Newsletter November 2013

Welcome to the latest Newsletter of the Australian Linguistic Society. As you might have noticed, the website has a new 'look and feel', as we are moving into using a content management system (released today!). I hope you like it. We are still in the progress of migrating old content over into the new system and will also add additional functionality over time.

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

2014 ALS Conference

The 2014 ALS Conference is being hosted by the University of Newcastle. The conference dates are:

Wednesday 10  December - Friday 12 December

Deadline for abstract submissions: Friday 5 September 2014.

See the Call for Papers.

Mark Harvey

ALS Annual General Meeting 2013 – Minutes

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013, Melbourne

Meeting started at 4.45 pm

Attendance: Adam Schembri, Peter Kipka, Aung Si, David Osgarby, Tom Ennever, Jacqueline Cook, James Bednall, Cliff Goddard, Kate Horrack, Brighde Collins, Trevor Johnston, Caroline Jones, Jane Simpson, Bill Palmer, Aidan Wilson, Ian Green, Christina Eira, Lucy Davidson, Joshua Clothier, William Forshaw, Ashild Naess, Harold Koch, Kimiko Tsukada, Alexandra Marley, Evan Kidd, Simone Graetzer, Rosey Billington, Eleanor Lewis, Adele Gregory, Pam Peters, Kate Burridge, Erich Round, Jill Vaughan, David Nash, Jill Wigglesworth, Joe Blythe, Myf Turpin, Maya Bradley, David Bradley, Gavan Breen, Rachel Nordlinger, Annie Edwards-Cameron, Stephen Morey, Michael Walsh, Felicity Meakins, Hossein Shokouhi, Clodagh Norwood, Helen Fraser, Ruth Singer, Robert Mailhammer, I Wayan Arka, John Hajek, Benjamin Riley, Jean Mulder, Amanda Miller-Amberber, Mat Bettinson, Ben Volchok, Deborah Hill, Nick Reid, Gabrielle Hodge, Nathaniel D. Young, Lauren Gawne, Janet Fletcher, Birgit Hellwig, Andy Butcher, Samantha Disbray, Jonathan Moodie, Lochlan Morrissey, Nick Thieberger, Mark Harvey, Lesley Stirling, Keith Allan.

1. Apologies

Helen Tebble, Diana Eades, Jeff Siegel, Alan Libert, Neil Bell, Mary Laughren, Andrea Schalley, Celeste Rodriguez, Alice Gaby, Barb Kelly.

2. Minutes of the 2012 AGM

Acceptance moved by Lesley Stirling, seconded David Nash. Carried.

3. Matters arising

Lesley Stirling (LS) reported on the response to the letter she sent to the ARC requesting the inclusion of new scholarly outputs and their response in academic metrics. The ARC is well disposed to the idea and will liaise with the ALS and looks forward to hearing of the ALS’s progress in assessing such collections.

Motion 1: “That the ALS establish a subcommittee to review collections of primary data in order that they can be considered equivalent to other scholarly outputs.”

Felicity Meakins asked if dictionaries could be included in the subcommittee’s deliberations. After discussion the amended version was put by LS, seconded Michael Walsh. Carried.

Motion 1 (amended): “That the ALS establish a subcommittee to review the status of collections of primary data and other outputs including dictionaries as scholarly outputs for research evaluation purposes.”

The following motion corrects an inconsistency in the current ALS constitution. A change to the constitution requires a motion put by six members and passed by the AGM. The following motion was put by Nick Thieberger, Lesley Stirling, Keith Allan, Caroline Jones, Mark Harvey, Jonathan Moodie.

Seconded by Trevor Johnston. Carried.

Motion 1a: That the ALS adopt the practice of two-year terms for the PG rep and amend the paragraph on its website as follows.

3. The terms of office for officers other than the Editor of the Journal shall run for two Annual General Meetings. One Vice-President, the Secretary, Associate Secretary, Treasurer shall be elected in even numbered years. The President, two Vice-Presidents and the Postgraduate Student Representative shall be elected in odd numbered years. The Editor shall be elected for a term of five years.

4. Reports

4.1 President

LS reported that the main work of the ALS Executive in 2013 was the changeover to a new membership system run by Taylor and Francis. She noted we had made a submission on the effectiveness of NAPLAN and endorsed a submission by AALA and the Australian Council of TESOL Associations put to the Senate Standing Committee in June, with an emphasis on learners of English as a second dialect, including speakers of Indigenous languages and non-standard varieties of English.

The President noted the passing of Professor Darrell Tryon.

4.2 Secretary

Nothing to report

4.3 Treasurer

(See PDF file for the 2013 financial statement)

Motion 2 Mark Harvey, seconded Nick Thieberger. Carried.

“That the ALS Membership Fees from 2014 onwards be as follows:

  AJL Electronic only  AJL Print & Electronic
Regular (full) $60 p.a. $70 p.a.
(full-time student, unemployed, pensioner)
$30 p.a. $35 p.a.”

Motion 3 Mark Harvey, seconded Lesley Stirling. Carried.

“That the following Financial Objectives be adopted by the ALS:

  1. To annually assess the expenditure objectives of the society.
  2. To establish and maintain longer term plans for the relationship between the Society’s capital and the Society’s expenditure.
  3. To annually assess the plan for the relationship between capital and expenditure.
  4. To increase income to cover additional and unforeseen expenses.
  5. To maintain an institutionalized system of financial records
  6. To provide transparency to members and annual financial report to AGM
  7. To meet the statutory reporting requirements associated with the Society's legal status.”

