Newsletter November 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

Agenda for the ALS AGM

AGM of the Australian Linguistic Society
To be held at 6pm on the 10th December 2015
Arthur Phillip High School, Macquarie St, Parramatta

  1. Apologies
  2. Minutes of the 2014 AGM
  3. Matters arising
  4. Reports
    1. President
    2. Secretary
    3. Treasurer
      Options for investment of ALS funds. Proposal from the ALS Finance sub-committee to convert all current investments in the share market to cash investments.
      That a research grant scheme of $30,000 per annum be established, to commence in 2016. The Executive Committee is authorised to administer the scheme. The Executive Committee may appoint a subcommittee to administer the grant scheme on behalf of the Executive Committee. The membership of the subcommittee shall be 3–5 persons, as determined by the Executive Committee. No two members of the Grants Subcommittee can come from the same university. All research grant applicants must be current financial members of ALS at the date of application.
    4. Journal Editors
    5. Associate Secretary (Newsletter Editor)
    6. CIPL Representative
    7. ALS2015 Organisers (Western Sydney)
    8. ALS2016 Organisers (Monash)
  5. Future ALI and ALS conferences
    2017 marks the 50th Anniversary of the first ALS conference
  6. Australian Computational and Linguistics Olympiad (OzCLO)
  7. Awards (Laves, Clyne, Kaldor)
  8. Report on Fully (Sic)
  9. Election of Officers
    We seek nominations for the following positions
    - The President
    - Two Vice-Presidents
    - Postgraduate Student Representative
  10. Any Other Business
Nick Thieberger

ALS Research Grant Scheme

This sets out the Executive proposal for the implementation of ALS Research Grant Scheme, in accordance with the membership plebiscite, which was completed on 1 June 2015. In the plebiscite, 47/67 (70%) of respondents voted for the following option:

Small grant scheme: total of $30K in research grants available

(This equates to slightly less than our current annual royalty income from Taylor & Francis)

1. Scheme Administration

The scheme will be administered by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee may appoint a subcommittee to administer the grant scheme on behalf of the Executive Committee. The membership of the subcommittee shall be 3 – 5 persons, as determined by the Executive Committee. No two members of the Grants Subcommittee can come from the same university.

All applicants must be current financial members of ALS at the date of application.

2. Size of Grants

There are two competing factors:

a) Total grant money available: $30,000
b) Allowing people to request relatively substantial funding if the project requires it

In the view of the executive committee, the best balance is:

Maximum: $5,000
Minimum: No set minimum

This would allow for a minimum of six grants, if all successful applications were maximally funded.

3. Funded Research and Evaluation Criteria

The referendum of ALS members indicated support for a wide range of research related activities. Given the diversity of potential research activities, the Executive Committee considered that it is not possible to positively specify which types of research would be funded. Rather, on the basis of the commentary in the referendum, the Committee considered that proposals could be evaluated in accordance with the following criteria.

A. Is the project feasible? What approvals, expertise, and resources are required to complete the project within the timeframe specified?
B. Given the research opportunities available to the applicant(s), is there evidence that the applicant(s) will bring the project to successful completion within a reasonable time frame?
C. Will the proposed research be cost-effective and value for money?
D. What is the potential time period when the research could be undertaken?
E. The potential for the applicant(s) to obtain funding from other sources.

Many of the comments in the referendum supported prioritising assistance for students and early career researchers. The committee considers that Criterion E addresses this issue. Senior research staff have a greater potential to obtain funding from alternative sources within the next two years.

4. Evaluation Process

Applications will be considered by:

(i) The full Executive Committee, or by a full subcommittee if delegated
(ii) One independent assessor with expertise in the area of the grant application

The Executive Committee may obtain further independent assessments at its discretion.

5. Application Timeline


Opening date       1 June
Closing date         1 September
Notification date   1 December

Factors affecting timeline

A. Practical benefit to students and early career researchers – Notification date

It is intended that the scheme should prioritise assistance for students and early career researchers. The most common planning unit for students and early career researchers is the calendar year. Therefore, grants will provide the greatest practical benefit if they are notified in the year before the calendar year when the research project would be undertaken. The committee considered that 1 December would provide sufficient advance notice for planning and organization of research in the following calendar year.

B. Provision of sufficient time for assessment of applications – Closing date

Assessing applications is voluntary. Given this, some reasonable time period is required. Once applications are assessed, they must then be comparatively ranked. This again requires a reasonable time period. In the view of the executive committee, a closing date of 1 September provides a reasonable time allowance for both these factors. It may also be noted that all the major standard funding source schemes have notification dates within or preceding the 1 Sept – 1 Dec assessment period.

ARC Discovery & LIEF: October/November
ARC Linkage: June 2015
ELDP: 15 June 2015

This will ensure that there is no doubling of research funding.

C. Provision of sufficient time for preparation of applications – Opening date

The principal factor here is the size of grants. Writing applications up to a maximum of $5,000 is a different matter from writing an application for $500,000. In the view of the executive committee, a preparation period of three months, 1 June – 1 September is sufficient time to prepare an applications up to a maximum of $5,000. The date of 1 June has been selected to allow students and early career researchers to obtain maximum benefit from the semester break.

Mark Harvey

Australian National Corpus (AusNC)

A revamped Australian National Corpus website ( has just been launched with:

  1. A new, more user-friendly interface
  2. A new collection: The LaTrobe Corpus of Spoken Australian English
  3. Additional data added to an existing collection: Griffith Corpus of Spoken Australian English
  4. The option to download whole collections where permissions allow

The new portal allows for basic searches (frequency and concordance) and browsing of collections. If users log-in with AAF credentials (i.e. Australian academics and students) they can get full access to the collections, although some collections are available to all without requiring any log-in.

We are currently working with Alveo to create seamless transition from the AusNC web portal into the more sophisticated tools housed there, and to allow overseas academics to access collections in the Australia National Corpus that require password access.

Any feedback on the new web portal is most welcome. Please contact Michael Haugh at

Michael Haugh

Early Years of LSA (later ALS)

I have found a file of documents concerning the early years of LSA (later ALS). Among other things it is shown that on 28 September 1965 ten linguists from Melbourne and Monash Universities had a meeting at which they believed they had founded the LSA (later ALS). However, on 24 May 1967 there was an inauguration meeting in Canberra.

Göran Hammarström

News from the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)


Geraldine Triffitt is updating, the bibliographic database of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. If you have recent publications or theses, whether paper or digital, in this subject field and they are not already on the database, please send the information to

Doug Marmion

News from the University of New England

Yankee Modi and Mark Post were awarded US$ 20,414 to fund a new program TRICL (Training and Resources for Indigenous Community Linguists) in Northeastern India beginning January 2016. TRICL will provide training, equipment and ongoing research support to indigenous linguists from several regional communities. TRICL staff in 2016 also include Stephen Morey and Paveil Ozerov from LaTrobe University, Scott DeLancey and Linda Konnerth from the University of Oregon, Uta Reinoehl from the University of Köln, and Ismael Lieberherr from the University of Berne.

UNE Adjuncts Roger Blench (Cambridge) and George van Driem (Berne) visited UNE in September before joining researchers from LaTrobe, UNE, ANU and Sydney at the second International Consortium for Eastern Himalayan Ethnolinguistic Prehistory.

Margaret Sharpe is working with Callum Clayton-Dixon, a local Anaiwan man in extending and refining the limited data we have on the New England language Anaiwan. Callum is teaching a small class of local Anaiwan people, mostly children, what we know about the traditional language.

PhD student Jesta Masuku was awarded the Cambridge University Press Prize for best post-graduate presentation based on her thesis "Marginalised voices in Zimbabwe's socio-economic development: Prospects and challenges" at the 38th African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific Conference held at Deakin University, Melbourne 28-30 October 2015.

Nick Reid presented a paper at the conference of the Foundation of Endangered Languages FELNOLA XIX in New Orleans in October, and participated in a workshop on language maintenance at the Instituto Nacional de Lenguas Indígenas in Mexico.

