Newsletter November 2007

Welcome to the latest Newsletter of the Australian Linguistic Society. As usual, the @ symbol in people's email addresses has been replaced with -at-, and clicking on any link will open that site in a new window.

Thanks to all those who contributed to this issue. Enjoy the Newsletter!

Tim Curnow

Minutes of the 2007 AGM of the Australian Linguistic Society

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.

1. Apologies

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 accepted.
Moved: John Henderson. Seconded: Doug Absalom. Passed.

3. Matters Arising

Demographic Issues. No report was received.

4. Reports

4.1 President

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.

4.2 Secretary

On behalf of the membership, John Henderson thanked Rachel for her service as President in what was a busy term of office.

4.3 Treasurer

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 Australia.
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

5.1 2008

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.
Passed unanimously.

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.

Doug Absalom

Appendix: Australian Linguistic Institute – Future Directions

Prepared by Mark Harvey.

There are three major base-line factors which determine the long term status of the Institute.

A. The scope of the Institute
B. The supply of academic labour
C. The financial structure of each individual Institute

The first factor is the most important as it determines the status of the other two. There is a choice.

1. The Institute covers only theoretical linguistics
2. The Institute covers both theoretical and applied linguistics

Option 1

Option 1 is untenable as a long term choice because it produces unviable B and C baselines. The essential labour force for any Institute is tenured academic staff, and preferably senior staff. There are approximately 60 tenured academic staff in theoretical linguistics in Australia. A team of 4 – 5 people is required to run an Institute, without putting undue burden on any individual.

If we take these raw figures, and posit a biennial Institute, this means that every tenured linguistics academic could expect to be involved in an Institute once every 12 years. In fact, there are practical limitations on the range of places where Institutes can be held. As a long term proposition, they are going to be recurrently held in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, with occasional locations elsewhere. This means that staff in the major capital cities would need to be involved in Institutes more frequently than every 12 years.

Involvement in an Institute takes a considerable proportion of an academic’s time for at least 2 years. This means that an academic, especially in the major cities, would need to set aside a considerable amount of time every decade for the Institute.This would be quite separate from involvement in any other kind of service to the discipline – organising national and international conferences, refereeing, thesis examination, serving on journal boards and editing. It would also be quite separate from the central academic activities of publication, research, supervision and teaching. There is not therefore a sufficient supply of academic labour to support Option 1.

Option 1 is also unviable financially. At the 2006 Institute in Brisbane, the great majority of paying participants were students who paid early bird fees. There were a minimal number of paying staff participants. There is every reason to posit that this pattern will continue in the future, given the range of time demands on staff. The level of payments that students could viably make in 2006 was not sufficient to recoup the costs of the Institute. Again, there is every reason to posit that this pattern will continue, if the student range is restricted to those interested in theoretical linguistics.

Option 2

Option 2 is a tenable option as it provides viable B and C baselines. It provides a much larger supply of academic labour, and it provides a much larger pool of potential paying student participants. Option 2 raises a number of issues for consideration.

1. Option 2 is a co-operative option with ALAA. Should this co-operation be formalised? At present, arrangements are informal, and this could continue. Alternatively, there could be a formal structure. One possibility would be a permanent sub-committee of ALS, perhaps a joint sub-committee with ALAA.

2. Option 2 envisages the Institute as an on-going function of ALS. How is the transferral from one Institute to its successor to be best managed? To date, arrangements have been informal, and this could continue. Alternatively, if there were a sub-committee should it take on some on-going overview and archiving function? Archiving could become an important function, especially given the costs associated with software such as web site design etc.

3. How often is it practicable to hold the Institute, even given the greater resources of Option 2? The current target is that the Institute is held biennially. However, even with greater resources, triennially might be a more realistic target in the long term. There has been some concern about overlap with the LSA Institute. Given the costs for students of attending an LSA Institute, this does not seem a major concern.