4.4 Journal Editors

As a representative of ALS, the journal editor is responsible for all editorial expenses and in recognition of that, T&F make an annual grant of $10,000 to ALS. In 2013 this sum has been transferred to me as the editor of AJL.

T&F pay royalties of 30% to ALS on all receipts of sales of AJL and articles from the AJL.

Each financial member of ALS receives a print copy of AJL free of charge and also has access to the online journal.

The page budget for each volume of AJL is 544 pages, divided as equally as possible among four issues of 136 pages each. There are typically four or five articles per issue and book reviews – ably managed by Alan Libert, whom I warmly thank.

In 2012, was accessible to more than 12,000 ‘academic libraries’ and 6,000 ‘libraries in developing nations’. There were 10, 303 full text downloads in 2012. The top 10 are:

Vol (Iss)




29 (2)

Johanna Rendle- Short

The Address Term Mate in Australian English: Is it Still a Masculine Term?


31 (4)

Helen Bromhead

The Bush in Australian English


17 (2)

Jonathan Harrington, Felicity Cox, Zoe Evans

An acoustic phonetic study of broad, general, and cultivated Australian English vowels


29 (1)

Cliff Goddard

The 'Communication Concept‛ and the 'Language Concept‛ in Everyday English


29 (1)

Anthony J. Liddicoat

Communication as Culturally Contexted Practice: A View from Intercultural Communication


1 (1)

James D. McCawley

Notes on the english present perfect


32 (1)

Lesley Stirling, Alan Dench

Tense, Aspect, Modality and Evidentiality in Australian Languages: Foreword


31 (1)

Ghil'ad Zuckermann, Michael Walsh

Stop, Revive, Survive: Lessons from the Hebrew Revival Applicable to the Reclamation, Maintenance and Empowerment of Aboriginal Languages and Cultures


29 (1)

Susana A. Eisenchlas

Conceptualizing ‚Communication‛ in Second Language Acquisition


25 (1)

Patrick McConvell, Felicity Meakins

Gurindji Kriol: A Mixed Language Emerges from Code- switching


Congratulations if your name is there.

Since my last report 103 papers have been submitted: 22 were immediately rejected as inappropriate; 18 were rejected following referees’ reports; 20 were accepted (usually after revision); 33 are awaiting some kind of revision (and may not be published); 10 are under review. This is an acceptance rate of almost 19.5%. Authors from 20 countries submitted work:

Authors by country

The 2010 impact factor was 0.208. AJL’s impact factor improved during 2011 to 0.263. In 2012 it has dropped to 0.143, which is distressing – but the impact fact of other journals has also dropped. I don’t know why.

At the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013 there was a dearth of papers ready for publication. As a result Volume 33-1 contained just three papers in addition to book reviews. However the second issue was a more respectable five papers and an introduction to the special issue on ‘Romance Linguistics in the Pacific: Variation in Time and Space’ ed. by Elisabeth Mayer and Manuel Delicado. Plus an additional, sixth, paper on Gurindji Kriol because the previous issue had been slim.

The third issue, 33-3, is currently in press. It is a special issue edited by Cliff Goddard on ‘Semantics and/in social cognition’ which consists of seven papers using NSM as a descriptive tool.

I am pleased to say that issue 33-4 will go to press later this month. It consists of four papers on a variety of topics.

And the future is looking bright. I already have copy for a special issue edited by Pam Peters and Michael Haugh on matters arising from the Australian National Corpus which will probably be 34-1 and I am also promised copy for two further special issues, one on non-verbal communication from Barb Kelly, Adam Schembri and Jenny Green and another from Celeste Rodriguez on English in Australia.

Thanks again to all those who spend time reviewing for AJL. Thanks to all of you who have submitted papers. Please submit good stuff to AJL to raise its impact factor.

Keith Allan, Editor Australian Journal of Linguistics

4.5 Associate Secretary (Newsletter Editor)

(See item 10 below)

4.6 CIPL Representative

David Bradley reported that the next CIPL conference will be held in Cape Town in 2018. He is currently the Vice-President of CIPL and acting President.

4.7 Pacific Linguistics Representative

Bill Palmer reported that PL is now part of Mouton de Gruyter but that they also have several new series of Open Access publications.

4.8 ALS2013 Organisers

Rachel Nordlinger (2013 Conference Chair) reported there had been 195 registrations, including 16 volunteers and 30 one-day registrations. Free registration was provided to 20 non-local student presenters. The conference will most likely return a small profit to the ALS. There will be an online proceedings edited by Jill Vaughan and Lauren Gawne. The online manual for organising the ALS conference (started by John Henderson) will be updated and shared with the organisers of ALS 2014.

Rachel thanked the sponsors, the Arts Faculty, and the School of Languages and Linguistics at U.Melbourne for their support. She thanked the ALS organising committee, especially Brett Baker and Jean Mulder for organising the abstract reviews and the program, all of the student volunteers, and Lauren Gawne for doing all the adminstrative work so admirably.

4.9 ALS2014 Organisers

Mark Harvey reported that ALS 2014 will be held in the first week of December 2014 at Newcastle.

5. Future ALI and ALS conferences

We are yet to find a venue for the ALS 2015 conference.

