The President opened the meeting at 6:10pm on Wednesday 28th of September at the city campus of Monash University with the following members present:
Mark Harvey, Jane Simpson, Maya Bradley, Mary Laughren, David Nash, Pam Peters, Michael Clyne, Jim Hlavac, Natalie Stroud, Anna Margetts, Wiem Burung, Harold Koch, Luisa Miceli, David Bradley, Bill Foley, Heather Bowe, Robert Hoogenraad, Ilana Mushin, Randy LaPolla, Simon Musgrave, Nick Thieberger, Carol Priestley, Jeff Siegel, Diana Eades, Jean-Christophe Verstraete, Peter Kipka, Ian Green, Janet Fletcher, Nick Reid, Tim Curnow, Peter Collins, Paul Black, Alice Gaby, Tania Strahan, Rachel Nordlinger, Doug Absalom, Michael Walsh, John Henderson
Alan Dench, Jo Caffery, Lyn Wales, Nick Evans, Jenny Green.
2. Minutes of the 2004 AGM
3. Matters Arising
Two matters deferred for discussion later in meeting.
The highlight of the year is the establishment of the Michael Clyne Prize to be awarded for the best postgraduate research thesis in the area of immigrant bilingualism and language contact. The President recognised Michael's very generous contribution to establish the prize, which will be jointly administered with ALAA.
Nothing to report.
Special recognition of Michael Walsh's service to the Society, having served a number of terms as Secretary and two terms as President.
That Michael Clyne be granted Honorary Life Membership in recognition of his service to the Society and to Linguistics in Australia.Passed by acclamation.
Michael was invited to give an account of the founding and early history of the Society: The Society was formed in 1966-67, at a time when there were few Linguistics departments in Australia. Linguistics was not a well-recognised discipline then; Phonetics was better known. There had been informal groups and meetings before 1967. A meeting of the Australian Branch of the International Society of Phonetic Sciences was held in 1966, at which the suggestion was put forward that a national linguistic society be established. Some preliminary meetings were held and identified the need for a journal and the value of hosting an International Congress of Linguists in Australia. The ALS was founded in 1967 with a one-day conference at ANU.
[Mark Harvey presented the report.] AJL is doing well. The second issue for 2005 is in press, and both issues for 2006 are full. The new editorial board is now in operation.
The editors are looking into an electronic review management system to handle the process more efficiently, especially tracking progress. Such a system might have the potential to also assist with reviewing of conference abstracts.
There is a question of whether AJL should continue to be published in paper form, or moved to electronic publication which would allow greater flexibility in when an issue is published. This is an advantage because the inflow of submissions to AJL is erratic, boom-or-bust. A boom period usually means that contributors can only be offered substantially delayed publication of new submissions, which can lead to the loss of quality papers to the journal.
Policy Guidelines are in preparation. Some key points are:
- Submissions can be sent to members of the editorial board with specialist expertise for an initial evaluation of suitability. This has the advantage that it does not waste specialist reviewers time.
- For guest-edited volumes, the journal editors have oversight and right of veto. Reviewing is organised by the journal editors.
- There are two reviewers for each paper.
Harold Koch asked how a shift to electronic publication would be affected by the current commercial arrangements. Mark replied that it would have to be discussed with Taylor & Francis and others; a lot of other information would have to be gathered too. Michael Walsh encouraged the editors to continue looking into it. Diana Eades reported that the ALAA are looking into using Monash e-Press. Paul Black noted that the costs of electronic publication are generally high; close to print. Rachel Nordlinger suggested that there would have to be a cost advantage to warrant a change. Doug Absalom pointed out that under the current arrangements, AJL effectively costs the Society nothing.
Michael Walsh noted that the five-year term of the current editors expires at the next AGM in 2006. He called for expressions of interest in the editorship.
4.5 Newsletter Editor
Tim Curnow reported that newsletter operations were going well. The website has been moved from La Trobe to Geocities. Access has been OK. The website has also been redesigned: comments are welcome.