4. Should ALS seek to involve linguists elsewhere in the region in some formal way? New Zealand is the most obvious candidate, but consideration could also be given more broadly – Indonesia, Singapore etc. To date, there has been very little interaction. Would this be improved by a more formal approach?

5. A number of Institutes have involved specialised components for people working on Aboriginal languages, who are not primarily linguists. Should this be a standard part of the Institute? If so, what kind of organisational structure would be required? To date, there has generally been a distinct organising subcommittee for this part of the Institute.


Treasurer's Report

As can be seen from the balance sheet below, we still have a very healthy bottom line, due partially to some excellent performances by our ANZ investments and partly to a drive to have members who have fallen behind catch up. However, there are a number of commitments that need to be taken into consideration when viewing the surplus figure. The first is that we have not yet paid out our normal ALI float for next year, and this is likely to be about $25,000 for the Sydney Institute. Similarly, the 2008 Conference float of $3000 hasn't yet been paid, and there are a number of other smaller sums, such as Federation of Endangered Languages membership, that are still outstanding. However, we do remain in a comfortable position, having met our scholarship payments for the year and having caught up with our payments to AJL. The agreement with Taylor & Francis to continue supplying AJL has just been renewed for a further five years. We are fortunate to have such a quality product supplied for such a small expenditure on our part. Our income column includes returns from last year's ALI and ALS and both the University of New England and the University of Queensland organizers deserve our thanks and congratulations on jobs well done.

As this is the end of my 30th year as treasurer of the Society, I believe it is long past time for a change, so I will not be standing for re-election next year. When the late Dr Doug Huxley handed me the books in 1977, he told me that there was an outstanding bill for about $15 due to be paid, but I had to wait for three people to pay their membership before that debt could be met. Thankfully, our finances are now in considerably better shape than they were in the early years.

Finally, it is my pleasure to recommend that Professor Andy Pawley be offered Honorary membership of the Society for his long-standing contributions to our ongoing operations and to Linguistics in Australia. (Carried through applause.)

                                AUSTRALIAN LINGUISTIC SOCIETY Inc.

                                     ABN 55 533 808 998

                        Financial Statement 6/7/2006 to 20/9/2007.

  

Income.                                               Expenditure.

 

Membership   $ 12,805:-                    ALS 2007                               $  3,000:-
ALI 2006        $ 12,567:02                 Clyne Award (Hughson)      $  1,439:70
AJL                $   9,579:66                 Clyne Award (Lambert)       $  1,464:50
ALS 2006       $   3,269:80                 Laves Awards                        $  2,032:-
Interest           $ 19,279:65                 AJL Vol. 25                           $10,486:-
Ab. Meet.       $      199:10                 AJL Vol. 26                           $11,271:15
                                                            CIPL                                      $     260:-
                                                            ISBN Agency                         $     119:-
                                                            Bank Charges                        $     727:50

Total               $57,700:23                  Total                                       $30,799:85

                                    Surplus                                               $  26,901:38
                                    Accumulated funds 5/7/2006            $190,989:68

                                    Total Funds 20/9/2007                      $217,891:06

Represented by:

ANZ investment                                            $102,612:65

Scholarship fund                                           $  47,969:07

Money Managers                                          $  59,207:56

Cheque acct.                                                  $    8,101:78

 

Total                                                               $217,891:06

Flashback!

From the Newsletter of the Linguistic Society of Australia, No. 2,
August 1973:

"Linguistics at Newcastle
 
Linguistics at the University of Newcastle is at present taught in
the Sub-Department of Linguistics - which is an autonomous unit, and hence
"sub" only in the sense that it is smaller than a full department. The
full-time staff members are Associate Professor N.R. Cattell and Mrs. G.V.
MacNeill (Senior Lecturer), and there are also several part-time tutors.
 