6. Australian Computational and Linguistics Olympiad (OzCLO)

We had a very successful 2013 competition, with 1,459 students from 88 schools participating across 7 states and territories (1,049 of which competed online) - in the ACT, NSW (with 2 regions), NT, QLD, SA, VIC, WA. That is, 6.4 participants out of every 100,000 people living in Australia participated. The Northern Territory participated for the first time and did so very successfully.

The winning team came from QLD this year, the runner up team from WA. Both teams travelled to the International Olympiad (IOL) in Manchester in July (for the first time, Australia was represented by two teams in the International Olympiad). One of the girls from the winning team received an individual Bronze Medal at the IOL - a great outcome for Australia! As usual, the teams had a fabulous time overseas. [Andrea Schalley]

OzCLO is an excellent outreach activity for linguistics across Australia, and we would like to ask for regular support from the ALS in form of an annual contribution towards its running costs.

Motion 4  Moved by Lesley Stirling, seconded by Cliff Goddard. Carried.

“That the Australian Linguistic Society (ALS) will support the Australian Computational and Linguistic Olympiad (OzCLO) with a payment of $5,000 per annum for an initial period of five years (until 2018).”

Rachel Nordlinger asked ALS members to help by preparing problem data sets.

7. Awards (Laves, Clyne, Kaldor, Talkley)

Lesley Stirling thanked John Henderson for organising the Laves, Clyne and Kaldor prizes.

  • Michael Clyne Prize awarded to Dr Amanda Miller Amberber for her thesis on "Language Switching, Language Selection and Intervention in Bilingual Aphasia" (2012) Macquarie University.
  • ALS Susan Kaldor Scholarship awarded to Kate Horrack, PhD Candidate, University of Melbourne. For attendance at the 2013 LSA Institute.
  • Gerhardt Laves Scholarship awarded to Brighde Collins, MA Research Candidate, University of Melbourne. For Fieldwork on Ngandi in the Ngukurr area (NT).

Talkley Award: PG Rep Jonathan Moodie reported that the postgrads who had organised the Talkley Award suggest that it be awarded every two years.

A reminder of the criteria used in awarding the Talkley: "The Talkley Award is presented each year to the ALS member who has done the most to promote linguistics in the public sphere. The Award acknowledges that the discipline of linguistics needs champions to explain its relevance to Australia at large. The winner may be an individual who has raised awareness about language to the general public -- eg, through public lectures, books, engagement with the media, etc -- with accuracy and clarity. They may also be someone who has effectively influenced policy by explaining how linguistic evidence can be used to solve real-life language problems. Nominations are sought from the ALS membership for review by the Executive Committee. The winner is announced at the AGM."

8. Report on Fully (Sic)

Report by Lauren Gawne: Fully (Sic) is still hosted on Crikey's website. We receive very positive feedback from them, and it's a good audience.

People thanked: Regulars: Greg Dickson, Aidan Wilson, William Steed, Piers Kelly, Claire Bowern

Guest Contributors: Allie Severin, John Olstad, Ben Purser, Bruce Birch, Nenagh Kemp

Request: Please contribute, please ask your students to contribute. Need only be around 500 words, very informal and general. Check out the blog for more

9. Election of ALS Officers

As the number of vacancies on the ALS Executive matched the number of nominations the following were declared to be elected:

President (Nomination: Lesley Stirling)

Two Vice presidents (Nomination: Bill Palmer; Caroline Jones)

Treasurer (Nomination: Mark Harvey)

PG rep (Nomination: Lochlan Morrissey)

Lesley Stirling thanked John Henderson for his service as Vice President.

10. Webpage, mailing list, and membership management

The handover of the membership management to Taylor & Francis has been completed. Any membership enquiries, address updates, membership payment matters should be directly addressed to Taylor & Francis at the moment (this is due to change again once the new webpage is up, see below). Our contact person at Taylor & Francis is Tanudja Gibson (

The mailing list has also been migrated and updated. The webpage migration is currently in full swing and should be completed by the end of this year. The migration is not just the migration of the static content but we are building an interactive system that will comprise new functionality and will also facilitate the interaction with Taylor and Francis on membership matters. Watch this space for a new look and feel of the webpage. [Andrea Schalley]

11. Accessibility issues at ALS conferences

Access at ALS, discussion issues prepared by Caroline Jones, Trevor Johnston, John Henderson, Mark Harvey, with input from Rachel Nordlinger.

Issue: Protracted negotiations on case-by-case basis between host uni, home uni, and ALS about funding to support access at ALS conferences by staff/students.

How it tends to happen:

  • Host university may not consider it has any responsibility as the ALS venue.
  • ALS has relatively limited funds; ALS conference has variable attendance (recently 84-200) and may not have much budget for access.
  • Home university may ask the conference to look into other sources of funding, but then provide funding under pressure and if no one else will.

Legal situation:

  • If a university ‘owns’ an academic / prof conf (under its aegis and open to public / association), Trevor thinks it would be obliged to provide non-discriminatory access if requested.
  • Associations like ALS have a legal ‘out’ if costs would lead to unreasonable hardship.
  • As regards postgrad students, John Henderson suggested Alan Dench could raise the issue of Australian unis getting a common policy, at national committee of Deans of Graduate Studies.

Possible solutions:

(1) University academics support a deaf-community-based lobbying approach to Fed and State governments to extend “employment access” rights to conferences and workshops where a member or registrant needs to access support.

