Western Australia'
  3. Planning for the Future: Patrick McConvell & Nicholas Thieberger, 'Language data assessment at the national level: Learning from the State of the Environment process in Australia'; Mary Jane Norris, 'From Generation to Generation: Survival and Maintenance of Canada's Aboriginal Languages, Within Families, Communities and Cities'
  4. Language, Identity and the Environment: Joe Blythe & Glenn Wightman, 'The Role of Animals and Plants in Maintaining the Links'; N. Louanna Furbee, 'The Landscape of Language: Tojolab'al Maya Ethnicity and Globalization'; Jepkorir Chepatyor-Thomson & Norman Thomson, 'Ecotourism in Kerio Valley, Kenya: Creating a Need for Maintaining Keiyo Language, Identity, and the Land'
  5. Language and Identity - Home and Away: Katherine E. Hoffman, 'Divided Youth: Language, Longing, and Labor in the Anti-Atlas Homeland, Morocco'; David Newry & Keeley Palmer, '"Whose language is it anyway?" Rights to restrict access to endangered languages: a north-east Kimberley example'
  6. Language Revitalisation - Revival: Mary Chanda, 'Reviving an Endangered Language: the Case of the Mirning Language'; Michael Walsh, 'Raising Babel: language revitalisation in New South Wales, Australia'
  7. Language Revitalisation - Maintenance: Ilana Mushin, 'The politics of language revitalisation: balancing Yanyuwa and Garrwa in the Borroloola language project'; Rebecca Green, 'Gurr-goni, a Minority Language in a Multilingual Community: Surviving into the 21st Century'
  8. Documenting Endangered Languages: Claire Bowern, 'Laves' Bardi Texts'; Linda Barwick & Allan Marett, 'Endangered songs and endangered languages'; Dafydd Gibbon, 'Language Documentation and Heritage: publication avenue for language documentation'; Monica Ward, 'Language Documentation and Revitalisation - is there really a conflict?'

Back to Books Back to Contents

Phonetics and phonology of Ao (Coupe)

Alec R. Coupe. A phonetic and phonological description of Ao, a Tibeto-Burman language of Nagaland, north-east India. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. 137pp.

The aim of this work is to provide a comprehensive description of the phonetic and phonological features of Ao, a Tibeto-Burman language spoken in the hill state of Nagaland, north-east India. The description is primarily based upon the data of three native speakers, and the language under study is a variety of the Mongsen dialect spoken in the Waromung village, situated in the Mokokchung district.

This is the first extensive acoustic description of a language belonging to the Kuki-Chin-Naga branch of the Tibeto-Burman family. The study describes the phonotactic structure, phonology, articulatory phonetics, acoustic phonetics and tone system of the Mongsen dialect of Ao, illustrating how instrumental techniques can be used to corroborate and quantify the auditory analysis of an undescribed language. Methodology is described in detail and the findings are correlated with what is known cross-linguistically about aspects of the language being investigated.

This work will be of benefit to scholars who wish to write the descriptions of related languages and comparativists who are interested in clarifying the genetic relationships holding between the Tibeto-Burman languages of north-east India. The monograph will be of relevance to a wider linguistic audience, in particular typologists and phonologists interested in the study of phonological systems and the characteristics of tone in less well-known languages of the region.

Back to Books Back to Contents

New series on minority languages and communities

Palgrave Studies in Minority Languages and Communities

Series editor: Gabrielle Hogan-Brun, University of Bristol; email:

Worldwide migration and unprecedented economic, political and social integration in Europe present serious challenges to the nature and position of language minorities. Some communities receive protective legislation and active support from states through policies that promote and sustain cultural and linguistic diversity; others succumb to global homogenisation and assimilation. At the same time, discourses on diversity and emancipation have produced greater demands for the management of difference.

This series will publish new research based on single or comparative case studies on minority languages worldwide. We will focus on their use, status and prospects, and on linguistic pluralism in areas with immigrant or traditional minority communities or with shifting borders. Each volume will be written in an accessible style for researchers and students in linguistics, anthropology, politics and other disciplines, and for practitioners interested in language minorities and diversity.

