Newsletter August 2015

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

Some Notes on the Early History of ALS

Shortly after I had come to Monash University as professor of linguistics in June 1965 I received a letter from Susan Kaldor in Perth wondering if it would not be good to have a list of Australia’s linguists with addresses. I wrote back saying that we should have a linguistic society. Michael Clyne helped me find those interested at the University of Melbourne and at Monash University and they were invited to a meeting in my office some day in the second part of the year. We decided to found a Linguistic Society of Australia. Its aim should be to organise conferences, exchange information between the members and publish a journal. We decided that S. A. Wurm would be most suitable as president and that I should approach him. I would be the editor of the journal. We thought that when Wurm had started work on the Society he would have a meeting to extend the board. Wurm agreed to being the president. Kaldor in Perth, Siliakus in Adelaide and Capell in Sydney sent me letters of agreement and a number of linguists from other universities told me that they were positive to the idea of having a society.

I started work on the journal immediately but had difficulty finding a publisher. The first volume was not published until 1972 and as a daughter journal to Linguistics. Only the first two volumes were published in this way and then Clyne and Platt took over the editorship. There was a strong emphasis on contributions by Australian linguists and I believe that the quality of the contributions was good. The Department of linguistics at Monash helped with the production in various ways. The name of the Journal was Talanya Journal of the Linguistic Society of Australia. The first word meant language in an Aboriginal language, an information I had got from Capell. About 1980 the editorship was taken over by Huddleston and the journal was called Australian Journal of Linguistics – Journal of the Australian Linguistic Society. Surprisingly this volume was not called number 7 but Number 1, June 1981. From now on there were more contributions from international linguists.

In 1966, Wurm apparently did no work as a president until he held a meeting in May 1967 in Canberra. I was abroad and when I came back, he told me that there had been protests from Queensland about how the Society had been founded at Monash so it had been founded again and I had been chosen as editor and got the title of Initiator of the Society.

20 July 2015

Göran Hammarström

News from the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (UWS, UQ, UMelb and ANU)

PhD vacancies

The Centre is interested in applications from those wishing to pursue a PhD in linguistics in a collaborative research environment.

CoEDL is a joint venture between four universities: the Australian National University, the University of Melbourne, the University of Queensland and the University of Western Sydney.

Intending students should assess whether their proposed research project intersects with any of the four program areas investigated by CoEDL: Shape, Learning, Processing and Evolution (see our website). They should then check the web-page of each university to make contact with appropriate supervisors whose interests best fit their own.

International students are encouraged to apply for scholarships to pay tuition, while CoEDL can provide stipends and fieldwork support to successful applicants.

Summer scholarships and internships for undergraduate and Honours students

In partnership with CoEDL, the Australian National University and the University of Queensland are offering summer scholarships for advanced undergraduates and honours students. The students will join research teams working on projects on Indigenous Australian languages, from dictionary-making to building a corpus of Gurindji.

Find out about the ANU scholarships here: and the University of Queensland scholarships here:


The much anticipated 'Queensland Indigenous Languages Workshop' at the University of Queensland went off like a frog in a sock thanks to the supreme organising skills of David Osgarby. It was a rare treat to have an almost complete crew of eminent Queenslandists including Alice Gaby, Jean-Christophe Verstraete, Erich Round, Mary Laughren, Clair Hill, Felicity Meakins, Patrick McConvell and even the elusive Peter Sutton. Presentations were well received and everyone was especially impressed with the quality of the student papers and discussants. Proceedings were capped off with a launch of Bruce Rigsby's Festschrift at the UQ Anthropology Museum. A number of the talks will be available via iTunes-U soon.

The ‘Variation & Asymmetries in Case-Marking Workshop’ at the ANU (31 July) was co-sponsored by CoEDL. See the entry under ‘News from the Australian National University’.

CoEDL affiliate Siva Kalyan recently co-organised (with Alex François) a workshop on 'Non-Cladistic Approaches to Language Genealogy'. The workshop took place on the last day of the International Conference on Historical Linguistics in Naples (27-31 July 2015).

Recent appointments

Jenny Green has started as postdoctoral fellow in the Shape program at the University of Melbourne. Her research will involve the description and documentation of Arandic languages, with a particular focus on sign languages and other multimodal forms of communication.

Honours, prizes, success stories

The Edward Sapir Book Prize is the Oscars of linguistic anthropology. And we are pleased to announce that three of the nominees this year are associated in some way with our Centre. Congratulations to Nick Enfield (nominated for Relationship Thinking: Agency, Enchrony, and Human Sociality), Murray Garde (Culture, Interaction, and Person Reference in an Australian Language) and Jenny Green (Drawn from the Ground: Sound, Sign, and Inscription in Central Australian Sand Stories). In response to this honour, CoEDL Director Nick Evans said, "As an admirer of each of these three books, each vital in its own way to redefining our field, I hope not only that one of them will scale the summit, but more importantly that all three will be more widely read and its ideas taken up as a result of these nominations." Read the full list of nominations here.

CoEDL members have been supervising some very clever students. Honours student Caela Welsh (supervised by Simon Greenhill and Lindell Bromham at the ANU) has taken out a prize at the ANU Undergraduate Conference and will be presenting her research on evolutionary linguistics at the Australasian Conference of Undergraduate Research in Perth later this year. Meanwhile at the University of Queensland, MPhil student Tom Ennever has been awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award to pursue a grammar of Ngardi (in the Ngumpin-Yapa group of the Pama-Nyungan family). He will be supervised by Felicity Meakins and Mary Laughren in collaboration with Lee Cataldi.

Patji-Dawes Award

The purpose of the Patji-Dawes Award is to honour outstanding achievements in language teaching by an accomplished practitioner in Australia. It reflects a belief that achieving proficiency in other languages is one of the great learning experiences in the human condition, that this happens all too rarely in contemporary Australian society, and that there is unfilled need for public recognition of those who defy our national mediocrity in this arena.

Do you know somebody who deserves to be nominated? The deadline is approaching.


Maïa Ponsonnet is visiting from CoEDL’s French sister (or imposter!) organisation, the Laboratoire Dynamique du Langage in Lyon.  Maïa is giving a presentation on ‘Comparing descriptions of emotions in Dalabon and Barunga Kriol – Shared representations and the filter of linguistic architecture’.

Sean Roberts, well known for his blogging at Replicated Typo, is currently visiting from the MPI. He will be presenting on ‘Tools for comparative studies of diversity’.