Advantages: Rights brought into line with access to other support for government services or employment/study. Cost carried across society. Individual does not have to continually lobby and feel like they’re imposing.

In the short-term, possible options for partial cover, for discussion:

(1) Ask all future ALS conference organisers to budget for a contribution of $2000 for possible access costs (~ $15 per rego, depending on registrations).

(2) If an ALS conference makes a loss, build a (non-explicit) levy into registration for the next ALS conference.

(3) Slightly raise annual ALS membership to fund an account earmarked for ALS access, so cost is spread across ALS members not just ALS conf registrants.

Proposal for members to consider:

Trevor to draft submission letter from ALS to VCs, also Fed Govt to ask that employment access be extended to students and staff who attend prof/academic conferences who need special access:

1. Enrolled students who present a paper at the ALS conference should be considered to be doing required coursework. Attention: universities.

2. Members attending need to be covered by some ‘access to work’ legislation. Attention: universities and government.

Trevor can draft letter for VCs, Christopher Pyne. Meanwhile, for 2014 conf and beyond: Suggest that the call for papers and the early rego explicitly ask all people who might attend to contact organisers asap re access so that ALS can assist in negotiations (until the law is changed).

Motion. Moved by Caroline Jones, seconded by Nick Thieberger. Carried.

That the ALS ask Trevor Johnston to prepare a submission to universities and government to be circulated to the Exec.

12. Any Other Business

Mark Harvey suggested that the ALS develop discipline-specific graduate attributes to be used by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). Jane Simpson said it was a good idea that the ALS do this to avoid each department having to go through the effort individually.

Motion. Moved by Mark Harvey, seconded by Lesley Stirling. Carried.

That the ALS establish a subcommittee to write a draft set of attributes of graduates of linguistic majors for use in the AQF.

Jane Simpson reported on efforts to teach Australian Indigenous languages at tertiary institutions, and the possibility of preparing materials for remote delivery. She and John Giacon are organising a directory of existing courses.

Adam Schembri reported that the 12th conference on theoretical issues in sign linguistics will be held in Melbourne in 2016. He asked for help in finding sponsorship.

Meeting closed at 6.15 pm.

Nick Thieberger

Founding / honorary member of AIAS, Lynette Oates

A message reached us from Jeana Bajic, AIATSIS:

A sad note to inform you that Lynette Frances Oates linguist and a member of the Institute passed away peacefully on 11 November, 2013.

She and her husband, W.J. Oates, were leaders in the Victorian Branch of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, and both were present at the 1961 Research Conference that provided a framework for the creation of the AIAS, what was to become the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies in Canberra in 1961; both becoming foundation members.

During her time as Linguistic Research Assistant to the AIAS, Lynette compiled the ‘1973 supplement to A revised Linguistic Survey of Australia’- a set of 2 volumes listing all Indigenous languages known at the time and giving basic descriptions of most with references to research done and geographic location of each. She also did descriptions of the Gunwinggu and Muruwari languages, and deposited five collections of recordings with the Institute Audiovisual Archive. Lynette made many hours of recordings with Mrs Emily Horneville of Goodooga, who was a fluent speaker of Muruwari.  

In her later life Lynette became a published author of biographical works:

  • Hidden People – 1992
  • Australian Partisan – 1997
  • Not in the Common Mould – 1998
  • Against the Wind – 2003
  • With the Big Guns – 2006
  • and finishing with her Autobiography Winke’s Story – 2008

Lynette requested the AIATSIS were informed of her passing.

Rachel Nordlinger, Jane Simpson

Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity (RNLD) and the Research Unit for Indigenous Language (RUIL) Partnership

The Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity (RNLD) and the Research Unit for Indigenous Language (RUIL) in the School of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Melbourne are excited to announce their partnership in a new student volunteer program to be launched in 2014. This scheme will link up students in linguistics at the University of Melbourne with Indigenous participants who are studying linguistics modules through RNLD's Documenting and Revitalising Indigenous Languages (DRIL) training program.

In 2014, RUIL will sponsor five students in the first intake to this program. Each volunteer will join RNLD trainers in a community-based workshop to get to know the participants and understand the community context and the training needs. They will then offer some focused 'on-call' linguistic tutoring to DRIL participants throughout the year. The volunteers will learn more about Indigenous languages and have the opportunity to gain experience in community-based training and build an effective partnership with Indigenous people. RNLD and RUIL will provide orientation workshops and will mentor volunteers throughout the year.

Margaret Florey, Rachel Nordlinger

News from the University of Queensland

ARC Success

Mark Nielsen and Ilana Mushin – The developmental origins of tool innovation

Solving new problems by making new tools, or using old tools in new ways, is a hallmark of our species. Theoretical and experimental enquiry into children’s developing socio-cognitive abilities conflicts with recent research suggesting young children are poor tool innovators. This project will be the first to confidently disambiguate our knowledge about whether children are capable of tool innovation by systematically investigating their abilities using a new comprehensive battery of tasks, novel test conditions and the integration of data from industrialised and indigenous communities in Australia and Southern Africa. 

Felicity Meakins – Out of the mouths of babes: The role of Indigenous children in language change

Over the last 225 years, English has left an indelible footprint on the linguistic landscape of Australia. Many Indigenous languages now learnt by children have undergone restructuring under the influence of English. One of these languages is Gurindji. This project is a diachronic investigation of cross-generational language change in an Indigenous language. It examines the linguistic input Gurindji children received from their caregivers as infants and charts its influence on their subsequent language use.

