Newsletter August 2011

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.

Andrea Schalley

International Linguistics Olympiad 2011

The 9th International Linguistics Olympiad took place in Pittsburgh, USA from 25th – 29th July and was hosted by Carnegie Mellon University. The winning team from the National Round of the Australian Computational and Linguistics Olympiad, OzCLO (Joanna Bloore, Paul Lau, Benjamin van Mierlo and Anna Zeng from the University High School, Melbourne), competed against 27 teams from 19 countries in an individual and a group contest. Contestants’ logical ability and problem-solving skills were pushed to the limits to tackle data sets from diverse languages and writing systems including Menominee, Faroese, Vai, Nahuatl and Sanskrit, as well as a fiendish problem on the barcode language EAN-13.

The jury awarded 25 medals (4 gold, 8 silver, and 13 bronze), as well as 25 honorable mentions, 3 team contest trophies, a team cup for highest average score, and 5 best solution prizes. We’re very proud to announce that Australia’s Paul Lau was awarded a silver medal in the individual contest – the highest achievement so far of an Australian student at the IOL! The team also performed very well as a whole against some formidable competition in the group contest. We look forward to next year’s IOL, to be held in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

For more information on the IOL, see, and on OzCLO, see

Jill Vaughan

News from the University of New England (UNE)

In July 2011 Linguistics UNE sadly farewelled Cliff Goddard who has taken up a position in Linguistics at Griffith University. Over his 22 years at UNE Cliff has provided outstanding academic and teaching leadership, attracted large numbers of postgraduate students, and enhanced the lives of everyone in the discipline with his wisdom, wit and congeniality. He steered Linguistics through the establishment of the MA in Applied Linguistics, and was the founding Director of the Language and Cognition Research Centre, and with Andrea Schalley was the driving energy behind the 2006 ALI. Given his enormous talent and burgeoning reputation, it was no surprise to us when he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. We’ll miss him terribly, but wish him well in Brisbane! from Liz, Nick, Anna, Cindy, Inés, Jeff and Diana, Margaret, David, Sophia, Mark, Libby and Vicky

In January 2011 Nick Reid spoke on 'The Phonology of Reawakened Aboriginal Languages: Issues in Pronunciation and Authenticity in Language Revival in Australia' at the international conference on Phonology and Endangered Languages at City University New York, and in April gave a seminar, 'Indigenous languages vs the monolingual mindset', as part of the Language in Public series at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies in Canberra.

In February Cindy Schneider presented a paper on Kairak orthography development at the International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation in Honolulu. She will be making a brief field trip to the Kairak community in PNG in September.

Anna Gladkova recently travelled to the UK, presenting a paper at the 12th International Pragmatics Conference (University of Manchester, 3-8 July): ‘Social categories and cultural scripts: the role of cultural knowledge in conversation’. She also presented at Cross-cultural Pragmatics at a Crossroads II: Linguistic and Cultural Representations across Media (University of East Anglia, 29 June – 1 July): ‘Social categories as cultural representations’.

Jeff Siegel has just completed 3 months as an External Fellow at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies where he has been collaborating with colleagues on research about language contact. He also co-organised a workshop (with Stefan Pfänder) held on 4-5 July: ‘The Emergence of Contact Languages: Researching Sociohistorical Contexts’.

Diana Eades (now Adjunct Professor) continues as co-editor of International Journal of Speech Language and the Law ( In June she was final discussant in the first of four ESRC LADO Network seminars at University of Essex ( This workshop was about data elicitation for LADO (Language Analysis in the Determination of Origins of asylum seekers), and Tim McNamara from Melbourne University was one of the invited speakers. While in the UK she presented papers at the International Pragmatics Association conference in Manchester, and the International Association of Forensic Linguists conference in Birmingham. In addition, she was one of the lecturers in the International Summer School in Forensic Linguistic Analysis, also in Birmingham.

Margaret Sharpe sends her greetings from Kalgoorlie. She has two projects in hand: (1) To work with Susan Hanson in data-gathering and analysis of two local dialects, to produce a paper by June 2012. (2) To prepare a brief report on the traditional language areas of the Gold Coast area in preparation for a Gold Coast Native Title claim.

Carsten Levisen was admitted to the PhD degree in January 2011. The title of his thesis is ‘The Danish Universe of Meaning: Semantics, Cognition and Cultural Values’. Carsten’s thesis was passed without any corrections! Carsten’s thesis was supervised by Prof. Cliff Goddard and Dr Anna Gladkova.

Michael Roberts was admitted to the MA Hons degree in March 2011. The title of his thesis is ‘The Lexical Semantics of Social Categories: Demonyms and Occupation Words in English’. Michael’s thesis was supervised by Prof. Cliff Goddard, Dr Nick Reid and Dr Anna Gladkova.

In 2011 we introduced a new major in the MAAL: the MAAL (TESOL). Students who wish to take the major complete the core units in the MAAL, plus a unit on TESOL methodology and a supervised practicum. The degree qualifies students to teach in the adult ESL and EFL sectors in Australia. It also meets the requirements of many overseas employing bodies.

In March, UNE hosted the Australian Computational and Linguistic Olympiad (OzCLO), which in 2011 was held at seven university campuses across Australia. UNE OzCLO attracted 58 students from across the New England/mid-north coast region. Students displayed a great enthusiasm for solving difficult problems, and the event as a whole was a great success.

Cindy Schneider

News from Griffith University

It's raining chairs!! UNE's loss is Griffith's gain: Prof. Cliff Goddard has joined a busy team, and we welcome him to Griffith's School of Languages and Linguistics. We are also very happy to welcome Prof. Andy Kirkpatrick as new Head of School - Andy has joined us from Hong Kong. These appointments show Griffith's strong commitment to languages and linguistics.

Susana Eisenchlas

News from the University of Adelaide - Linguistics, Endangered Languages and the Mobile Language Team

Maintenance of Indigenous Languages and Records (MILR) Awards

  • Documenting traditional knowledge about seasons and time in the highly endangered Yankunytjatjara/Antikirinya language of northeast SA and publishing learning resources ($105,320)
  • Preparing for community use a set of language awareness and learning materials for the critically endangered Mirning language of the Great Australian Bight region, and training language workers ($56,000)
  • Kaurna Dictionary ($53,000)
  • Ngarrindjeri Song CD ($40,000)

ARC Award

ARC Linkage project between four State Health Departments and the University of Adelaide in collaboration with several other universities - on a national project to look at Clinical Handover, the communication between clinicians about patients. Our own focus is on the language involved in mental health handovers. Further particulars: Dr John Walsh and Nayia Cominos (

Other news

Dr Mark Clendon has just completed a learner's grammar of the Western Desert variety Martu Wangka titled 'An introduction to Martu Wangka' (230 pp) for Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa, the Martu History and Archive Project based in Newman, WA. His comprehensive description of the Kimberley language Worrorra is currently under review at Brill (Leiden), and his bilingual autobiography (English and Nyangumarta) of Minyjun/Monty Hale titled 'Kakarni milpanyiyi pirraja ngajumili kurlumarniny: the life of a Ngulipartu Man' (350 pp), transcribed and translated with Barbara Hale, is with the Aboriginal Studies Press (Canberra).