4.6 ALS2005 Organisers
Kate Burridge reported that the organisation had gone well. A few abstracts were rejected. The great advantages of the city location had to be balanced against the substantial venue costs. Reminder for the next conference that membership details should be included on the registration form.
Michael Walsh expressed the Society's gratitude to Kate and the other organisers for an excellent conference.
4.7 ALI & ALS2006 Organisers
Nick Reid reported on LinQ2006 'Linguistics in Queensland' on behalf of the organising group: ALI, ALS2006, ALAA2006, PacSLRF2006 and Australex. A LinQ2006 website has been established. ALI is being organised by Language and Cognition research Centre at UNE and has a cognitive focus.
Michael Clyne expressed disappointment that there were no socio-linguistics courses on the ALI program. Nick explained that this shorter version of ALI was more limited in the range of courses that can be offered and that organisers had only been able to take on ALI by giving it a major thematic focus that co-incides with research interests at UNE. He undertook to take comments back to the organising group.
Workshops at ALS2006 were mentioned as another opportunity for different research interests. Mary Laughren raised the possibility of workshops on language change, complex predicates and languages of northern Queensland, which have already been proposed, and invited members to contact her with any further proposals for workshops. She would need to hear from workshop organisers soon. David Nash suggested that workshops could be held after ALI. Australex was also to be added to LinQ2006, which would make a full two-week program.
David Bradley reported that CIPL would welcome a bid from Australia for the 2014 International Congress of Linguists, possibly in Melbourne or Sydney. The application would be a major undertaking and would need to be finalised by 2008. (ICL is held every six years.) Michael Clyne noted that the ALAA would be bidding for AILA, which could be held end-on with ICL. It was noted that organising ICL is one of the objectives of the Society listed in the constitution. It was agreed to continue discussion.
4.9 Pacific Linguistics
David Nash invited members to direct any questions about PacLing to him or Jane Simpson. Jane reported that the grammar series will now indicate data source with published example sentences. Harold Koch mentioned the PL Studies in Language Change series.
5. Guidelines for the Use of Language Analysis
Diane Eades put forward the motion:
That the ALS endorse the 'Guidelines for the Use of Language Analysis in Relations to Questions of National Origin in Refugee Cases' released by the Language and National Origin group in 2004.Passed without objection.
6. Network of Linguists and Educators Involved in Remote Communities
Robert Hoogenraad put forward a proposal to establish a formal network, between linguists and educators — indigenous and non-indigenous —involved in education programs in remote NT communities on the one hand and relevant professional associations on the other. More detailed information will be published in the newsletter.
7. ABS/DEST Classification of Linguistics
Nick Reid brought members' attention to a significant inconsistency in the DEST classification of Linguistics, and distributed detailed information. In summary, for the funding of teaching, Linguistics is now classified in Funding Cluster 3 'Humanities' rather than with behavioural sciences in cluster 5. This means that Linguistics teaching receives significantly less DEST funding than, for example, Psychology or Anthropology. DEST claims that the clusters are defined by the ABS Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED) but the clusters do not actually appear to be consistent with ASCED, and they are also inconsistent with the ARC RFCD classification in which Psychology and Linguistics are in the same division. Nick asked the Society and the Linguistics professoriate to make a case to DEST for re-classification.
Michael Clyne reminded the meeting that until about ten years ago, Linguistics was usually classified with humanities for research purposes and that it took some years of lobbying to have that changed in the RFCD. Re-classification for research purposes was clearly going only half-way. Michael Walsh suggested a letter from the professoriate on behalf of the Society. Randy LaPolla noted that Linguistics is classified with behavioural sciences in the RQF scheme. Ian Green suggested that any approach to DEST would need to demonstrate that the additional costs to DEST would not be overwhelming since Linguistics is a relatively small discipline in Australia.