Recent major publications

  • Morton, Katie and Mary Kemerr, Myf Turpin and Alison Ross. (2013) Antarrengeny Awely: Alyawarr Women's Songs from Antarrengeny. Batchelor, Australia: Batchelor Press.
    The book was launched at  Arnkawenyerr (Rocket Range homeland) on 28 August 2013. Myf also gave a public lecture at the University of Queensland Art Museum on 24 May 2013 to showcase the new book.
  • Meakins, Felicity, Patrick McConvell, Erika Charola, Norm McNair, Helen McNair & Lauren Campbell (compilers). (2013). Gurindji to English Dictionary. Batchelor, Australia: Batchelor Press.
    The book was launched by Maurie Ryan (president of Central Land Council) at the annual Freedom Day celebrations at Kalkaringi on 23 August 2013. The dictionary (with sound and images) is also now available free online through AUSIL:

Recent completed theses

Mohammad Al Zahrani. Mophosyntactic and Semantic Properties of Hijazi Arabic Modals. Supervisors: Ilana Mushin and Mary Laughren

Other news

Rob Pensalfini has been named on the Arts Queensland Wall of Fame as a Culture Champion. As well as his linguistic work, this award honours his role as the Artistic Director of the Queensland Shakespeare Company and as the director of the Shakespeare prison program.

Felicity Meakins

News from Griffith University

Past event

Symposium 'Pragmatics Meets Semantics'

15-16 November 2013
Southbank Campus, Griffith University

Keynote speakers included Professor Istvan Kecskes (State University of New York Albany), Professor Keith Allan (Monash University) and our own Professor Cliff Goddard (Griffith University).

The programme is available on the School's website.

HDR news

Wei-Lin Melody Chang, Yijun Guo, and Ali Mohamed have had their PhDs conferred over the last few months. Congratulations on this achievement!

Bao Hoang, Angela Cook, Roland Landor, and Jocelyn Wolfe all submitted their theses recently. Very well done to all four and we wish you well in your examination processes and academic careers.

Nathaniel Mitchell won the Griffith University 3-minute Thesis Competition and went on to represent Griffith in excellent style at the national finals in Sydney on 17 October.

We welcome a number of new-ish PhD candidates: Hu Bing, James Chalmers, Pamela Humphreys, Desiree Kawabata, Lochlan Morrissey, Mai Nguyen, Claire Rodway and Roslyn Rowen.


Michael Haugh was a visiting scholar at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the State University of New York Albany for two weeks in late September-early October, as part of an ARC-funded project on ‘Australians and Americas talking’.

Manfred Krifka (Humboldt U. and Director of the Centre for General Linguistics in Berlin, German) visited in early August and gave a very interesting presentation in the the School's Research Seminar Series (

Andrea Schalley

News from the University of Newcastle

New grants

Mark Harvey in collaboration with Rob Mailhammer (UWS) has been awarded an ARC DP grant for 2014-2016 for a major project investigating the notion of Proto-Australian.

This project addresses a central question about Australia’s past. Are all the languages of Australia related, deriving from a common source language: Proto-Australian. The project will examine the implications of a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ answer for analyses of Australian prehistory, and for general analyses of human prehistory. The project involves extensive documentation of an endangered language Yanyuwa, because of the significance of Yanyuwa data in deciding between a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ answer. The project will provide a descriptive grammar of Yanyuwa, a book evaluating the Proto-Australian hypothesis, and articles discussing the significance of the success or failure of the hypothesis for theories of the general human past.

Postdoctoral visitors

This semester we have brought to Newcastle two postdoctoral visitors who are working on large external postdoctoral fellowship grant applications: Juliette Huber (from Lund University, Sweden), who works on Makalero, a Timor-Alor-Pantar language of East Timor, and Michael Franjieh, (from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London), who works on the North Ambrym and Orkon/Fanbak languages of Vanuatu.

PhD news

Emily Ondondo recently completed her PhD with a thesis on the morphology and phonology of Kisa, her native Bantu variety from Kenya.

The department will be joined in early 2014 by at least six new international PhD students and several domestic students.

Currently Jonathan Schlossberg is in the Marshall Islands collecting data on spatial language in Marshallese for Bill Palmer’s ARC DP project with Alice Gaby (Monash) on spatial reference in atoll-based languages. The second PhD student on the project, Jonathon Lum, is currently carrying out his fieldwork in the Maldives.

Lydia Green is about to return to the field in Ghana to work on her doctoral project What Plants Can Say About Language Shift: An Investigation of Language Ecology in Ikpana, An Endangered Language of Ghana.

On his most recent field trip, Stephen Logan identified Ratsua, a previously unrecognised Oceanic language of Bougainville. He has since received a field work grant from the Endangered Languages Documentation Project to carry out further documentation work on Ratsua, and he will return to Bougainville in early 2014.

Ellen Smith returned from a field trip to Bougainville where she is working on language endangerment and language contact in the highly endangered Papapana language.

Notable publications

Alan Libert’s latest book, Adpositions and Other Parts of Speech, published by Peter Lang, came out in October.

Other news

In the past few months Alan Libert has made two trips to the United States to take up two short fellowships. His projects were: Kentucky Attitudes and Identity as Revealed through Anthroponyms and Toponyms in Food Names at the Kentucky Historical Society and Culinary Anthroponyms and Toponyms as Indicators of Virginian Identity and Historical Consciousness at the Virginia Historical Society.