Professor Ghil'ad Zuckermann is preparing several volumes, including a book exploring Revival Linguistics for Oxford University Press. Professor Zuckermann and Dr Rob Amery are currently developing new courses on language revival. Outstanding students interested in pursuing a PhD in language reclamation, renewal, revitalization, maintenance and empowerment are encouraged to contact

Joshua Nash submitted his thesis Insular Toponymies: Place-naming on Norfolk Island, South Pacific and Dudley Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, South Australia.

International guests

Professor Dovid Katz (Lithuania): Is Yiddish an Endangered Language?
Professor Humphrey Tonkin (USA): Esperanto and Judaism
Ethno-Musician Tal Kravitz (Israel): Vanishing Voices

Ghil'ad Zuckermann, Joshua Nash

News from the University of Melbourne

Dr. Jenny Green has won the University of Melbourne Humanities, Creative Arts and Social Sciences Chancellor's prize for Excellence in a PhD Thesis for her 2010 thesis, entitled: "Between the earth and the air: multimodality in Arandic sand stories".

Barbara Kelly

News from Linguistics / RCLT at La Trobe

Two PhD students have recently completed: Rebecca Hanson's thesis was 'A grammar of Yine (Piro)' and Jingyi Du's thesis was 'Towards a Grammar of the Usen Dialect of the Barok language New Ireland, Papua New Guinea'. Congratulations to them both!

We are also very proud of Roberto Zariquiey-Biondi whose 'Grammar of Kashibo-Kakataibo' has passed with distinction and was lauded by one examiner as "a stellar descriptive study of a previously little-known language of the Panoan family, it provides an excellent example to those studying the language area of Amazonia, and it provides an exemplary contribution towards the databases of those who study typological linguistics". Roberto is returning to a position at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (Pontifical Catholic University of Peru).

Friedel Frowein has left us to take up a position at UPNG Goroka to establish a language documentation training program there and we wish him all the best in this endeavour.

Gwen Hyslop was with us as an Endeavour Award from March to July this year and will be returning to Australia to take up a new research position at ANU.

Randy La Polla has returned to us from OSP and fieldwork and has just received an e-research grant to improve his Rvwang-Dulong-Anong Languages and Cultures web site.

We're pleased to be able to welcome Anthony Jukes who commenced an ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship with us in April this year for his project 'The languages of Minahasa: description, documentation, and support'. In conjunction with this project we also welcome Tim Brickell as a new PhD student at the Centre. Tim is currently on fieldwork in Indonesia and is working towards a grammar of Tondano, a language of Minahasa.

Tonya Stebbins

News from Linguistics, CAP & CASS, Australian National University


Nicholas Evans was elected a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy on July 22. The Academy elects up to 38 UK-based Ordinary Fellows and 10 overseas Corresponding Fellows each year. In receiving this honour, Nick joins only around 10 other Australians who have been elected Corresponding Fellows. The British Academy is the UK’s national academy for the arts and social sciences. It supports postdoctoral research, promotes relations between researchers, runs a varied programme of events and has an active publications programme.

New hirings

The Department of Linguistics, CAP (College of Asia and the Pacific) recently made two new hirings, both of whom will start early next year: Bethwyn Evans (MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig), who works on historical linguistics and language contact in the Solomon Islands and Bougainville, and Gwendolyn Hyslop (Oregon), who works on tonogenesis, mirativity and other topics in the languages of Bhutan. In addition, Julia Miller has recently begun a postdoc in the Department, predominantly funded by a new DoBeS grant on the Nen and Tonda languages of Southern New Guinea, plus additional responsibilities digitising the Wurm heritage tapes for the PARADISEC archive.

Elsewhere at ANU, the linguistics community will be bolstered from next year by the hiring of psycholinguist Evan Kidd into the Psychology Department.

Conferences and workshops

ANU Linguists were strongly represented at the LSA Summer Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Nick Evans, as the Hale Professor, taught a Linguistic Field Methods course on the previously totally undescribed Papuan language Idi, with Wasang Baiio, a geography lecturer at the University of Goroka, as his co-instructor. While in Boulder Nick also gave a plenary lecture on ‘The mother of all relations: kinship in grammar’ and was presented with the Ken Hale Award for his work documenting endangered languages. Alex François taught a course on Oceanic languages, recent ANU PhD Lila San Roque organised a very successful Wenner-Gren sponsored workshop on ‘Knowledge Asymmetries and Conjunct/Disjunct systems’, and 5 doctoral students – Greg Dickson, Niko Kobepa, Maïa Ponsonnet, Chikako Senge and Stef Spronck – attended intensive courses.

In June, Elisabeth Mayer gave a paper at ICLaVE 6, the biennial International Conference on Language Variation in Europe, and was invited to become a research associate in the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) funded international project Español de los Andes.

The Romance workshop proposed by Elisabeth Mayer and Manuel Delicado Cantero within Langfest, attracted much interest and we now have 10 very interesting and diverse papers with national and international participants from Canada, United States, New Zealand.

July 20, Anna Wierzbicka gave a lecture at the Institute for Information Transmissions Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, for the award of the Dobruhsin prize.

July 14-24, Wayan Arka attended the international LFG conference (LFG2011), Hong Kong, presenting a paper entitled ‘Constructive number system in Marori and beyond’. Then, he attended a workshop on Deixis and spatial expressions in Indonesian languages, presenting a paper entitled ‘Deixis and grammar in Marori’. Both Wayan’s papers are outcomes of his current ARC-funded project on South New Guinea Languages (

The ANU was well represented at the 20th International Conference on Historical Linguistics in Osaka, Japan, 25-30 July. Papers presented were as follows:

  • Manuel Delicado-Cantero (co-authored with Elisabeth Mayer): "Changes and continuity in Spanish prepositional differential object marking"
  • Harold Koch: "Kinterms and the classification of Pama-Nyungan languages"
  • Edith Pineda-Bernuy: "The development of embracing negation in Quechua"
  • William Steed: "Issues for reconstructing tone sandhi using data from Lishui Wu Chinese"
  • Paul Sidwell: "Sub-Branching or Convergence? Monophyletic Versus Paraphyletic Groupings in Austroasiatic"
  • Paul Sidwell: "Austroasiatic branching: New computational approaches and results"
  • Manuel Delicado Cantero and Elisabeth Mayer: "The development of differential object marking vis-a-vis its interaction with clitic doubling"
  • Rachel Hendery: "The Co-construction of a new dialect: a case study in usage-based language change"

Mark Donohue and Bronwen Whiting gave a presentation at the workshop "Language in Space", organised as part of the LSA Summer Institute, in Boulder. Their paper addresses different patterns of lexical diffusion based on different semantic fields, using Southeast Sulawesi as a backdrop.