Liz Ellis

News from the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages at Charles Darwin University

Some news from the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages at Charles Darwin University:

  • The LAAL Digital Story Competition closes this month, with winners announced at the end of November. Entrants have selected a book from the archive and, with the permission of the story owner, created a living multimedia story
  • The Living Archive was showcased at the Darwin Aboriginal Arts Fair, including workshops on creating your own e-book.
  • Nick Reid from UNE visited Charles Darwin University and presented a seminar on rising sea levels, available at
  • The chapter "Shoehorning complex metadata in the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages" was published in 'Research, Records and Responsibility - Ten Years of PARADISEC' edited by Amanda Harris, Nick Thieberger and Linda Barwick
  • Keep up with news by subscribing to the Living Archive newsletter at
Cathy Bow

News from the University of Adelaide

Publications (selection)

Clendon, Mark. (2015). Clamor Schürmann's Barngarla Grammar.  Adelaide: University of Adelaide Press.

Zuckermann, Ghil‘ad et al. (2015). ENGAGING – A Guide to Interacting Respectfully and Reciprocally with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, and their Arts Practices and Intellectual Property. Australian Government: Indigenous Culture Support. Available at Free hard copies available from

Ghil'ad Zuckermann

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 Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity (RNLD)

RNLD staff are settling into our new office in Carlton which boasts its own training room. Our new phone number is 03 9077-9500, and the office is located at:

Suite 3, Level 1
19-21 Argyle Place South
Carlton, Victoria 3053

If you're in the area, stop by and say hello and have a cuppa.

We are very pleased to let you know that RNLD has been granted funding for a further four years under the Indigenous Languages and Arts program to continue our work with the Documenting and Revitalising Indigenous Languages (DRIL) Training Program.

Two of our certificate programs have now received national accreditation through the Australian Skills Quality Authority. We will begin offering the Certificate II in Master-Apprentice Language Learning Program (10124NAT) and the Certificate III in Aboriginal Languages for Communities and Workplaces (10541NAT) in 2016, in partnership with the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre (

The fourth workshop in our Professional Development series will be held from 23-28 November. This workshop will bring together fourteen Indigenous participants from New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria. The Professional Development stream aims to increase the professional capacity of Indigenous people engaged in language work, strengthen the participants' knowledge of linguistics, language documentation and language revitalisation methods, develop the capacity of Indigenous language activists to become trainers and share skills with other people in their communities, and help to build a professional network amongst Indigenous language activists.

Three students in linguistics at the University of Melbourne have been awarded 2015-2016 internships through the internship program between RNLD and the Research Unit for Indigenous Language (RUIL). Peter Nyhuis is just completing his honours year in linguistics. Chau Nguyen is currently studying the Master of Applied Linguistics and holds a Bachelor degree in English Language Teaching from the Hue University in Vietnam. Prue Grant is completing her second year studies in linguistics and has previous experience volunteering in a remote community in NSW. Each intern joins DRIL trainers in a community-based workshop in locations that agreed to participate in this scheme.

Margaret Florey

News from the University of Queensland

Major Publications

Pensalfini, Rob. 2015. Prison Shakespeare: For These Deep Shames and Great
Indignities. NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

RHD Students

Tom Ennever has been successful in obtaining an APA and has begun an MPhil project as a part of the Centre of Excellence in the Dynamics of Language to write a grammar of Ngardi(lyi) (a Ngumpin-Yapa language) supervised by Felicity Meakins and Mary Laughren. Tom has been working with Lee Cataldi and Tasaku Tsunoda to digitise their recordings and field notes in preparation for fieldwork in the NT and WA next year.

Amanda Hamilton has joined the Mudburra project (ARC DP150101201 CI Meakins and Pensalfini) and will be examining contact between Mudburra, Jingulu and Kriol in younger generations at Elliott.

Project work

Greg Dickson has received around $19,000 to host a workshop in Katherine, Northern Territory that brings together researchers, Indigenous research assistants and other stakeholders working on Kriol and contact languages in Northern Australia. It is part of the Transdisciplinary and Innovation Grants made available within the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. The workshop will be held in mid-2016, involving scholars such as Felicity Meakins and Amanda Hamilton (UQ), Denise Angelo and Jane Simpson (ANU), Samantha Disbray (Charles Darwin University), Carmel O'Shannessy (University of Michigan), Caroline Jones and Sophie Nicholls (Western Sydney University) as well as participants from language centres and other local service providers.

Felicity Meakins, Rob Pensalfini and Glenn Wightman (NT LRM Herbarium) have begun work with Mudburra and Jingulu community members in Elliott on the ARC DP project 'Trilingual language contact in an Indigenous Community'. The project has a number of aims including the production of a Mudburra dictionary, and Mudburra and Jingulu ethnobiology. The project is also examining the effects of contact between Mudburra and Jingulu on their respective vocabularies and grammars, as well as secondary effects from Kriol. RHD students, David Osgarby and Amanda Hamilton, will join Rob and Felicity on fieldwork in 2016. The project is a collaboration between UQ, NT Department of Land Resource Management, Elliott School, Newcastle Waters School and Papulu Apparr-Kari (Tennant Creek Language Centre) and also draws on materials from linguists who have worked on Mudburra previously including Rebecca Green (NT Ed Dept), Patrick McConvell (ANU) and Mary Laughren (UQ).

Felicity Meakins has been working with Myfany Turpin (U-Syd), Ronnie Wavehill Wirrpnga, Topsy Dodd Ngarnjal and other Gurindji elders in conjunction with Karungkarni Arts to document ceremonies which were performed on Wave Hill Station from around 1940s onwards. They worked with old recordings from Rachel Nordlinger and Erika Charola, as well as recording new performances of these songs with professional filmmakers. Ronnie Wavehill, now in his late 70s is the sole man still able to sing the older public song sets. The first stage of the Gurindji songs project was funded by a UQ Research Engagement Award (Meakins) and an ARC Future Fellowship (FT140100783, CI Turpin).

Felicity Meakins

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

International Workshop

LCRC 28 September-3 October 2015

Over the past eighteen years, Professors Alexandra Y Aikhenvald and R M W Dixon have organized eleven week-long International Workshops on topics of current theoretical importance. For each of them, there has been a published volume (including the best papers) with Cambridge University Press or Oxford University Press. These have been issued in the first place as hardback, and their success has been such that each has been later reissued in a cheaper paperback format. The reviews in academic journals have been consistently laudatory, hailing the volumes as masterpieces at the cutting edge of current research. The Twelfth International Workshop, 'Commands', took place between 28 September and 3 October this year. It saw a gathering of linguists from all corners of the globe. Senator for Queensland the Honorable Jan McLucas officially launched the workshop, highlighting the importance of international events like this coming to the tropical far north. She also launched the following latest publications from LCRC members:

  • R M W Dixon, 2015 Edible Gender, mother-in-law style and other grammatical wonders. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Elena Mihas, 2015 Upper Perené Arawak narratives. University of Nebraska Press
  • Nerida Jarkey 2015 Serial verbs in White Hmong. Leiden, Brill (in a series edited by Aikhenvald, Dixon and Enfield).

The week of the workshop was highly stimulating, and full of exciting discussions and exchange of ideas. The organizers are currently preparing the volume for publication.
The following papers were presented:

  • Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald (LCRC) — Commands: a cross-linguistic perspective
  • Valérie Guérin (LCRC) — Tiyatuk (Papuan area)
  • N. J. Enfield (University of Sydney) — Lao
  • Nerida Jarkey (University of Sydney) — Japanese
  • Hannah Sarvasy (ANU) — Nungon
  • Timothy Thornes (Boise State University) — Northern Paiute (Numic, Uto-Aztecan)
  • Eric Campbell (University of California, Santa Barbara) — Zenzontepec Chatino (Otomanguean)
  • Azeb Amha (University of Leiden) — Wolaitta (Omotic, Afroasiatic)
  • R. M. W. Dixon (LCRC) — Dyirbal (Australian area)
  • Lourens De Vries (Free University of Amsterdam) — Kombai and Korowai (Papuan area)
  • Borut Telban (Slovene Academy of Sciences) — Karawari (Lower Sepik, Papuan area)
  • Rosita Henry (LCRC) — Anthropological perspectives on commands
  • W. F. H. Adelaar (University of Leiden) — Quechua (isolate)
  • Elena Mihas (LCRC) — Ashaninka Tambo (Campan, Arawak)
  • Simon Overall (LCRC) — Aguaruna (Jivaroan)
  • Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald — What can we conclude?

Visiting fellows

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 member news

Cassy Nancarrow (Adjunct Fellow) has been teaching a second 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 presented 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, and a talk '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.