Randy LaPolla agreed to work with the professoriate and the Executive to produce a letter.
8. Election of Office-bearers
The following were elected by acclamation:
- President: Rachel Nordlinger
- Vice-President: Randy LaPolla
- Vice-President: Nick Reid
- Post-graduate Representative: Alice Gaby
9. Other Business
Moved: Nick Thieberger; Seconded: Simon Musgrave. Passed unanimously.
The ALS statement of ethics has not been changed in fifteen years, but there have been significant changes in the practice of linguistics in Australia in that time. These changes include: the development of new technological tools for linguists. which allow more detailed recording and dissemination of recorded material; new approaches to our work, broadly known as language documentation, which widens the scope of material recorded and emphasises the importance of long-term storage of the data; and an increase in employment possibilities in contract work and in regional language centres. Contracts can include reference to the ALS statement of ethics as an overarching set of guidelines and the code of ethics of a professional association can provide members with a useful set of principles when entering into contractual arrangements.
All of these changes suggest that it is important for a statement of ethics to be assessed regularly to ensure that it remains relevant and appropriate, and that it is now time for the ALS to reconsider its statement of ethics. Therefore, we propose that an ALS working group be established to reconsider the ethics statement. The mover and seconder are willing to organise this working group.
9.2 Meeting of Heads of University Departments
At Pam Peters' suggestion, a meeting was set for Thursday 29th September. It would discuss the new Research Quality Framework.
The meeting closed at 7:07pm.
Jae Jung Song. September 2005. The Korean language: Structure, use and context. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN: 0-415-32802-0.
Suitable for students of all levels, this book provides a general description of the Korean language by highlighting important structural aspects whilst keeping technical details to a minimum. By examining the Korean language in its geographical, historical, social and cultural context the reader is able to gain a good understanding of its speakers and the environment in which it is used. The book covers a range of topics on Korean including its genetic affiliation, historical development, sound patterns, writing systems, vocabulary, grammar and discourse. The text is designed to be accessible primarily to English-speaking learners of Korean and scholars working in disciplines other than linguistics, as well as serving as a useful introduction for general linguists. The book complements Korean language textbooks used in the classroom and will be welcomed not only by readers with a wider interest in Korean studies, but also by Asian specialists in general.
Brisbane, July 2006
Don't forget the various components of next year's massive linguistic event, LinQ2006: Linguistics in Queensland 2006. There's
- ALS 2006: The 2006 Annual Conference of the Australian Linguistic Society
- ALI 2006: The Australian Linguistics Institute
- ALAA 2006: The 2006 Annual Conference of the Applied Linguistics Association of Australia
- PacSLRF 2006: The 5th Pacific Second Language Research Forum
- AustraLex 2006
Those who are planning to come, you will need to organize your own accomodation for the events you'll be attending. For information on accomodation, and everything else to do with the conferences and institutes, visit the combined LinQ2006 website at http://www.linq2006.une.edu.au.
The Australian Linguistic Society is the national organization for linguists and linguistics in Australia. Its primary goal is to further interest in and support for linguistics research and teaching in Australia. Further information about the Society is available by clicking here.
The ALS Newsletter is issued four times per year, in the middle of February, May, August and November. Copy for the Newsletter should be sent to the Editor, Tim Curnow (tjcurnow-at-ozemail.com.au) by the end of the first week of February, May, August and November. There is a list of people who are automatically advised that it's time to contribute material; if you wish to be added to that list, send Tim an email.
Unless you paid for several years at a time, or have given the Treasurer your credit card details and permission to use it, subscriptions for ALS are due at the beginning of each calendar year; the year you are paid up to is shown on the address label on the envelope your copy of the Australian Journal of Linguistics comes in. A subscription form is available by clicking here.
The only membership list is maintained by the Treasurer, Doug Absalom (doug.absalom-at-newcastle.edu.au). If you wish to check your membership status, change your address or make some other enquiry, please contact Doug.