CoEDL members have recently appeared in the news: Virginia Yip and Stephen Matthews discussed multilingual education with the South China Post, Felicity Meakins spoke to Radio National about smartphones and Aboriginal storytelling. And John Mansfield was also on Radio National discussing heavy metal gangs in Wadeye. Jane Simpson was on ABC radio spruiking the Patji-Dawes Award.

In other media news, the Centre has recently secured an agreement with Apple to broadcast select seminars via the iTunes-U platform. You can listen to the current offerings here.


Adam Schembri (La Trobe University) plans to visit the Centre on Wednesday 26 August to present on the topic of ‘Indicating verbs in British Sign Language and verb agreement: What can corpus data tell us?’. This presentation is the substance of a forthcoming co-authored article in Language.

Piers Kelly

News from Monash University

Place of Articulation is a double-blind peer-reviewed journal, focusing on language, linguistics, and translation. Published twice annually, the journal is the product of postgraduate students and staff of the Monash School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, working together to comprise an editorial board with a wide variety of interests and specialties.

The editorial team is currently looking for submissions for the next issue, which will be published by the end of 2015. Please see the website for more details:

Kate Burridge

News from the University of Newcastle


Åshild Næss has attended the 13th International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics at the Academia Sinica, in Taipei, where she has presented her paper ‘Applicatives vs symmetrical voice: The case of Äiwoo =Cä’.

In August Bill Palmer, alongside PhD students Jonathan Schlossberg (Newcastle) and Jonathon Lum (Monash), presented two papers at the 11th Conference of the Association for Linguistic Typology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. One, ‘Typologizing linguistic expressions of spatial Frame of Reference’, a joint paper with Monash’s Alice Gaby, Jonathan Schlossberg and Jonathon Lum, reported on work carried out within that team’s ARC DP project ‘Thinking and talking about atolls: the role of environment in shaping language and our understanding of physical space’.

Bill’s other ALT paper, ‘Marked absolutive? Case, topic and clefts in Mono-Alu’ presented further developments in research also presented in an earlier form at the 22nd Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association conference at McGill University, Montreal, in May.

Jack Bunce and Jonathan Schlossberg , PhD students at the Newcastle's Endangered Languages Documentation, Theory and Application research program (ELDTA), attended the Linguistic Society of America’s Summer School at the University of Chicago this July.


Turki Assulaimani has recently completed his PhD with his thesis ‘The L2 Motivational Self System Among Saudi Learners of English’.

Salih Alzahrani was awarded a PhD for his thesis ‘Topics in the Grammar of Zahrani Spoken Arabic’.

Other news

Ellen Smith, after her recent graduation, is taking up the position of Teaching Fellow in English Linguistics at University College, London.

Pegi Bakula has joined Newcastle's ELDTA program as a PhD student. She will be working with Mark Harvey on the Iwaidja language of the Northern Territory.

Aslak Olesen will be undertaking fieldwork in the Cook Islands, to study the under-researched language of Rakahanga-Manihiki on the island of Manihiki.

Sabrina Meier recently returned from the Solomon Islands where she obtained community and Provincial support for her research project ‘Investigating Ergativity in Mono-Alu’.

Selected publications

  • François, Alexandre; Sébastien Lacrampe; Michael Franjieh; Stefan Schnell (eds). 2015. The Languages of Vanuatu: Unity and Diversity. Studies in the Languages of Island Melanesia, 5. Canberra: Asia-Pacific Linguistics Open Access.
  • Næss, Åshild (2015). ‘Voice at the Crossroads: Symmetrical Clause Alternations in Äiwoo, Reef Islands, Solomon Islands.’ Oceanic Linguistics 54(1), 270-307. University of Hawai'i Press.
  • Smith, Ellen (in press). ‘Contact-induced change in a highly endangered language of northern Bougainville.’Australian Journal of Linguistics.
  • Smith, Ellen (in press). ‘Measuring and understanding ethnolinguistic vitality in Papapana.’ In Pütz, Martin and Luna Filipović (eds), Endangered Languages: Issues of ecology, policy and documentation.Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Lecture series

Held at the Senta Taft-Hendry Museum, University Gallery, 4:15pm - 5:15pm.

  • 11th Aug: Erich Round, University of Queensland – Linguistics in the age of biostatistics: how data properties matter, and the case of Bayesian clustering.
  • 15th Sept: Christo Moskovsky, University of Newcastle – Affective factors and L2 achievement.
  • 6th Oct: Mike Franjieh. University of Newcastle – Topics in the grammar of Fanbak, an endangered language of Vanuatu.
  • 13th Oct: Jean Harkins & Ray Kelly, University of Newcastle – A bilingual song at the cultural crossroads.
  • 19th Oct: Sebastian Fedden, University of Sydney – Verb stem aspect in Mian and other Papuan languages.
  • 27th Oct: Bill Palmer, University of Newcastle – TBC.
Jack Bunce

News from the University of Adelaide

A free MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on language revival is now on. We have 4,000 students from more than 140 countries. You can watch the video clips, answer the quizzes and join the discussion WHENEVER YOU WANT. All welcome:

Ghil'ad Zuckermann

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

Grants and Awards

Grant Aiton was awarded a small grant from the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme (ELDP, London) to work on the documentation of the Eibela language (Western Province, PNG).

Dr Simon E. Overall was awarded a small grant from the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme (ELDP, London) to work on the documentation of Kandozi and Aguaruna (Peru).

PhD completions

Juliane Böttger's PhD thesis 'Topics in the grammar of Lele, Manus Province, PNG' was successfully approved by her examiners. Dr Böttger has started as a tutor in Linguistics, Speech Pathology, School of Public Health, Division of Tropical Medicine, JCU Cairns.

Visiting Fellows at LCRC in 2015

Professor Iwona Kraska-Szlenk, of the University of Warsaw, is an expert in African and general linguistics, with special focus on cognitive studies, gender and kinship terminologies. She will be visiting the LCRC during the month of November 2015. During her visit, she will be presenting a number of lectures on the areas of her expertise.

LCRC members news

Grant Aiton (PhD scholar) is currently undertaking fieldwork with Eibela speaking communities in the Western Province of PNG.

Cassy Nancarrow (Adjunct Fellow) is teaching a second/third year undergraduate course AN2009 Anthropological Linguistics within the College of Arts, Society and Education (Cairns Campus), throughout the second semester 2015 (with guest lectures by R.M.W. Dixon and A. Y. Aikhenvald).