Katarzyna I. Wojtylak is undertaking fieldwork in Colombia (Putumayo area) working on Murui (Witoto).

A new linguistic database on Tropical Languages at the LCRC

Throughout 2014 and 2015, Kasia Wojtylak and Grant Aiton have been supervising the creation of the LCRC special language archive and the newly developed archival facility for tropical languages in the form of a well-developed database. The database allows LCRC researchers to create and manipulate multimedia files and serves as a virtual platform designed for collaboration between researchers and community members. In addition to various types of multimedia files (i.e. text, image, audio and video files among which ELAN, Flex and Toolbox files) included in the corpus, the site contains an up-to-date repository of publications of the team-members (including those in press). All materials are interlinked in a way that allows the user to navigate quickly through the corpus and run simple search queries within the site. In the future, the site will facilitate numerous types of complex search options to increase the overall efficiency of the collected materials in the corpus. The facility can now be accessed at Feedback and collaboration are most welcome!

A new linguistic resource on evidentiality

A website on Evidentiality (put together by Amanda Parsonage, Administrative Officer at the LCRC), in conjunction with The Oxford Handbook of Evidentiality (edited by Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, forthcoming 2017) is being constantly updated. The site contains information about the Handbook and a number of key publications on evidentiality. The link is:

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.
  • Alvanoudi, Angeliki (ed). Forthcoming (2016). Aspects of the Meaning of Gender. Special issue of International Journal of Language and Culture.
  • 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.
  • Nancarrow, Cassy. (compiler) 2015. Gangalidda to English Dictionary. Published by Carpentaria Land Council Aboriginal Corporation. Incorporating a description of Gangalidda grammar by Erich Round.
  • Nancarrow, Cassy. (compiler and editor). 2015. Multilingual storybooks at Mornington Island (compiled and edited by Cassy Nancarrow in conjunction with Mirndiyan Gununa and Mornington Island State School). The books are illustrated by school students and incorporate Lardil, Kayardild, English and Mornington Island creole in a selection of traditional and historical stories, available online

Seminars and workshop presentations (November-December 2015)

  • Seminar, Wednesday 7 October: Willem Adelaar - Recovering the Andean past through scenarios of language contact and migration
  • Global Workshop, Wednesday 14 October: Alexandra Aikhenvald - Non-spatial setting in Tariana
  • Global Workshop, Wednesday 28 October: Bob Dixon - Non-spatial setting in Jarawara
  • Global Workshop, Wednesday 4 November: Mateus Cruz Maciel de Carvalho - Non-spatial setting in Deni
  • Seminar, Wednesday 11 November: Iwona Kraska-Szlenk - Swahili ‘reversed’ address terms: usage patterns, cognitive motivation and cultural factors
  • Seminar, Wednesday 18 November: Alexandra Aikhenvald - Language contact and word structure: a case study from north-west Amazonia 
  • Continuation of International Workshop, Wednesday 2 December: Ryan Pennington - Commands in Ma Manda
  • Continuation of International Workshop, Wednesday 9 December: Alexandra Aikhenvald - Commands in Manambu
  • Continuation of International Workshop, Wednesday 16 December: Mateus Cruz Maciel de Carvalho Commands in Deni

See further updates at


Most members of the Language and Culture Research Centre have written (or are writing) a grammar of a language, and many of us are working on typological universals, by inductive generalisations from a well-chosen sample of grammars. We welcome enquiries from similarly oriented scholars (from Australia or from overseas) who would like to consider spending a sabbatical with us. We can provide basic facilities, plus an intellectual ambience of the highest order.

The LCRC Bulletin for 2015 is available at the LCRC website (

Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

News from the University of Western Australia

UWA Linguistics is excited to be joining the ALS Newsletter.

Recent publications

  • Ritz, Marie-Eve & Eva Schultze-Berndt. (2015). Time for a change? The semantics and pragmatics of marking temporal progression in an Australian language. Lingua 166: 1–21.
  • Rodríguez Louro, Celeste. (2015). The evolution of epistemic marking in West Australian English. In Peter Collins (ed.) Grammatical Change in English World-Wide. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 205–220.
  • Rodríguez Louro, Celeste and Marie-Eve Ritz. (2014). Stories down under: Tense variation at the heart of Australian English narratives. Australian Journal of Linguistics, 34 (4): 540–556.

Recent conference presentations and invited talks/keynotes

  • Ritz, Marie-Eve. “The Australian present perfect: Semantic and discourse pragmatic analysis of non-canonical uses”. University of Manchester (UK). October 2015.
  • Rodríguez Louro, Celeste. “The impact of narrative on the Australian English quotative system”, Universidad de Barcelona, Spain. June 2015.
  • Rodríguez Louro, Celeste. “Story-telling across the generations: Quotative BE LIKE changes the face of Australian English narratives”. Changing English: Integrating cognitive, social and typological perspectives. Helsinki, Finland. June 2015.
  • Ritz, Marie-Eve. Keynote presentations (oral narratives and the Australian perfect) and course on semantics. State University of Surabaya, Indonesia. January 2015.
  • Dench, Alan. Keynote presentations and course on language documentation and description. State University of Surabaya, Indonesia. January 2015.
  • Richard, Sophie. “Some sociolinguistic insights into the narrative uses of the Australian English Present Perfect”. 2014 Conference of the Australian Linguistic Society. University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. December 2014.
  • Richard, Sophie. 2014 “The sociolinguistics of the Australian English innovative Present Perfect: Methodological considerations”. Perfect and perfectivity re-assessed through corpus studies panel. ICAME 35 (International Computer Archive of Modern and Medieval English Conference). University of Nottingham, UK. April 2014.
  • Rodríguez Louro, Celeste, Alexandra D’Arcy and Sali Tagliamonte. “Outliers, impact and rationalization in linguistic change”. 88th Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America. Minneapolis Hilton, Minneapolis, MN, USA, January 2014.

New PHD students

UWA Linguistics welcomes two brand-new PhD students in 2015.

Sana Bharadwaj (Australian Postgraduate Award) will be working with Celeste Rodríguez Louro and Marie-Eve Ritz on a project examining the narratives of first and second-generation Indian migrants in Australia and the United States.

Eliza Bowen (Australian Postgraduate Award) will be working with Marie-Eve Ritz and John Henderson on a project examining switch reference in various West Australian Aboriginal languages. 

New projects

In early 2015 Celeste Rodríguez Louro was the recipient of a 2015 UWA Research Collaboration Award. “The voices in the stories: Quotation in Aboriginal English oral narratives” examines story-telling and quotative use by speakers of Aboriginal Australian English. The research is in collaboration with Farzad Sharifian (Monash University).

Luisa Miceli is collaborating on a project funded by a Transdisciplinary and Innovation Grant from the Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language with T. Mark Ellison (ANU), Paola Escudero (UWS), Simon Greenhill (ANU) and Niels Schiller (Leiden). The project is titled ‘Picture-Naming, Synonymy and Language Divergence in Bilinguals’.

Community involvement initiatives

UWA Linguistics has recently launched an innovative community engagement project embedded in UWA’s recent Crowd Sourcing initiative. “Your Voice! Your Story! English in Western Australia” seeks to recruit members of the WA community to collect spontaneous conversational data, with a focus on stories.

Other news

Throughout 2015, Sana Bharadwaj has been employed as a research assistant in Gerry Docherty’s ARC-funded project titled “The social dynamics of language: A study of phonological variation and change in West Australian English”. Sana’s primary role has been to co-ordinate and recruit fieldworkers for data collection, as well as collecting data herself. Her role involved briefing fieldworkers on the role, training them in the use of recording equipment, and acting as the primary point of contact for the project in Perth. The data stems from conversations between pairs of same-sex participants aged 18-22 from a range of Perth suburbs.

PhD student Sophie Richard has finished collecting the first-ever corpus of Australian English narratives, which is the basis of her PhD project titled “Sociolinguistic constraints on the Narrative Present Perfect in contemporary Australian English”. Sophie has also recently completed the prestigious UWA 2015 Postgraduate Teaching Internship Scheme, Foundations of University Teaching and Learning. The experience gained through the internship will significantly enhance her linguistics teaching portfolio.

