Newsletter November 2008

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.

UK Linguistic Ethnography Forum

The UK Linguistic Ethnography Forum (UKLEF) was set up in March 2001, and it aims to bring together researchers conducting linguistic ethnography in the UK and abroad, to explore a range of past and current work, to identify key issues, and to engage in methodologically and theoretically well-tuned debate. While based in the UK, it has many non-UK members.

"Linguistic ethnography generally holds that language and social life are mutually shaping, and that close analysis of situated language use can provide both fundamental and distinctive insights into the mechanisms and dynamics of social and cultural production in everyday activity." (UKLEF discussion paper, p.2).

Members of the Forum regularly organize seminars, colloquia, training, and other events open to anyone who is interested in Linguistic Ethnography. Some Australians might be particularly interested in going to one of the short courses, always run by leading scholars in areas relevant to linguistic ethnography.

The email list (ling-ethnog@jiscmail.ac.uk) is counted as the membership. Membership currently stands at 231 (July 2008), with members in 22 countries. The list is used to circulate information about the Forum's activities and relevant discussions.

The website http://www.ling-ethnog.org.uk serves both as a form of publicity and as an archive. All existing group documents, such as minutes of business meetings, officers' reports, and accounts are posted on the website, along with reports and papers presented at UKLEF meetings.

If you would like to become a member of the Linguistic Ethnography Forum (at no cost or obligation), please send an email to Jeff Bezemer, Communications Secretary, at j.bezemer-at-ioe.ac.uk, providing the following details: first name, surname, email address, institution, department, research interests, member of BAAL: yes/no, how you heard about the list. While this confers no obligations on you, your name and email address would be part of a membership list submitted to BAAL each November, which needs to distinguish between BAAL members and non-members.

For more details please visit the website, http://www.ling-ethnog.org.uk.

Diana Eades

Appen wins global export award

Appen, the world's leading provider of high-end text, speech and language technology resources, has been named as the overall NSW Premier's Exporter of the Year across all categories in recognition of its outstanding export achievements in the last year.

Appen won the overall Exporter of the Year award in addition to winning the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Category Award for a third time. The company has previously won the National Award, Australian ICT Exporter of the Year Award (2005) and the State Award, Premier's NSW ICT Exporter of the Year Award (2005, 2006).

Appen success reflects the strength of its many-faceted growth, including its 50% increase in export volume over the previous year, the strength of its client base and its technological innovations. Appen has multiplied the value of its exports nine times since 2001, while consistently exporting between 91% and 98% of its products and services. It provides services in more than 80 languages, has offices in seven countries and expanded its operations into 20 more countries, a total of 60. Employment, both in Australia and overseas, has grown at a comparable rate, while investment in R&D also grew by 50% during 2007/2008.

Appen technology is found worldwide in call centres, mobile phones, voice-activated automotive controls and in defence, intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Its products and services are used by the whole speech and language technology industry and are acknowledged as the world's gold standard for innovation, effectiveness, cost-competitiveness and speed of delivery. Blue-chip multinational organisations such as Alcatel, IBM, Microsoft, Nokia, Nuance, Siemens, Sony, Telstra and Toshiba constitute the bulk of its commercial client list while its non-commercial clients include the US, UK, and Australian governments. This year, Microsoft awarded Appen its prestigious Preferred Vendor Status.

Commenting on the Award, the Executive Director of the Australian Institute of Export, Ian Murray AM, said "There are a large number of awards programs across our state, but there is only one that recognises excellence on the international stage. Like many of our sporting heroes, exporters that receive the recognition of an export award take on the world and win. And its not just wheat wool and minerals that win. It's hi-tech, R&D driven companies like Resmed and Cochlear and this year's NSW Exporter of the Year, Appen who market world's best practice linguistics software. It's great to recognise excellence, but even greater to recognise those who compete against the best the world has to offer."

Julie Vonwiller

Non-Pama-Nyungan languages: Mapping database and maps

A topographical database providing information on the territorial affiliations of Non-Pama-Nyungan languages at colonization is available. This database may be used with any standard mapping software to produce topographically accurate maps. The database is held on ASEDA at AIATSIS.

