Announcement of 2013 Scholarships and Prize

The judging panels would like to thank all those who submitted applications this year for the ALS scholarships (Gerhardt Laves Scholarship, Susan Kaldor Scholarship), and the Michael Clyne Prize, jointly administered by ALS and ALAA.

Congratulations to the 2013 awardees!

Brighde Collins    Brighde Collins, an MA Research Candidate at the University of Melbourne, has been awarded the 2013 Gerhardt Laves Scholarship. Brighde will use the funds to support her field work on Ngandi in the Ngukurr area (NT).
Kate Horrack    Kate Horrack, PhD student at the University of Melbourne, has been awarded the 2013 Susan Kaldor Scholarship. Kate will use the Susan Kaldor Scholarship funds to support her attendance at relevant summer school courses at the Linguistic Society of America Institute.
Amanda Miller Amberber    Dr Amanda Miller Amberber has been awarded the 2013 Michael Clyne Prize for her 2012 PhD thesis, 'Language switching, language selection and intervention in bilingual aphasia', Macquarie University (Supervisors: Professors Lyndsey Nickels, Stephen Crain, Max Coltheart, and Rosalind Thornton). See her thesis summary below.


Language Switching, Language Selection and Intervention in Bilingual Aphasia
A. Miller Amberber, PhD

This thesis investigates language switching, language selection and intervention in immigrant bilingual adults with acquired language impairment (aphasia) due to stroke. It presents a detailed linguistic and neurolinguistic investigation of code-switching between languages in unimpaired and impaired immigrant bilingual adults and the impact of aphasia on the ability to switch languages and to select languages according to sociolinguistic conversational norms. The thesis focuses on code-switching across diverse languages: Rarotongan Cook Islands Maori, Maltese, French, English. The thesis further investigates the effect of language treatment in the second language for bilingual adults with aphasia, and the sociocultural and linguistic adaptation of language tests for immigrant bilinguals with aphasia, focusing on Rarotongan.

A series of research studies were conducted to examine code-switching, language selection and efficacy of language treatment in the second language for immigrant bilingual adults with aphasia. Their language abilities post-stroke were compared to matched immigrant bilingual adults from the same language communities. Previous language switching studies in bilingual aphasia were critically analysed and new recommendations that take into consideration sociolinguistic aspects of language selection and switching were formulated for language assessment of bilingual adults with aphasia. A detailed description of the adaptation of the Bilingual Aphasia Test to Rarotongan and important considerations in cross-linguistic and cross-cultural test adaptation were presented, together with a linguistic sketch of the core properties of Rarotongan, an endangered and rarely described language.

The main findings of the thesis were that: (a) proficient bilingual adults with aphasia following stroke were shown to have impaired code-switching relative to unimpaired bilingual adults from the same language communities, but (b) their language selection was unimpaired across diverse monolingual and bilingual sociocultural contexts (c) the same results were shown across diverse languages (Rarotongan, Maltese, French, English) and (d) language treatment in the second language resulted in improvement of the second language but did not transfer to improve the untreated first language in chronic bilingual aphasia. Additionally, the thesis findings suggested that proficient early bilingual adults with aphasia may achieve language selection through language-specific activation rather than inhibitory control.

These findings have significant implications for the effective assessment and treatment of immigrant bilingual adults with aphasia, and suggest that treatment may need to be provided in each language spoken. The detailed analysis across diverse language pairs, identifying frequent patterns of language switching and selection that unimpaired immigrant bilinguals may utilise in differing sociolinguistic contexts, assists in accurate evaluation of the language abilities of bilingual adults with aphasia. Furthermore, the first adaptation of a standardised adult language test for aphasia to Rarotongan provides a model for future test adaptations to other Polynesian languages.

The enduring inspiration of Michael Clyne's commitment to inclusive multilingualism informs this thesis and the belief that every individual has the right to receive accurate, detailed language assessment and treatment in each of their languages.