December 2015 conference presentations

Celeste Rodríguez Louro will be presenting (with Chad Howe, University of Georgia and Guro Nore Fløgstad, University of Oslo) a paper titled “Event continuity, temporal definiteness and the present perfect/present opposition in Spanish” at the Going Romance meeting to be held at Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands on 10-12 December 2015.

With Catherine Travis (ANU) and Adam Schembri (La Trobe University), Celeste Rodríguez Louro is organising the second meeting of Language Variation and Change, Australia to be held at the 2015 Conference of the Australian Linguistic Society at the University of Western Sydney, 9-11 December. Celeste will be presenting a paper (co-authored with Sophie Richard and Sana Bharadwaj) titled “Another story: Narrative and non-narrative discourse and BE LIKE”.

Marie-Eve Ritz and Alan Dench will be in attendance at ALS 2015 with a paper titled “Future problems” which focuses on the future tense in Martuthunira.

Luisa Miceli will be presenting (with T. Mark Ellison, ANU) a paper titled “Does Grosjean’s language mode require variable language activation?” at ALS this year.

Luisa will also be attending the Australian Archaeological Association Conference (Fremantle, 2-4 December 2015) to present a paper co-authored with Bethwyn Evans (ANU) and titled “Shared challenges: Bringing archaeology and linguistics together again”.

Celeste Rodríguez Louro

News from the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages (VACL)

Students Retell Creation Stories in Gunditjmara Languages

Students at Heywood & District Secondary College, Warrnambool Primary School, Merrivale Primary School and Warrnambool East Primary School have all contributed to a suite of six brand new Aboriginal language apps featuring local Gunditjmara languages.

Launched on the 26th October 2015, the six interactive digital storybook apps feature five traditional Gunditjmara Creation Stories and one original story about friendship and reconciliation, written by students at Warrnambool Primary School.

With the support of key Gunditjmara Elders, Laka Gunditj Language Worker Joel Wright, Koorie Engagement Support Officers, principals, teachers and local artists, students have beautifully illustrated six stories and recorded narratives in four languages; Peek wurrung, Dhauwurd wurrung, Keerray woorroong and English.

The student’s creative use of language, art and technology has enabled the telling of Windhigunga teen Gunditjmara Ween-ngat-n (How the Gunditjmara Got Fire),  Teen Kiiap Tokeeyong Kokok Moyjil-yee (The Lone Little Seagull by the Hopkins River), Mayapa-u Budj Bim (The Creation of Budj Bim), Tyu-ron teen Pitthirrit (Pitthirrit the Plover), Kayap Keeleeng (The First Lake) & Kurok-iyar, teen koytpa koy koy pulitja pa marrang ngeerangoon (Kurok-iyar, the Story of the Seven Sisters).

This digital project is a partnership between schools, Traditional Owners, Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages (VACL) & Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc. (VAEAI). The development of these digital resources will support language reclamation and revitalisation activities in Victorian schools and communities.

The Apps are available now for download at the App Store, for use on iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch. Go to the App Store and search 'vacl' or 'gunditjmara'.


Community Gathers in Lakes Entrance for Ngarigo Monero Language Workshop

VACL was in Lakes Entrance on the weekend to support the first ever Ngarigo Monero Language Workshop with the Ninde Ngujarn Ngarigo Monero Aboriginal Corporation.

There were 16 participants who came from as far as Melbourne, Sydney and the south coast of New South Wales to attend the workshop.

The workshop was facilitated by Doris Paton under the guidance of Aunty Rachel Mullett, a Ngarigo Monero Elder who is still very strong in her language. The group learnt words and pronunciation that they were able to use on a daily basis, focusing on people, food and animals. The group are looking forward to having more workshops to continue practising their language skills and work towards creating learning resources in the future.


Celebrating Indigenous Writers at the Dungala Kaiela Writers Awards

The Fourth Dungala Kaiela Writers Awards took place on Friday 30th October at Rumbalara Football and Netball Club in Shepparton to a packed house.

With the Language section is in its third year, the number of entrants has increased from 4 to 11 and then this year 32 entries, with large numbers in the Junior section. Subjects ranged from family, growing up, Dreaming stories and new stories in similar style, identity, history and even some puzzles. Aunty Sharon Atkinson and VACL's Dr Christina Eira were the judges of this year's Language section with VACL's Paul Paton presenting the awards on the night.

Aunty Kella Robinson was joined by two young writers to conduct a Welcome, with highlights including primary school student Lillie Walker who sang two songs in Yorta Yorta Language including the well known 'Bura Fera' and a short talk by Jackie Yowell, editor of the recently published Not just Black and White.

Language award winners and titles:

Joint Winners  - Sonny Croes Yakapna (Family) and Nerissa Gratton The Lost Girl
Commended - Gavin Handy Hunting for Bigarrumdja Eggs

Winner - Alkira Power Yorta Yorta Writing
Commended - Kian Wise Biame And The Creation of Murray River and Alli Morgan How I Feel To Be Aboriginal

Winner - Merle Miller Proud To Be Me
Commended - Bruno Starrs Weelow and Belinda Briggs Nyin Yorta Yorta Burrai


New Language Revival Factsheets

Introduced at the Puliima National Indigenous Language and Technology Forum 2015, the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages has produced this series of factsheets to support communities working to revive their languages.

These factsheets reflect what we learned from the Meeting Point Project, which was run between 2008 and 2014. In that project, we focussed on the ways revival languages are being brought back into communities by Elders, language workers and language activists. All the fact sheets are about these newly living languages, brought from the past into the present and future.

We are grateful to the people who have agreed to share examples of their languages with you in this way. We especially thank our case study language programs: Wiradjuri (Parkes program), Butchulla (Hervey Bay), Keerray Woorroong (Warrnambool), Wathaurong (Geelong program), Gumbaynggirr (Nambucca Heads) and Gunai/Kurnai (Gippsland).

There are four different types of factsheets. Each one focuses on just one topic for language revival.

Methods: How people do the work (includes workshops)
Practice: Ideas for using language (includes workshops)
Principles: What's it all for? (includes ideas for discussion)
Pathways: Language journeys (includes ideas for discussion)

To download the factsheets individually, or as a full set, visit our website

An Inspiring Week at Puliima

The Puliima National Indigenous Language and Technology Forum took place in Melbourne this month. The event attracted over 230 people from nations across Australia as well as international guests. Energy and enthusiasm filed the William Angliss Institute as participants exchanged ideas and shared passion for language and culture.

In collaboration with KIWA, VACL hosted a KIWA SLAM workshop in the two days leading up to the conference, where a language app was produced by participants from across Australia in collaboration with the facilitators. The app was produced in six languages; Bundjalung, Dharug, Ngarrindjeri, Wonnarua, Gathang and English, and will be released on the app store soon. Other workshops and practical demonstrations explored how to create iBooks, dictionaries, recordings and teaching resources in language.

On the Wednesday and Thursday attendees were spoilt for choice with three streams of presentations that focused on community, education and technology. More than 30 presentations were offered detailing the diverse projects communities and organisations are working on with the aim of keeping language alive.

VACL participated in presentations on Learning from Experience with Vicki Couzens, Christina Eira and Tonya Stebbins from the Meeting Point Research Team based at VACL. The Ankety Map - Review of Digital Tools for Language Work presentation was made by Paul Paton from First Languages Australia and the waqdamba-nganjin wurrung presentation was made by Emma Hutchinson, Paul Paton, Mandy Nicholson and Joel Wright from VACL.

Highlights included international guests from the Santa Fe Indian School who spoke about language revival in New Mexico and presentations by the Youth Champions; nine young people who each spoke about language projects they are working on.

On the Wednesday evening of the event the famous Australia's Got Language was held with 12 acts taking to the stage. The show included outstanding performances of song, dance, poetry and comedy.

The summit enables discussions around projects, products and equipment to do with language and technology both nationally and internationally. Participants networked and collaborated on important issues at the forefront of the field. Puliima provides a stage to share successes and challenges while being reminded of the strength contained within the bigger movement dedicated to preserving and celebrating language. The word 'puliima' means 'making voice' in Awabakal language from Newcastle and Lake Macquarie where the Puliima conference started in 2007.


VACL recognised for Digital Children's Book App at International Fair

The Digital Children's Book Fair is an international event in Japan celebrating the best digital children's books from around the world. Authors, illustrators, app developers and distributors were brought together at the end of August to select and award stories targeted at children made as ebooks, apps and other formats. The international event is the first of its kind focused on digital publishing for children.