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald will present a plenary talk 'The joy of language', at the Young Language Ambassador Conference, Cairns, 10-10.45 28 August. She will be presenting a key-note address 'Imperatives and commands in language and society' at the 42nd International Symposium of the National Academy of Korea, Seoul, 23 October. She will then give a talk on 'Evidentiality: how to know more' at the Seoul National University Language Research Institute on 24 October. On 21 November she will present a Plenary address 'Saying how you know it: the obligatory marking of evidence', at the Biennial Conference of the Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows 'Global perspectives, local knowledge', Hobart, Tasmania.

New books published and accepted for publication

  • Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. Forthcoming. 2016. How gender shapes the world. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. and R. M. W. Dixon. eds. Forthcoming. February 2016. The grammar of knowledge: a cross-linguistic typology. Paperback edition of 2014 hardback. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Dixon, R. M. W. Forthcoming. 2016. Are some languages better than others? Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Mihas, Elena. 2015. A Grammar of Alto Perené (Arawak). Mouton Grammar Library. Berlin: De Gruyter.
  • Pennington, Ryan. 2015. Ma Manda Phonology. Munich: Lincom Europa.

Seminars and Workshop presentations (August)

  • Global Workshop, Wednesday 5 August: Ryan Pennington – Non-spatial setting in Ma Manda
  • Global Workshop, Wednesday 12 August: Simon Overall – Non-spatial setting in Kandozi
  • Seminar, Wednesday 19 August: Mike Wood – Translating New Testament spirits, angels and other liturgical entities into Kamula
  • Global Workshop, Wednesday 26 August: Kasia Wojtylak – Non-spatial setting in Murui Witoto
  • Global Workshop, Wednesday 2 September: Elena Mihas – Non-spatial setting in Satipo Ashaninka        
  • Seminar, Wednesday 9 September: Hiroko Sato – Serial verb constructions in Kove
  • Seminar, Wednesday 16 September: Bob Dixon – The emergence of English dictionaries, 725 – 1616 CE
  • [no roundtable meeting on Wednesday 23 September]
  • Seminar, Wednesday 7 October: Willem Adelaar – [Topic to be announced]
  • Seminar, Wednesday 14 October: Alexandra Aikhenvald – Grammaticalization in Amazonian languages: areal features, regional traits
  • Global Workshop, Wednesday 21 October: Bob Dixon – Non-spatial setting in Jarawara           

See further updates at

Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

News from Griffith University

Michael Haugh received one of just two Thomson Reuters Citation Awards 2015 awarded in the Arts and Humanities for his research into the role of language in social interactions. The award ceremony was held on the 23rd of June at the University of Melbourne. This prestigious award recognises an Australian researcher producing highly cited research at the forefront of an emerging, high impact field according to Thomson Reuters' analysis. Congratulations, Michael!

Andrea Schalley

News from The Australian National University

New Staff

We welcome Dr Yuko Kinoshita who is teaching courses on Research Methods and Language and Society for this semester.

Visitors during July and August

  • Dr Felix Ameka, African Languages and Cultures Leiden University Centre for Linguistics, The Netherlands.
 Dates: 13 June - 4 September 2015.
  • Dr Patrícia Amaral,  Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Indiana University. Period: July 2015
  • Professor Don Kulick, Comparative Human Development, University of Chicago, Chicago.USA, and Uppsala University. Dates: 1 August - 30 September 2015.
  • Professor William McGregor, Aarhus University .
Dates: late June - mid August 2015

New publications

  • Denise Angelo and Nina Carter 'Schooling within shifting langscapes: Educational responses in complex language contact ecologies', in: Multilingualism and language in education. Sociolinguistic and pedagogical perspectives from Commonwealth countries, edited by Androula Yiakoumetti. Cambridge University Press.
  • Arka, I Wayan, N.L.N. Seri Malini, and I.A. Made  Puspani. 2015. Language documentation and cultural practices in the Austronesian world: papers from 12-ICAL, Volume 4. Canberra: Asia-Pacific Linguistics.
  • Dixon, Sally. 2015. ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!: Object requests, ownership and entitlement in a children's play session’, Journal of Pragmatics 82. 39-45.
  • Garde, Murray. 2015. ’Stories of long ago’ and the forces of modernity in South Pentecost. In: Farzana Gounder (ed.) Narrative Practices and Identity Constructions in the Pacific Islands. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Sidwell, Paul. 2015. The Palaungic Languages: Classification, Reconstruction and Comparative Lexicon. Lincom.
  • Torres Cacoullos, Rena & Catherine E. Travis. 2015. Two languages, one effect: Structural priming in code-switching. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition (Special issue edited by Margaret Deuchar). doi:10.1017/S1366728914000406.
  • Travis, Catherine E., Rena Torres Cacoullos & Evan Kidd. 2015. Cross-language priming: A view from bilingual speech Bilingualism: Language and Cognition (Special issue edited by Gerrit Jan Kootstra and Pieter Muysken). doi: 10.1017/S1366728915000127.
  • Anna Wierzbicka & Cliff Goddard, ‘What does Jukurrpa (‘Dreamtime’, ‘the Dreaming’) mean? A semantic and conceptual journey of discovery’, Australian Aboriginal Studies, 2015/1, 43-65.
  • Anna Wierzbicka. 2015, “Innate conceptual primitives manifested in the languages of the world and in infant cognition”. In: The Conceptual Mind: New Directions in the Study of Concepts. Edited by Eric Margolis and Stephen Laurence. Cambridge Mass.: The MIT Press, pp. 379-412.

Workshops and Presentations

Three very rich workshops have been held recently at ANU:

  • “The Workshop on the Languages of Melanesia”,  21-23 June, ANU coastal campus at Kioloa (NSW coast). Attended by 21 scholars, the workshop provided an opportunity to present exploratory work rather than published outcomes all within an environment of lively discussion and a stunning natural setting.
  • "Global English, Minimal English: Towards Better Intercultural Communication", 2nd-3rd July, organised by Anna Wierzbicka (ANU), Zhengdao Ye (ANU) and Cliff Goddard (Griffith University). Sponsored by the Humanities Research Centre, ANU.
  • “Variation & Asymmetries in Case-Marking Workshop”, 31 July. The workshop brought together linguists working on morphology and syntax in languages with case-marking, who shared ideas on factors contributing to variation in expression of case-marking, asymmetries in case-marking and methods for analysing this variation. The workshop included a book launch of Case Alternations in Five Finnic Languages: Estonian, Finnish, Karelian, Livonian and Veps (Brill, 2015), by Aet Lees. Organiser: Jane Simpson. Sponsored by the Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. Read about it here.