To obtain a copy of the database, please fill in an access form, which is available from http://www1.aiatsis.gov.au/ASEDA/. The access form requires an item number. The item number is 802. Send the form together with a CD to:
Dr Kazuko Obata
Research Project Officer
AIATSIS
GPO Box 553
Canberra ACT 2601

There are a number of pre-prepared maps using materials from the database, which may be directly downloaded from http://www1.aiatsis.gov.au/ASEDA/802_Harvey/802_Harvey_NPN.html.

Requested form of acknowledgement for use of maps and/or materials from the database is the following: "This map is based on the contributions of many researchers, which were collated by Mark Harvey (University of Newcastle)."

Mark Harvey

Petition for Indigenous Languages

Over the last few years a number of language speakers, linguists and language workers have identified the urgency of the issue of supporting indigenous languages. In response a petitio to the Federal government has been put together

Please either print out a hard copy or sign this petition online in support of indigenous languages: http://www.fatsil.org.au/component/option,com_joomlapetition/Itemid,/catid,1/func,viewcategory/.

For more information regarding the status of indigenous languages please head to the Ngapartji Ngapartji website http://www.ngapartji.org/content/view/19/79/ or to the Transient Languages and Cultures blog http://blogs.usyd.edu.au/elac/. Here is a great essay that was on Radio National recently http://www.abc.net.au/rn/linguafranca/stories/2008/2410952.htm.

Alex Kelly

News from UQ

Recent publications by Ghil`ad Zuckermann:

  • 2008. Israelít safá yafá (Israeli, a Beautiful Language). Tel Aviv: Am Oved.
  • 2008. 'Icelandic: Phonosemantic Matching', pp. 19-43 (Chapter 2) of Judith Rosenhouse and Rotem Kowner (eds), Globally Speaking: Motives for Adopting English Vocabulary in Other Languages. Clevedon - Buffalo - Toronto: Multilingual Matters. (with Yair Sapir)
  • 2008. 'Farmaskirte antlayung: yidishe leksishe hashpoe af ivrit (Camouflaged Borrowing: The Lexical Influence of Yiddish on Israeli)' , Yerusholaimer Almanakh, Vol. 28, pp. 418 - 428.
  • 2008. '"Realistic Prescriptivism": The Academy of the Hebrew Language, its Campaign of "Good Grammar" and Lexpionage, and the Native Israeli Speakers'. Israel Studies in Language and Society 1.1: 135-154.
  • 2008. 'Diaspora Influences on Israeli (a.k.a. Modern Hebrew)' in M. Avrum Ehrlich (ed.), Encyclopedia of the Jewish Diaspora, Santa Barbara (California): ABC-CLIO.
  • 2007. 'Comparative Constructions in "Israeli Hebrew"'. Melilah 2006/2: 1-16.
  • 2007. 'di isróeldike shprakh: hebréish lebt víder, yídish lebt váyter' (The Israeli Language: Hebrew Revived, Yiddish Survived). Afn Shvel 337-338: 24-27.
  • 2007. 'hasafá haisraelít kemusá mekhkár atsmaí: khashivút gisható shel rozén ladèmistifikátsya shel "tkhiát haivrít"' (The Israeli Language as an Object of Independent Study: The Importance of Rosén's Approach to the Demystification of the 'Hebrew Revival'). Iton 77 Literary Journal 319: 20-28.
  • 2007. 'israelí, dabér israelít - muflaút hasafá haisraelít' (Israeli, Speak Israeli! - The Marvels of the Israeli Language). Iton 77 Literary Journal 318: 16-21.

Ghil'ad Zuckermann

News from Patrick McConvell

Pat McConvell is no longer at AIATSIS. Sarah Cutfield will be the Research Fellow in Languages at AIATSIS starting early next year.

Pat is now at ANU (Linguistics, Arts) working on two research projects: an ARC project 'Tracing Change in kinship and social organisation in Indigenous Australia, using linguistic evidence' (http://austkin.pacific-credo.fr); and a project comparing hunter-gatherer language spread and change in Australia and the Americas.