Siva Kalyan gave a presentation at the 11th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference (Xī'ān, China, 11-17 July), titled "Salience: A psychological perspective". He was also the chair on the session there on iconicity.

Greg Dickson gave a presentation entitled 'An update on kinterms in Roper River Kriol' at the Top End Linguistics Circle meeting at Charles Darwin University (Darwin) on June 2.


Fanny Cottet was in West Papua the last two months for her second field trip in the Onin Peninsula. She worked with Mbaham speakers in Fakfak and lived with the community in the beautiful Kinam village, on the North coast of the region. She worked with Joel Temongmere who is an active defender of the Mbaham language and its traditional culture. Fanny is developing a fantastic corpus of the Mbaham language that she is starting to analyze, with a particular focus on the phonology.

Sebastien had a short but intense fieldwork trip on Lelepa, combined with a family "holiday" in Vanuatu from 9-24 July. He was also invited to give a talk at the University of the South Pacific, his old Uni, where John Lynch, Robert Early and Hannah Vari-Bogiri amongst others heard about those tricky Lelepa vowels.

Piers Kelly returned from a short but action-packed trip to Bohol for some last minute data collection. He worked with speakers to decipher a document from c1930s, revealing that both language and script have changed in interesting ways since that time. Piers also scheduled a number of fun side trips to an impressive mountain called Ilijan and to a village called Cogtong. He visited Cogtong to record a complex phoneme-substitution language game and to Sierra Bullones to meet an eccentric man who documents archaic and obsolete Visayan words using an alphabet he devised himself. Bohol's linguistic creativity knows no bounds!

After a two-week-visit to ANU, Christian Döhler has managed to prepare his next fieldtrip to Rouku village, Morehead District, Western Province, PNG. He left on the 20th of July together with his partner Tina, who will join him in the field for about a month. Christian will return late November for the ALS conference with a couple of hard-drives and DV tapes full of data.

In Mid-July 2011, Julia Miller and Christian Döhler drove up to Nimbin to visit Rainbow Power Company. During the one-day workshop they learned how to assemble a solar power system fitted for the needs of two language centres in villages of Rouku and Bimadbn, Morehead District, Western Province, PNG.

Rob Mailhammer was in Croker Island to work on Amurdak 6 June - 21 June. He did some research on the history of Amurdak and connections to other Iwaidjan languages in preparation for a talk at the International Conference on Historical Linguistics in Osaka, Japan (25-30 July 2011).

Yusuf Sawaki just returned from his 5 weeks fieldwork in West Papua. He was in the field to collect additional data for his work on descriptive grammar of Wooi.


After many months of negotiations, Pacific Linguistics can finally officially announce an important change to its mode of operation: from the beginning of next year, it will become a series within the stable of Mouton de Gruyter publications. The content, areal focus and editorial board of the series will remain unchanged, but distribution will be taken over by MdG. Various changes to the funding of publication support over the last few years have gradually worn down the financial viability of PL’s traditional publication mechanisms, and we hope that with this change we will secure a strong future for the series that will reach even more readers than before. Meanwhile, PL is happy to announce the following three new publications: Gilles Gravelle, A grammar of Meyah (West Papua) (PL 619), Rob Pensalfini Jingulu Texts and Dictionary (PL 620), and Malcolm Ross, Andrew Pawley and Meredith Osmond (eds.), Proto-Oceanic Lexicon, Vol. 4: Animals (PL 621).

Other news

ANU Linguistics was recently ranked 10th in the World in the QS University Rankings (Arts and Humanities). See

Mark Donohue's been kept pretty busy, doing interviews for a number of radio stations (Australian Rural Community Network, Newstalk Radio Ireland, and ABC Pacific) as well as Newspapers (The Times of London, The Telegraph and the Deccan Herald of India) and websites (ABC News on Science) to do with a recently published interdisciplinary paper about the history and spread of bananas. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the paper combines archaeological, botanical and linguistic lines of argument to trace the origins of bananas, and their cultural use.

Mark's been doing some more expert witnessing in court hearings involving people smuggling from Indonesia. This first came up for Mark last year, when, aided by some intense coaching from Greg Dickson, Mark gave linguistic and cultural background for two court cases in Western Australian. In July, Mark travelled to exotic Campbelltown to testify about issues in the interpretation available during a police interview of a suspect, and the cultural background of the suspect.

Wayan Arka

News from the Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity

The Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity is very pleased to announce that we have been awarded $1.25 million in triennial funding for 2011-2014 under the Australian Government's Maintenance of Indigenous Languages and Records (MILR) grant scheme.

In 2010-2011, MILR funding allowed us to commence the pilot Documenting and Revitalizing Indigenous Languages (DRIL) training program, which is currently supporting fourteen Aboriginal languages in communities, family groups and Indigenous organisations across Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. RNLD will continue to develop and expand the DRIL program in 2011 and the scheme will be opened to national participation in 2012. We will be appointing a team of Indigenous regional trainers across the country later in the year. RNLD trainers have also run a variety of national and international courses and workshops for linguists in the use of linguistic software such as Toolbox, Transcriber, and ELAN, and will tailor a training workshop to your needs.

RNLD is hosting a two-day symposium on the theme of Strengthening Language Maintenance Through Cooperative Training Strategies at the University of Melbourne from Thursday 18 to Friday 19 August, in partnership with Linguapax (UNESCO Center of Catalonia), the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, University of California at Santa Barbara, USA, and the Asia Institute of the University of Melbourne. The program, available at, brings together representatives of Indigenous organisations, networks, government agencies, research centres, and educational institutions, all of which are actively developing and implementing innovative training strategies to support Indigenous languages. A session on the Inquiry Into Language Learning in Indigenous Communities will be led by John White, from the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.

Linguistics in the Pub (LIP) is a monthly RNLD event (organised by Ruth Singer) held in Melbourne at the Prince Alfred Hotel, 191 Grattan St, Carlton. LIP brings language activists and linguists together to discuss a variety of topics. LIP resources are available online so that people in other locations can hold a local discussion group. In August, Nick Thieberger will lead a discussion on open access and its implications for linguistic research.