ANU scholars also presented at other places around the globe:

  • Wayan Arka was invited as a keynote speaker at the AFLA-22 (Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association) conference at McGill University, Montreal Canada, 21-24 May 2015 ( He presented a paper entitled “Alternative Manner expressions in Balinese”.
    He attended LFG2015 Conference at Waseda Universtity, Tokyo, 18-20 July 2015, presenting a paper entitled “On the Constructed Middle in Marori”.
    He was also invited as a keynote speaker at the HPSG2015 conference, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore ( (10-12 August 2015), presenting his paper “Psych predicates in Marori and beyond“.
    He attended the Affectedness Workshop after the conference (13-14 August 2015).
  • Marie Duhamel gave a presentation at the 4th international workshop on the Sociolinguistics of Language Endangerment, Payap University, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 26th May. She presented on the ethnolinguistic vitality of Atchin, a language of central Vanuatu, using an assessment model which takes into account the specificities of the linguistic communities of Melanesia.
  • At ICHL 22 in Naples, Italy, Mark Ellison presented work joint with Luisa Miceli entitled "Language Discontinua: how Bilingual-Led Differentiation Disrupts Cladistic Modeling" in the workshop "Non-Cladistic Approaches to Language Genealogy" run by Alexandre François and Siva Kalyan.
  • Nick Evans gave a plenary at the same conference, on language divergence.
  • Harold Koch attended 2 workshops in July: Arandic Phonetics & Phonology workshop, Alice Springs, 6 July, where he gave a presentation “The diachronics of prepalatals”; and the Variation & Asymmetries in Case-Marking workshop, ANU, 31 July, where he gave a presentation “Case variability in Kaytetye”.
  • Malcolm Ross visited several places. At the beginning of May he attended the closing conference of the Linguistics department at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, where he had spent many fruitful months in years past.
    Then he travelled just an hour southwest to Jena, where the Linguistic and Cultural Evolution Department of the new Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History has opened just a month earlier, and joined Simon Greenhill, Beth Evans (both ANU) and Alex François (now CNRS, formerly ANU) for teamwork on Simon’s Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database.
  • Malcolm, Wayan Arka, Owen Edwards and Kate Naitoro presented at the 13th International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics in Taiwan. Malcolm delivered one of the three plenary talks, entitled 'Linguistic evidence for prehistory: Oceanic examples’.
  • Paul Sidwell has been invited to attend a working meeting of the Early Rice Project, University College London, in collaboration with MPI Jena.
    He attended the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society conference at Payap University, Chiang Mai, Thailand (May 27-29), where he read his paper “Contact and convergence in Northern Austroasiatic”. At the conference business meeting Paul was elected President of SEALS, replacing the outgoing Hsiu-chuan Liao (National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan).
    He was an invited speaker at the meeting “Integrating inferences about our past: new findings and current issues in the peopling of the Pacific and South East Asia” at MPI Jena (Germany, June 22-29), and read: “Phylogeny, innovations, and correlations in the prehistory of Austroasiatic”.
    He was also invited as a plenary speaker at the Sixth International Conference on Austroasiatic Linguistics (ICAAL6) held in Siem Reap (Cambodia, July 29-31), where he read his paper: “What a phylogenetic analysis can tell us about Austroasiatic language prehistory”.
  • Zhengdao Ye presented a paper, ‘Hé (‘harmony’) as a core value in Chinese social interaction and what it tells us about Chinese conceptions of ‘im/politeness’, at the 14th International Pragmatics Conference held in Antwerp, Belgium between 26-31 July.

Yishan Huang and Charlotte van Tongeren attended the Linguistic Institute 2015 of the Linguistic Society of America, which was held at the University of Chicago.


Wayan Arka has won a Major Documentation project (MDP) grant from the ELDP, 2016-2017. In this project (The Endangered Papuan Languages of Merauke-Indonesia: ethnobiological and linguistic documentation), Wayan will collaborate with an ethnobiologist from LIPI (Indonesian Academy of Science) and local stakeholders including the WWF branch of Merauke and the Wasur National Park.

For at least 2 year from this September onward, Paul Sidwell will be consulting part-time for a US government funded DARPA project awarded to the Center for Research in Computational Linguistics (CRCL Bangkok). The project is under the LORELEI program (Low Resource Languages for Emergent Incidents) and will build a database and tools for quick analyses of linguistic inputs based on data from approximately 2000 language of Asia and the Pacific


In July Murray Garde conducted fieldwork on the south of Pentecost Island as part of Nick Evans' Wellsprings Laureate Project recording a series of texts for sociolinguistic analysis.

PhD applications

The ANU is encouraging PhDs in the following areas. Additional support may be available through CoEDL to students successful in obtaining an APA. Those interested in this possibility should contact the CoEDL members listed below at least one month prior to the scholarship deadlines (International students: 31 August, Domestic students: 31 October).

  • Australian Indigenous languages (contact Jane Simpson)
  • Dictionary and corpus linguistics (contact Jane Simpson)
  • Languages of Asia Pacific (contact Nick Evans)
  • Variation in Australian English (contact Catherine Travis)
  • Hispanic Linguistics (contact Catherine Travis)
  • Language evolution (contact Simon Greenhill, Kim Sterelny)
  • First language processing and language acquisition (contact Evan Kidd)
  • Language acquisition in traditional contexts (contact Alan Rumsey, Evan Kidd)
  • Semantics (contact Zhengdao Ye)

FIrst call for papers: 2016 Aboriginal Languages Workshop (ALW)

ANU (4 March) and Kioloa, 5–6 March 2016.

We are delighted to announce the call for papers for the 2016 Aboriginal Languages Workshop, sponsored by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language.  We are calling for papers on topics related to Indigenous Australian languages and speech communities. We also have room for at least one workshop.

One workshop has already been proposed:
Workshop: 'Verbal art in Australian Indigenous societies ', in Canberra pre-ALW (Friday 4 March 2016).
Guest speakers include:
Nigel Fabb
Rob Pensalfini

Please go online HERE  to submit an abstract for the Verbal Art workshop and the ALW general session.  This will include

  • your name(s),
  • title of paper,
  • abstract of less than a page,
  • your choice of time length: (20, 30 or 40 mins – each including discussion time, with Poster presentation as a further option). 
  • presenting in general session or Verbal Art workshop

Deadline: December 14 2015

Offers of workshops should be sent to
Questions about ALW:
Questions about the Verbal Art workshop:

Please also go online HERE to fill out the pre-registration form so we can plan accommodation / catering bookings.  These numbers are to help us work out costs; once we have done this we will get out a more formal call for registration.

Jane Simpson

News from Macquarie University

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

Haidee Kruger

News from the University of New England

Joshua Nash spent two weeks in July conducting interviews with the Pitcairn Islander diaspora in the north island of New Zealand as part of his research into Pitcairn Island language and place. He will travel to Pitcairn Island in 2016.