Pat's email address is now patrick.mcconvell-at-anu.edu.au.

Pat recently appeared on 'Lingua Franca' on ABC Radio talking about a National Indigenous Language Policy. This was broadcast on November 8th, and a transcript and podcast is available at http://www.abc.net.au/rn/linguafranca/stories/2008/2410952.htm.

Patrick McConvell

News from Linguistics, RSPAS, ANU

Anthony Woodbury Visit and Master Class, February 2009

Professor Tony Woodbury (U Texas, Austin) will be visiting the department next February, supported by ANU's Visiting International Academics scheme. Tony has carried out fieldwork on Yup'ik Eskimo and on Chatino (Mexico), writing some seminal papers on the documentation of verbal art in minority speech communities, as well as on other topics including evidentiality, tonal analysis and language documentation more generally. As part of his visit he will be teaching a master class on Language and Verbal Art, as an intensive during the week Feb 9-13th. This will be an open master class and anyone interested in this area is welcome to attend. (Unfortunately we cannot cover travel or accommodation costs, but registration is free and lunch, morning and afternoon tea will be provided). If you are interested in participating in this, please let Nick Evans know (nicholas.evans-at-anu.edu.au) so that we have an idea of the number of participants for room-booking purposes.

PhD theses submitted

Congratulations are extended to Lila San Roque. She submitted her PhD thesis on Friday afternoon, 26th of September. Her thesis title is 'An introduction to Duna grammar'. It describes simple sentence structures in Duna (Southern Highlands Province, PNG), with a particular focus on bound morphemes that encode the semantic domain of epistemic assessment. This happy occasion was celebrated with a small party, held in the courtyard of the Coombs building. The party was attended by students, staff members, and members of Lila's PhD supervisory committee.

Congratulations are also extended to Carol Priestley, who has submitted her PhD thesis. Carol's thesis is a grammar of Koromu, a Papuan language spoken in PNG. A small celebration party was organized for her on Wednesday afternoon, 23rd of October in Coombs Building.

The 2008 Stephen Wurm prize

Francisca Handoko has won the 2008 Stephen Wurm prize for the best PhD thesis submitted in 2007. Francisca worked on Language Choice among Totok Chinese speakers in Surabaya, investigating some spectacularly multilingual inter-generational code switching. A small party to celebrate this was organised on Friday 19th of September, before she gave a talk at the regular Friday seminar. The party was also to honour the late Stephen and Helen Wurm, the first HOD of the department of Linguistics, RSPAS. A generous bequest by Stephen Wurm has allowed the department to establish a scholarship scheme for PhD study in the department, and also a prize for the best PhD thesis submitted in the preceding year. Francisca is the first person who won the prize, and Stef Spronck is the first student who won the Wurm scholarship.

New student

Chikako Senge (from Japan) is starting her PhD at the department this semester. Before coming to the ANU, she worked on Oceanic languages (especially languages of Vanuatu) for her Master degree in Japan. She then did a Postgraduate Diploma in linguistics at the University of Melbourne, working on Wanyjirra (a language spoken in the east Kimberley area, Western Australia) using the language data collected and transcribed by Professor Tasaku Tsunoda from University of Tokyo. She submitted a thesis 'A Sketch Grammar of Wanyjirra' to the University of Melbourne in June, 2008. She will keep working on this language for her PhD project (supervised by Nick Evans). The aim is to have a more detailed description of this language, including the dialectal relationship between Wanyjirra and surrounding languages.

New seminar series

A new regular group has been started, for those involved in writing reference grammars of little known languages (see blog on http://blogs.usyd.edu.au/elac/. It is convened by Nick Evans, Wayan Arka and John Bowden, and meets on Mondays at 11.00. Anyone interested in attending will be welcome - just contact one of the convenors. Grammar-writing session is just one of the regular events run by the department. Other regular events are the Friday seminars, Informal Field Linguistics seminars, and Linguistics, Language and Cultures seminars jointly run linguists in CAP and CASS). A full program can be viewed at http://rspas.anu.edu.au/linguistics/seminars.php.