Back to Books Back to Contents

Books available for review

The following is a list of publications relating to the study of language, received by the Reviews Editor. Note that it is not possible to return books to the publisher, and that acceptance of a book implies no promise that it will be reviewed in this journal. Reviews are printed as circumstances permit, and copies are sent to the publishers of the works reviewed. To request a book, contact the reviews editor, Alan Libert, ph (02) 49215117, email

  • Ayoun, D. Parameter setting in language acquisition. London: Continuum, 2003. Pp. x + 212. Cloth £55.00.
  • Blake, B.J. & Burridge, K. Historical linguistics 2001. John Benjamins, 2003. Cloth US$135.00.
  • Boas, H.C. A constructional approach to resultatives. Stanford: CSLI Publications, 2003. Pp. xv + 400.
  • Booij, G. & van Marle, J.(ed.) Yearbook of morphology 2002. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003. Pp. 324. Cloth UK$125.00.
  • Butt, M. & Holloway King, T. (eds.) Nominals: inside and out. Stanford: CSLI Publications, 2003. Pp. vii + 279. Paper US$25.00.
  • Cameron, L. Metaphor in educational discourse. London: Continuum, 2003. Pp. x + 294. Cloth £75.00; paper £25.00.
  • Chen, R. English inversion: a ground-before-figure construction. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2003. Pp. xi + 333. Cloth EUR78.00.
  • Hall, C. Modern German pronunciation: an introduction for speakers of English (2nd edition). Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003. Pp xvii + 203.
  • Holt, D.E. (ed.) Optimality theory and language change. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003. Pp. xi + 459. Cloth US$186.00.
  • Kolliakou, D. Nominal constructions in modern Greek: implications for the architecture of grammar. Stanford: CSLI Publications, 2003. Pp. ix + 220. Paper US$25.00.
  • Kuhn, J. Optimality-theoretic syntax - a declarative approach. Stanford: CSLI Publications, 2003. Pp. xiii + 238. Paper $57.95.
  • Ladefoged, P. Phonetic data analysis: an introduction to fieldwork and instrumental techniques. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2003. Pp. xi + 196. Cloth £55.00; paper £19.99.
  • Martin, J.R. & Rose, D. Working with discourse: meaning beyond the clause. London: Continuum, 2003. Pp. xi + 293. Cloth £65.00; paper £25.00.
  • McCarthy, J.J. (ed.) Optimality theory in phonology: a reader. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2003. Pp. xvi + 603. Cloth £65.00; paper £24.99.
  • McClure, W. (ed.) Japanese/Korean linguistics, volume 12. Stanford: CSLI Publications, 2003. Pp. x + 408. Paper US$32.50.
  • Preyer, G., Peter, G. & Ulkan, M. (eds.) Concepts of meaning: framing an integrated theory of linguistic behavior. Drodrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003. Pp. xv + 273. Cloth US$120.00.
  • Sag, I.A., Wasow, T. & Bender, E.M. Syntactic theory: a formal introduction (2nd edition). Stanford: CSLI Publications, 2003. Pp. xvi + 608. Paper $86.00.
  • Song, J.J. Linguistic typology: morphology and syntax. Harlow: Longman, 2001. Pp. xix + 406. Paper £32.99.
  • Teich, E. Cross-linguistic variation in system and text. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2003. Pp. x +276. Cloth EUR68.00.

Back to Books Back to Contents

Jobs, grants and scholarship possibilities

Associate Professor position, Macquarie

Associate Professor in Linguistics (Research Director), Full-time (continuing), Ref. 19652

Division of Linguistics and Psychology, Department of Linguistics and National Centre for English Language Teaching and Research

This position is located within the Department of Linguistics and has primary responsibility for directing research in its National Centre for English Language Teaching and Research (NCELTR) within the general area of applied linguistics (language and literacy education), and especially in relation to the Australian Commonwealth's Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) nationally.

The appointee will co-ordinate and contribute to the research program of the AMEP nationally; undertake and manage research projects in applied linguistics (language and literacy education), including EAP/ESP and TESOL; be Research Director for NCELTR and serve on the Research Committee of the Department of Linguistics; engage in and foster collaborative research with other areas of research in the Department, with other disciplines, and with other institutions and research groups nationally and internationally.

