The President opened the meeting at 4:15pm on Thursday 27th of September at the University of Adelaide with the following members present:
Keith Allan, Kate Burridge, Bruce Rigsby, Doug Absalom, Tim Curnow, Rob Amery, Tony Liddicoat, M. Fellbaum Korpi, Alan Libert, Graham McKay, Claire Bowern, Brett Baker, David Nash, Ian Green, Nick Reid, Sophie Nicholls, Tania Strahan, Lesley Stirling, Tonya Stebbins, David Moore, Jane Simpson, Ilana Mushin, Nick Thieberger, Jeff Siegel, Diana Guillemin, Aidan Wilson, Robert Mailhammer, Michael Walsh, Andy Butcher, Mary Laughren, Janet Fletcher, Chantal Crozet, Johanna Rendle-Short, Myf Turpin.
Nick Evans, Randy LaPolla, Diana Eades, Michael Clyne, Helen Tebble.
[The President brought forward item 4.8 so that Rob Amery could give a report before attending to other conference duties.]
4.8 ALS2007 Organisers' Report
Rob Amery reported that there had been 126 registrations, 52 of those joint with the Indigenous Language Conference. He thanked Adelaide and Flinders universities for each contributing $3000 towards invited speakers for the conferences. Rob also thanked Tim Curnow for managing the ALS conference website, Ian Green and Andy Butcher for advice, Mary Ann Gale and the student volunteers for their support. Rob especially thanked Margareta Rebelos who put a lot of hard work into organising the conference. The combination of ALS and the ILC had worked well with a lot of useful interaction.
The President thanked Rob and the other organisers for all their work.
2. Minutes of the 2006 AGM
Motion: That the minutes of the 2006 AGM as published in the Newsletter be
Moved: John Henderson. Seconded: Doug Absalom. Passed.
3. Matters Arising
Demographic Issues. No report was received.
The Michael Clyne Prize for 2007 has been awarded to Brigitte Lambert (Monash) for her PhD thesis 'Bilingualism, Identity and Cultural Continuity'.
Two Laves Scholarships were awarded, to Jeremy Hammond (USyd) for field research on the White Sands language and to Laura Dimock (Victoria Uni, Wellington) for Nahavaq. Both languages are spoken in Vanuatu.
There have been continuing discussions on RQF issues. Nick Evans has successfully argued that Linguistics should not be assessed on citation indices.
We are currently completing the Society’s donation of $5000 to support Pacific Linguistics, as decided at the last AGM.
ALS has purchased a tranche of ISBN numbers for conference proceedings. Publication with an ISBN number is apparently more highly-valued in internal assessment of publications in some universities.
Members are reminded that Doug Absalom's long service as Treasurer will end at the next AGM, and that it is imperative that we find a replacement before then.
The executive had noted that some participants in workshops held at ALS conferences were not actually members of the Society. Since presenting at an ALS conference is a privilege of membership, we ask people planning workshops in the future to encourage participants to take up membership.
On behalf of the membership, Rachel thanked the retiring members of the executive for their service: Randy LaPolla, Vice-president; Nick Reid, Vice-president; Jessica Deniss, Postgraduate Representative.
On behalf of the membership, John Henderson thanked Rachel for her service as President in what was a busy term of office.
See separate report.
Motion: That honorary membership be granted to Andy Pawley, on his retirement
from ANU, in recognition of his service to the Society and to Linguistics in
Passed by acclamation.
4.4 Journal Editors
Keith reported that issue 27/2 has just gone out. A number of papers had to be held back from that issue because of the current page limit under our arrangement with Taylor and Francis. T&F have suggested an increased page limit. Keith and Kate will discuss this with them, or possibly an increase in the number of issues per year. In any case, there will be no change before 2009. A couple of special issues will be coming soon. Members are encouraged to contribute papers.
Alan Libert encouraged members to review publications for AJL. Publications available for review are listed in the newsletter.
4.5 Newsletter Editor
Tim reported that the newsletter and website are going well. It may be necessary soon to physically re-locate the site but there will be no change to the URL or structure.