Visitors

Nick Enfield (from the MPI Nijmegen) visited the department (20-22 August) and gave three presentations (at the Social Cognition group meeting, Informal Field Linguistics seminar and the regular RSPAS Friday seminar). Nick Enfield's research is on the intersection of language, cognition, social interaction, and culture. His visit is part of an on-going collaborative (ARC-funded) research project with Nick Evans (Linguistics RSPAS) and Alan Rumsey (Anthropology, RSPAS) on Grammar and Social Cognition. The project examines the way diverse grammars crystallise human reasoning about social reality.

Parties

A retirement party was organised to thank Darrell Tyron and Malcolm Ross for their long services and significant contributions to the department on Friday 29th August, lunch time, in the tea room, Coombs. The party was attended by academic and administrative staff members of the department and the DSE students, and other invited guests. Featuring the party were the slide shows highlighting Darrell's and Malcolm's personal and academic milestones, and speeches by Andy Pawley and Nick Evans.

In addition to regular morning tea and afternoon tea at the tea room, a new tradition has been initiated by Nick Evans: a Departmental morning tea once a month. The first one was held on Monday 8th September, at the Anthropology corner in Coombs Building. It was attended by students, academic staff members, PL staff and emeritus professors. This is a good monthly social event for people to get together, and share news and other things currently going on at the department.

Fieldwork

Stef Spronck has made a short fieldtrip to Western Australia (6 August - 5 September). He travelled to Derby and did exploratory research in the Aboriginal community of Mowanjum. For his PhD project, he is working on reported speech and thought in Ngarinyin. His PhD project is part of the ARC-funded research project on social cognition and language, led by Nick Evans. Stef will attempt to give an account of constructions conveying knowledge from 'other minds', current speaker attitudes towards these messages and related grammatical categories. The main data will come from earlier recordings/transcripts of Ngarinyin texts made over the past decades and elicitation experiments particularly focussing on reported speech. During the month-long trip in August Stef worked with a number of Ngarinyin speakers and asked for their participation in more extensive fieldwork, which he will carry out during a 6-month stay in the Kimberley mid next year.

Nick Evans has just returned from a one-month scoping trip to the Trans-Fly area Southern New Guinea, in the Morehead region on the PNG side and the Merauke/Wasur region on the Indonesian/Papua province side. It took him for an initial 12 day fieldwork stint to the remote village of Bimadeben, whose 400 occupants speak the hitherto unstudied Nen language, the easternmost member of a family of around 20 languages (none yet described) that stretch across the very north-Australian feeling landscape of eucalyptus and melaleuca savannahs and monsoon vine forests for about 150 km reaching over into Indonesian Papua. The language turns out to be fascinating and the village a most welcoming and interesting place, confirming his plans to make this a major field commitment for a full study of the language over the years to come.

He was then met by old ethnoecologist friend Jeremy Russell-Smith, Port Moresby WWF rep Biatus Bito (a forester by training) and travelled out to Morehead Station, then down the Mae Kussa river and along the coast by small dinghy to Daru, thence back to Port Moresby, up to Vanimo, by PMV to the border at Wutung, walking across the only official land border crossing between the two countries and taking a taxi to Jayapura, then by plane to Merauke and vehicle - with the logistical assistance of WWF and Wasur National Park representatives - to some remote villages in the upper reaches of the Maro river where people speak Yey, this time the westernmost language of the same family Nen belongs to, recording some of that and discussing plans for future linguistic research there as well.

The purpose of our joint expedition with WWF (supported by Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service though its part of a Trinational Wetlands Agreement) is to plan out future research in the region that will look at traditional knowledge of the monsoon forest and its management (through swidden agriculture, sago palm use etc.) - research that will combine the perspectives of linguistics and western biology to fathom traditional ecological knowledge.