RNLD is now moving into a new office at 33 Drummond Street, Carlton, Victoria. Our 2011 Annual General Meeting will be held at 5pm on Wednesday 17 August in Room 506, Babel Building, the University of Melbourne. All are welcome to attend. Stephen Morey (RCLT, La Trobe University) is joining us as RNLD's incoming Public Officer, and we thank Anthony Jukes for his service as RNLD's Public Officer over several years.

Margaret Florey

News from the Language and Culture Research Group at the Cairns Institute, James Cook University

New Appointments in Linguistics at JCU

Dr William Steed, an expert in experimental phonetics and especially tones in Chinese, has been appointed to a tenured position in the Department of Speech Pathology within the Faculty of Tropical Medicine. Dr Steed's PhD thesis (ANU, 2011) is entitled 'Lishui Wu Tone and one Sandhi – An Acoustically-Based Description'. Dr Steed has an impressive track record; his most recent paper 'Using Qingtian tone sandhi data to refine depressor morphotonemics' at ICPhS in Hong Kong (August 2011) has been accepted for publication. Dr Steed's appointment will strengthen the position of linguistics at JCU, and reinforce collaboration between the faculties.

Sonya Jeffrey, a member of the Jirrbalngan tribe, has taken up appointment as Research Worker on the ARC Linkage grant (between JCU and the Echo Creek Cultural Centre) 'Land, Language and Heritage'. She is the daughter of Dr Ernie Grant (who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by JCU in April 2010), and granddaughter of Chloe Grant, Bob Dixon's first wonderful teacher of Dyirbal.


Dr Anne Schwarz, PostDoctoral Research Fellow at CI, has been awarded a fieldwork grant from the Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research, to undertake further work on the language and culture of the Siona/Secoya (West Tucanoan, Ecuador).

New PhD Students at LCRG in 2011

  • Hannah Sarvasy, from Harvard University, started her PhD course on 31 May 2011. She will be working on a comprehensive grammatical description of Nungon, a previously undescribed language from Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea.
  • Mikko Salminen, from Leiden University, started his PhD course in July 2011. He will be working on a comprehensive grammatical description of Huave (San Dionicio del Mar), an isolate from Mexico.
  • Juliane Böttger, from the University of Leipzig, started her PhD course in July 2011. She will be working on a comprehensive grammatical description of Lele, a previously undescribed Oceanic language from the Manus Province, Papua New Guinea.

Cairns Institute Visiting Fellow

Professor Carol Genetti (University of California at Santa Barbara), an internationally recognised expert on the Tibeto-Burman family and general linguistics, has been awarded a Cairns Institute Distinguished Visiting Fellowship for May-August 2011. She is currently working on the history and classification of Tibeto-Burman languages, designing a dictionary for Dolokha Newar and investigating models of language conservation.

On 3 August (Wednesday, 4-6 pm) she presented The Cairns Institute & School of Arts and Social Sciences Seminar, 'Responses to language endangerment: From documentation to capacity development'.

Abstract: The crisis of language endangerment is well known and continues to intensify. A recent study demonstrates that the world's linguistic diversity has decreased by 20% over the last quarter century and the trajectories for decline are still sharp (Hamon and Loh 2011). In this talk, I will explore the shifting responses of linguists to this crisis over the past twenty years and the ethical challenges that this has engendered. The initial response to the crisis was a focus on language documentation, the creation of a multi-purpose record for posterity. However, the preservation of linguistic diversity will require more than documentation; it will require language use and transmission by community members. Many linguists thus feel ethically compelled to assist community activists in language revitalisation programs, and this work has been increasingly visible over the last five or six years, as seen through the development of conferences, scholarly work, Internet resources, and training programs designed to help communities develop the capacity to keep and to strengthen their languages. These materials suggest that a new ethical model is developing in linguistics, which entails a shift in the role of the linguist from observer to activist. This new model is based on the idea of empowerment (Wallerstein 1992, Tsey (numerous)), although the nature and means of empowerment may vary depending on the society and culture of the community.

The text of the lecture will be available at


The Workshop 'The roots of Linguistic diversity' took place on 9-10 June, 2011 (The Cairns Institute, James Cook University, Cairns; Room 113, Building E2 of the Cairns Campus, JCU). At the beginning of the Workshop, Professor Hurriyet Babacan, the Director of the Cairns Institute, launched the recent academic autobiography by Professor R. M. W. Dixon I am a linguist (Leiden: Brill), stressing its importance and impact in the academic world.

The program was:

Thursday 9 June 
14.00 Opening of Workshop
14.10-15.00 René van den Berg (SIL, PNG) Pronominal systems in Austronesian languages of Papua New Guinea
15.00–15.50 Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald (CI, JCU) Along the river and deep in the bush: linguistic diversity in the Middle Sepik area.
15.50-16.20 Coffee
16.20-17.10 Mark Post: Isolate substrates, realization and the internal diversity of Tibeto-Burman
Friday 10 June 
9.30–10.10 R M. W. Dixon. The wonderful linguistic diversity there was in north-east Queensland.
10.20-11.10 Sean Ulm, Nicholas Evans, Daniel Rosendahl, Helene Tomkins and Fiona Petchey. Radiocarbon and linguistic dates for occupation of the South Wellesley Islands, Northern Australia
11.10-11.40 Coffee
11.40-12.30 Anne Schwarz: The West Africa hot-spot.
14.00-14.50Tianqiao (Mike) Lu: The Tai-Kadai peoples — their languages, cultures and histories
14.50–15.40Carol Genetti (University of California) 'What can we conclude'

New Books Published and Accepted for Publication

Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. 2012. Languages of the Amazon. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (to come out early 2012).
Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. and R. M. W. Dixon. Language at large. Essays in syntax and semantics (xxiv, 606 pp). Leiden: Brill.
Dixon, R. M. W. Forthcoming. Basic linguistic theory. Volume 3. Further grammatical topics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (to come out early 2012).
Salminen, Mikko (forthcoming). Dí/ztè/. O zapoteco de San Agustín loxicha, Oaxaca, México. Munich: Lincom Europa.

Conference Presentations and Outside Lectures

Dr Mark Post gave a Keynote Address at the International Workshop on Stance Phenomena in Asian Languages: Typological, Diachronic and Discourse Perspectives, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, July 18-20, 'The linguistic expression of stance in "small" Asian languages: Towards a framework for analysis'. As a recipient of the 'Panini award', from the Association for Linguistic Typology for the best PhD thesis (2007-2010), for his monumental 'A Grammar of Galo' (La Trobe University, 2007), Mark Post gave a key note address at Plenary Session, Association for Linguistic Typology 9th Biennial Conference, University of Hong Kong 'Diachrony is indispensable: Making sense of the core grammar of Galo'. He also presented a paper 'Nominalization-based constructions in Tibeto-Burman: 'Typology and evolution' at the Association for Linguistic Typology 9th Biennial Conference, University of Hong Kong. He also presented a 4-day workshop “Linguistic fieldwork and language documentation: What, why and how” at Hong Kong Polytechnic University on July 25-28.