In 1974, there will be a full range of undergraduate courses,
Linguistics I, II, III and IV (and, hopefully, some increase in staff).
Linguistics I deals in an introductory way with various approaches to
linguistic analysis, and tries to establish basic concepts. It also gives a
good deal of attention to the social aspects of linguistic communication and
to the acquisition and development of language in children. In Linguistics
II and III, an attempt is made to give students a detailed knowledge of
modern approaches to Syntax-Semantics and Phonology, and to establish
general literacy in the subject. In Linguistics IV (Honours), narrower
specialization is possible.
 
Post-graduate studies are also available, and there are two M.A. and
three Ph.D. candidates currently enrolled.
 
Linguistics at Macquarie
 
Macquarie has ten Schools, which are somewhere between Departments
and Faculties in size and scope. The School of English Studies offers
courses in English, Australian and American literature, Middle and Early
English language and literature, English language, general linguistics and
communications (including T.V. and film).
General Linguistics staff: Professor A. Delbridge, A/Prof. J.
Bernard, Dr. W. Clarke (Senior Lecturer), Dr. H. Collins (Senior Lecturer),
Miss C. Fernando (Lecturer), Mr. D. Trefry (Senior Lecturer), Dr. C. Yallop
(Lecturer), Mr. D. Blair (Senior Tutor), Mrs. Y. Maley (Tutor).
 
Courses: First year English includes phonetics and general
linguistics. Second year courses available to all students, including those
not taking English, include Phonetics (basic physiology of speech,
ear-training, acoustics and use of instrumental techniques), Language and
Communication, Analysis of Languages (introduction to field-work techniques)
and English language. Third year and honours courses allow for
specialisation in such areas as English syntax and syntactic theory, field
linguistics (one course includes informant sessions - languages studied have
included Fijian, Hindi and Finnish), and speech and language disorders."
Tim Curnow

Online survey of world English varieties

Dear linguists of Australia,

My new online survey of world English varieties is now available online at
http://www.ling.cam.ac.uk/survey/.

This survey differs from my previous Harvard and UWM surveys in a few
important ways:

  1. It maps the responses using the google maps engine, which allows for
    interactive manipulation of the maps: zooming in, moving across the globe,
    and so on.
  2. It has a more manageable number of questions (31).
  3. The questions are designed to be relevant to speakers of English
    worldwide, not just in the United States.

Currently the maps plot 50,000 responses from the United States, but once I
have sufficient responses from the rest of the world I will generate new maps.

I hope you will consider taking the survey and asking your students to as
well.

Bert Vaux

News from La Trobe Linguistics Program

Marija Tabain is organising a workshop on the Phonetics and Phonology of Australian Languages on the 3rd and 4th December 2007 at La Trobe University, Melbourne in Room 330, David Myers Building East. The program is available at: http://www.latrobe.edu.au/linguistics/whats_on/workshop_dec07.html. Please contact Marija on m.tabain-at-latrobe.edu.au for more information.

Barry Blake has just had a book published in London by Equinox entitled Playing with Words: Humour in the English Language. It is light reading and should be in book stores in time for Xmas.

Tonya Stebbins

News from the RCLT

Events

A local Workshop on Word-class-changing derivations in typological perspective continues meeting fortnightly, on Wednesday from 4.00 - 5.30 p.m. All linguists from the Melbourne area (or from elsewhere) are warmly invited to take part in this and in the following workshops. The contents page of the Position paper is available on the RCLT website. A hard copy of the paper can be obtained by writing to Sasha Aikhenvald, at a.aikhenvald-at-latrobe.edu.au.

A Workshop on Language Contact Along River Systems organised by Professor Anne Storch University of Cologne (financed by a DFG project) will be held at the RCLT Reading Room on 28-29 November.  Everyone is welcome to attend.  For details, see under Conferences below.

Significant honour for Professor Dixon

Dixon's 2002 monograph Australian languages: their nature and development has just been reissued in paperback and was chosen by Cambridge University Press as the 10,000th title in their digital paperback programme through the Lightning Source company. At the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Lightning Source CEO presented Dixon (in absentia) with an elegant glass plaque commemorating this. It will shortly go on display at RCLT.