The whole 5-day odyssey described above is the only way of making what would have been, before the present political borders were enforced, a simple 50 km walk along forest tracks. The contrasts between life on the two sides of the border are perhaps the starkest Nick has ever seen between two geographical neighbours, and the lack of mutual engagement between the countries is equally striking (no airline flights, available currency exchanges in capitals, news, etc.), contrasting with the network of ties of marriage and ceremonial exchange that unite the Melanesian peoples on either side of the border. Against this backdrop Nick and Wayan Arka are planning a study of languages of the region (which we will submit as an ARC Discovery proposal). Somehow or other we hope to carry out in a way that will bring greater collaboration and exchange between the two sides - certainly the people on the ground during this scoping trip were extremely supportive of the idea.

Nick Evans, Wayan Arka

News from RCLT, La Trobe

Major publications

The volume Grammars in Contact, edited by Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald and R. M. W. Dixon (hardback edition 2006, Oxford University Press), is now available as paperback from OUP.

Local workshop

The Local Workshop series on 'Transitivity' continues. Workshops are held on Thursdays, 3.30pm - 5pm in the RCLT Reading Room unless otherwise specified. If anyone is interested in presenting a talk as part of this Workshop, please contact Professor LaPolla (r.lapolla-at-latrobe.edu.au). Handouts from these talks are available for download from http://www.latrobe.edu.au/rclt/localworkshop.htm.

Visiting Fellows

Professor Masayoshi Shibatani, Chair of Department of Linguistics at Rice University (USA), is visiting at RCLT, September 2008 - February 2009, as a Distinguished Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study. While at La Trobe, Prof Shibatani will be working on two intertwined projects. He will continue working on Austronesian voice systems which include passive and focus systems in the perspective of eastern Indonesian languages. He will also be working on the comparison of the patterns of attrition of the Austronesian focus system in three large language groups, all belonging to the Austronesian family, namely Indonesian languages, Philippine languages and Formosan languages.

Dr Yongxian Luo, from University of Melbourne, will be spending his sabbatical with us as an Honorary Visiting Fellow at RCLT from August 2008 - January 2009. He will be working on the final draft of a Buyang Dictionary (with grammatical notes) as well as his ARC project. He will also start work on his planned monograph, A Grammar of Zhuang, based on the Fengshan dialect.

Professor Willem J. de Reuse, from University of North Texas, Denton, will be a Visiting Fellow at RCLT from April 2009 - October 2009. He will be working on completing a scientific reference grammar of Western Apache. It is planned to be a manuscript in the 600-800 page range.

Research activities

A one-day workshop on Compound verb constructions in South Asian and East Asian languages will be held at RCLT on 19th December 2008. This workshop is organised by Prashant Pardeshi from Kobe University, Japan and Masayoshi Shibatani from Rice University, USA.

Prof Randy LaPolla, Director, attended the Symposium on Linguistic Substrata in the Tibeto-Burman Area at the National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, September 9-11 2008. Prof LaPolla will also be attending the Workshop on the Languages of Sichuan at the Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica, Taiwan and then visit for two weeks at the Institute as a Visiting Scholar, with support from the National Science Council of the Republic of China.

Dr Mark Post, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, is undertaking fieldwork on the Eastern Tani Languages of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, North East India, June 2008 - December 2008.

Dr Simon Overall, Postdoctoral Research Fellow on an ARC Discovery Project, is undertaking fieldwork on Aguaruna and Huambisa languages in Peru from August 2008 - November 2008.

Dr Yvonne Treis, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, is undertaking fieldwork on Basketto, a language spoken in the southern region of Ethiopia, July 2008 - May 2009.

Chia-jung Pan, a PhD student, is undertaking fieldwork on Lha'alua, an Austronesian language spoken in Kaohsiung County, Taiwan, August 2008 - May 2009.

Friedel Frowein, a PhD student, is undertaking fieldwork on Siar-Lak, an Austronesian language of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea, August 2008 - January 2009.

Dr Stephen Morey, Postdoctoral Research Fellow on a DoBeS grant, is undertaking fieldwork on the languages of the Tibeto-Burman and Tai families spoken in Upper Assam, from October 2008 - January 2009.

Dr Gerd Jendraschek, Charles La Trobe Fellow, is undertaking fieldwork on Iatmul, East Sepik Province from October - December 2008.

Dr Renee Lambert-Bretiere, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, is undertaking fieldwork in Tongwinjab, Papua New Guinea from September - December 2008.

