Held at the Ibis Hotel, Melbourne, on 10 July 2009
In attendance: Jessica Boynton, Keith Allan, Margaret Sharpe, Graham McKay, Mark Donohue, Doug Absalom, Maureen Saclot, Lesley Stirling, Ilana Mushin, Therese Carr, Christina Eira, Stephen Morey, David Bradley, Natalie Weber, Joshua Nash, Avery Andrews, M. Fellbaum Korpi, Stephen Hill, Nerida Jarkey, Celeste Rodriguez Louro, Rosemary Billington, John Hajek, Robert Mailhamer, Rachel Nordlinger, Alan Dench, Simon Musgrave, Cliff Goddard, David Johnstone, Jane Simpson, David Nash, William Journee, Gail Woods, Kazuko Obata, Sarah Cutfield, Luisa Miceli, John Henderson, Randy LaPolla.
The President opened the meeting at 4:35pm.
Brett Baker, Tim Curnow, Nick Evans.
2. Minutes of the 2008 AGM
The President moved that the minutes of the 2008 Annual General Meeting be accepted. Passed unanimously.
3. Matters arising
There were no matters arising from the minutes that were not to be dealt with under later items.
The Clyne Prize for 2009 has been awarded to Emi Otsuji, whose UTS thesis (supervised by Alistair Pennycook) was titled "Performing Transculturation: Between/within 'Japanese' and 'Australian' language, identities and culture."
The Laves Scholarship has not been awarded this year. The applications received did not meet requirements. [Secretary's note: The scholarship was subsequently awarded at a later date after a change in the situation of one of the applicants.]
On behalf of the Society, Randy noted with regret the passing of Susan Kaldor, a founding member and office-holder of the Society.
The President moved that three recently-retired members be granted Honorary (life) membership in recognition of their service to the Society and to linguistics in Australia: Harold Koch, Margaret Sharpe and Mary Laughren. Passed unanimously.
Nothing to report.
Doug Absalom presented a short report on behalf of Brett Baker. [See separate report.]
4.4 Newsletter Editor
Tim Curnow sent a written report which was read to the meeting. The website host was changed last year from geocities to a commercial host. The change went very smoothly, with no noticeable difference from the user's perspective. It has had the definite advantage that our als.asn.au address is now managed at a more professional level like most web addresses, and consequently doesn't create problems with access in places like China, which disapprove of redirections. Everything is going along smoothly with the website, Newsletter and ALS Online.
4.5 Journal Editors
Keith Allan reported that AJL had increased to 3 issues per year in 2009, with a total page budget of around 350, as approved at the last AGM. The third issue this year will be a special issue on language and song. Submission rates have increased but the limit on page numbers means that they have been unable to meet demand. The editors have discussed with T&F an increase in the annual page budget, which T&F can provide but want to increase to four copies per year with a budget of 544 pages (as this apparently optimises the return from institutional subscribers). This is approximately a 50% increase over the 2009 page budget. Kate and Keith are prepared to accept the increased number of issues in order to get the increase in page budget. The net additional cost to the Society will be approximately $5 per member.
AJL has raised its profile. The editors successfully applied for indexing in the ISI Social Sciences and Humanities indexes. AJL will receive an ISI Impact Factor from 2010. Very positive comments on the journal were received from both ISI Reuters and T&F.
Keith showed a table summarising the submission and publication figures for 2007-2010. Online submission will be introduced by the end of 2009 hopefully.
|Year||Issue||Issue type||No. published||Total pages||No. rejected||No. in hand|
|30-3||Special||To be edited by Ilana Mushin|
There was general discussion of the proposal. Jane Simpson asked about the detailed costing. The price per member paid to T&F for the 50% increase in size would increase by $8.25 but this would be offset by an increase of $2125 in the return to ALS from sales plus increased royalties. Doug Absalom pointed out that there are 479 members (but that not all are financial) and that the net cost of AJL to ALS this year is $1555. David Nash asked about the implications if we needed to retreat to 3 issues per year. Keith reported that he and Kate believed that the raised profile of AJL would see a continuing increase in submissions which would make the increase in size of the journal feasible without any decrease in quality. Rachel Nordlinger applauded the raised profile of AJL and suggested that, in order to maintain quality, it might be better to hold at 3 issues per year until we see whether the increased submission rate is sustained. Keith replied that they saw no reason to think that the submission rate would drop off. Jane Simpson asked whether the rejection rate is stable. Keith replied that it is not well-documented. Ela Majocha asked about the geographical spread of submissions. Keith reported that submissions came from all over the world and expected that the ISI indexing would bring in more good submissions. A point was raised about the number of pages in each issue under the proposal. Alan Dench supported the view that ISI indexing is likely to improve submissions, noting that some universities favour indexed journals in their performance measurement schemes.