Books published

Jendraschek, Gerd. 2007. La notion modale de possibilité en basque. Morphologie, syntaxe, sémantique, variations diachronique et sociolinguistique. Paris: L'Harmattan, 365 pp.

Books reissued in paperback

Dixon, R. M. W. and Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald. eds. 2007. Word: a cross-linguistic typology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

New research fellows appointed

Mark Post appointed to a three-year RCLT Post-doctoral Fellowship. He will be working on languages of the Tani subgroup of Tibeto-Burman in north-east India.

Dr Georgios Tserdanelis (State University of New York at Stonybrook) has been offered appointment to a three-year Post-doctoral Fellowship at RCLT within the framework of the ARC Linkage Project 'Speaking Greek in diaspora: language contact, survival, and maintenance' (Profs. Aikhenvald, Dixon, Tamis, Trudgill and Osborne), to work on Greek language as spoken in Australia.

Visitors

Professor Yaron Matras, of University of Manchester, an expert on language contact, on Romani linguistics and linguistic typology, is a Visiting Fellow at RCLT and a Special IAS Visiting Fellow, from 1 June until 15 January 2008. He is also the recipient of an ARC International Fellowship (with Prof. Aikhenvald and Prof. Dixon as Australia-based Chief Investigators). The title of the project is 'Development of mechanisms for understanding language contact and cross-cultural communication'. He will be working on a comprehensive grammar of Domari, a Romani language, and investigating language contact and convergence.

Professor Ho-Min Sohn, the Director of the Center for Koren Studies and Professor of Korean Linguistics at the University of Hawaii, a leading expert on Korean, Japanese and on Oceanic languages, is a Visiting Fellow at RCLT and a Special IAS Visiting Fellow, from July until end December 2007. He will be working towards completing a monograph with the provisional title Grammaticalization in Korean, and also completing a comprehensive monograph Politeness and Honorifics in Korean.

Dr Anna Bugaeva, of Chiba University (Japan) , an expert on Ainu, will be at RCLT between 15 December 2007 and 15 March 2008, working on valency changing categories in the Saru and Chitose dialects of Ainu.

Fieldwork

Dr. David Fleck, a Research Fellow, is undertaking fieldwork on Matses (Panoan), in Peru, May-December 2007.

Dr František Kratochvíl, a La Trobe University Postdoctoral Fellow, is undertaking fieldwork on Sawila and Abui on the island of Alor, Indonesia, August 2007-January 2008.

Dr Stephen Morey, a Research Fellow (DoBeS and RCLT), is undertaking fieldwork in Northeast India

Rik De Busser, a PhD student at RCLT, is undertaking fieldwork on Takivatan Bunun in Taiwan, August-December 2007

Roberto Zariquiey Biondi, a PhD student at RCLT, is undertaking fieldwork on Cashibo-Cacataibo (Panoan) in Peru, October 2007 - June 2008.

Grants

An ARC Discovery Grant has been awarded to Professor A Y Aikhenvald and Professor R M W Dixon to work on 'The world through the prism of language: a cross-linguistic view of genders, noun classes, and classifiers', 2008-2011, total of AU $505.000

For further information, visit our site http://www.latrobe.edu.au/rclt.

Siew-Peng Condon

ARC congratulations

Congratulations to the following for their success in gaining funding from
the ARC for a Discovery Project commencing in 2008.  (Please forgive me if
I miss anyone; this is done by searching the summary on the ARC website for the
term 'linguist'.)

Prof S Crain; Dr RJ Thornton
The meaning of 'OR' in logic and in human languages
Macquarie University
This project investigates the role of logic in three typologically different
languages: English, Japanese and Chinese. One national benefit will be in
promoting intercultural awareness by establishing that human languages share
'core' logical properties. As Aboriginal poet Bill Neidjie (2005) put it:
'Language is different, like skin. Skin can be different, but blood same.'
Understanding how human languages are logical will add new dimensions to
research in Linguistics, Philosophy and Psychology. Another benefit is in the
assessment of patient populations with impaired pragmatic skills (e.g.,
schizophrenia). Finally, collaborative links will be strengthened with our
overseas neighbours, Japan and China.