The appointee will also be expected to contribute to postgraduate teaching and to undertake supervision of research students within the Department.

Essential Criteria: PhD or research doctorate in Applied Linguistics, Language/Literacy Education or a similar field; extensive experience in the initiation, design and management of research projects in adult English Language Teaching and learning; familiarity with work in ESL contexts; demonstrated achievement in the mentoring and professional development of teachers through collaborative research and in the design, execution, publication and dissemination of research; a strong record of appropriate publications; proved ability to attract externally funded research.

Desirable Criteria: Experience in project management.

Enquiries and Application Package: Ms Collette Ryan on (02) 9850 8774 or

The position is available on a full-time (continuing) basis and may be subject to probationary conditions. Selection criteria must be addressed in the application.

Level D (Associate Professor) - $100,713 to $110,892 pa, including base salary $85,104 to $93,705 pa, up to 17% employer's superannuation and annual leave loading. Salary sacrificing opportunities and relocation assistance are available.

Applications including full curriculum vitae, quoting the reference number, visa status, and the names and addresses (including postal and/or e-mail, telephone and fax numbers) of three referees, should be forwarded to the Recruitment Manager, Workplace Relations and Services, Macquarie University, NSW 2109 on 28 November 2003. Applications will not be acknowledged unless specifically requested.

Back to Jobs Back to Contents

Computational linguist, USyd

University of Sydney, Technical support position, Computational Linguist, closing date 20/11/03

Position: Computational Linguist
Department: School of Information Technologies (incorporating Information Systems)
Type: Science & Technical
Appointment: Contract
Availability: Internal & External
Ref No: A44/004297
Information: Professor Jon Patrick (, 02-9351-3524)

The School of Information Technologies currently has a position available to work on the Scamseek Project. The Scamseek project has the task of building a surveillance tool for identifying financial scams on the Internet. This is Australias largest research project in language technology with a budget of $2 million. It has completed its first objectives and has been refinanced to extend its scope and goals. In the first phase the project aimed at performing document classification of internet pages. There were two principle types of documents of concern: those that give financial advice by unlicensed advisors; and unregistered investment schemes. The system that we built has two major features. Firstly, documents of known scams are analysed by linguists to identify the features that make them distinctive. Secondly, machine-learning strategies are used to analyse the documents to derive other features that may be useful in classification and to extract named entities. The results of the linguistic and machine learning investigations are combined to create a unified document classifier. The classifier is fed by a web spider that performs a 24hour/7day week search of the Internet for potential scam sites. Phase 2 of the project is oriented towards improving the classification but also extending the work to encompass chat sites, and efforts by people to illegally influence share prices.

Partners: Capital Markets Co-operative Research Centre (CMCRC), Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), University of Sydney, Macquarie University, SMARTS

A Computational Linguist is required to research appropriate machine learning solutions for document classification, and the incorporation of semantic analysis into a document classification system. The successful applicant would be expected to have superior programming skills, research and investigative skills, experience in software systems development, experience in the development of computational linguistics systems, experience in UNIX/LINUX and Windows Operating Systems, excellent communication skills, and the ability to work in a team. A degree in Information Technology with associated studies in linguistics or languages, or an Arts degree with associated studies in Information Technology (or equivalent) is essential.

The position is full-time fixed term up to 30 June 2004, subject to the completion of a satisfactory probation period for new appointees.

Intending applicants are encouraged to seek further information and a duty statement from Professor Jon Patrick on 9351 3524 before submitting a formal application. Applications may be submitted electronically to

Back to Jobs Back to Contents

Conferences and workshops

2004 Annual ALS Conference

The 2004 Annual Conference of ALS will be held on July 13-15 2004 at Sancta Sophia College, University of Sydney, hosted by the department of linguistics, University of Sydney. A call for papers will be sent out in early December.

For further information, e-mail Michael Walsh (,, Jane Simpson (, Ilana Mushin ( or

Back to Conferences Back to Contents

LFG 2004

The 2004 International Lexical Functional Grammar Conference will be held on 10-12 July 2004 in Christchurch, New Zealand, preceded by a week-long Winter School on LFG and computational linguistics.