Bill Palmer

News from the University of New England


ARC Discovery Project grant

Dr Liz Ellis, Professor Margaret Sims
DP140102659 - Bilingualism in the bush: reconceptualising 'speech community' in immigrant family language maintenance in regional Australia
($278,000) 2014 - 2016

Primary FoR        2004       LINGUISTICS

Project Summary
This project will investigate how immigrant families in regional Australian centres maintain their children's home language(s) in the absence of the critical mass of speakers, networks and resources found in metropolitan areas. It will establish how such families can best be supported through community and educational services to ensure that children grow up bilingual, with the attendant benefits of improved cognitive, social and academic skills. The project will examine home practices and the interface between home and early childhood services.
Outcomes will include a better understanding of successful family language planning practices in isolated regions and a reconceptualisation of 'speech community' through communications technologies.

New Books

G. Hyslop, S. Morey and M. W. Post, Eds. (2013) North East Indian Linguistics Vol. 5. New Delhi, Cambridge University Press India.


Dr Mark Post co-organized a workshop on "Person-sensitive TAME-marking in Tibeto-Burman languages" at the Himalayan Languages Symposium in Canberra in September together with Lauren Gawne.

Liz Ellis

News from James Cook University (Language and Culture Research Centre)

LCRC Visiting Fellows

Dr Knut Olawsky, Senior Linguist, Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring Language and Culture Centre, Kununurra, WA, is currently visiting LCRC (until mid-December 2013). During his visit, he is working on various areas of Miriwoong grammar (Jarrakan family, East Kimberley (Western Australia)), including word classes, possession, demonstrative systems and discourse marking.

Adjunct Fellow

Dr Coleen Oates, an expert on Ninggerum (Ok family, PNG), and an expert in the areas of education, translation and linguistics, has been appointed as Adjunct Fellow at LCRC.

Further Activities

Diana Forker presented two papers at the Annual Meeting of the Australian Linguistic Society: 'Conjunction particles in Nakh-Daghestanian - topic, focus or something else?' and 'Person marking and information structure in Nakh-Daghestanian'. Her further activities featured a poster presentation entitled 'What minority languages teach us', at the Annual Symposium of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Sydney (October 2013).

Hannah Sarvasy gave the first linguistics colloquium presentation of Fall 2013 term. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada on 'Across the Great Divide: How Papuan Languages Carried Austronesian Birth-Order Terms Over the Saruwaged Mountains.’ She also presented a linguistics colloquium 'The Multifaceted ma in Nungon', at University of California, Santa Barbara.

Grant Aiton gave a presentation 'Climate change and carbon trade' at a local village meeting at Lake Campbell, Western Province, PNG, 20 September 2013.

Two edited volumes, Possession and ownership: a cross-linguistic typology (Oxford: Oxford University Press: 2013, edited by Aikhenvald and Dixon), and Perception and cognition in language and culture (Leiden: Brill, edited by Aikhenvald and Anne Storch) were launched by Professor Nola Alloway, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, JCU, on 2 October 2013.

Alexandra Aikhenvald's grammar The Manambu language of East Sepik, Papua New Guinea, a Manambu-English dictionary and a collection of stories (2013; compiled jointly with Pauline Yuaneng A. Luma Laki) were launched at the Avatip Primary School, Ambunti district, East Sepik Province, PNG, on 23 September 2013.

Past Events

Non-Spatial Setting in Finisterre-Huon Languages. An International Workshop

The international workshop 'Tense and Aspect in Finisterre-Huon Languages: Similarities and Differences' was convened at the Language and Culture Research Centre, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia, on 7-8 October, 2013. The international workshop brought together linguistic fieldworkers, each with years of experience working with a particular Finisterre-Huon language, as well as other linguists specializing in Papuan languages. The Finisterre-Huon language group is little-understood and no rigorous comparative analysis has yet established the relatedness of languages within the group. This international workshop is the first conference ever to systematically explore one grammatical category across several Finisterre-Huon languages, with the aim of advancing our understanding of shared and divergent characteristics of tense and aspect systems in languages of the group. The Workshop was supported by JCU Research Office.

Further details, including the program, are at

Current fieldwork

  • Kasia Wojtylak (PhD student) is currently undertaking fieldwork on Murui Witoto, a Witotoan language from Colombia.
  • Simon Overall (PostDoctoral Research Fellow) is undertaking fieldwork on Candoshi, an isolate in Peru.

Published and forthcoming books

  • van den Elsen, Alexandra. 2013. Exploring Language Loss and Identity: Aboriginal Perspectives. Munich: Lincom Europa.
  • Mihas, Elena, Bernard Perley, Gabriel Rei-Doval and Kathleen Wheatley. 2013. Editors of Responses to language endangerment: In Honor of Mickey Noonan. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Mihas, Elena. Forthcoming (2014). History, landscape and ritual in the narratives of the Upper Perené Arawaks. University of Nebraska Press.
  • Dixon, R. M. W. Forthcoming (2014). Making new words: Morphological derivation in English. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Dixon, R. M. W. Forthcoming (2015). Edible gender, mother-in-law style and other grammatical wonders: Case studies in Dyirbal, Yidiñy and Warrgamay. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Overall, Simon. Forthcoming. A grammar of Aguaruna. Berlin: de Gruyter Mouton.