Prof JR Martin; Dr PG Dwyer; Ms MS Zappavigna
Enacting Reconciliation: Negotiating Meaning in Youth Justice Conferencing
APD Ms MS Zappavigna
The University of Sydney
'Restorative justice' initiatives like youth justice conferencing are aimed at
strengthening the social fabric by making sure the voices of victims are heard
while giving offenders a genuine opportunity to 'set things right' and get back
on track with their lives. More detailed research into the way participants use
language and other communicative modes will help the convenors of conferences,
and the trainers of convenors, to understand better the potential of this social
healing process. This project will also add to Australia's reputation as a
world-leader in the field of restorative justice.

Dr JH Simpson; Dr I Arka; Dr AD Andrews; Dr ME Dalrymple
Understanding Indonesian: developing a machine-usable grammar, dictionary and
corpus
The University of Sydney
Australia's relationship with Indonesia is of great significance. The need for
good relationships founded on appreciation of the range of societies and views
in modern Indonesia is widely acknowledged. A better knowledge of the languages
is essential for this, and so are fast, efficient information gathering systems
for processing multilingual sources (including Indonesian text), that can
analyse large volumes of text. The skills to build such systems exist
internationally. Through collaboration with established international teams, we
plan to transfer cutting-edge skills in the development of machine-useable
grammars to Australian researchers, and to create the language resources
essential for understanding Indonesian.

Dr CK So
Unveiling the mystery of tone perception: How does native language prosody
affect adults' perception of foreign tones?
APD Dr CK So
University of Western Sydney
This project provides new knowledge about how humans perceive non-native lexical
tone categories. The results of this large-scale cross-language study will
indicate how native languages constrain human perception of non-native speech
(consonants, vowels, intonation). These data will greatly facilitate the
research in second language acquisition and teaching, speech perception modeling
including automatic speech recognition with tone languages, human speech
processing. The findings will also be useful to clinical speech and hearing
research for speech and hearing impaired persons, and commercial applications in
foreign language teaching, and computer assisted language learning for language
learners.

Dr MD Tyler
Development of second language phonetic and phonological categories
University of Western Sydney
The majority of the world's population speaks two or more languages, yet we know
little about how multiple languages are accommodated within a single speaker.
Why do children appear to learn a second language 'like a native' but adults
invariably develop a clearly perceptible foreign accent? This project
investigates a little-known fact - adult second language speakers also 'hear'
with a foreign accent. As Australia becomes increasingly multilingual increasing
our understanding of the human capacity for language learning would strengthen
Australia's social and economic fabric by leading to improved educational
practices, work prospects for migrants and, most importantly, understanding
between cultures.

Prof AY Aikhenvald; Prof RM Dixon
The world through the prism of language: a cross-linguistic view of genders,
noun classes, and classifiers
La Trobe University
Australia is
one of the most multilingual and multicultural countries in the world, with
several hundred indigenous and immigrant languages. Noun classification devices
- ranging from gender systems in familiar Indo-European languages to numeral
classifiers in Southeast Asian languages - offer a unique insight into people's
categorisation of the world around them. In-depth knowledge of how speakers of
different languages classify objects around them will promote intercultural
understanding within Australia and world-wide, allowing us to overcome potential
miscommunications due to different language backgrounds, and advancing our
understanding of the region and the world (within the National Priority
'Safeguarding Australia').

Dr F Sharifian
Aboriginal-English speaking students' (mis)understanding of school literacy
materials in Australian English
Monash University
Aboriginal students have a right to quality education that gives them skills for
full participation in Australian society. However, in the past the education
system in Australia has largely failed to improve educational outcomes for
Aboriginal students and has to a large extent failed to equip teachers of
Aboriginal children with the relevant professional development that they need.
This project will directly focus on this issue of highest national priority and
will make an attempt to explore Aboriginal-English speaking students'
understanding of school materials. The results will be used in Aboriginal
teacher education.