The conference web site is:

LFG 2004 welcomes work within the formal architecture of Lexical-Functional Grammar as well as typological, formal, and computational work within the 'spirit of LFG' as a lexicalist approach to language employing a parallel, constraint-based framework. The conference aims to promote interaction and collaboration among researchers interested in non-derivational approaches to grammar, where grammar is seen as the interaction of (perhaps violable) constraints from multiple levels of structuring, including those of syntactic categories, grammatical relations, semantics and discourse. Further information about LFG as a syntactic theory is available at: and

Students and recent graduates are warmly invited to attend; there will be a special session at the conference for students to present recent PhD dissertations (or other student research dissertations). The International LFG Association (ILFGA) will pay the conference fees for the students presenting at the student session at the conference.


Deadline for abstracts: 15 February 2004
Acceptances sent out: 31 March 2004
Deadline for workshop submissions: 15 January 2004
Workshop acceptances: 15 February 2004

Send abstract submissions and inquiries about submissions to the Program Committee, Jonas Kuhn ( or Tara Mohanan (; by mail to LFG 2004, c/o Tara Mohanan, Department of English Language and Literature, FASS Block 5, 7 Arts Link, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117570.

Back to Conferences Back to Contents

Syntax of the World's languages (SWL 1)

Call for Abstracts: Syntax of the World's Languages (SWL 1), Leipzig (Germany), 5-8 August 2004.

Invited speakers:

  • Peter Austin (SOAS London)
  • Maria Polinsky (UC San Diego)
  • Marianne Mithun (UC Santa Barbara)

This conference will bring together researchers working on the syntactic structure of less widely studied languages from a variety of perspectives. Contributions are expected to be based on first-hand data of individual languages or to adopt a broadly comparative perspective. All major theoretical frameworks are equally welcome, as is work done in analytical frameworks developed in typology or field linguistics.

Papers that adopt a diachronic/historical-comparative perspective or that discuss language-contact effects are also welcome, as are papers dealing with morphological or semantic issues, as long as syntactic issues also play a major role.

Authors should not presuppose detailed knowledge of their theoretical framework,and the papers should focus on widely relevant theoretical issues, minimizing theory-internal argumentation. We recognize that questions raised by theoretical frameworks often lead to the discovery of interesting phenomena in lesser studied languages. However, the goal of applying a theoretical framework should be seen as subsidiary to the main purpose of the conference, that of enlarging our knowledge and understanding of the syntactic phenomena of the world's languages.

Send your one-page abstract to Martin Haspelmath (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany;, Fax +49-341-3550 333), either as a PDF-file by e-mail or as a hard copy, to arrive no later than December 15th, 2003. A second page may be attached to the abstract listing data. The abstract itself should contain no identification of the author. A separate sheet or the cover e-mail should contain the title of the abstract, the name(s) of the author(s), and one mailing address, with telephone, fax, and email address as available.

The time allotted for presentation and discussion is 40 minutes. Participants may not be involved in more than two abstracts, of which at most one may be single-authored. English is the preferred language at the conference. The local organizers will, by January 31, 2004, convey their decision on acceptance of papers to those submitting abstracts.

Back to Conferences Back to Contents

About ALS


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

Benefits of membership

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

ALS office bearers

President Michael Walsh (Sydney)
Vice-Presidents Verna Rieschild (Macquarie)
Rachel Nordlinger (Melbourne)
Ingrid Piller
Secretary John Henderson (UWA)
Treasurer Doug Absalom (Newcastle)
Journal Editors Toni Borowsky (Sydney)
Mark Harvey (Newcastle)
(Reviews) Alan Libert (Newcastle)
Newsletter Editor Tim Curnow (UQ)
Postgrad Student Rep Nick Thieberger (Melbourne)

Next newsletter

The ALS Newsletter is published four times per year. This is the fourth issue for 2003. The next issue (04/1) will come out in mid February 2004. Copy will be due on the first Monday in February. 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 Tim Curnow (

The ALS journal

The ALS publishes a journal, the Australian Journal of Linguistics (AJL) twice a year. The latest issue was 23/1. The journal is published by Carfax (Taylor & Francis),

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

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.

A form is available on the website to renew your subscription.

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.