Newsletter May 2014

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

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

New members of LCRC

Ms Cassy Nancarrow has joined the LCRC on an Adjunct Lecturer appointment.  She is an expert in anthropological linguistics with a focus on the indigenous languages of Northern Australia, especially the Mornington Island, bilingual education and Creole languages.  Her expertise will be a welcome addition to the LCRC’s focus on Australian Aboriginal languages, languages of the tropics and bilingual education from a global perspective.

LCRC Visiting Fellows

Dr Ana Kondic, an expert in Meso-American languages and indigenous languages of South America with a focus on the languages of Chile, will be spending four months at the LCRC and FAESS from May to September 2014 undertaking research on Huilliche (a language of the Mapuche group, spoken in Chile) and on a number of Meso-American languages (including Huastec).  She will be contributing to the study of structures of South American and Meso-American languages, the impact of language contact and social development, and their relationships with each other.

Publication news

In Grammatical Gender in Interaction: Cultural and Cognitive Aspects (Βrill, forthcoming) Angeliki Alvanoudi examines the ways in which the relation between grammatical gender, culture and cognition manifests itself in Greek interaction. Grammatical gender in Greek is a morphological category that correlates with the semantic characteristic of sex in reference to humans. The author explores the cultural and cognitive aspects of grammatical gender in interaction by drawing on feminist sociolinguistic and non-linguistic approaches, cognitive linguistics, research on linguistic relativity, studies on person reference in interaction and conversation analysis. The empirical analysis of naturally occurring interaction data shows that the compulsory use of grammatical gender in the composition of turns contributes to the routine achievement of sociocultural gender on the basis of social hierarchy in interaction. In addition, the analysis shows that interaction data provide indications for the role of grammatical gender in guiding speakers to interpret referents as female or male, when they think for speaking. The study presented in the book is based on Alvanoudi’s PhD dissertation, which was completed in 2012 at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. The book is part of the Brill’s Studies in Language, Cognition and Culture (Series Editors: Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, R. M. W. Dixon and N. J. Enfield). 

Seminars and Workshop presentations

  • Global Workshop, Wednesday 30 April: Diana Forker – ‘Questions in Sanzhi Dargwa’
  • Seminar, Wednesday 7 May: Grant Aiton – ‘Grammatical Relations in Eibela’
  • Global Workshop, Wednesday 14 May: Kasia Wojtylak – ‘Questions in Witoto Murui’
  • Seminar, Wednesday, 21 May: Simon Overall – ‘How to do things with enclitics’
  • Global Workshop, Wednesday 28 May: Cassy Nancarrow – ‘Questions in Lardil’
  • Seminar, Wednesday 4 June: Diana Forker – ‘Evidentiality in Nakh-Daghestanian languages’
  • Global Workshop, Wednesday 11 June: Hannah Sarvasy – ‘Questions in Nungon’
  • Seminar, Wednesday 18 June: Ana Kondic – ‘Inverse alignment: Insights from South Eastern Huastec (Mayan)’
  • Global Workshop, Wednesday 25 June: Azeb Amha – ‘Questions in Wolaitta’
  • Global Workshop, Wednesday 2 July: Elena Mihas – ‘Questions in Ashéninka Perene’
Amanda Parsonage

News from the University of Melbourne

Two successful PhD completions (both supervised by Assoc. Prof. Janet Fletcher):

  • Olga Maxwell "The intonational phonology of Indian English: An Autosegmental-Metrical Analysis based on Bengali and Kannada English"
  • Colleen Holt "The perception and production of prosody by adolescent users of cochlear implants" (Linguistics & Otolaryngology)

In other news for Janet, she has been elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (see

Nick Thieberger received a Vice Chancellor's Engagement Award to work with a Somali cultural centre in Melbourne, developing a dictionary of Somali for inclusion as an app using the Ma! Iwaidja format. The app is now finished and being tested.

Ute Knoch has been given the Outstanding Young Scholar Award by the TOEFL Grants and Awards Committee, as a recognition of her numerous professional activities and contributions to the field of language assessment. This award includes the receipt of $2,000 and a commemorative plaque to be presented at an event to be held in Amsterdam.

Brett Baker

News from the Australian National University

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

The Newsletter for May 2014 includes:

  • announcement of the 4 new postdoctoral fellows who will join Nick Evans' Laureate Project, Wellsprings of Language Diversity;
  • news from the Center of Excellence;
  • report on the Australian Language Workshop at ANU, the NWAV-AP3 conference in Wellington, and others;
  • details on fieldwork, publications and award from our staff and students.

We hope you will enjoy reading our departmental newsletter. Previous editions are also available via our department's website.

Fanny Cottet

News from the University of New England

Dr Finex Ndhlovu has recently published a new book on African migrant languages and identities in Australia. Full publication details: Becoming an African Diaspora in Australia: Language, Culture, Identity. London: Palgrave Macmillan (2014), pp. 240, ISBN 9781137414311. More information about the book is available at

Emil Mittag has been successful in obtaining an ELDP PhD scholarship.