Prof ND Evans; Dr BF Kelly; Dr A Rumsey; Dr AC Schalley; Prof Dr SC Levinson;
Dr NJ Enfield
Social cognition and language - the design resources of grammatical diversity
The University of Melbourne
This project will (a) improve Australia's capacity to interact and communicate
with other cultures (b) promote advanced training and research (including 9
doctoral students) on the languages of our region (c) carry out extensive new
research on 20 languages of the Pacific region, most of which represent gravely
endangered cultural traditions (d) draw on the design solutions identified in
these languages to develop models appropriate to the social cognition element of
human-computer and computer-computer interfaces.

A/Prof G Wigglesworth; Dr JH Simpson
A longitudinal study of the interaction of home and school language in three
Aboriginal communities
The University of Melbourne
The importance of language skills cannot be underestimated, and contribute to 'a
healthy start to life'. In multilingual Indigenous communities, children must
negotiate the complexities of different languages used for different purposes.
This project will provide detailed insights into how children manage differences
between home and school language, the kinds of problems they encounter when they
enter the school system, and how their languages develop over the first four
crucial years of school which provide the foundation for the children's future
education. Their ability to manage the language of school underpins their
ability to lead successful and engaged lives as adults.

Dr A Hatoss
Modelling micro-level language planning and intervention in regional Australian
refugee communities
University of Southern Queensland
This project is the first empirically-based Australian study of motivation in
immigrant communities' language maintenance and micro-level language planning.
It addresses the linguistic, social and cultural issues of refugee settlement in
Australia. It is in line with the Australian National Research Priority of
'Strengthening Australia's social and economic fabric' and 'help families and
individuals live healthy, productive lives'. The outcomes offer major practical
benefits to improve resettlement services, develop informed language policies
and indirectly better the social and mental well-being of refugees.

Tim Curnow

Books/Theses

Publications received, November 2007

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.
Alan Libert

The grammar of Yalarnnga (Breen & Blake)

Breen, Gavan & Barry J. Blake. 2007. The grammar of Yalarnnga: A language of western Queensland Breen. PL 584. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. ISBN 9780858835672 Prices: Australia AUD $34.65 (incl. GST); Overseas AUD $31.50.

Yalarnnga is a language from Dajarra and country to its east, in far western Queensland. This grammar presents all that could be learnt by the authors from their work with the last three aged speakers, two of whom spoke it only as a second language. Typologically Yalarnnga is a fairly typical Pama-Nyungan language. It makes an interesting comparison with its northern neighbour, Kalkutungu, with which it shares some lexical and grammatical features, but not some distinctive sound changes that are reflected in that language.

Randy LaPolla

Upcoming Conferences

Workshop on Language Contact Along River Systems

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
3.45 Coffee
4.15 R. M. W. Dixon: Language contact between rivers in North Queensland, Australia
5.30 Finish

6.00 RCLT's end-of-year Barbecue - All workshop participants and auditors are cordially invited

Thursday 29 November

Morning session
Chair: R. M. W. Dixon
9.30 Anne Storch: Cultured Contact: Semantics, Pragmatics and Ritualisation in Jukun
10.45 Coffee
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

Afternoon session
Chair: Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald
2.00 Angelika Mietzner: Intra- and inter-genetic contact in Nilotic
3.15 Coffee
3.45 Helma Pasch Language contact in the Zande area

Chair: Anne Storch
5.00 Summary and publication plans

Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

Jobs, grants, and scholarships

Graduate Student Position, Rice University Department of Linguistics

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.

Requirements

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
Rice University
6100 Main St
Houston, TX, 77005
USA
Fax: (713) 348-4718

Deadline for applications: February 1st, 2008.

For more information, please contact Dr Claire Bowern (bowern-at-rice.edu).