Cindy Schneider

International Endorsement for Australian Research Project on 'Varieties of English in the Indo-Pacific'

A major new international project on Varieties of English in the Indo-Pacific, headed by two Australian linguistic researchers, Professor (Emeritus) Pam Peters FAHA (Macquarie University) and Professor Kate Burridge FAHA (Monash University), has been officially endorsed by the Union Académique Internationale/UAI at its 88th General Assembly in Brussels. This makes it one of the UAI’s long term special projects, as no.86 in the list of those endorsed since its foundation in 1919. The project also carries regional significance as the first major research project to be jointly sponsored by the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Royal Society of New Zealand.

To overcome the tyranny of distance, the Australian project team introduced their project through an internet-based video-presentation, which won a great deal of applause and appreciation from UAI delegates, representing over fifty academies from all five continents. The chairman of the relevant section of the New Projects Committee, Professor Nicholas Sims-Williams FBA praised the new project for its modernity and innovation, as well as its star-studded international research team.

The Varieties of English in the Indo-Pacific project establishes a collaborative network between key scholars in English regional linguistics based in Britain, Germany, Switzerland, South Africa, China, Australia and New Zealand. Their collective brief is to profile the numerous types of English used now in the southern and eastern hemispheres. The research will include established regional varieties such as Singaporean and New Zealand English as well as new varieties evolving with bilingual speakers in China and Fiji, and functional varieties used in international business and government organisations, such as ASEAN.  English is now more pluricentric than ever, and researching its diversity will help to develop a fresh multifaceted model of world English in the twenty-first century.

Kate Burridge

Obituary: Christopher N. Candlin

We are saddened by the passing of Christopher N. Candlin, a major force in the field of applied linguistics and instrumental in its establishment as a respected discipline in Australia and worldwide. See for an obituary.

Jane Simpson

Obituary: Joshua A. Fishman

Joshua A. Fishman (18 July 1926 – 1 March 2015)

Seven Jews have changed the world. Moses said: “Everything is in the head!” Jesus said: “Everything is in the heart!” Marx said: “Everything is in the stomach!” Freud said: “Everything is in the groin!” Fishman said: “Everything is in the tongue!” Zuckerberg said: “Everything is in the finger!” Einstein said: “Everything is relative!”

Success is relative. But Joshua A. Fishman ZL, hypocoristically a.k.a. Shikl, has set an absolute standard. Only in the dictionary does “Success” come before “Work”. And Fishman’s more than 80 books and 1000 articles demonstrate his Herculean commitment to scholarship since his first publications in the original Yiddish journal Yugntruf in 1945, which he co-founded with contact linguist Uriel Weinreich.

If William Labov (L'above and beyond) is the founder of micro-sociolinguistics (cf. variationist sociolinguistics), Fishman is the founder of macro-sociolinguistics (cf. sociology of language), which consists inter alia of the analysis of language education, language planning, bilingualism, multilingualism, minority languages and language revival. Fishman is a sociologist who could be considered a “hyphenated linguist”, perspicaciously investigating fascinating and multifaceted issues such as language and religion (theo-linguistics), language and nationalism, language and identity, and language and ethnicity.

As Weinreich et al. insightfully note, “linguistic and social factors are closely interrelated in the development of language change. Explanations which are confined to one or the other aspect, no matter how well constructed, will fail to account for the rich body of regularities that can be observed in empirical studies of language behavior” (1968: 188).

The founder and general editor of the leading, pioneering refereed publication International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Fishman created an intellectual platform that has greatly facilitated the introduction and dissemination of novel models and revolutionary theories that have led to numerous academic debates, syntheses and cross-fertilizations. He has often acted as an epistemological bridge between, and antidote for, parallel discourses.

One ought to assess the breadth and depth of Fishman’s work through a combined Jewish-sociolinguistic lens. Like Uriel Weinreich, Fishman’s research embodies the integration of Jewish scholarship with general linguistics. Fishman (1981, 1985) himself explores the sociology of Jewish languages from a general sociolinguistic point of view. But I would also advocate a bilateral impact: Jewish linguistics, the exploration of Jewish languages such as Yiddish, has shaped general sociolinguistics. Throughout history Jews have been multilingual immigrants, resulting in Jewish languages embodying intricate and intriguing mechanisms of language contact and identity. These languages were thus fertile ground for the establishment and evolution of the sociology of language in general. 

Given the importance in Judaism not only of mentshlikhkayt (cf. humaneness) but also of education and “on the other hand” dialectics, it is not surprising to find the self-propelled institute Fishman trailblazing simultaneously both in Yiddish scholarship in particular and in the sociology of language in general. 

In the field of Yiddish studies proper, Fishman’s contribution has been immense and far-reaching. He was co-editor of For Max Weinreich on his seventieth birthday (1965), co-translator of the English language publication (1979–1980) of the first two volumes of Weinreich’s seminal Geshikhte fun der Yidisher Shprakh [History of the Yiddish language], and editor of Studies on Polish Jewry, 1919–1970: the interplay of social, economic and political factors in the struggle of a minority for its existence (1974). Closer to his expertise are the impressive and important Never say die! A thousand years of Yiddish in Jewish life and letters (1981), and his outstanding sociolinguistic biography of Nathan Birnbaum: Ideology, society and language: the odyssey of Nathan Birnbaum (1987). 

Fishman has lived up to Sapir’s verdict: "Language is a guide to 'social reality'. Though language is not ordinarily thought of as of essential interest to the students of social science, it powerfully conditions all our thinking about social problems and processes. Human beings do not live in the objective world alone, nor alone in the world of social activity as ordinarily understood, but are very much at the mercy of the particular language which has become the medium of expression for their society. It is quite an illusion to imagine that one adjusts to reality essentially without the use of language and that language is merely an incidental means of solving specific problems of communication or reflection. The fact of the matter is that the 'real world' is to a large extent unconsciously built upon the language habits of the group. No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality. The worlds in which different societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with different labels attached." (Sapir 1921: 162) 

Fishman’s plethora of direct contributions to specific areas of sociolinguistics and Jewish languages are impressive (see Schweid Fishman 2012). Their impact, however, on other scholars, on our sense of the possibilities for further research, and on the generation of yet-unanswered new questions, is exponentially greater. To take one example, Fishman’s work on reversing language shift and on language revival and maintenance (e.g. 1991, 2001), is the basis for the emerging new trans-disciplinary field of enquiry of what I call “Revivalistics” (see also "Revival Linguistics", Zuckermann and Walsh 2011). Complementing documentary linguistics, Revivalistics analyses comparatively the universal mechanisms and constraints involved in language reclamation, revitalization, renewal and empowerment world-wide. Revivalistics is in its infancy simply because the reclamation of sleeping beauty tongues is a relatively young activity. I am currently involved with the resurrection of several hibernating Aboriginal languages in the “Lucky Country” down under, Australia. Israeli, the beautiful hybrid that emerged in the Promised Land, and which has so far been relatively the most successful reclamation, is only 120 years old.