Dr Anne Schwarz presented a paper 'Specificity of efforts in discourse and the typology of nominal classification', at at the Association for Linguistic Typology 9th Biennial Conference, University of Hong Kong.

Professor Alexandra Aikhenvald will take up the second installment of her Alexander von Humboldt Research Award at the University of Cologne, from 17 September until 11 November. She will be presenting the following key-note addresses:

  • 'Areal diffusion and parallelism in drift: shared grammaticalization patterns', Symposium 'Shared grammaticalization in the Transeurasian languages', Koeniglike universiteit Leuven (jointly with the government of Belgium), 21-23 September
  • 'Number, animacy and classifiers: Tariana and its neighbours in north-west Amazonia', 'Number in Africa and beyond: Grammar, semantics and social deixis', Institute of African Studies, University of Cologne, 27-30 September
  • 'Mind, body, and spirit: on meanings and functions of body part terms in the languages of the Sepik area, Papua New Guinea', Conference 'The body in language: metaphor, grammar and culture', University of Warsaw, 21-22 October

Round Table Meetings

The Language and Culture Research group has regular Round Table Meetings, focussing on various issues in linguistics and anthropology. The following talks were presented in the period between May and mid-August:

28 MayAnne Schwarz 'Possession in Siona/Secoya'.
16 June Mark Post 'Some fundamental aspects of Galo grammar: Or, why once is not enough.'
23 June Yankee Modi 'Language contact in the Tani area'
30 June Carol Genetti 'The Tapestry of Dolakha Newar: chaning, embedding and the complexity of sentences'
7 July Mikko Salminen 'San Agustín Lohicha Zapotec language at a glance' (with Mariano Antonio, who is a native speaker of this variety of Zapotec)
13 July Tianqiao (Mike) Lu 'The peoples who live by classifying things - the importance and cultural implications of Kam-Tai classifiers' (joint session of LCRG, CI and School of Arts and Social Sciences)
20 July Michael Wood (JCU)'Sagalu, Sex and Disease among the Bamu of the Western Province, PNG'
28 July R. M. W. Dixon 'Language and the world: explanation now and needed' (truncation of Basic Linguistic Theory, vol 3, Chapter 28).
12 August    (in conjunction with PhD confirmation seminars)
Hannah Sarvasy 'A grammar of Nungon, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea'
Mikko Salminen 'Grammar of Huave as spoken in San Dionisio del Mar, Oaxaca, Mexico'
18 August Hannah Sarvasy 'Two dying languages of Sierra Leone: Kim and Bom'
25 August Alexandra Aikhenvald 'Areal diffusion and parallelism in drift: what we can learn from Amazonia, and from New Guinea'

Other events

Professor Carol Genetti, a Distinguished Visiting Fellow of the Cairns Institute, shared share with us the pleasure of viewing a documentary Featuring the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project, 'We still live here', produced by Anne Makepeace (24 June).

Open Day
As part of the Cairns Institute's participation in the JCU Open Day in Cairns (21 August 2011), the Language and Culture Research group will hold a stall, under the title 'The joy of language', with a book exhibition. Yankee Modi will show photographs and artefacts from her native community of Milang speakers. We will also conduct a quizz.

Celebrating research As part of JCU's Celebrating Research month, Dr Mark Post will organize a symposium on 'What a linguist does in the field', on Friday 23 September.


Dr Mark Post, Post-doctoral Fellow at LCRG (CI, JCU), has returned from a lengthy period of fieldwork on the Upper Minyong language (Tibeto-Burman), in Arunachal Pradesh (India).

Yankee Modi, PhD student at LCRG (CI, JCU), has returned from a lengthy period of fieldwork on her native Milang language (Tibeto-Burman), in Arunachal Pradesh (India).

Sihong Zhang, PhD student at LCRG (CI, JCU), has returned from a lengthy period of fieldwork on Ersu language (Tibeto-Burman) in north-west China.

Dineke Schokkin, PhD student at LCRG (CI, JCU), has returned from a lengthy period of fieldwork on Paluai language (The Manus Province, PNG).

Hannah Sarvasy, PhD student at LCRG (CI, JCU). is preparing for a lengthy period of fieldwork in the Morobe Province, PNG.

Mikko Salminen, PhD student at LCRG (CI, JCU), is preparing for a lengthy period of fieldwork in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Dr Anne Schwarz is preparing for a two-month fieldwork among the Siona/Secoya of Ecuador (September-October).

Other News

The Language and Culture Research Group is in the process of being transformed into a University-wide Level 1 Research Centre.

Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

News from AIATSIS

AIATSIS-ANU Linguistics Summer Scholarships

AIATSIS encourages (Australianist) academic linguists to forward the following information about its 2011/12 Linguistics Summer Research Scholarships to undergraduate students. Australianist linguists are welcome to identify AIATSIS collections in need of documentary work, in exchange for provision of additional supervision to the Summer Scholar working on these collections. A new development this year is the offer of a fully-funded short trip to Wangka Maya language centre in Port Hedland to conduct a fieldwork on a Pilbara language.

A Summer Research Scholarship at The Australian National University is an exceptional research opportunity for high achieving undergraduate (typically third year) and honours students, providing an insight into what studying for an honours or a graduate research degree is all about. Scholarships are available for students from all Australian and New Zealand universities. Travel, accommodation and a modest allowance are provided for an 8-11 week Canberra residency. In addition, the AIATSIS Linguistics Summer Scholars will be encouraged and supported to present the results of their research at the annual Australian Languages Workshop in March.

AIATSIS is offering two Linguistics Summer Scholarships through the ANU College of the Arts and Social Sciences. Applications are already open and close on 31st August, with application information available from: Information about the research activities expected of AIATSIS/ANU Linguistics Summer Scholars is detailed below under "Jobs, grants, and scholarships".

AIATSIS National Indigenous Studies Conference 2011, 'Young and old: connecting generations', 19-22 September, Canberra

The preliminary program for the 2011 AIATSIS Conference is available at

This year's language sessions include:.

  • a two-day Inaugural National Indigenous Interpreting Meeting: 'Getting the Conversation Started',
  • Australian Languages and the Evolving Australian Curriculum for Languages, and,
  • Language Revitalisation.