The Wurundjeri Creation Story called Dulaiwurrung Mungka-nj-bulanj (How the Platypus was Made) received an award for excellence in the Digital Children's Book Fair. Congratulations to Thornbury Primary School and Kiwa Digital who worked in collaboration with VACL on this project.

In April 2015 VACL launched three interactive digital storybooks featuring Creation Stories of the Wurundjeri People in both Woiwurrung and English; Balayang Wurrgarrabil-ut (Why Bats are Black), Gurrborra Nguba-nj Ngabun Baanj (Why the Koala Doesn't Drink Water) and Dulaiwurrung Mungka-nj-bulanj (how the Platypus Was Made).


Language classes empowering Gunditjmara community

The series of Guntitjmara language classes at Minajalku, Thornbury has begun with great success, the first class getting the ball rolling for classes throughout October and November. The four class program encourages Gunditjmara people to come and learn Gunditjmara language with Joel Wright, Laka Gunditj Language Worker at VACL.

The opening class took place on October 3 with an impressive attendance of 19 participants. One participant, Tracey Onus, commented "A great language class today you mob, it was emotional and a dream come true." Members of the language class group recognised the hard work of Joel Wright with the Gunditjmara language and the introduction of this project as well.

Participants are broadening their knowledge of Gunditjmara language in efforts to revive and strengthen indigenous language and culture, "Yes, it was amazing!" said Dtarneen Onus-Williams.


Emma Hutchinson

News from La Trobe University

Visiting fellows

Thanks to the support of La Trobe Univeristy via the Linguistics Discipline Research Program (DRP), we have hosted the following scholars for seminars and interactions with staff and students:

  • Dr Felix Ameka, Leiden University
  • Professor Yan Huang, University of Auckland,
  • Dr Kara Van Dam, Vice-Provost at University of Maryland University College.
  • Dr Roger Blench, Kay Williamson Educational Foundation
  • Dr Christopher Carignan, previously from University of Illinois and recently joined the MARCS institute.


  • Stephen Morey has been awarded an ARC Discovery Programme grant for 2016, for the project Tangsa Wihu song: insight into culture through language, music and ritual (DP160103061). Announced 30 October 2015.
  • In June Adam Schembri was awarded an ARC Linkage Project “Bridging the theory-practice gap in the teaching of sign languages” with Louisa Willoughby at Monash University


  • ICPhS 2019 is coming to Melbourne! La Trobe is delighted to announce that the International Congress of the Phonetic Sciences is coming to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time since its inception in 1932. The last conference in Glasgow attracted about 1000 participants. The bid for Australia was led by Marija Tabain on behalf of the Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association.
  • The Twelfth International Conference on Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research (TISLR), co-organised by La Trobe in January 2016 has over 200 registrations and will be the largest concentration of sign language researchers in Australia ever.
  • As President of the UNESCO Comité International Permanent des Linguistes, Bradley visited Cape Town to organise the 20th Congrès International des Linguistes in July 2018.
  • La Trobe Linguistics co-sponsored the Arandic Phonology & Phonetics workshop held in July in Alice Springs. It was organized by Myf Turpin with help from Marija Tabain
  • On 29 July 2015, David Bradley presented the keynote address ‘Language endangerment and language reclamation: fostering resilience’ in the Linguistic Approaches to Endangered Languages: Theory and Description conference held 28-30 July 2015 at Bogaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey;
  • Zane Goebel convened the symposium: Margins, hubs, and peripheries in a decentralizing Indonesia, Sociolinguistics of Globalization conference, which was held in Hong Kong 3-6 June, 2015.
  • Stephen Morey was plenary speaker at the satellite workshop Singing in tone: text‐setting constraints in tone languages, 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Glasgow, August 2015. Paper entitled ‘The relationship between speech tone and singing - case studies from two languages of North East India’.
  • On 26 May 2015, with funding from DRP, David Bradley organised the 4th International Workshop on the Sociolinguistics of Language Endangerment at Payap University in Thailand

Thesis submissions

  • Borzogi, Seyed Maziar. 2015. Presence of globalization in English linguistic landscapes of Tehran: A case study of commercial signs. Minor Thesis,  Master of Education: La Trobe University.
  • Kieu, Hang Kim Anh. 2015. Identity in its relation to intention: Identity construction of Vietnamese students at a Vietnamese university through mixing of English and Vietnamese. PhD thesis: La Trobe University.
  • Stirling, Angus Broadfoot. 2015. Representations of asylum seekers and refugees in Australian print media: A corpus-assisted Critical Discourse Analysis. Minor Thesis, Master of Applied Linguistics: La Trobe University.
  • Tran, Tu Thanh. 2015. Linguistic landscape in the home: A relevant inquiry and a proposed research framework. Minor Thesis, Master TESOL: La Trobe University.

Student research

PhD students Mijke Mulder and Kellen van Dam left in September 2015 for 6 month field trips to Northeast India and Myanmar.

Stephen Morey

News from The Australian National University

Upcoming workshops

Violence in fieldwork: A discussion-based workshop

    19 November:  9am – 1pm
    HRC Conference room, AD Hope building, ANU
    Morning tea provided

For those who wish to attend, and have not registered yet, please RSVP (for catering purposes) to

Hardly anyone who does fieldwork can say that they have never experienced (or heard about) anything that they would label as violence. No matter how (in)directly we are involved in it, experiencing violence can have damaging consequences, both psychologically, and to our academic work. It can make it hard if not impossible to return to the same field site.

Yet it is a matter we do not talk about very much – why? Do we not want to admit that fieldwork can be dangerous? Or is it that we feel uncomfortable talking about it, because people will think we are ‘bad fieldworkers’ if we admit that we were scared, worried, terrified, traumatised, or that we ourselves made mistakes, or even invited troubles when in the field?

While there is no single formula for how to react in particular situations, the resourcefulness of the fieldworker depends not only on his/her previous experiences and personality, which tends to come to the fore in dire situations when we react almost instinctively, but also to a large extent on his/her preparation for living and acting in a specific fieldwork environment.

In this discussion-based workshop we will analyse our own experiences. We will consider:

  • different perceptions of violence;
  • individual cases where the fieldworker felt threatened, afraid, or uncertain how to react in a tricky situation;
  • how we can learn, with the benefit of the hindsight, from mistakes that we’ve made;
  • strategies we can use to stay safe when in the field.

While focussed on fieldwork in PNG, where these problems often arise in a particularly acute form, this workshop is intended for anyone who is planning fieldwork, including those who have extensive fieldwork experience, as well as those just starting out on fieldwork. It will provide us with an opportunity to learn in the least painful way: through the experiences and mistakes of others.

Australian Languages Workshop (ALW) 2016

The Australian Languages Workshop (ALW) is scheduled to take place at the Australian National University and Kioloa, 4–6 March 2016, with sponosrship from the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. Guest speakers will include Nigel Fabb and Rob Pensalfini.

Call for papers

We are calling for papers on topics related to Indigenous Australian languages and speech communities. We have room for at least one workshop. One workshop has already been proposed:  'Verbal art in Australian Indigenous societies' to take place in Canberra prior to ALW on Friday 4 March 2016 (exact scheduling to be confirmed).
Please go online HERE to submit an abstract for the Verbal Art workshop and/or 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 and workshops as further options ).
  • presenting in general session or Verbal Art workshop

Deadline: 14 December 2015
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.


Just a couple of months ago, a team including Mark Donohue began the Earthquakes narrative project (, recording and assessing earthquake survivors' experiences of the April and May quakes in Nepal. This project has generated a climate-change spin-off, revealing the likelihood of a respite from glacial lake dangers in the Himalayas. Read Sienna Craig's report here:

Postdoc Darja Hoenigman was interviewed on Radio Slovenia about linguistic diversity in Papua New Guinea and her work with the Awiakay and Meakambut of the East Sepik Province:

PhD student Sydney Kingstone recently had national media coverage of her thesis research on regional differences in Australian English and perceptions of regional differences:


A number of researchers have returned from their respective field sites. Christian Döhler, Nick Evans, Eri Kashima and Dineke Schokkin did fieldwork on languages of the  Western Province of Papua New Guinea. Eri’s trip was shortened due to the severe dry conditions caused by El Niño. Tina Gregor went to Papua, Indonesia to start her work with speakers of Yelmek and Maklew. Darja Hoenigman documented night-time conversations of the semi-nomadic speakers of Meakambut in the East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. Marie Duhamel went to Loltong village in northwest Pentecost, Vanuatu, and got started with audio and video recording.