4.6 CIPL Representative
No report received.
4.1 President’s Report [resumed]
The Academy of Social Sciences has been asked by DEST to provide rankings of journals and were seeking, within the next couple of weeks, ALS input in relation to Linguistics journals. Rachel suggested that we could put forward the European Reference Index in the Humanities (ERIH) or decline to take part given the short time frame. [The 2007 ERIH list is available at http://www.esf.org/erih.] ERIH uses a 3-way classification in which category A are high-ranking international publications and make up 10%-25% of the entire ERIH list. Category B are standard international publications with a good reputation (including AJL). There was general discussion of the suitability of the ERIH classification. Tony Liddicoat noted that DEST will rely on a division into the top 20% of any journal list, top 50% and the remainder. He asked whether AJL would be in the top 50%. Rachel explained that the ERIH scheme is not ranked within categories. The A category would correspond reasonably well to the top 20%. Jane Simpson pointed out that Australian journals may be more important in the Australian context and should be ranked accordingly for RQF purposes. Claire Bowern queried how representative the ERIH list is across sub-disciplines. A number of members indicated that it appeared to be reasonably representative. After further discussion, it was concluded that the President would put forward the ERIH list to the Academy of Social Sciences with some comments on its limitations and with AJL and ARAL re-ranked in the A category, given their regional relevance.
4.7 Pacific Linguistics Representative
David Nash submitted a report from Wayan Arka:
- We thank the ALS for the subsidy that we already received since 2004. The subsidy has certainly helped Pacific Linguistics (PL) to cover some of its production costs.
- PL expenditures include production and marketing costs, printing and binding costs as well as salaries for PL staff. PL has been subsidized to the tune of about $50,000 per year by the Department of Linguistics, RSPAS, ANU. With the subsidy, we have managed to publish around 10-15 books a year, with print runs of around 200 copies for a book. We currently still publish books in hard copy, but have also started with electronic publications (i.e. e-books with POD) in collaboration with ANU E Press.
- Pacific Linguistics still needs a lot of subsidy to maintain its current publications output. We are therefore very grateful if the ALS could provide us with continuous financial support. Further subsidy from the ALS is certainly welcome.
Rachel Nordlinger noted that the donation authorised by last year’s AGM will be processed soon, now that PL have identified a specific cost. Nick Thieberger asked whether ALS might ask for a discount for members. David Nash suggested that PL might reply that this would have the same effect as reducing the subsidy. There was some general discussion about whether ALS could make regular subsidies.
Graham McKay moved that the executive be authorised to make a contribution of up to $5000 at their discretion should Pacific Linguistics make a request for funding in the event of a financial crisis. Passed.
5. Future ALS Conferences and ALI
An organising committee has been formed for LingFest 2008 for 30/6 – 11/7/2008 at Sydney University. It will include the ALS conference, ALAA Congress, the International LFG Conference, the meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association, and ALI. The University of Sydney has committed $6000 support, and the Koorie Centre at USyd has committed a further $6000 towards the Indigenous Program. So far there have been 22 offers for ALI courses in general and applied areas, and offers to run workshops. A central website for LingFest will be available. The ALS conference is being organised by Pam Peters and Louise de Beuzeville from Macquarie Uni.
5.2 ALS 2009
The President called for offers to organise the conference in 2009. Keith Allan suggested that it could be run in conjunction with the International Pragmatics Conference being held in Melbourne 12-17/7/2009. Rachel undertook to discuss this with colleagues in the Melbourne area.