The AIATSIS National Indigenous Studies Conference brings together multi-disciplinary expertise from across the Indigenous Studies sector, including researchers, policy makers, community members, academics, representative organizations, consultants, traditional owners and service providers. The conference presents a unique opportunity to communicate information about your research, projects and programs with a wide audience and to benefit from discussion around shared areas of interest.

Second National Indigenous Languages Survey

Over the next two years, AIATSIS will be carrying out NILS2, the second National Indigenous Languages Survey. NILS2, like the first NILS, is commissioned by the Maintenance of Indigenous Languages and Records Program. NILS2 is still in the very early planning stages and AIATSIS is currently consulting researchers and community members about the survey questions and methodology. At the moment AIATSIS' ideas about NILS2 are that it could include the following three parts:

  1. A questionnaire to collect basic information on languages (location, number of people, etc) as well as information on what people think about their languages and their future;
  2. A survey of language programs to find out what kinds of things are happening;
  3. A set of case studies where we follow the progress of several different language programs over two years.

The information will be used to write a report that we believe will be valuable to all those interested in the maintenance and revitalisation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. AIATSIS would like to know what you think about the above approach and would like to hear from you. Please write to us ( or ring us on 6261 4222 (for Rhonda Smith and Felicita Carr).

Sarah Cutfield

News from Macquarie University

For news of what's been happening in linguistics at Macquarie Uni, visit, where you can see all the latest news or check back in earlier issues of Lingline.

Verna Rieschild


New Books Received, August 2011

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 ( 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.

  • Arwood, E. L. (2011) Language Function: An Introduction to Pragmatic Assessment and Intervention for Higher Order Thinking and Better Literacy. Jessica Kingsley, London.
  • Börjars, K. and K Burridge (2010) Introducing English Grammar (2nd edition). Hodder Education, London.
  • Bowern, C. (2011) Sivisa Titan. University of Hawai’i Press, Honolulu.
  • Bühler, K. (2011) Theory of Language (translated by D. F. Goodwin). John Benjamins, Amsterdam.
  • Cappelle, B. and N. Wada (eds.) (2010) Distinctions in English Grammar. Kataikusha, Tokyo.
  • Crystal, D. (2011) Internet Linguistics. London, Routledge.
  • de Saussure, F. (2011) Course in General Linguistics (translated by W. Baskin, ed. By P. Meisel and H. Saussy). Columbia University Press, New York.
  • Kuiper, K. (ed.) (2011) Teaching Linguistics. Equinox, London.
  • Miller, J. (2011) A Critical Introduction to Syntax. Continuum, London.
  • Sobin, H. (2011) Syntactic Analysis: The Basics. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester.
Alan Libert

Looking for "Linguistic Communications: Working Paper No. 8"

Pamela Meredith is looking for a copy of "Linguistic Communications: Working Paper No. 8". Would you mind checking if you have a copy of the paper, and if you do, please get in touch with me at Pamela is happy to pay copying and postal costs if a copy of the paper can be found. Thanks!

Andrea Schalley

New Book: 'Sung Tales from the Papua New Guinea Highlands'

On behalf of everyone who has played a part in this venture over the past eight years, my co-editor Don Niles and I have the pleasure of announcing the publication of the book Sung Tales from the Papua New Guinea Highlands: Studies in Form, Meaning, and Sociocultural Context, by ANU E Press. As with all their books, this one is available online as a free download, and also in a reasonably priced print version which will be available in a few weeks time. Also online are a supplementary interview transcript, 22 audio files and a short video, providing multi-media access to most of the performances discussed in the book. For details and access to the files go to

Alan Rumsey

Upcoming Conferences

ALS 2011 Program

Dates: 2–4 December 2011
Venue: Australian National University

A partial list of titles and abstracts for papers in the general session and the workshops, as well as the poster session, is on the web. A few papers remain to be finalised.

Jane Simpson

A PARADISEC conference: Sustainable data from digital research: Humanities perspectives on digital scholarship

Dates: 12-14th December 2011
Venue: University of Melbourne, Australia

Keynote Speaker: Susan Schreibman, from Trinity College in Dublin, who is co-editor of A Companion to Digital Humanities and has been the Director of the Digital Humanities Observatory, a national digital humanities centre developed under the auspices of the Royal Irish Academy.

Digital methods for recording information are now ubiquitous. In fieldwork-based disciplines, like linguistics, musicology, anthropology and so on, recordings are typically of high cultural value and there is great benefit in the proper curation of these recordings, to the researcher, to the community in which they worked, and to the broader society.

What are the costs and benefits of these technologies?

A list of papers can be seen here:
The conference website is:

Nick Thieberger

Discourse Analysis symposium at Monash University

7th DA Symposium

Dates: 18th November 2011
Venue: Monash University

The formulation and articulation of discourses in everyday interactions and institutional settings bring to light the many complexities involved in the development of interpersonal exchanges. People’s interactions with languages and cultures diverse from their own, in conjunction with the spread of global communication, are contributing to the process of re‐creating ways of communicating with others.

The 7Th DA Symposium@Monash will explore ‘discourse synergies: the interplay of language and cultural diversity’

The DA Symposium@Monash welcomes contributions in the broader area of DA (conversational analysis, pragmatics, interactional sociolinguistics etc.).

Contributors can explore one of the following areas:

  • Communicating with culturally and linguistically diverse speakers (e.g. face to face communication).
  • Communicating between institutional cultures (e.g. legal discourse, medical discourse, educational discourse vs. non‐institutional discourse).
  • Communicating between diverse age groups (e.g. seniors and young people).
  • Communicating with virtual ‘friends’ (e.g. face book/twitter etc.)
  • Communication between/among different mass media (e.g. news, radio programs, TV).
  • Communication through intertextuality (e.g. medical discourse entering computer technology)

If you would like to present a paper on a topic area which is not listed, please send a proposal for consideration.

Abstracts and proposals of no more than 250 words should be submitted by 9th September 2011 to Dr Marisa Cordella (

For more information, please visit the symposium website:

Melanie Burns

Australasian Language Technology Workshop (ALTA 2011)

Call for Papers

Dates: 1st and 2nd December 2011
Venue: Canberra, Australia


This year, the Australasian Language Technology Workshop (ALTA) will be held at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra on Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd of December 2011. This event will be the ninth annual installment of the ALTA Workshop in its most-recent incarnation, and the continuation of an annual workshop series that has existed under various guises since the early 90s.

The goals of the ALTA workshop are:

  • to bring together the growing Language Technology (LT) community in Australia and New Zealand and encourage interactions;
  • to encourage interactions and collaboration within this community and with the wider international LT community;
  • to foster interaction between academic and industrial researchers, to encourage dissemination of research results;
  • to provide a forum for students and young researchers to present their research;
  • to facilitate the discussion of new and ongoing research and projects;
  • to provide an opportunity for the broader artificial intelligence community to become aware of local LT research; and, finally,
  • to increase visibility of LT research in Australia, New Zealand and overseas.