Fanny Cottet has submitted her thesis A Phonology of Mbahám: Reduction & Contrast, and will graduate in December.


Gian Marco Farese has been awarded a Vice-Chancellor's HDR Travel Grant Application to present a paper at the International Network on Address Research (being held in College Station, USA).

Congratulations to Tina Gregor and Naijing Liu, who have been awarded The Wurm PhD Scholarships. Tina started her PhD in 2015 working on the documentation and description of Yelmek and Maklew, two endangered languages of Papua, Indonesia. Naijing Liu will start her PhD in 2016 on the phonology and grammar of information structure in Tsum, a Tibetan Language of North Nepal.

Evan Kidd just received an ARC Discovery Grant entitled “Discovering the sources of individual differences in first language acquisition”, with Joanne Arciuli (U Sydney) and Mike Smithson (ANU) as co-applicants.

From 2016, Maïa Ponsonnet will receive a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) for her project entitled "Emotions, language and culture in Arnhem Land (Katherine region)". During this 3 year project (2016-2019) at The University of Sydney's Linguistics Department, Maïa will analyze and compare the linguistic encoding of emotions within the south-western Arnhem region (including several Gunwinyguan languages and Barunga Kriol), as well as in some other Australian languages.

Charlotte van Tongeren has received a grant from the Firebird foundation to document Suki oral literature (Western Province, Papua New Guinea).


Congratulations to Maïa Ponsonnet, who has been awarded the 2015 Stephen Wurm Graduate Prize for Pacific Linguistic Studies for her Ph.D. thesis, "The Languages of Emotions in Dalabon". Examiners described the thesis as "outstanding," "excellent," and as “an original piece of high-quality investigation.” They also noted that this work was “a brilliant and original thesis,” and an "important contribution to linguistic and cross-cultural studies of emotion.” They noted that “the publication of this thesis by John Benjamins Publishing Company is a further strong indication of its excellence.” Maïa submitted her thesis at the ANU in late 2013 but graduated last year. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at Dynamique du Langage, ASLAN CNRS/Université Lyon 2 France, and will be a DECRA Fellow at the University of Sydney for 3 years from 2016.


  • Cardillo, Marcel, Lindell Bromham, Simon J. Greenhill. 2015. Links between language diversity and species richness can be confounded by spatial autocorrelation. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 282 (1809).
  • Evans, Nicholas. 2015. Valency in Nen. In Andrej Malchukov and Bernard Comrie (Eds.), Valency Classes in the World’s Languages, pp. 1069–1116. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Evans, Nicholas. 2015. Inflection in Nen. In Matthew Baerman (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Inflection, pp. 543-575. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  • Evans, Nicholas, Nikolaus Himmelmann, and Matić, Dejan. 2015. Obituary. A Life of Polysynthesis: Hans-Jürgen Sasse (1943-2015). Linguistic Typology 19 (2): 327–335.
  • Greenhill, Simon J. 2015. An Online Database of New Guinea Languages. PLoS ONE 10 (10): 1–17.
  • Greenhill, Simon J. 2015. Evolution and Language: Phylogenetic Analyses. In International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (Second Edition), pp. 370–377.
  • Goddard, Cliff, and Anna Wierzbicka (2015). What does Jukurrpa ('Dreamtime', 'the Dreaming') mean? A semantic and conceptual journey of discovery. Australian Aboriginal Studies 2015 (1): 43-65.
  • Kelly, Piers. 2015. A Comparative Analysis of Eskayan and Boholano-Visayan (Cebuano) Phonotactics: Implications for the Origins of Eskayan Lexemes. Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistic Society 8: iii–xiv.
  • Kidd, Evan. 2015. Incorporating Learning into Theories of Parsing. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism 5: 487–93.
  • Kingstone, Sydney. 2015. “Scottish”, “English” or foreign: Mapping Scottish dialect perceptions. English World-Wide 36 (3), 315-347.
  • Koch, Harold. 2015. Patterns in the diffusion of nomenclature systems: Australian subsections in comparison to European days of the week. In Dag T.T. Haug (Ed.), Historical Linguistics 2013: Selected papers from the 21st International Conference on Historical Linguistics, Oslo, Norway, 5-9 August 2013. (CILT 334). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 109-132.
  • Peeters, Bert 2015. Language, culture and values: Towards an ethnolinguistics based on abduction and salience. Etnolingwistyka 27. 47-62.
  • Peeters, Bert 2015. Bienvenue au café du Commerce: Propos ethnorhétoriques. Publif@rum 23. 18 pp.
  • Peeters, Bert 2015. La France de la débrouille: Étude ethnoaxiologique d’une valeur culturelle hypothétique. RSP (Revue de sémantique et pragmatique) 37. 103-122.
  • Peeters, Bert 2015. Review of F. Baider & G. Cislaru (Eds.), Cartographie des émotions. French Studies 69. 136-137.
  • Peeters, Bert 2015. Review of F. Baider & G. Cislaru (Eds.), Linguistic approaches to emotions in context. Multilingua. Available ahead of print (doi: 10.1515/multi-2014-0048).
  • Peeters, Bert 2015. Review of E. Hilgert, S. Palma, P. Frath & R. Daval (Eds.), Res per nomen IV. Les théories du sens et de la référence: Hommage à Georges Kleiber. Journal of French Language Studies. Available ahead of print (doi: 10.1017/S0959269515000496).
  • Ponsonnet, Maïa and Nicholas Evans. 2015. Emotional valuation in Dalabon diminutives, in Grandi N. and Kortvelyessy L.  (Eds.), The Edinburgh Handbook of Evaluative Morphology, 401-407. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Sarvasy, Hannah. 2015. Breaking the Clause Chains: Non-Canonical Medial Clauses in Nungon. Studies in Language 39 (3): 664–96.
  • Simpson, Jane. 2015. Language Attrition and Language Change. In The Routledge Handbook of Historical Linguistics, 537–54. Abington, UK: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Torres Cacoullos, Rena, and Catherine E Travis. 2015. Foundations for the Study of Subject Pronoun Expression in Spanish in Contact with English: Assessing Interlinguistic (dis)similarity via Intralinguistic Variability. In Ana M Carvalho and Rafael Orozco (Eds.) Subject Pronoun Expression in Spanish: A Cross-Dialectal Perspective, pp. 83–102. Georgetown: Georgetown University Press.
  • Torres Cacoullos, Rena, and Catherine E Travis. 2015. Gauging Convergence on the Ground: Code-Switching in the Community. International Journal of Bilingualism (Special Issue Edited by Catherine E. Travis and Rena Torres Cacoullos) 39 (4): 365–86.
  • Torres Cacoullos, Rena, and 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. & Torres Cacoullos, Rena (eds.). 2015. Gauging convergence on the ground: code-switching in the community. International Journal of Bilingualism 19 (4): 365-480, Special issue (Guest editors).
  • Travis, Catherine E, Rena Torres Cacoullos, and 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.
  • Watts J, Sheehan O, Greenhill S J, Gomes-Ng S, Atkinson Q D, Bulbulia J, et al. 2015. Pulotu: Database of Austronesian Supernatural Beliefs and Practices. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0136783. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0136783
  • Wierzbicka, Anna. 2015. New perspectives on kinship: Overcoming the Eurocentrism and scientism of kinship studies through lexical universals. In Nancy Bonvillain (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Linguistic Anthropology. New York: Routledge, pp. 62-79.


Denise Angelo (PhD student) and Cath Hudson (Visiting Fellow) presented at the national Early Years conference in Cairns, 10 -11 September, Today’s Children Tomorrow’s Future – Strengthening collaboration and practice across the early years. Their paper was entitled Knowing what we don’t know: Evidence-based claims about English language learners and absent language data. Denise also co-presented a workshop with Tempest Timoti-Richards, Early literacy and English language learners. How mainstream approaches miss the mark and what to do about it.

Matt Carroll recently returned from a conference tour of Israel, the UK and Germany. He presented at the Mediterranean Morphology Meeting in Haifa, Israel and the annual meeting of the Linguistic Association of Great Britain at UCL, London.