David Sangdong, PhD student, is undertaking fieldwork the Kanan language of Western Burma from October 2008 - July 2009.

Siew-Peng Condon

Books/Theses

Publications received, October 2008

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.

  • Diller, A. N., J. A. Edmondson, Y. Luo, eds. (2008) The Tai-Kadai Languages. Routledge, London.
  • Hayes, B. (2009) Introductory Phonology. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester.
  • Müller, C. (2008) Metaphors Dead and Alive, Sleeping and Waking. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
  • O'Halloran, K. L. (2005) Mathematical Discourse. Continuum, London.
  • Reetz, H. and A. Jongman (2009) Phonetics. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester.
  • Simpson, J. and G. Wigglesworth (2008) Children's Language and Multilingualism. Continuum, London.
  • Tan, P. K. W. and R. Rubdy, eds. (2008) Language as Commodity. Continuum, London.
  • Wei, L. and M. G. Moyer, eds. (2008) The Blackwell Guide to Research Methods in Bilingualism and Multilingualism. Blackwell, Oxford.
Alan Libert

Upcoming Conferences

Call: Australian Languages Workshop 2009

Australian Languages Workshop, 20-22 March 2009, ANU Kioloa Coastal Campus

Call for papers and expressions of interest

The eighth annual Workshop on Australian languages will be held at ANU Kioloa Coastal Campus (http://kioloa.anu.edu.au/), about 200 km east of Canberra, from Friday March 20th to Sunday 22nd 2009. The Australian Languages Workshop will be hosted by the School of Languages, Australian National University and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. The workshop will start early afternoon on Friday and finish lunch time on Sunday. The workshop is a good opportunity to catch up with current research on Australian languages in a less formal environment. It is also a good opportunity to get to know each other in a relaxed environment at the field station.

Costs will be low, essentially limited to a food kitty (around $50), a petrol kitty (applicable to only those who require transport) and an accommodation fee of $28 for a bed in a twin room, excluding linen and towel (a set of linen, blanket and towel can be hired for $20). Alternatively, you may organise your own accommodation. We will arrange transport from Canberra to Kioloa for those who need transport. Information about access to Kioloa can be found at http://kioloa.anu.edu.au/directions/.

At this stage we are calling for expressions of interest for individual papers for general sessions on any topic in Australian languages. There will be a poster session (in an improved format) if there is any interest. We currently have no proposed thematic sessions but are open to proposals for these also. Titles for proposed papers, posters and/or thematic sessions should be emailed to Kazuko Obata (kazuko.obata-at-aiatsis.gov.au) as soon as possible, or by 16 January 2009 at the latest. Please note that we operate on a first in-first served basis and have only a limited number of spaces available. Further unlike at previous venues we are not able to offer flexible arrangement for accommodation and will be collecting the cost of accommodation and food beforehand. Non-presenters are also welcome to attend, if space permits, but it is important that you register your intention with Kazuko Obata by 16 January 2009.

The following is the URL of the workshop web site: http://www.aiatsis.gov.au/research_program/events2/alw_2009.

Please contact Kazuko Obata (kazuko.obata-at-aiatsis.gov.au, 02 6246 1166) if you have any questions.

Kazuko Obata

Directions in Oceanic Research

The Pacific Languages Research Group (PLRG) at the University of Newcastle is pleased to announce the following conference:
Directions in Oceanic Research
9-11 December 2008
University of Newcastle, Central Coast Campus

Invited speakers:

  • Juliette Blevins (Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology)
  • Frantisek Lichtenberk (University of Auckland)
  • Diane Massam (University of Toronto)
  • Claire Moyse (LACITO-CNRS, Paris)
  • Nick Thieberger (University of Hawai'i)
  • René van den Berg (SIL PNG)

The conference has two themes: the extent to which Oceanic languages hold continuing significance in informing a wider understanding of language; and the interaction and integration of successive layers of linguistic research in investigating Oceanic, particularly the core layers of documentation, description, typology and formal theory.

Full details, program and information about registration can be found at: http://www.newcastle.edu.au/school/hss/research/groups/pacific-languages-research-group/directions-in-oceanic-research. Abstracts will be posted to that site shortly.