We invite the submission of papers on original and unpublished research on all aspects of natural language processing, including, but not limited to:

  • phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and discourse;
  • speech understanding and generation;
  • interpreting spoken and written language;
  • natural language generation;
  • linguistic, mathematical, and psychological models of language;
  • nlp-based information extraction and retrieval;
  • corpus-based and statistical language modelling;
  • machine translation and translation aids;
  • question answering and information extraction;
  • natural language interfaces and dialogue systems;
  • natural language and multimodal systems;
  • message and narrative understanding systems;
  • evaluations of language systems;
  • embodied conversational agents;
  • computational lexicography;
  • summarisation.

We welcome submissions on any topic that is of interest to the LT community, and particularly encourage submissions that broaden the scope of our community through the consideration of practical LT applications and through multi-disciplinary research. We also specifically encourage submissions from industry.

Submission Format

All submissions should follow the ACL style guidelines and must be in PDF format.

Full paper submissions should follow the two-column format of ACL proceedings without exceeding eight (8) pages of content plus one extra page for references. Accepted full papers will be presented orally at the workshop.

Short paper submissions should also follow the two-column format of ACL proceedings without exceeding four (4) pages of content plus one extra page for references. Accepted short papers will be presented as posters at the workshop.

Note that full paper submissions can be accepted as short papers as determined by the program committee. Full papers will be distinguished from short papers in the proceedings.

Reviewing of papers will be double-blind. Therefore, the paper must not include the authors' names and affiliations. Furthermore, self-references that reveal the author's identity, e.g., "We previously showed (Smith, 1991) ...", must be avoided. Instead, use citations such as "Smith (1991) previously showed ...".

We strongly recommend the use of ACL LaTeX style files or Microsoft Word Style files tailored for this year's conference. The style files and example documents are available from the workshop website.We reserve the right to reject submissions that do not conform to these styles including font and page size restrictions.

If we cannot print your PDF file by the submission date it will be rejected without being reviewed. Therefore you are encouraged to send an early version with the typographical complexity of your final intended version so that we can check it is printable. Detailed directions for submission will be made available at the workshop website. Contact the organisers for any questions regarding this process.


The full proceedings volume will have an ISSN and will be published online on the ACL anthology website as well as the website of the Australasian Language Technology Association (ALTA).

Important Dates

  • Submissions deadline: Monday 19th September 2011
  • Accept/reject: Monday 10th October 2011
  • Final camera-ready copy: Monday 31st October 2011
  • ALTA Workshop: Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd December 2011

Workshop Co-Chairs

  • David Martinez (NICTA Victoria Research Lab and University of Melbourne)
  • Diego Molla (Macquarie University)

Program Committee

  • Timothy Baldwin (University of Melbourne)
  • Steven Bird (University of Melbourne)
  • Francis Bond (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
  • Wray Buntine (NICTA Canberra Research Lab and ANU)
  • Eric Choi (NICTA)
  • Jean-Yves Delort (Google)
  • Mark Dras (Macquarie University)
  • Rebecca Dridan (University of Melbourne)
  • Dominique Estival (University of Sydney)
  • Tanja Gaustad (Tilburg University, The Netherlands)
  • Ben Hachey (Macquarie University and CMCRC)
  • Nitin Indurkya (University of New South Wales and eBay Research Labs)
  • Alistair Knott (University of Otago, New Zealand)
  • Kazunori Komatani (Nagoya University, Japan)
  • Andrew Lampert (CSIRO)
  • Meladel Mistica (ANU)
  • Scott Nowson (Appen Butler Hill)
  • Cecile Paris (CSIRO)
  • Son Bao Pham (Vietnam National University, Vietnam)
  • Luiz Augusto Pizzato (University of Sydney)
  • David Powers (Flinders University)
  • Adam Saulwick (DSTO)
  • Andrea Schalley (Griffith University)
  • Rolf Schwitter (Macquarie University)
  • Hanna Suominen (NICTA Canberra Research Lab and ANU)
  • Menno Van Zaanen (Tilburg University, The Netherlands)
  • Jette Viethen (Tilburg University, The Netherlands)
  • Wayne Wobcke (University of New South Wales)
  • Simon Zwarts (Google)

Workshop Local Organisers

  • Hanna Suominen (NICTA Canberra Research Lab and ANU)
  • Wray Buntine (NICTA Canberra Research Lab and ANU)


The Australasian Language Technology Workshop is being organised by ALTA, the Australasian Language Technology Association. For any comments or questions about the workshop please contact the workshop organisers (workshop AT alta DOT asn DOT au).

David Martinez

Harvard-Australia Workshop on Language, Learning and Logic

Dates: 22nd-26th August 2011
Venue: MGSM Conference Centre, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia


The Centre for Language Sciences (CLaS) at Macquarie University, the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders (CCD), and the Harvard University Australian Studies Committee invite registration for the Harvard-Australia Workshop on Language, Learning and Logic to be held from 22nd-26th August 2011 at the MGSM Conference Centre, Macquarie University.

The workshop brings together an interdisciplinary group of national and international researchers to focus on fundamental research questions lying at the intersection of language, logic and learning. Philosophers and logicians study knowledge and how it can be represented and manipulated, while linguists study how meanings are expressed in human languages. Psychologists and computer scientists provide yet other viewpoints on how such knowledge is represented and acquired. Traditionally these questions have been investigated independently in separate faculties: logic has been studied by philosophers in the school of humanities, language has been studied by linguists in the social sciences, and learning has been studied by researchers from fields as disparate as psychology and computer science. This workshop brings together an eminent group of interdisciplinary researchers from Harvard and elsewhere to provide an opportunity for renewed interdisciplinary interaction on these fundamental questions.

Poster sessions

The poster sessions will provide a unique opportunity for young researchers to present their work and to get feedback from a group of eminent international scholars.

Workshop registration

The Workshop is open to the general academic community. Registration is free but as space is limited please register early to guarantee your participation. Priority will be given to students and post-docs presenting in the poster sessions, otherwise it’s first in, best dressed. Please contact for more information.