Claire Bowern

RCLT Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Full-time, fixed-term (Academic Level A) position in the Research Centre for Linguistic Typology

Remuneration package of $65,610 to $70,427 per annum, which includes 17% employer superannuation.

Campus: Institute for Advanced Study, Bundoora

Closing date: Close of Business, Friday, 7th December 2007

Applications are invited for two three year Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in the Research Centre for Linguistic Typology. They are to commence on 1st March 2008, or soon thereafter.

Applicants should have been awarded their doctorate within the last five years. They should have experience of linguistic fieldwork and will, ideally, have already completed a grammatical description of some previously undescribed language (not their native language) in terms of basic linguistic theory. The University may consider cases in which the period is in excess of five years due to special circumstances. Applications will be considered from candidates whose thesis is currently under examination. Applicants must hold a doctoral degree or have equivalent qualifications at the date of appointment. A Fellowship will not normally be awarded to an applicant who already holds an appointment within the University.

The successful applicant will work as part of a team with Professor Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, Professor R.M.W. Dixon, and other members of the Research Centre. Ideally, we are looking for one Postdoctoral Research Fellow who will work on a language from South America and one who will work on a language from New Guinea. However, in exceptional circumstances, applicants with primary interest in another area will be considered. Each appointee will undertake extensive fieldwork and will produce a comprehensive description of some previously undescribed language. The choice of language will be made after discussion between the successful applicant and Professors Aikhenvald and Dixon.

Each Fellowship will be a three-year appointment and is intended to advance the research activities of the University by bringing to or retaining in Australia a promising scholar.

Before making a formal application, potential applicants are invited to communicate with Professor Alexandra Aikhenvald at a.aikhenvald-at-latrobe.edu.au.

Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

Coordinator, Katherine Regional Aboriginal Language Centre

Diwurruwurru-jaru Aboriginal Corporation supports Indigenous communities throughout the Katherine region to maintain and revitalise their languages. DAC currently has five full-time linguists and two full-time clerical staff and works casually with a number of remote community members who are involved in various language projects.

Diwurruwurru-jaru Aboriginal Corporation (DAC) seeks applications from suitably qualified persons for the position of Coordinator. The position will be based in Katherine, NT. The Coordinator will be responsible to an Indigenous Committee representing language groups throughout the Katherine Region.

Role

  • Coordinate the activities of an Indigenous language centre, including financial management and staff management
  • Coordinate language projects and associated resources
  • Promote the activities of DAC and liaise with other agencies in relation to language activities
  • Implement policy and direction established by the Committee

Qualifications

Essential:

  • Ability to maintain Aboriginal input and control of an organisation while at the same time ensuring regulations are met
  • Effective communication with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people
  • Experience with resourcing an organisation
  • Strong administration and organisational skills
  • Demonstrated ability to select and supervise staff and contractors
  • Experience with preparation and monitoring of budgets
  • A C class driver's licence

Desirable:

  • Some knowledge of Australian Languages and associated issues
  • Understanding of accounting systems
  • Experience working with a community-based organisation
  • A background in education

Conditions of employment

Full-time (36hrs/wk) at $50,800p.a. Five weeks annual leave.

To obtain the Selection Criteria and Duty Statement, contact Greg Dickson or Michelle Dawson on (08) 89711233, Fax (08) 89710561 or e-mail dacadmin-at-kathlangcentre.org.au

Written applications addressing the Selection Criteria, with names and contact numbers of two referees should be forwarded to:

The Chairperson, Diwurruwurru-jaru Aboriginal Corporation, PO Box 871, Katherine NT 0851

Applications close c.o.b. November 23, 2007

Kate Burridge

Research Fellowship On Greek Grammar In Diaspora

A three-year Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship is available, for studying how
the grammar of Modern Greek has changed within an immigrant community in a South
American country, or in South Africa. The Fellowship is to be held at the
Research Centre for Linguistic Typology, in association with the National Centre
for Hellenic Studies and Research, both located at La Trobe University in
Melbourne, Australia.

The position is available from 1 April 2008.