5.3 Future Directions for ALI
A discussion paper prepared by Mark Harvey was published via ALSonline and circulated with the Agenda [and is appended below]. There was general discussion of the issues raised. David Nash said that future prospects were not as bleak as portrayed in the discussion paper. He also suggested that January/February might be an alternative timeslot. Nick Reid queried the calculations involving numbers of academic staff in Linguistics in Australia. Brett Baker noted that previous ALIs had not been purely theoretical but offered a mix of theoretical and applied courses. Rachel Nordlinger commented on the need to plan how to maintain a pool of knowledge for ALI organisers to draw upon. Tony Liddicoat said that maintaining a strong applied linguistics component will need greater involvement from ALAA. The ALS executive should approach the ALAA about this more formally. Jane Simpson suggested that the organisers of the ALAA 2008 Congress could work with the ALAA executive. It was suggested that the incoming ALS President would make contact with the ALAA executive. Graham McKay emphasised the importance of ALS supporting both theoretical and applied linguistics. Jeff Siegel asked whether ALI should look to involvement in/from New Zealand. John Henderson thanked Mark Harvey for his work in preparing the discussion paper. John noted that the failure to find a host in 2004 had given rise to a lot of discussion about the form of ALI and that this had the positive result of more flexible thinking about how our goals might be achieved within the obvious constraints. The 2006 ALI successfully demonstrated a shorter format. Since we rely on members volunteering to organise ALI, the form of ALI will always depend on what they are prepared to offer, and because of that the Society doesn’t need to adopt a specific model for the long term provided we are prepared to be flexible about the form ALI might take. The President thanked Mark for his contribution.
6. Australian English Corpus
The Secretary reported a request by Cliff Goddard for a discussion about the development of a more substantial and readily available corpus of Australian English that could be used for a variety of research purposes. This might initially involve establishment of a loose network for general discussion, and hopefully lead to agreement on protocols and/or documentation standards and perhaps a joint application for funding. Lesley Stirling reported that various colleagues in Melbourne had been thinking along similar lines. She suggested that it would require an ARC application because this type of work is expensive. Andy Butcher queried whether it would be likely to win funding. He reported that a recent cross-institutional bid for LIEF funding to develop an Australian speech corpus had failed. Jane Simpson recommended that Pam Peters would be a key person to be involved. Tania Strahan suggested that a centralised archive of existing materials would be useful. Consensus was that an invitation to take part should be distributed via ALSonline.
7. Amendment to Constitution
Doug Absalom reported that in order to seek external contributions to the Society’s scholarships fund, for example for the Laves Scholarship, it would be useful to obtain Deductible Gift Recipient status. Our advice is that the constitution would need to be amended to establish a separate scholarship fund which would meet the legal requirements. Doug proposed a new section VII in the constitution and consequent re-numbering of the existing sections VII and VIII:
- VII. Scholarship Fund
As a function of its object to further interest in and support for linguistic research and teaching in Australia, the Society will establish a separate scholarship fund. This fund will be established and maintained solely for the purpose of providing money for eligible scholarships, bursaries and prizes. The fund will be dedicated towards charitable purposes and public benefit in relation to research and teaching in linguistics within the Australian context. Members of the public and other organisations will be invited to contribute to the fund which will be managed and administered by designated officers of the Society, assisted from time to time by members or others at the discretion of the Executive of the Society. The fund will operate on a non-profit basis and gifts to the fund will be kept in a separate account from any other funds of the Society. In the event of the fund being wound up or dissolved, any surplus assets remaining after the payment of the fund's liabilities shall be transferred to another fund, authority or institution which has similar objects and to which income tax deductible gifts can be made.
Moved: Doug Absalom. Seconded: John Henderson.
8. Election of Officers
The following nominations were received for the positions due for election, and there being no other nominations, the candidates were elected unopposed.
- President: Randy LaPolla
- Vice-President: Nick Evans
- Vice-President: Rachel Nordlinger
- Post-graduate Representative: Sophie Nicholls
9. Other Business
Rachel Nordlinger reported that Nick Evans was interested in having the Association for Linguistic Typology conference in Australia in 2011.
David Moore informed members of the recent establishment of the Society for the History of Linguistics in the Pacific and invited members to join. They are planning to hold a conference in 2008.
Michael Walsh advertised the Free Linguistics Conference to be held in Sydney in November and a conference on trends in toponymy in December.
Claire Bowern advertised a PhD position available at Rice University.
The President closed the meeting at 5:40.