The President clarified that there were two issues to be decided: (i) the increase in pages and issues, and (ii) whether membership fees should be put up for 2010 to cover the additional $5 cost per member. He then put the first question to the meeting, which approved the increase in the size of the journal.
Doug Absalom expressed concern that increasing the membership fees immediately might have a negative effect on membership because they had been raised only last year. He reported that the last increase would particularly affect concessional memberships, and that with the current financial situation several people had already ceased membership to cut back on costs. Cliff Goddard commented that since members would be getting an additional issue in 2010 at the same time that the fees increase, it would be better to increase the fees now. Mark Harvey supported this view.
Ela Majocha asked whether an arrangement such as with Project Muse might be a way to increase income from the journal, as well as making it more widely available. Keith noted that the journal is available online now but not for free access under the current arrangements that T&F has in place.
Doug Absalom suggested delaying the increase in fees for a year, absorbing the additional cost of the journal from existing funds.
Motion: That membership fees are not raised for 2010, but are reviewed at the next AGM in light of the increased cost of AJL.
Moved: Randy LaPolla. Seconded: Doug Absalom. Passed.
4.6 CIPL Representative
David Bradley reported on CIPL discussions on the venue for the 2014 Congress, which might be expected to draw around 1500 participants. David invited expressions of interest for making a bid to host the Congress in Australia, noting that the size of the congress would effectively limit it to Melbourne or Sydney. Responses indicated that the Society would not be in a position to host the Congress at that time.
4.7 Pacific Linguistics Representative
Mark Donohue reported that PL had recently published its 600th volume, making it the largest publisher in Linguistics. He indicated that PL would be grateful to receive further funding from the Society, continuing the previous contributions [of $5000 each].
Motion: That the Executive be authorised to negotiate, at their discretion, a contribution to PL of up to $5000, dependent on the Society's on-going financial position.
Moved: John Henderson. Seconded: Doug Absalom. Passed unanimously.
4.8 ALS2009 Organisers
Randy reported that there had been around 150 registrations. Only a few registrations had been lost due to concerns regarding swine flu. The conference has gone smoothly and has been successful. He thanked the people who had helped to organise the conference, noting especially Siew-Peng Condon, who had taken a leading role.
The meeting expressed its thanks to Randy, Siew-Peng and the other organisers for their hard work and congratulated them on such a successful conference.
4.9 ALS2010 Organisers
Ilana Mushin will co-ordinate the organisation of ALS2010, which will be held in Brisbane. The conference will be held together with ALAA and other related events in preparation for a Brisbane bid for AILA.
5. Future ALS Conferences and ALI
The 2011 ALS conference will be hosted by UWA. At this stage, it is planned that there will be a mini-ALI, of perhaps 2 days, held in conjunction with the 2011 conference. The ALS 2010 organisers will also consider a similar arrangement. Alan Dench pointed out that ALS2011 will mark 50 years of Linguistics at UWA.
Rachel Nordlinger reported on behalf of the OzCLO organising committee. In 2009, the competition had been extended to include NSW, Victoria, ACT, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. Members of the winning teams in the national competition were currently in Poland for the International Linguistics Olympiad. Cliff Goddard reported that UNE would join the organization, focussing on regional areas. Rachel reported that materials will be prepared to send out to schools later this year to promote involvement in 2010. The greatest need was problem sets for the state and national rounds. Mary Laughren had prepared many of the problems used this year. Rachel appealed to members of the Society to contribute problems. Problems from previous competitions are available via the OzCLO website as models.
Rachel asked the meeting to approve the carry-over of the $10k allocated by ALS last year for OzCLO. Additional funds had been found from other sources and the ALS contribution had not been drawn on. She also proposed a clarification to arrangement, that the ALS funds are not intended to cover travel costs to the international competition. John Hajek expressed support and asked for more information on OzCLO's costs and other income. Rachel reported that OzCLO funds have been used for administration costs, web site setup and maintenance, printing of problem sets, some paid help with marking, prizes and maintenance of school contact lists. Some funds had been received from the various universities, and considerable work donated by volunteers.