The Research Centre for Linguistic Typology is concerned with language
description and with language contact situations. It has about 20 members (PhD
students, Post-Doctoral Research Fellows and Visiting Fellows), working on a
range of languages and language contact situations from across the world. The
successful applicant will work closely with Professor Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald
(Associate Director), Professor R. M. W. Dixon (Director) and Professor Peter
Trudgill (Adjunct Professor).

The National Centre for Hellenic Studies and Research, whose Director is
Professor Anastasios M. Tamis, is concerned with research on Greek language and
culture in Australia, and their maintenance. The Research Fellow will also
interact with the members of the The National Centre for Hellenic Studies and
Research and with Professor Michael J. Osborne, Distinguished Professor at La
Trobe University and former Vice-Chancellor of this University.

Further information about RCLT and about NCHSR is available from the
respective websites:
http://www.latrobe.edu.au/rclt
and
http://www.latrobe.edu.au/nhc
.

Applicants should have a thorough training in modern linguistics (including
linguistic typology, and grammatical description and analysis). They are
expected to have native or near-native competence in Modern Greek. An applicant
interested in working on the Greek language in South America should have a
working knowledge of Spanish or Portuguese.

Applicants should normally have been awarded their doctorate within the last
five years. The University may consider cases in which the period is in excess
of five years due to special circumstances. Applications will be considered from
candidates whose thesis is currently under examination. Applicants must hold a
doctoral degree or have equivalent qualifications at the date of appointment. A
Fellowship will not normally be awarded to an applicant who already holds an
appointment within the University.

The Position will be full-time, fixed-term (three years) at Academic Level
A6, with the commencing remuneration package $67,578 to $72,540 per annum, which
includes 17% employer superannuation.

Applications close on Friday 1st February 2008.

Applicants should supply an up-to-date CV together with the names and contact
details of three academic referees. The Selection Committee will contact the
referees as appropriate.

Before making a formal application, potential applicants are invited to
communicate with Professor Alexandra Aikhenvald at
a.aikhenvald-at-latrobe.edu.au.

Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

Coordinator, Katherine Regional Aboriginal Language Centre

Diwurruwurru-jaru Aboriginal Corporation supports Indigenous communities throughout the Katherine region to maintain and revitalise their languages. DAC currently has five full-time linguists and two full-time clerical staff and works casually with a number of remote community members who are involved in various language projects.

Diwurruwurru-jaru Aboriginal Corporation (DAC) seeks applications from suitably qualified persons for the position of Coordinator. The position will be based in Katherine, NT. The Coordinator will be responsible to an Indigenous Committee representing language groups throughout the Katherine Region.

Role

  • Coordinate the activities of an Indigenous language centre, including financial management and staff management
  • Coordinate language projects and associated resources
  • Promote the activities of DAC and liaise with other agencies in relation to language activities
  • Implement policy and direction established by the Committee

Qualifications

Essential:

  • Ability to maintain Aboriginal input and control of an organisation while at the same time ensuring regulations are met
  • Effective communication with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people
  • Experience with resourcing an organisation
  • Strong administration and organisational skills
  • Demonstrated ability to select and supervise staff and contractors
  • Experience with preparation and monitoring of budgets
  • A C class driver's licence

Desirable:

  • Some knowledge of Australian Languages and associated issues
  • Understanding of accounting systems
  • Experience working with a community-based organisation
  • A background in education

Conditions of employment

Full-time (36hrs/wk) at $50,800p.a. Five weeks annual leave.

To obtain the Selection Criteria and Duty Statement, contact Greg Dickson or Michelle Dawson on (08) 89711233, Fax (08) 89710561 or e-mail dacadmin-at-kathlangcentre.org.au

Written applications addressing the Selection Criteria, with names and contact numbers of two referees should be forwarded to:

The Chairperson, Diwurruwurru-jaru Aboriginal Corporation, PO Box 871, Katherine NT 0851

Applications close c.o.b. November 23, 2007

Kate Burridge

About ALS

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.