Forthcoming events

Gender, Culture and Cognition An International Workshop

Convenor: Angeliki Alvanoudi


All sessions will take place in the Cairns Institute Building, D3-150

Wednesday, 27 November

1.30 p.m. Opening Rosita Henry
1.40 p.m. Introduction Angeliki Alvanoudi
2.00 p.m.               Alexandra Aikhenvald    To choose a gender: shape, size, value and whatever
3.00 p.m. Azeb Amha Male drums and female drums: semantic gender and inanimate nouns in Omotic languages
4.00 p.m. Tea/coffee-break  
4.30 p.m. Angeliki Alvanoudi The non-fit between grammatical gender and sex in Greek
5.30 p.m Finish  

Thursday, 28 November

9.00 a.m. Diana Forker Gender in Hinuq and other Nakh-Daghestanian languages
10.00 a.m. Hannah Sarvasy Covert gender in Nungon
11.00 a.m. Tea/coffee-break  
11.30 a.m. Roland Landor The influence of grammatical gender on cognition: a “clouding” effect"
12.30 p.m. Lunch  
2.00 p.m. Bob Dixon Edible and the other genders in Dyirbal
3.00 p.m. Tea/coffee-break  
3.30 p.m. till finish   Sum up and discussion, led by Angeliki Alvanoudi

Everyone is welcome.

Local Workshop of LCRC on Demonstratives and directionals

This workshop started on 22 May 2013 and will continue until February 2014. The Position paper, by Alexandra Aikhenvald, is available upon request from

Roundtable meetings and other events

These all take place at 4 p.m. in room D3-150 in the Cairns Institute building.

  • Local Workshop, Wednesday 13 November: 12. Valérie Guérin – 'Demonstratives and directionals in Mavea'
  • Local Workshop, Wednesday 20 November: 13. Knut Olawsky – 'Demonstratives and directionals in Miriwoong'
  • Seminar, Wednesday 4 December: Azeb Amha – 'Omotic studies: State of the art'
  • Local Workshop, Wednesday 11 December: 14. Diana Forker – 'Demonstratives and directionals in Hinuq'

there follows the summer break

  • Seminar, Wednesday 15 January: Alexandra van den Elsen – 'Exploring language loss and identity: Aboriginal perspectives'
  • Local Workshop, Wednesday 22 January: 15. Juliane Böttger – 'Demonstratives and directionals in Lele'
  • Local Workshop, Wednesday 29 January:  16. Grant Aiton – 'Demonstratives and directionals in Aimele'

The LCRC Annual Bulletin and updates are currently available at

Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

News from the Australian National University

News from the Linguistics Department of the College of Asia & The Pacific (CAP) has been compiled in our newsletter available online:

The recent newsletter includes:

  • report on the successful Fifth International Conference on Austroasiatic Linguistics (ICAAL5) and the 19th Himalayan Languages Symposium (HLS19);
  • updates on the southern New Guinea Project;
  • details on Nick Evans' documentary 'Language Matters';
  • Newsabout the release on the Music of Vanuatu CD, by Alex François;   
  • Updates on publications and international conference presentations.

We hope you will take some time to peruse our newsletter. Previous editions are also available via our department's website.

Fanny Cottet

News from the University of Melbourne

Research Unit for Indigenous Language

For all the information about our recent activities, grants, projects and news, see our just-published newsletter, available at:

Rachel Nordlinger

News from the University of Adelaide

Dr Mark Clendon's Aboriginal collaborator Monty Hale's book Kurlumarniny won the WA Premier's History Award on 16 September 2013. 

Joshua Nash's recently published book Insular Toponymies: Place-naming on Norfolk Island, South Pacific and Dudley Peninsula, Kangaroo Island will be launched on 28 November 2013 in the Special Collections, Barr Smith Library, University of Adelaide. Professor Peter Mühlhäusler will be launching the book. This may be your last chance to catch Josh before he retires and disappears from the all-too-bright limelight of an distinguished (yet short lived) career at the forefront of the Australian linguistics scene. Time: 4.15pm for a 4.30pm start.

Adelaide Linguistic Research Colloquium 2014, Semester 1 Programme

3 March Professor Ghil‘ad Zuckermann, Adelaide: Genomics and Revivalistics: Language and the DNA.
10 March Associate Professor Bruna Franchetto (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), Dr Rafael Nonato (MIT) and Livia Camargo-Tavares (Brazilian Indigenous Language Documentation Project): Endangered Languages in Brazil.
17 March Dr Michael Walsh, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), Canberra: The Birds and the Bees: Issues in Translating an Aboriginal Song Text from North-West Australia.
24 March (A) Irma Kuci, Adelaide: Albanian: History, Dialects and Grammar;
(B) Yosep Kroon, PhD candidate in Endangered Languages, Adelaide: The Grammar of Solor – Lamaholot, an Endangered Eastern Indonesia Language.
31 March Professor Lester-Irabinna Rigney, Dean of Indigenous Education, Adelaide: ‘The Stupid Country’: Where to Now for Australian Indigenous Languages.
7 April Dr Wolfgang Haak, Adelaide: The Formation of Europe's Genetic Diversity and Implications for the Spread of Indo-European Languages.
Mid-semester break
28 April Professor Richard B. Baldauf Jr, Professor of TESOL Education, The University of Queensland: The Policy and Planning of English in Asia in a Globalized World: A Critical Reflection.
5 May Associate Professor Mary Oonah Griffiths, Media, Adelaide: Uncivil Jocks and Bloggers: An Analysis of Disruptive Media Commentary.
12 May Professor Roly Sussex OAM, The University of Queensland: Language as an Instrument in Conceptualizing, Diagnosing and Managing Pain.
16-17 May Adelaide Language Festival (ALF), University of Adelaide
19 May Professor Kate Burridge, Monash University: Telling it as it isn't – The life-cycle of a euphemism.
26 May (A) Jasmin Morley, PhD candidate in Revivalistics, Adelaide: Language Revival: Change, Metamorphosis or Genesis?
(B) Abdul Alhaidari, Griffith University: Language Revival: Playing with Fire?
2 June Dr Simon De Deyne, ARC DECRA Fellow, Adelaide: Subjective Meaning in the Mental Lexicon: A Network Approach.