The following is a list of publications relating to the study of language, received by the Reviews Editor of the Australian Journal of Linguistics. 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 the Australian Journal of Linguistics. Reviews are printed as circumstances permit, and copies are sent to the publishers of the works reviewed. If you wish to review a book, please contact the Reviews Editor, Alan Libert (Alan.Libert-at-newcastle.edu.au). Note that many books from previous lists of publications received are still available, so you may want to look at them also. If there is a book you are interested in reviewing but it is not on the list, please contact Alan as it is possible that ALS could then obtain a review copy from the publisher.
- Bang, J. C. and J. Door (2007) Language, Ecology and Society. Continuum, London.
- Bickmore, F. (2007) Cilungu Phonology. CSLI Publications, Standford, CA.
- Faber, B. (2007) Discourse, Technology and Change. Continuum, London.
- Griffiths, P. (2006) An Introduction to English Semantics and Pragmatics. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.
- Hoey, M., M. Mahlberg, M. Stubbs, and W. Teubert (2007) Text, Discourse and Corpora. Continuum, London.
- Parodi, G., ed. (2007) Working with Spanish Corpora. Continuum, London.
- Riley, P. (2007) Language, Culture and Identity. Continuum, London.
- Winkler, E. G. (2007) Understanding Language. Continuum, London.
Research Centre for Linguistic Typology, 28-29 November 2007
Organised by Professor Anne Storch University of Cologne. To be held in the RCLT Reading Room. All welcome.
Wednesday 28 November
Chair: Anne Storch
2.30 Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald: Language contact along the Sepik River, Papua New Guinea
4.15 R. M. W. Dixon: Language contact between rivers in North Queensland, Australia
6.00 RCLT's end-of-year Barbecue - All workshop participants and auditors are cordially invited
Thursday 29 November
Chair: R. M. W. Dixon
9.30 Anne Storch: Cultured Contact: Semantics, Pragmatics and Ritualisation in Jukun
11.15 Birgit Hellwig: Language contact and the verbal lexicon of Goemai Chadic retentions and Benue-Congo innovations
12.30 Light lunch provided for all participants and auditors
Chair: Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald
2.00 Angelika Mietzner: Intra- and inter-genetic contact in Nilotic
3.45 Helma Pasch Language contact in the Zande area
Chair: Anne Storch
5.00 Summary and publication plans
Jobs, grants, and scholarships
Rice University's Department of Linguistics is seeking expressions of interest from students to write a dissertation on language contact, variation and/or change in Australian Indigenous languages. Funding is guaranteed for four years (including stipend, tuition remission, field equipment and basic field work expenses). The position is funded through NSF CAREER BCS-0643517 "Pama-Nyungan and the Prehistory of Australia", awarded to Dr Claire Bowern. The start date is August (Fall), 2008. The successful applicant would also complete the requirements for a Rice linguistics PhD (for requirements, see http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~ling/programs.html). General information about the department and graduate program can also be found at this address.
While a first degree in linguistics is not required for entry into Rice's program, applicants for this position should have a strong background in linguistics. An MA is preferred, but BA candidates with a strong background in the field will also be considered.
Procedure for Application
Applicants for the position need to apply to Rice's linguistics program and satisfy departmental admission requirements (application fee, GRE scores, TOEFL scores (if applicable), letters of recommendation, transcripts, application form, and other required application materials). Applicants should include in their statement of purpose that they are applying for this position. They should also state whether they would like to be considered in the general linguistics application pool should this position go to another applicant. We can only consider applications which have been submitted through official channels. In addition, applicants should send a letter to the PI which includes a summary of the student's background, interests, experience, and why they would like to work on this project.
Address for applications
The application to Rice should be submitted online; see http://rgs.rice.edu for more information. The letter of application should be addressed to
Dr Claire Bowern
Department of Linguistics, MS-23
6100 Main St
Houston, TX, 77005
Fax: (713) 348-4718
Deadline for applications: February 1st, 2008.
For more information, please contact Dr Claire Bowern (bowern-at-rice.edu).
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.