Randy noted that OzCLO is an important initiative for the promotion of Linguistics.
Motion: That the $10k previously allocated for OzCLO be carried over into future years, with the condition that these funds are not used for travel to the international competition.
Moved: Randy LaPolla. Seconded: Ilana Mushin. Passed.
7. Report on the Australian National Corpus initiative and proposed language audit
Cliff Goddard reported on the AusNC (pronounced Aus-N-C) initiative which commenced last year and has the goal of developing a large web-accessible publicly-available language research data resource. The Steering Committee includes Cliff, Michael Haugh, Simon Musgrave, and Sarah Cutfield. The plan is to ramp up activities over a number of years to lay the groundwork for major government funding. The project has expanded to cover language in all it's diversity: multi-modal rather than just text. This resource will be valuable not only in Linguistics but more generally in the Humanities and Social Sciences. AusNC brings together a number of areas of strength, including language documentation. AusNC had received support from HCSNet, had held a workshop under HCSNet auspices, and had made bridges with expertise and funding in the area of language technologies. These activities had resulted in the forthcoming online book 'Mastering Languages: Designing the Australian National Corpus' (published by Cascadilla Press). Another workshop is planned for the 2009 HCSNet SummerFest. It is planned to approach the Academy of the Humanities for a grant of $5-6k. Immediate activities focus on legal and ethical issues and a survey of available existing resources. The Steering Committee asked the ALS for financial support of $2500.
Motion: That the ALS contribute $2500 to the AusNC initiative. Passed.
The meeting expressed its strong support for this initiative to develop an Australian National Corpus, which will stand out as a significant national resource and which will contribute to the research strength of this country.
8. ALS Scholarships
The President reported that, following a request from Peter Austin for student scholarship support for the 3L meeting, the Executive had offered a scholarship of $2500 for attendance at an international institute, summer school or equivalent. The scholarship was awarded to David Penn of UNE to assist him to attend the LSA Institute.
John Henderson reported that the Executive had discussed whether such a scholarship could be offered every year. He noted that this would depend on the strength of the Society's capital funds, suggesting that the Society might try to limit its annual expenditure to the interest earned on capital, and thus maintain a funding capacity in the long-term, rather than running down capital.
Motion: That the Executive be authorised to offer, at its discretion, an annual student scholarship to support attendance at an international institute, summer school or equivalent event.
Simon Musgrave moved that the scholarship be named the Susan Kaldor Scholarship. Seconded: Doug Absalom. Passed.
A document on ERA journal rankings, prepared by Michael Haugh, Susana Eisenchlas and Andrea Schalley, was circulated, asking the Society to make an official submission to the ARC. The document showed that the percentage targets for the A+ and A categories was not consistently met across the different Fields of Research: some fields had up to 42% of their journals in the A+ & A categories even though the ARC target for these two categories combined was 20% of journals. The President reported that the issue had been discussed by the Executive but it was felt more appropriate that, given the wide range of problems with the ERA journals ranking process, all members should contact the ARC directly and through their universities.
10. Election of Officers
The following nominations were received for the positions open for election this year, and there being no other nominations, they were elected unopposed.
President: Alan Dench
Vice-Presidents: Lesley Stirling, Nick Evans
Postgraduate Student Representative: David Yoong
The meeting expressed its thanks to the retiring members of the Executive, Randy LaPolla, Rachel Nordlinger and Tom Honeyman. Both Randy and Rachel have served as both President and Vice-President and have contributed a great deal to the Society.
11. Other business
11.1 Bilingual Education in the NT
Jane Simpson and Stephen Hill gave an update on the situation regarding Indigenous languages in the Northern Territory, and asked the Society to take action. Randy noted that the Society had written to the NT Minister in the past and agreed that this would again be appropriate.
Motion: That the ALS express its deep concern over the 2008 decision by the NT Government to close the 8 bilingual programs in government schools without prior agreement from the affected communities. We believe that the decision will have bad consequences for the children and the communities. We call on the Government to rescind the decision.
Motion: That the ALS call on the Federal Government to include in the proposed Charter of Rights the language rights of speakers of Indigenous languages of Australia, as recognised in the Declaration of the rights of Indigenous peoples, to which Australia is a signatory.
Both: Moved: Stephen Hill. Seconded: Jane Simpson. Passed.
Mark Harvey announced that there will be an OzPhon workshop at the HCSNet event in December.
The President closed the meeting.