Ghil'ad Zuckermann, Joshua Nash

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

HCS vLab (Human Communication Science Virtual Lab – Thank you

Thanks for the excellent questions asked by audience members at the ALS Conference session on HCS vLab (Human Communication Science Virtual Lab, funded by NeCTAR – National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources).

In response, the HCS vLab team has produced an FAQ page. To read the answers to your questions, please visit:

Caroline Jones, John Hajek, Nick Thieberger


New Books Received November 2013

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.

  • Bell, A. (2014) The Guidebook to Sociolinguistics. Wiley Blackwell, Malden, MA.
  • Chambers, J. K. and N. Schilling, eds. (2013) The Handbook of Language Variation and Change (2nd edition). Wiley-Blackwell, Malden, MA.
  • Eades, D. (2013) Aboriginal Ways of Using English. Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra.
  • Fertig, D. (2013) Analogy and Morphological Change. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburg.
  • Goddard, C. (2011) Semantic Analysis: A Practical Introduction (Revised 2nd edition). Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Gordon, M. J. (2012) Labov: A Guide for the Perplexed. Bloomsbury, London.
  • Holmes, J. and K. Hazen, eds. (2014) Research Methods in Sociolinguistics. Wiley Blackwell, Malden, MA.
  • Hyland, K., ed. (2013) Discourse Studies Reader. Bloomsbury, London.
  • Hyland, K. and B. Partridge, eds. (2011) The Bloomsbury Companion to Discourse Analysis. Bloomsbury, London.
  • Klemperer, V. (2013) The Language of the Third Reich (translated by M. Brady). Bloomsbury, London.
  • Libert, A. (2013) Adpositions. Peter Lang, Frankfurt.
  • Lobeck, A. and K. Denham (2014) Navigating English Grammar. Wiley Blackwell, Malden, MA.
  • Martin, J. R. (2013) Interviews with M. A. K. Halliday. Bloomsbury, London.
  • Massip-Bonet, À. and A. Bastardas-Boada, eds. (2013) Complexity Perspectives on Language, Communication and Society. Springer, Berlin.
  • Matushansky, O. and A. Marantz, eds. (2013) Distributed Morphology Today: Morphemes for Morris Halle. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
  • McConvell, P., I. Keen, and R. Hendry, eds. (2013) Kinship Systems: Change and Reconstruction. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.
  • McGrath, I. (2013) Teaching Materials and the Roles of ESL/EFL Teachers. Bloomsbury, London.
  • Michaelis, S. M., P. Maurer, M. Haspelmath, and H. Huber, eds. (2013) The Atlas of Pidgin and Creole Structures. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Michaelis, S. M., P. Maurer, M. Haspelmath, and H. Huber, eds. (2013) The Survey of Pidgin and Creole Structures (3 volumes). Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Nash, J. (2013) Insular Toponymies: Place-Naming on Norfolk Island, South Pacific and Dudley Peninsula, Kangaroo Island. John Benjamins, Amsterdam.
Alan Libert

Upcoming Conferences

Evolution of Language Workshop

Sponsored by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders, Centre for Language Sciences, Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics

Friday, 6th December 2013
Macquarie University

This workshop is devoted to an in-depth discussion of the origins of language. Among the questions that will be discussed are the following:

  • What is language?
  • What aspects of language are unique to humans?
  • What can language acquisition tell us about language evolution?
  • How is language represented in the brain?
  • What function, if any, does language serve?
  • Were there proto-languages?
  • Did language evolve gradually or was its evolution a ‘sudden emergent event’?
  • Is there a gestural origin to language?
  • What is the relationship between logic and language?

Keynote Speakers

  • Professor Bob Berwick, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Professor Kim Sterelny, Australian National University

Invited Speakers

  • Emeritus Professor Brian Byrne, University of New England
  • Associate Professor Drew Khlentzos, University of New England
  • Dr Richard Menary, Macquarie University

For more information about the workshop including speaker biographies, abstracts and the program, and how to register please go to:

Rosemary Eliott

Jobs, grants, and scholarships

Nothing to report

No upcoming opportunities have reached the editor this time. For news on awarded grants and scholarships, see the AGM minutes above and the individual news from the institutions.

Andrea Schalley

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 is time to contribute material; if you wish to be added to that list, send Andrea an email.

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 of your copy of the Australian Journal of Linguistics. Membership matters are handled on behalf of the Society by Taylor & Francis, the publishers of the Australian Journal of Linguistics. If you wish to join the Society or make an alteration to your existing membership details please contact the Customer Service at Taylor & Francis on +61 (0)3 8842-2413 or at