Prof. Jeff Siegel has been appointed a Fellow of the Academy of the Humanities.

Liz Ellis

News from Griffith University

Andrea Schalley and Susana Eisenchlas presented a paper entitled ‘A multilingual country, a monolingual mindset: The view from Australia’ at the Symposium on Language and Equality, organised by The Study Group on Language at the United Nations, in cooperation with the Centre for Research and Documentation on World Language Problems. The Symposium took place on April 29, 2014, at the United Nations. Only 13 papers were accepted, with presenters coming from diverse displine backgrounds including political philosophy, education, applied linguistics, and law.

Four PhD candidates had their degrees conferred:

  • Angela Cook – ‘A linguistic analysis of selected morpho-syntactic features of spoken Mandarin’.
  • Bao Hoang – ‘A study of pragmatic change in the Vietnamese of second-generation speakers in Queensland’.
  • Roland Landor – ‘Grammatical categories and cognition across five languages: The case of grammatical gender and its potential effects on the conceptualization of objects’.
  • Ali Mohamed – ‘The localisation of international news agency reports in English newspapers in the Middle East’.

Congratulations to all of them!

Letícia Rezende Stallone, a PhD student from Pontífica Universidade Católica (PUC, Rio de Janeiro), is visiting LAL to work with Michael Haugh, Nathaniel Mitchell and others on jocular mockery. She has been at Griffith from 23 February to mid-May.

The School welcomes a new Adjunct Researcher, Dr Bert Peeters. Before joining Griffith University as an Adjunct Associate Professor in 2014, Bert Peeters (Lic. Rom. Philol, Leuven, 1982; PhD, ANU, 1989) held positions at the U. of Tasmania (1989-2006) and at Macquarie U. (2007-2013), where he was an Associate Professor of French from 2010. Bert has published extensively in the areas of historical phonology, the natural semantic metalanguage approach, French sociolinguistics and cross-cultural communication. His current research interests lie in the areas of French linguistics, intercultural communication, and language and cultural values.

New books:

  • Goddard, Cliff and Anna Wierzbicka. (2014). Words and Meanings. Lexical Semantics Across Domains, Languages and Cultures. Oxford: Oxford U. P.
  • Pensalfini, Rob, Myfany Turpin and Diana Guillemin (eds). 2014. Language Description Informed by Theory. [Studies in Language Companion Series, vol. 147). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Andrea Schalley

Adelaide Language Festival: Call for participation

The Adelaide Language Festival will take place 16-17 May 2014. For more information, see our webpage at

Ghil'ad Zuckermann

AJL bibliography style file for LaTeX

For those who use LaTeX, I've made a bibliography style file for BibTeX for the ALS2013 proceedings, which approximates the style used in AJL (revision probably needed). It has been accepted at (the file is

David Nash


New Books Received May 2014

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.

  • Aikhenwald, A. Y. and R. M. W. Dixon, eds. (2014) The Grammar Of Knowledge: A Cross-Linguistic Typology. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Baković, E. (2013) Blocking and Complementarity in Phonological Theory. Equinox, Sheffield.
  • Cohn, N. (2013) The Visual Language of Comics. Bloomsbury, London.
  • Garcia, A. C. (2013) An Introduction to Interaction: Understanding Talk in Formal and Informal Settings. Bloomsbury, London.
  • Garde, M. (2013) Culture, Interaction and Person Reference in an Australian Language. John Benjamins, Amasterdam.
  • Hale, S. and J. Napier (2013) Research Methods in Interpreting. Bloomsbury, London.
  • Moore, T. J. (2011) Critical Thinking and Language: The Challenge of Generic Skills and Disciplinary Discourse. Bloomsbury, London.
  • Olsson, J. and J. Luchjenbroers (2014) Forensic Linguistics. Bloomsbury, London.
  • Pensalfini, R., M. Turpin, and D. Guillemin, eds. (2014) Language Description Informed by Theory. John Benjamins, Amsterdam.
  • Rasinger, M. S. (2013) Quantitative Research in Linguistics (2nd edition). Bloomsbury, London.
  • Tomlinson, B., ed. (2013) Developing Materials for Language Teaching (2nd edition). Bloomsbury, London.
Alan Libert

Special Issue of First Language: Call for papers

Editors: Barbara Kelly, Evan Kidd & Gillian Wigglesworth

Title: Indigenous children’s language: Acquisition, preservation and evolution of language in minority contexts

Over the last decade or so there has been a surge in interest in the acquisition of small Indigenous languages across the world. There are a few significant reasons for this growth. Firstly, indigenous languages are dying at an alarming rate, which means that now is often our last chance to study their acquisition. Secondly, there is a broad recognition among child language researchers that our theories of acquisition are skewed by the overrepresentation of data from large European languages (especially English), whereas many children across the world are acquiring typologically under-studied languages (e.g. polysynthetic languages), often in situations of rapid language shift.

Field studies, in contexts such as remote communities, or investigations of minority language users’ development in multilingual societies will be of interest. A range of disciplinary perspectives, theoretical positions, and methodological strategies is likely to be represented in the Special Issue.