Shikl will always be remembered for his gargantuan labour and perspicacious insights. He is survived by the indefatigable and extraordinarily-dedicated Gella Schweid Fishman, to whom I wish biz hundert un tsvantsik!, Yiddish for "[may you live] until 120 years!" 

Serendipitously but appropriately, Tolkien's Quenya word for FISH is LINGWE.


  • Fishman, Joshua A. 1981. The sociology of Jewish languages from the perspective of the general sociology of language: a preliminary formulation. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 30: 5–18.
  • Fishman, Joshua A. 1985. The sociology of Jewish languages from a general sociolinguistic point of view. In Joshua A. Fishman (ed.), Readings in the Sociology of Jewish Languages, 3–21. Leiden: E. J. Brill.
  • Fishman, Joshua A. 1991. Reversing language shift: theoretical and empirical foundations of assistance to threatened languages. Clevedon (UK): Multilingual Matters.
  • Fishman, Joshua A. (ed.). 2001. Can threatened languages be saved? Reversing language shift, revisited: a 21st century perspective. Clevedon (UK): Multilingual Matters.
  • Sapir, Edward. 1921. Language. An Introduction to the Study of Speech. New York: Harcourt & Brace.
  • Schweid Fishman, Gella 2012. Joshua A. Fishman bibliography (1949–2011), International Journal of the Sociology of Language 213.
  • Weinreich, Uriel, William Labov & Marvin Herzog. 1968. Empirical foundations for a theory of language change. In W. P. Lehmann & Yakov Malkiel (eds), 97–195. Directions for Historical Linguistics. Austin: University of Texas Press.
  • Zuckermann, Ghil’ad & Michael Walsh. 2011. Stop, revive, survive!: Lessons from the Hebrew revival applicable to the reclamation, maintenance and empowerment of Aboriginal languages and cultures. Australian Journal of Linguistics 31.1: 111–127.
Ghil'ad Zuckermann


New Electronic Books Received August 2015

The following is a list of electronic (PDF) publications relating to the study of language, received by the Reviews Editor of the Australian Journal of Linguistics. Note 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.

  • Čech, R. and G. Altmann (2011) Problems in Quantitative Linguistics 3 (Studies in Quantitative Linguistics 12). RAM-Verlag, Lüdenscheid, Germany.
  • Gajdošová, K. and A. Žáková (eds.) (2013) Natural Language Processing, Corpus Linguistics, E-learning: Seventh International Conference Bratislava, Slovakia, 13–15 November 2013
  • Proceedings. RAM-Verlag, Lüdenscheid, Germany.
  • Ji, M. (2013) Quantitative Exploration of Historical Translations: A Corpus Study of Tetsugaku Jii. RAM-Verlag, Lüdenscheid, Germany.
  • Kelih, ., V. Levickij, and Y. Matskulyak (eds.) (2011) Issues in Quantitative Linguistics 2 (Studies
  • in Quantitative Linguistics 11). RAM-Verlag, Lüdenscheid, Germany.
  • Popescu, I.-I., R. Čech, and G. Altmann (2011) The Lambda-structure of Texts (Studies in Quantitative Linguistics 10). RAM-Verlag, Lüdenscheid, Germany.
Alan Libert

Donations of grammars and dictionaries, Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity

Calling all Australianists who have produced grammars and/or dictionaries or wordlists of Australian languages. Are you able to donate a copy of your materials to the Documenting and Revitalising Indigenous Languages (DRIL) Training Program?

Through the past 5 years, the DRIL program has worked with 430 Indigenous language activists, and supported the reclamation and revitalisation of almost ninety languages across Australia You can see a list of languages by state on our web site here: As more and more of our participants are diving into linguistics, we are looking to expand our small library of resources on Australian languages.

All donations of materials are greatly appreciated, and will be acknowledged on our honour roll. We are happy to receive PDFs as well as hard copies.

You can find our contact details here: If you have any queries about this, please contact our Training Support Officer Katerina Forrester on

Margaret Florey

Upcoming Conferences

Third Call for Papers: ALS 2015, University of Western Sydney, 9-11 Dec 2015

A reminder that abstracts are due 1 September for the 46th annual conference of the Australian Linguistic Society in Sydney (Wed 9 to Fri 11 December, in Parramatta).

The timing means that if you’re keen you can combine two events into one Sydney trip: the ARC CoEDL Summer School 3-7 Dec (at Sancta Sophia College, Camperdown) then ALS (in Parramatta)!

ALS Plenary Speakers

  • Professor Gregory Guy (New York University): "Constraints, community, coherence: Do sociolects exist?"
  • Professor Sabine Stoll (University of Zurich): "Syntactic mixing across generations"

Workshops (during ALS)

Language variation and change – Australia 2 (LVC-A 2)
Organisers: Catherine Travis, Celeste Rodriguez Louro, Adam Schembri

Language and migration
Organisers: Ingrid Piller and Donna Butorac

Sociolinguistics of multilingualism in Aboriginal Australia
Organisers: Jill Vaughan and Ruth Singer

The expressive use of voice quality in Aboriginal languages
Organisers: John Mansfield and Nick Reid

Workshops (pre-ALS)

From home to school: Language practices of Indigenous children
Organisers: Jane Simpson and Jill Wigglesworth

Learning Indigenous languages – can universities help? (2015)
Organisers: Sophie Nicholls and Jane Simpson

Key Dates

  • Tues 1 Sept – all abstracts due (for talks in workshops, regular talks, poster presentations)
  • Tues 8 Dec – pre-ALS workshops (UWS Parramatta City Campus)
  • Wed 9 Dec – ALS Day 1* (UWS Parramatta South Campus)
  • Thurs 10 Dec – ALS Day 2 (UWS Parramatta City Campus)
  • Fri 11 Dec – ALS Day 3 (UWS Parramatta City Campus)

*We are excited to announce that ALS Day 1 will be a co-located common day "Confluence 2015" with the meetings of Australasian Language Technology Association (ALTA), Australasian Document Computing Symposium (ADCS), and Australasian Music Psychology Society (AMPS). ALS delegates may attend talks at the other meetings on Wed 9 Dec free of charge.