Invited speakers include

Dr Avery Andrews (Australian National University), Dr Ivano Caponigro (University of California, San Diego), Dr Max Cresswell (Victoria University), Dr Michael Frank (Stanford University), Dr Maria Teresa Guasti (University of Milan-Bicocca), Dr Alan Hajek (Australian National University), Dr C.-T. James Huang (Harvard University), Dr Frank Jackson (Princeton and Australian National University), Dr Drew Khlentzos (University of New England), Terje Lohndal (University of Maryland), Dr Amy Perfors (University of Adelaide), Dr Jonathan Schaffer (Australian National University), Dr Stuart Shieber (Harvard University), Dr Mike Smithson (Australian National University), Dr Jesse Snedeker (Harvard University), Dr Edward Stabler (University of California, Los Angeles), Dr Mark Steedman (University of Edinburgh)

Program Overview

Monday 22 August, Tuesday 23 August, Thursday 25 August, Friday 26 August: Invited Talks
Tuesday afternoon 23 August and Thursday afternoon 25 August: Poster Presentations
Wednesday morning 24 August: Tour of the KIT-Macquarie Brain Research Laboratory; free time in the afternoon

For further information, please see:

Mark Johnson, Stephen Crain and Drew Khlentzos
Local Organising Committee

Rosemary Eliott

Jobs, grants, and scholarships

The Gerhardt Laves Scholarship

The Gerhardt Laves Scholarship for 2011 has been awarded to Katerina Naitoro, an MA student at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. She will be undertaking field work on 'Are'are, a language spoken in the southern part of the Malaita province in the Solomon Islands. Our congratulations and best wishes to Katerina.

As there were no applications for the Michael Clyne Prize or for the Susan Kaldor Scholarship this year, these will not be awarded in 2011.

Lesley Stirling

PhD positions – University of Melbourne

Applications are invited for two PhD positions offered at the University of Melbourne in Australia as part of an Australia Research Council funded project: 'From little things, big things grow: how children learn a morphologically complex Australian indigenous language'. The positions are contingent on each applicant winning an Australian Postgraduate Award. Funding through the project will be available for Research Assistant work and for field work expenses.

The ARC Project: This groundbreaking project is the first to investigate the acquisition of Murrinh-Patha, one of a small number of Australian indigenous languages still being learned by children. The results of this research will be far-reaching as they will inform our understanding of the ways in which children learn grammatically complex languages, and facilitate the maintenance of this and other indigenous languages.

The successful candidate will be based at University of Melbourne and will carry out PhD work on an aspect of the acquisition of Murrinh-Patha, as well as Research Assistant work on the acquisition of morphosyntax in the language. This work will require periods of fieldwork in the remote Aboriginal community of Wadeye, NT. Potential areas of research include morphosyntactic development in children aged around 3-5 years and production and comprehension of children aged around 8-10 years. The candidate will be part of a research team including Dr. Rachel Nordlinger, Prof. Gillian Wigglesworth, Dr. Barbara Kelly and Dr. Joe Blythe.

Requirements: Applicants should hold an Honours or Masters degree in Linguistics, or an equivalent qualification, with a 10,000 word thesis marked at 80% or above. Ideally applicants will have a strong background in one or more of: morphosyntax; descriptive linguistics; Australian languages.

Starting date: The successful candidate will start at University of Melbourne in February 2012.

Applications: Interested applicants are to email Barbara Kelly on:
Expressions of interest should be received by August 31st, 2011.

Barbara Kelly

Scholarship: AIATSIS/ANU Linguistics Language Collection - Research Fellowship, ANU

Applications are invited for an ANU Research Fellowhip with the AIATSIS/ANU Linguistics Language Collection. Under the co-supervision of Sarah Cutfield and Jane Simpson, the scholar will work on research projects to add value to the collection of a specific language collection in the AIATSIS Archive, as well as participate in the general activities of the AIATSIS Language Unit.

'Adding value' to a language collection will involve transcribing and annotating language recordings, adding to the metadata, identifying analytical issues in the language and/or the data set and reporting on these as well as communicating with the relevant language community about the work being undertaken. Applicants may prefer to choose to identify a specific collection to work on, or they may prefer to be assigned a collection by the supervisors. Applicants should indicate in their application whether they have already identified a preferred collection to work on.

The scholar will reside on the ANU campus with other Summer Research scholars and have access to ANU libraries and facilities. Successful completion of the following linguistic subject areas at second/third year level is desired: phonetics/phonology, Australian Aboriginal languages. Indigenous applicants are especially encouraged to apply.

Details about the ANU research scholarships generally can be found here:

Particular details about the CASS/AIATSIS scholarships can be found here:

Deadline for applications: 31 August 2011


Sarah Cutfield, Language Research Fellow, AIATSIS
Jane Simpson, Head of School, Convenor (Linguistics), School of Language Studies

Jane Simpson

PhD candidates at Research Centre for Linguistic Typology

Call for expressions of interest for PhD candidates at Research Centre for Linguistic Typology to work in Papua New Guinea

Applications are invited for prospective PhD students to apply for positions at La Trobe University at the Research Centre for Linguistic Typology to conduct research as part of our project on the languages of East New Britain, Papua New Guinea. We are developing a team of researchers to work on a range of areas in relation to these languages, including people with experience and interests in language description, documentation, discourse analysis, lexicography, ethnography of communication, language contact, anthropological linguistics, sociolinguistics, language socialisation, the acquisition of marginalised languages, and literacy development in languages without a strong written standard.

PhDs in Australian universities generally involve no coursework, just a substantial dissertation. Candidates must therefore have had thorough coursework training before embarking on this PhD. We encourage the grounding of the PhD topic in a deep understanding of language structure, and previous coursework training should therefore have included courses on morphology, syntax, semantics, and phonetics/phonology, preferably taught from a typological/functional perspective.

The RCLT consists, at any one time, of around ten PhD students and a number Postdoctoral Fellows, plus six permanent members and several Honorary Fellows. Each year a number of senior scholars from across the world spend from three to six months with us as Visiting Fellows. All members of the Centre are carrying out work relating in a range of ways to language documentation and description, creating a rich environment for lively interaction and discussion.

The scholarship will be at the standard La Trobe University rate, Australian $22,500 p.a. Tuition fees are covered by a separate scholarship. These scholarships are offered on a competitive basis so a strong result in an MA program is required. In addition, appropriate allowance will be made to cover fieldwork expenses. The scholarship is for three years (with the possibility of a six month extension).

The closing date for international applicants is 30th September 2011 while the date for Australian and New Zealand applicants is 30th October 2011.
However, we encourage people to respond by 31st August in order to have time to assist with applications.

Prospective applicants are invited, in the first place, to get in touch with the Associate Director, Dr. Tonya Stebbins, at, providing details of their background, qualifications and interests (including a curriculum vitae and detailed project proposal).

Tonya Stebbins

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. Information for the Newsletter should be sent to the Editor, Andrea Schalley ( 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 Andrea 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 ( If you wish to check your membership status, change your address or make some other enquiry, please contact Doug.