Darja Hoenigman presented a paper on documenting night-time conversations among the Meakambut at the 11th Conference for Hunting and Gathering Societies in Vienna (7-11 September).

In July, visiting fellow Bert Peeters took part in the Global English, Minimal English symposium convened by Anna Wierzbicka, Zhengdao Ye (both ANU) and Cliff Goddard (Griffith University). His paper was titled "Évidence empirique: neither une évidence nor empirique?" In October, he took part in the Global France, Global French symposium convened by Leslie Barnes and Knox Peden (both ANU). His paper was titled "L'exception française: splendeurs et misères of a household phrase".

Wayan Arka has been invited to give a keynote talk at the International Conference on Language, Culture and Society organised by LIPI (Indonesian Institute of Sciences), Jakarta 24-26 November 2015. His paper entitled ‘On the Dynamics of Glocalisation and Minority Language Conservation in Contemporary Indonesia’ discusses the increasing significance of the local context in the global setting (and vice versa) in relation to language advocacy and capacity development, drawn from his personal experience in his recent documentation research particularly in Merauke and Flores, Indonesia.

Simon Greenhill will be presenting a talk on "Language evolution, time and human prehistory in the Pacific” at the Annual conference of the Australian Academy of the Humanities later this month.

Upcoming seminars

On Wednesday 18 November 2015, The Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language together with the Centre for Research into Language Change will be hosting two seminar presentations from Jessica Ivani (University of Pavia and MPI Jena) and Uta Reinöhl (University of Cologne). Jessica will present The morphosyntax of number systems: A cross-linguistic study (work in progress) (2.30-3.30pm), and Uta will present Exploring configurationality as a historical phenomenon. From non-configurational to (low-level) configurational in Indo-European (4-5.30pm, both in the Coombs Building, Engma room).

On 20 November, Katerina Naitoro will present her PhD Mid Term Review Transitivity in diachrony: Valency-changing derivations in Southeast Solomonic (11-12.30), and Tina Gregor will present her Thesis Proposal Review A Documentation and Description of Yelmek and Maklew, Two Endangered Languages of Papua, Indonesia (3.30-5pm). On 27 November, Carlo Dalle Ceste presents his Thesis Proposal Review Reconstructing morphology: the case of Proto Western Oceanic (3.30-5pm, all three seminars are held in  Coombs Building Seminar room B).

November 30 is the Indigenous languages student research day with presentations from 9am-5pm, by Denise Angelo, James Bednall, Claudia Cialone, Sally Dixon, Alex Marley and Susan Poetsch (Coombs Building Engma room, timetable to come).

Charlotte van Tongeren, Piers Kelly

News from the University of Sydney

Maïa Ponsonnet will be joining the Department of Linguistics at the University of Sydney in January 2016, to take up her recently awarded ARC DECRA: “This project aims to increase our understanding of emotional language and cultural practices about emotions among Indigenous Australian groups. Emotion is a fundamental human experience, yet different languages provide very different ways of talking about it. What are the consequences of this? Are these differences culturally constrained? Might differences in the grammar of a language influence the way its speakers express emotions, or even the way they experience emotions? This project seeks to describe and compare the way emotions are expressed in five Aboriginal languages of Arnhem Land. Four of these languages are endangered and the project will also provide the urgent documentation needed to preserve them.”
Maïa has also just been awarded the 2015 Stephen Wurm Graduate Prize for Pacific Linguistic Studies, offered by the ANU College of Asia and The Pacific.

Nick Enfield was awarded an Ig Nobel Prize (literature) for his 2013 article in PLoS ONE, co-authored with Mark Dingemanse and Francisco Torreira, showing that ‘Huh?’ appears to be a universal word (Dingemanse M, Torreira F, Enfield NJ (2013) Is “Huh?” a Universal Word? Conversational Infrastructure and the Convergent Evolution of Linguistic Items. PLoS ONE 8(11): e78273. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0078273). See here for info:

A more recent study from the same project has just been published, also in PLoS ONE, following up with several findings that suggest universal elements to a system of ‘repair’ in human communication:

The issues were discussed in this article in The Conversation in October:

Nick also convened a symposium on Power and Accountability at the University of Sydney on Nov 5:

This recent article in The Conversation previewed some of the issues:

Ahmar Mahboob recently gave several major talks in Pakistan, including the Ruqaiya Hasan Plenary at the SPELT conference in Karachi, a workshop at Iqra University on writing for publication, and a talk at NED university of engineering on Language Variation and Education.

He has also recently published an opinion piece in the Pakistani newspaper The Express Tribune which is being hotly debated:

Ahmar will be presenting at the first Pakistan Summit to be held at the University of Sydney on November 23rd.

Sebastian Fedden recently published this web resource:

Fedden, S., T. Feist, M. Baerman, D. Brown, G. G. Corbett and G. Senft. 2015. Mian and Kilivila Collection. University of Surrey.

Sebastian has recently given several invited talks, including the following:

- “Aspect in Mian and other Papuan languages” in the Newcastle Linguistics Seminar Series, University of Newcastle, 19 October 2015.
- “Features, orthogonality, typology” (with Greville G. Corbett). Società di Linguistica Italiana, University of Malta, 26 September 2015.
- “Canonicity and categorization” (with Greville G. Corbett). Categories in Grammar - Criteria and Limitation, Freie Universität Berlin, 2 July 2015.
- “Gender: canonical and non-canonical systems” (with Greville G. Corbett). Morphological variation and contact, University of Patras, 20 June 2015.

Bill Foley gave a plenary lecture at the First International Conference on ASEAN Studies (Bangkok, Oct 3-4) on ‘Minority Languages, National Languages and Development in ASEAN’.

Monika Bednarek is in Freiburg, half way through her Marie Curie Fellowship. She has several recent publications, including the following:

  • Bednarek, M. (2015) An overview of the linguistics of screenwriting and its interdisciplinary connections, with special focus on dialogue in episodic television. Journal of Screenwriting 6/2: 221-238.
  • Bednarek, M. (2015) 'Wicked' women in contemporary pop culture: 'Bad' language and gender in Weeds, Nurse Jackie and Saving Grace. Text & Talk 35/4: 431-451.
  • Bednarek, M. (2015) Corpus-assisted multimodal discourse analysis of television and film narratives. In: Paul Baker & Tony McEnery (eds). Corpora and Discourse Studies. Basingstoke/New York: Palgrave Macmillan: 63-87.
Nick Enfield


New Books Received November 2015

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.

  • Bonet, E., M.-R. Llore, and J. Mascaró (eds.) (2015) Understanding Allomorphy: Perspectives from Optimality Theory. Equinox, Sheffield.
  • Bowern, C. (2015) Linguistic Fieldwork: A Practical Guide (2nd edition). Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, Hampshire.
  • Crespo-Fernández, E. (2015) Sex in Language: Euphemistic and Dysphemistic Metaphors in Internet Forums. Bloomsbury, London.
  • Dixon, R. M. W. (2015) Edible Gender, Mother-in-Law Style, & Other Grammatical Wonders: Studies in Dyirbal, Yidin, & Warrgamay. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Feit, N. and A. Capone (eds.) (2013) Attitudes De Se: Linguistics, Epistemology, Metaphysics. CSLI Publications, Stanford, CA.
  • Yang, Y. (2015) Grammatical Metaphor in Chinese. Equinox, Sheffield.
Alan Libert

Call for chapters (from Australianists) for a volume entitled "Indirect reports (and pragmatics) in world languages"

This volume will be submitted to the Springer Series PPPP (Perspectives in Pragmatics, Philosophy, Psychology) Indirect reports are usually micro-narrations in which an event of saying something (on the part of an original speaker) is encapsulated into another event of saying something by another speaker (someone who happened to witness the original saying event). The reporting of a saying by an original speaker through the words of another speaker (a narrator) involves the issue of how a hearer (or reader) can separate voices and distinguish the original speaker’s voice from the (more or less legitimate) interpolations by another speaker (the reporter). We are interested in studying the similarities and differences among the practices of indirect reporting in the world languages. We may study the following issues in connection with indirect reports:

  • The language game of indirect reporting;
  • Relationship between direct and indirect reports;
  • Appositions as modes of presentations of NPs and sentential constituents;
  • Opacity and pragmatics;
  • Indirect reports as stories;
  • Indirect reports as summaries;
  • Indirect reports and interaction;
  • Implicit indirect reports;
  • Discourse markers in that-clauses of indirect reports (are they licit or not and are there any differences among the world languages); 
  • Indirect reports and implicit constituents of indirect reporting;
  • Indirect reports and belief reports;
  • Indirect reports and ‘de se’;
  • Indirect reports and indexicals in that-clauses (perceptual modes of presentation);
  • Indirect reports and syntax (are errors imputable to the reporter or the reported speaker?);
  • Indirect reports and eliminations (or additions) of constituents (see Wieland in Capone et al. 2013a);
  • Indirect reports and slurs (who is responsible for the slurring expression? See Capone in Capone et al. 2013b).