Abstract Submission Requirements for ALS 2015

All abstracts – for workshops, talks, and posters – will be due 1 September 2015 and will be anonymously reviewed by the ALS Program Committee. Submit via the link at:

To submit for the pre-ALS workshop "Learning Indigenous languages – can universities help (2015)", please email your expression of interest to

Preparing your abstract

Each abstract must be a maximum of 1 A4 page of text (including title, but no author names or affiliations) plus 1 additional A4 page of examples, figures, references etc. Please prepare your abstract in Word (as a single .doc or .docx file) in Times New Roman 12 point font, with 2cm on all margins. The abstract must be anonymous. The abstract should not include any author names or affiliations. Be careful that name and email are not automatically embedded by your word processor.

Submitting your abstract

Each abstract should be submitted online via the ALS EasyChair website, which is open for submissions. To submit an abstract, you will need to both: (1) upload your abstract as one anonymous Word document and (2) paste the title and main text of your abstract into a text box within EasyChair. As part of the EasyChair online submission form you will also be asked for author & affiliation information, your preferred presentation type (oral or poster presentation) and which workshop, if any, you would like to present within.

Further Information

For further information including registration costs and accommodation options please see the conference website. All attendees must book their own accommodation directly with hotels, hostels, or UWS Village Parramatta.

If you are in a position to book your accommodation at this point we recommend you do so, to obtain a good rate.

Caroline Jones

Summer School, ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language

This year the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language is running a Summer School, 3-7 December, in Sydney. Students can attend for free and there are a limited number of travel support packages. (Waged attendees are asked to pay $25 per day to assist with catering.)

The courses are as follows:

  •         Experimental Research on Language Learning & Processing
  •         History of Australian Languages I: The Proto-Australian hypothesis, and the sociolinguistics of language contact
  •         History of Australian Languages II: The Pama-Nyungan language family
  •         Making Friends with Your Corpus Data
  •         Statistics for Language Research: An Introduction to R
  •         Making Language Visible: the why and how of video recording

Places are limited so please register as soon as you can.

All the details are at the Summer School 2015 website.

For any queries about the event, please contact Caroline Jones (

Piers Kelly

International Conference on Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research, La Trobe University

For the first time ever, many of the world’s leading sign language researchers will be heading to Melbourne in the new year. The 12th International Conference on Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research, hosted by La Trobe University, will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre over January 4-7 2016. Our keynote speakers include Nick Enfield from the University of Sydney, and Robert Adam from University College London (one of only two deaf native signers from Australia with a PhD in linguistics). The program has just become available on the TISLR 12 website, and includes one spoken presentation and a number of posters on indigenous sign languages of Australia as well as a small number on Auslan:

This program lists the signed/spoken presentations, and also includes the poster session times. To see the complete list of poster presentations, please click on the links to the poster sessions in the program:

Early bird registration ends on August 31. Registration information is available here:

As with many conferences in sign language linguistics, there are no parallel sessions, and most presentations are posters. All ‘oral’ ( = signed or spoken) presentations are simultaneously interpreted between the local sign language Auslan, a sign language of wider communication - American Sign Language - and English. Live captioning will also be available. We also operate a policy of direct communication, which encourages all presenters to use one of the two conference sign languages for their presentation.

Adam Schembri

Call for Papers: The 7th Annual Roundtable of Language and Society Centre, Monash University (LASC2015)

Date: 19 Nov 2015 - 20 Nov 2015
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Deadline: 31 Aug 2015

The Language and Society Centre (LASC) is pleased to announce that its 7th Annual Roundtable will explore ‘How cultural context shapes the production and (mis)interpretation of language’. The Roundtable will be held November 19-20, 2015 and seeks to assemble scholars concerned with the relationship between cultural context and how language is produced and

Call for Papers:

Abstracts of up to 300 words are invited to be submitted to by the 31 August 2015.

For more information please visit the website of the conference:

Alice Gaby

Workshop on Infant Speech Perception (WISP): Phonological and Lexical Development, Macquarie University

1-2 September 2015
Level 1 Theatre, Australian Hearing Hub
Macquarie University, Sydney NSW Australia

For the program, see
Register by 26th August 2015 at

The Workshop on Infant Speech Perception (WISP): Phonological and Lexical Development will highlight recent research on infants’ developing abilities to perceive and learn the phonological, morphological and prosodic systems of language. Research has shown that children make use of perceptual cues very early in life to bootstrap the learning of phonemes, carry out processes of word segmentation, and identify morphological boundaries. However, the mechanisms underlying how these levels of language learning are integrated and represented in early language development is still unclear. Even less is known about how these aspects of language learning proceed in early bilinguals or children with hearing loss. The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers working on various aspects of phonology, morphology and prosody to discuss novel techniques and paradigms that will shed light on the diverse roles of speech perception abilities at various stages of infant development, across languages and populations. The workshop will include keynote addresses and invited talks by experts in the fields of linguistics, cognitive science, computational linguistics and developmental psychology, and a poster session.

Keynote Speakers

  • Paola Escudero, MARCS Institute, University of Western Sydney
  • Reiko Mazuka, Riken Brain Science Institute and Duke University
  • Thierry Nazzi, LPP, Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité and CNRS
  • Dan Swingley, Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania


Macquarie University Centre for Language Sciences (CLaS), ARC FL130100014 and the Child Language Lab


Katherine Demuth, Nan Xu Rattanasone, Carmen Kung, Elaine Schmidt, Ivan Yuen

Rosemary Eliott

Jobs, grants, and scholarships

ALS Scholarships and Prize: Winners

We warmly congratulate the winners of the 2015 ALS scholarships and prize:

Michael Clyne Prize:

Lucija Medojević from the University of Western Sydney received this year's Michael Clyne Prize for her PhD thesis, 'The effect of first year of schooling on bilingual language development: A study of second and third generation Serbian-Australian 5-year-old bilingual children from a processability perspective'.

Gerhardt Laves Scholarship:

Two awards of the Gerhardt Laves Scholarship were made for 2015:

  • Suzanne Hopf from Charles Sturt University, to support her fieldwork on Fijian children's speech
  • Sabrina Meier from the University of Newcastle, to support her fieldwork on the Mono-Alu language of the Solomon Islands

Susan Kaldor Scholarship:

Tom Ennever from the University of Queensland was awarded the Susan Kaldor Scholarship to attend the Linguistic Summer Institute at the University of Chicago.