For further information contact PLRG convenor Bill Palmer at bill.palmer-at-newcastle.edu.au.

Bill Palmer

Jobs, grants, and scholarships

AIATSIS Research Grants

Applications for AIATSIS research grants are now open, and will close on 12 January 2009. Applications are invited in any field relevant to Indigenous studies. We are particularly interested in applications involving Indigenous lead researchers, or collaborative projects involving Indigenous people and communities.

Details, including applications forms, are available at http://www.aiatsis.gov.au/research_program/grants, e-mail grants-at-aiatsis.gov.au or contact Tony Boxall on 02 6246 1145.

Whilst there is no specific maximum amount, grants over $40,000 are unusual.

Kazuko Obata

PhDs on Australian creole languages

Wanted: PhD candidates in Linguistics to do research on Australian creole languages

Pidgin and creole studies (or Creolistics) is a vibrant area of research relating to sociolinguistics, language contact, language description and linguistic theory in general. But compared to Europe and North America, Australia has very few linguists working in this area, even though at least two important creole languages are spoken in the country: Northern Territory and Kimberley Kriol, and Torres Strait Creole.

The School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences is looking for prospective PhD candidates to fill this gap. and work on Australian creoles. Possible topics are writing a complete grammar of Kriol or TSI Creole, examining the influence of traditional indigenous languages on Torres Strait Creole, or describing little-known varieties of creole languages in northern Australia. Other topics in creolistics could also be worked out. Candidates will be supervised by Prof Jeff Siegel, a specialist in pidgins, creoles and language contact, as well as by other staff of the Linguistics discipline at UNE. For further details, see http://www.une.edu.au/bcss/linguistics/index.php.

The School can offer a 'virtual guarantee' of a Commonwealth or UNE Scholarship for applicants with first class Hons in Linguistics, plus up to $5000/year in research costs (such as fieldwork costs), and up to $5000 in removal expenses.

Brett Baker

Lecturer in Linguistics, University of Sydney

Lecturer in Linguistics, Department of Linguistics, Faculty of Arts, University of Sydney

Reference No. 143505

The School of Letters, Art and Media (SLAM), University of Sydney, is one of Australia's most active arts and humanities research centres, in Sydney, nationally, and internationally. It is dedicated to excellence, innovation and high achievement in undergraduate and postgraduate research, and to the support of its student and academic research activities and careers.

SLAM is seeking to appoint a Level B Lecturer (equivalent to US assistant professor) in Linguistics. Applicants should hold a PhD degree or equivalent. The preferred applicant will have a strong record of research, publication and teaching in a research-university context, and be willing to participate in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. Given the Department's current staffing profile, preference may be given to a specialist in Sociolinguistics and/or Applied Linguistics.

The appointee will be required to work independently and collaboratively in course design, development and coordination; teach senior-level units in his or her area of Linguistics; contribute to cross-discipline units at undergraduate and postgraduate level; take an active role in administration, including WebCT and teaching administration; and maintain an active research profile. He or she will also work to maintain close contacts already established between the Department and the national and international community.

Applicants are invited to indicate other areas in which they are most equipped to contribute to the current and future teaching of the Department.

The position is full-time continuing, subject to the completion of a satisfactory probation period and is available from 1 March 2009. Applicants should be available to commence teaching in Semester 2, 2009. Membership of a University approved superannuation scheme is a condition of employment for new appointees.

Remuneration package: $88,465 - $105,052 p.a. (which includes a base salary Lecturer Level B $74,755 - $88,771 p.a., leave loading and up to 17% employer's contribution to superannuation).

All applications must be completed online at http://positions.usyd.edu.au/143505. A copy of the selection criteria can be viewed by clicking PD preview on that site.

General enquiries about the role can be directed to Cameron Burgess on (02) 9351 5880. Academic enquiries can be directed to Professor James Martin james.martin-at-usyd.edu.au, or Associate Professor Jane Simpson, jhs-at-mail.usyd.edu.au

Closing Date: 3 January 2009

Jane Simpson