Chang-Smith, Meiyun. 2009. The Acquisition of Determiner Phrase in Early Child Mandarin: A Longitudinal Study of Two Mandarin Speaking Children. Saarbrücken: VDM Publishers. ISBN: 978-3-639-12941-0.
This text provides an authoritative account of the first language (L1) acquisition of Mandarin Determiner Phrase (DP), the first to utilize grammatical aspects of the Minimalist Program (Chomsky 1995 among others) to explain the acquisition of nominal functional categories in early child Mandarin. The study is both theory and data driven, leading the reader step by step along the developmental pathway for Mandarin DP as exhibited by the two child subjects, one monolingual and the other a simultaneous Mandarin-English bilingual. Through the inclusion of detailed and extensive examples from the original corpora together with discussions and analysis, this book reveals unique and original insights into the L1 acquisition of a classifier language possessing a DP with more complex intervening internal structures. By careful comparison of both the bilingual and the monolingual DP acquisition patterns, the study reveals that simultaneous bilingual and monolingual children pursue the same developmental pathway during the course of development of Mandarin DP. It sheds light on fundamental issues in language acquisition such as the continuity debates and will be a valuable resource for students and practicing acquisition researchers alike.
A conference on Language, Law and Social Justice co-presented by the Australian Systemic Functional Linguistics Association and the Sydney Institute of Criminology. 7th-9th December 2009, Sydney Law School, University of Sydney.
Governments around the world are actively experimenting with new ways of doing justice. Family group 'conferencing', circle sentencing, native title tribunals, land rights claims, truth commissions - all in various ways attempt to deliver a better quality of justice for those most immediately affected by a crime and to redress the disadvantages that certain social groups have historically experienced before the law. How are acts of repair and reconciliation negotiated in the fine detail of such processes? How do they compare to more familiar genres of police work and legal-judicial practice? Where does the vision of restorative justice begin and end?
- John Braithwaite (ARC Federation Fellow, Australian National University) Diana Eades (School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences, University of New England)
- Peter Gray (Judge, Federal Court of Australia)
- Frances Rock (School of English Communication and Philosophy, Cardiff University)
- Julie Stubbs (Professor of Criminology, University of Sydney)
For further details, visit the conference website at http://www.asfla.org.au/towardsrestorativejustice/.
Jobs, grants, and scholarships
Applications are invited for a two year Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in The Cairns Institute to work as part of a team headed by Professor Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald and Professor R.M.W. Dixon, within the framework of their joint project 'World through the prism of language: a cross-linguistic view of genders, noun classes and classifiers'.
Applicants must have a doctorate or equivalent qualification, preferably awarded within the last five years. Cases in which the period since the award of the doctorate is in excess of five years may also be considered, as will applications from candidates whose thesis is currently under examination. Experience of linguistic fieldwork is required and ideally the appointee will have already completed a grammatical description of a language that has not previously been described (not their native language) in terms of basic linguistic theory. A Fellowship will not normally be awarded to an applicant who already holds an appointment within the University. Ideally, we are seeking to make an appointment to work on a language from either South America, New Guinea or from the Tibeto-Burman family. However excellent applicants with primary interest in another area will be considered. The appointee will be required to undertake extensive fieldwork and will produce a comprehensive description of a previously undescribed language.
Duties and Accountabilities: The key duty is to conduct research in anthropological linguistics, with particular attention to language analysis, producing high quality publications in refereed outlets.
Key Selection Criteria
- Thorough professional training in linguistics, with special reference to language-description, anthropological linguistics and linguistic typology;
- PhD (conferred or pending) in descriptive linguistics, in terms of basic linguistic theory;
- Demonstrated ability to work, under direction, as a member of a research team;
- Demonstrated ability to work to a timetable, and produce results on time;
- Demonstrated ability and commitment to disseminate the results of research in high quality publications within agreed timeframes; evidence of high level written, oral and interpersonal communication skills to diverse audiences.
Desirable Selection Criteria
- Ideally, to have produced a description of a language, preferably
(a) a language for which there had previously been no good description; and
(b) a language other than that of which they are a native speaker;
- Some training in anthropology.
Enquiries: Professor A Aikhenvald, sasha.aikhenvald-at-jcu.edu.au
Further details, including the application form, are available at jobs at jcu website, http://cms.jcu.edu.au/jobs/research/JCUPRD_051280.
Closing date: Friday, 18 September 2009.
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.