Bill Palmer

The Wurm PhD Scholarship, Australian National University

The Australian National University is calling for applications for a “Stephen and Helen Wurm Scholarship in Pacific Linguistics” for an outstanding student to do a PhD in Linguistics  based at the Department of Linguistics, CHL (School of Culture, History and Language), College of Asia and the Pacific. Normally these scholarships are available for an enrolment period of up to three and a half years, subject to satisfactory progress. According to the funding available in a given year, additional support for shorter periods may also be allocated.

The scholarship is made available by the Wurm Endowment Funds, set up by Dr Helen Wurm in memory of her late husband, Professor Stephen Wurm. Professor Wurm was Professor and Head of the Department of Linguistics in the Research School for Pacific and Asian Studies from its inception in 1957 until his retirement in 1987, since supplemented by further donations.

Criteria, eligibility & timeline

  1. The scholarship is available to domestic and international students, covering tuition fees and/or stipend in full or part.  For international applicants, a preference is given to applicants who can also secure funding in part from other sources;
  2. The applicant will do research on one or more lesser-described languages of the Pacific, broadly defined to include Oceania, Melanesia, Australian indigenous languages, and South (East) Asia, in line with the mission of The Wurm Funds, with a topic of his/her choice within the scope of the departmental research interests (see for current projects and research interests of the staff members at the department);
  3. The applicants should have a good Master’s degree or the equivalent of the Australian first-class Honours, and a strong background in linguistics;
  4. Interested applicants should contact the head of the linguistics department, I Wayan Arka ( for inquiries and to develop their applications with the appropriate staff member, and subsequently submit their applications to the School of Culture, History and Language ( including the following documents:
    - a full CV listing educational and other qualifications, publications, prior awards and other relevant experience (e.g. work, relevant internships);
    - tertiary academic transcripts,
    - a short PhD project proposal (1-2 pages long),
    - two letters of support;
  5. Deadline: 31 August 2015
Wayan Arka

Call for Applications: Summer Research Program, University of Queensland

The University of Queensland is again seeking good advanced undergraduate and Honours students in Linguistics for the Summer Research Program in the following projects. Applications are due 31 August.

Gurindji Kriol across the generations

Project duration: 10 weeks


This project will form a part of an ARC project examining changes in Gurindji Kriol across two generations of Gurindji people. It will compare the speech of 10 year old Gurindji children with the linguistic input they received as babies. The Summer Research scholar will be trained in linguistic annotation, transcription of Gurindji Kriol and will code transcribed recordings in preparation for statistical analysis. The focus will be on changes in the use of ergative marking in Gurindji Kriol. The Summer Research scholar will work with other scholars building Gurindji and Mudburra corpora and can potentially development an Honours thesis from the project.

This project is open to applications from advanced students with a background in Linguistics and an interest in fieldwork, Australian languages and language contact.

For more information and the application:
Or contact Felicity directly:

Building a Mudburra corpus

Project duration: 10 weeks


This project will form a part of an ARC project examining a trilingual Indigenous community, Elliott (NT). It examines how people at Elliott manage multiple languages and how these languages have changed through mixing processes such as creolisation and code-switching. Summer Research scholars will be a part of a team including PhD students Claire Gourlay and
David Osgarby trained in corpus development. They will key in transcribed recordings of Mudburra and sound-link the corpus. Summer Research scholars will work with other scholars building the Gurindji corpus. If students are interested in potential Honours topics on Mudburra at UQ, a day a week can be allocated to background research.

This project is open to applications from advanced students with a background in Linguistics and an interest in fieldwork, Australian languages and language contact.

For more information and the application:
Or contact Felicity directly:

Building a Gurindji corpus

Project duration: 10 weeks


This project will form a part of the Centre of Excellence in the Dynamics of Language building a corpus of Gurindji recordings for the language community and linguistic research. Gurindji is spoken in the Northern Territory (Australia). Summer Research scholars will be a part of a team trained in corpus development. They will key in transcribed recordings of Gurindji and sound-link the corpus. Summer Research scholars will work with other scholars building the Mudburra corpus.

The projects will run full-time for 9 weeks from 23 November- 5 February (with a break 21 Dec - 1 Jan). Summer Research scholars will be paid $300/wk with an additional $500 towards travel costs for non–UQ domestic students or $1000 for international students.

This project is open to applications from advanced students with a background in Linguistics and an interest in fieldwork, Australian languages and language contact.

For more information and the application:
Or contact Felicity directly:

Complex word structure in indigenous languages of Australia

Project duration: 7 weeks, January 4 – February 19 Description:


Australia’s indigenous languages are famed for their complex word structures, making them highly informative for our understanding of how human language works. This project unearths that complexity and organises it into computer-readable form, in order to contribute to cutting-edge research on data visualisation in linguistics (including a concurrent, related summer project in computer science at UQ), and to electronic resources that will underlie the coming generation of indigenous language apps.

We are seeking students in a linguistics major at second year level or higher, at any Australian or international university. Some study in the areas of morphology, phonology, or both, is preferred.

For further information, please contact Dr Erich Round

The languages of Cape York - bringing Bruce Sommer’s work to life

Project duration: 7 weeks, January 4 – February 19


Bruce Sommer worked for decades with indigenous peoples throughout Cape York, recording a vast amount of language material, most of which he deposited with UQ’s Fryer Library. This project will begin to enrich Sommer’s records, by bringing it out of archival boxes and into more readily accessible forms, specifically, by creating electronically readable and deliverable versions of some of his thousands of pages of notes on traditional stories, grammar, vocab and culture.

We are seeking students in a linguistics major at second year level or higher, at any Australian or international university. Some study in the areas of phonology and phonetics is preferred.

For further information, please contact Dr Erich Round

Building a dictionary of Garrwa

Project duration: 8 - 10 weeks (negotiable)


The Garrwa language is spoken in the Gulf Country around the town of Borroloola (NT) and east towards the Queensland Border. Children no longer learn Garrwa as a first language but there are a number of older Garrwa people in and around Borroloola and the community of Robinson River who are keen to ensure that the language is well-documented and taught to young people to maintain and revitalise cultural and linguistic heritage and practices. They are particularly interested in the production of a dictionary to sit alongside the recently published reference grammar (Mushin, I. 2012. A grammar of (Western) Garrwa. Mouton). The first stage of this project will be to work through an older draft dictionary from 1997
and checked with speakers in 2006-2010 to compile an initial list of entries and, where possible, match with recordings of the words. Students will learn practical skills in language documentation and the development of dictionary entries, as well as learning about the Garrwa language.

We are seeking students in a linguistics major at second year level or higher, at any Australian or international university.

For further information, please contact Dr Ilana Mushin,

Felicity Meakins, Erich Round

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