Potential contributors are encouraged to send an abstract of 150-250 words and a 200-word bio blurb to: Alessandro Capone ( and Vahid Parvaresh (

Deadline for abstract submission: December 1, 2015
Deadline for paper submission: August 1, 2016

Capone, A., Lo Piparo, F., Carapezza, M. eds. 2013a. Perspectives on pragmatics and philosophy. Cham, Springer.
Capone, A., Lo Piparo, F., Carapezza, M. eds. 2013b. Perspectives on linguistic pragmatics. Cham, Springer.
Capone, A., Kiefer, F., Lo Piparo, F. eds. 2016. Indirect reports and pragmatics. Heidelberg, Springer

Keith Allan

Upcoming Conferences

Call for papers: Panel 'Shifting cultures, shifting languages: a Pacific perspective'

The Language and Culture Research Centre (LCRC) will be organizing a linguistic panel 'Shifting cultures, shifting languages: a Pacific perspective' within the Australian Association for Pacific Studies (AAPS) conference held at JCU Cairns 1-4 April, 2016.

Conference information

Title: Tides of Transformation - Pacific Pasts, Pacific Futures. The 6th Biennial Conference of the Australian Association for Pacific Studies
Location: The Cairns Institute, James Cook University Cairns, North Queensland, Australia
Dates: 1-4 April, 2016

The conference's call for papers can be accessed at here.
Closing date: 1 December, 2015.

Panel proposal

Title: Shifting cultures, shifting languages: a Pacific perspective
Convenors: Distinguished Professor Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald and Professor R. M. W. Dixon, Language and Culture Research Centre, JCU


A fundamental question in understanding language dynamics is how cultural changes in the modern world affect linguistic expression, and the structure of languages. Linguistic globalization results in the spread of major languages, such as English or Tok Pisin, and the impending language shift which affects minority languages. Traditional authority structures undergo transformations. Under the impact of westernised societies, classificatory kinship systems are modified. The introduction of market economy affects patterns of customary exchange. New concepts go together with new ways of talking about things. The impact of language contact can be reflected in the increase of loan words. Numerous Oceanic and Papuan languages from Papua New Guinea have a substantial number of lexical loans from Tok Pisin. Or an existing word can develop new meanings in new environments: for instance, the Manambu of the East Sepik consistently use the verb 'stand' in the meaning of 'stand' in an election. The Panel will offer a discussion of ways in which shifts and changes in the cultural environment accompany linguistic changes in minority languages. Our special focus is on investigating the impact of societal changes on kinship systems and patterns of interaction. We will also focus on determining the role of human agency in promoting, or slowing down, language change sensitive to change in cultural patterns and social relationships. The theme of the panel fits in with the general topic of the conference 'Tides of transformation: Pacific pasts, Pacific futures'.

We anticipate having the Panel for one afternoon (2-5.30 p.m.), featuring five presentations (twenty minutes each with ten minutes for questions), and a break for tea-coffee. Presentations will be by linguists and anthropologists focussing on the topical issues of shifting cultures and accompanying language change. At the end of the Panel we will have a summary, by the Convenors, and brief discussion.

Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

Jobs, grants, and scholarships

Linguists - Paman languages - Cairns and Cape York Peninsula region

Pama Language Centre (PLC)

Salary: Language Facilitators 45k – 65k (part time in first year), depending on qualifications and experience, volunteers travel and expenses
Classification: CYP Level 3
Stand out: Contribute to the maintenance, revitalisation, revival and recording of Indigenous languages in Cape York Peninsula.

About the organisation

Pama Language Centre (PLC) is part of Cape York Partnership Ltd and has been established in September 2015 to support and strive for the maintenance, revitalisation, revival and recording of the Indigenous languages of Cape York Peninsula. The PLC will approach this challenge through advocacy for language justice, developing policies that sustain Indigenous languages, the completion of linguistic records for Cape York Peninsula languages, research and innovation in language revival practice and coordinated support for language revival action within speech communities. The premise of the PLC is that the future for the Indigenous Peoples of Cape York Peninsula must be bilingual: that every child in Cape York Peninsula has the right to their mother tongue as a first language.

About the role

During the establishment phase the PLC is seeking expressions of interest from both fully qualified and graduate linguists specialising in Paman languages to assist with various aspects of developing the centre. This will include:

  • background research and web page development;
  • initiating consultation with speech communities;
  • assisting in the development of language revival, revitalisation and maintenance planning.

As each project and area of work progresses these roles will have the potential to evolve into part or full time Language Facilitation positions. Language Facilitators will:

  • spend several months each year, preferably on multiple occasions, in the physical location of the language nation;
  • identify local priorities, opportunities and projects and work with local Indigenous Ancestral Language Specialist to implement and review Ancestral Language Plans for target languages;
  • promote ancestral language awareness within the language nation;
  • seek out and encourage Ancestral Language Champions and work to precipitate the development of Ancestral Language Action Groups (community language teams);
  • work directly with Ancestral Language Specialist, Language Champions and members of the language nation to
    • develop teaching and learning materials for use by individuals, preschool, adult education and other groups;
    • complete recording of oral literature;
    • complete linguistic research;
    • support community and individual research projects;
    • support local language maintenance and revival initiatives;
  • provide training in skills such as interview techniques and use of recording equipment and work with Coordinator to facilitate external training opportunities for individuals, language Champions and members of 'Language Action Groups';
  • work to connect the school and Action Groups with the language nation;
  • locate appropriate expertise to develop the language legacy;
  • work with the Strategist and Coordinator to:
    • develop Indigenous language professional pathways;
    • to locate resources and pursue partnerships.

At this initial stage, the PLC’s intention is to establish a panel of linguists who will be contacted as language plans for targeted languages are developed.

Essential criteria:

  • tertiary qualifications in Australian linguistics;
  • interest in Paman languages;
  • commitment to ancestral language revitalisation and language justice;
  • awareness of ALS code of ethics and the Linguistic Rights of Aboriginal and Islander People;
  • strong research and written communication skills;
  • strong organisational skills including the ability to identify and resolve issues that may impact on achieving project outcomes;
  • a proactive but perceptive and consultative approach to problem solving and action: actively seeking to precipitate new projects, new ideas and new ways of thinking about existing issues;
  • commitment to working with a team;
  • flexibility to work extended hours;
  • evidence of a successfully completed police check.

Desirable criteria:

  • Willingness to travel away from based location to remote Cape York regions (4WD).
  • Familiarity with language database software.

On offer:

  • As a not for profit organisation staff are eligible for taxation incentives
  • Ongoing professional development
  • Potential research opportunities.

How to apply:

Simply email your resume and short covering letter to Ms Karin Calley can be contacted for further information at email address:

Karin Calley

ELDP Grant Round 2016

The Endangered Languages Documentation Programme (ELDP) offers one granting cycle for 2016. The grant round opens on 15 October 2015 at 10am (BST) and closes on 15 January 2016, 5pm (GMT).

The key objectives of the ELDP are:

- to support the documentation of as many endangered languages as possible
- to encourage fieldwork on endangered languages
- to create a repository of resources for linguistics, the social sciences, and the language communities themselves
- to make the documentary collections freely available

Grants available are:

- Small Grants of up to 10,000 GBP
- Individual Graduate Scholarships
- Individual Postdoctoral Fellowships
- Major Documentation Projects

Key dates:

• Applications open: 15 October 2015
• Deadline for submission: 15 January 2016, 5pm (BST)
• Decisions notified: 15 June 2016

Application forms are available at

Further information about ELDP can be found at

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