Prospective authors are encouraged to email the editors to discuss potential contributions (;; Papers should be submitted through the First Language manuscript central site ( by 30th September 2014.

Papers should be not more than 8000 words in length, and conform to the First Language submission guidelines.

All papers will be submitted to the normal review process.

Evan Kidd

Upcoming Conferences

2014 ALS Conference

The ALS conference is being held at the University of Newcastle 10–12 December. We’re looking forward to seeing you. There’s some initial information on the conference website.

We’ll be providing more detailed information over the next few weeks.

We’ll be issuing the call for papers on 6 June.

Reminder call for workshops

Deadline : Friday 23 May

If you are interested in holding a workshop at ALS 2014, please send a brief description of the proposed workshop to

The description should include the following.

  1. Title of Workshop
  2. Names of organizers
  3. 1 paragraph summary of the workshop topic
  4. Any estimates as to the potential number of attendees
Mark Harvey

Jobs, grants, and scholarships

The Australian PhD Prize for Innovations in Linguistics

Piers Kelly is the winner of the second Australian PhD Prize for Innovations in Linguistics for his thesis entitled The word made flesh: An ethnographic history of Eskayan, a utopian language and script in the southern Philippines. The thesis was submitted to ANU in December 2012 and was an outstanding piece of innovative and creative linguistic scholarship.

The Australian PhD Prize for Innovations in Linguistics is a $500 prize awarded to the best PhD (judged by the Panel) which demonstrates methodological and theoretical innovations in Australian linguistics (e.g. studies in toponymy, language and ethnography, language and musicology, linguistic ecology, language identity and self, kinship relationships, island languages, spatial descriptions in language, Australian creoles, and language contact). The notice for 2015 submissions will appear later this year or early 2015 in the ALS newsletter.

Lecturer in Linguistics positions, University of Queensland

Two Level B Lecturer in Linguistics positions with different specialisations are open at the University of Queensland (Brisbane).

Please see the following websites for more information and to view the position descriptions:

Applications may be submitted online (see the "Apply now" buttons on these websites).

Application Deadline: 1 June 2014

Rob Pensalfini

PhD Scholarships, James Cook University

Applications are invited, from suitably qualified students, to enter the PhD program of the Language and Culture Research Centre at James Cook University Australia. Supervision will be provided by Professors Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, R. M. W. Dixon, Dr Valérie Guérin, Dr Elena Mihas and Dr Simon Overall.

Our PhD candidates generally undertake extensive fieldwork on a previously undescribed (or scarcely described) language and write a comprehensive grammar of it for their dissertation. They are expected to work on a language which is still actively spoken, and to establish a field situation within a community in which it is the first language. Their first fieldtrip lasts for about nine months. After completing a first draft of the grammar, back in Cairns, they undertake a second fieldtrip of two to three months. Fieldwork methodology centres on the collection, transcription and analysis of texts, together with participant observation, and — at a later stage — judicious grammatical elicitation in the language under description (not through the lingua franca of the country). Our main priority areas are the languages of tropical Amazonia and the Papuan and Austronesian languages of New Guinea and surrounding areas. However, we do not exclude applicants who have an established interest in languages from other areas (which need not necessarily lie within the tropics).

PhDs in Australian universities generally involve no coursework, just a substantial dissertation. Candidates must thus have had a thorough coursework training before embarking on this PhD program. This should have included courses on morphology, syntax, semantics, and phonology/phonetics, taught from a non-formalist perspective. We place emphasis on work that has a sound empirical basis but also shows a firm theoretical orientation (in terms of general typological theory, or what has recently come to be called basic linguistic theory).

Distinguished Professor Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald is Australian Laureate Fellow and Research Leader for People and Societies of the Tropics. Together with Professor R. M. W. Dixon, she heads the Language and Culture Research Centre, which includes Research Fellows and a growing number of doctoral students. In addition, senior scholars from across the world opt to spend their sabbatical at the Language and Culture Research Centre.

The LCRC has strong links with anthropologists, archaeologists and educationalists, with scholars working on environmental issues, all within James Cook University. Further information is available at

The scholarship will be at the standard James Cook University rate, Australian $25,392 pa. Students coming from overseas are liable for a tuition fee; but this may be waived in the case of a student of high merit. A small relocation allowance may be provided on taking up the scholarship. In addition, a generous allowance will be made to cover fieldwork expenses and conference attendance.

The scholarship is for three years (with the possibility of a six month extension). The deadline for application by international students (starting in 2015) is 31 August 2014; the deadline for students with Australian and New Zealand passports is 31 October 2014.

The academic year in Australia commences about 1st March. Successful applicants would normally take up their PhD scholarships between January and June 2015. However, there will an opportunity for a suitable applicant to start at an earlier date (with special arrangements available immediately).

The application procedures for international students can be found at: Scholarship application form and procedures for international students can be found at:

Prospective applicants are invited, in the first place, to get in touchwith Professor Aikhenvald at, providing details of their background, qualifications and interests (including a curriculum vitae). Applicants are advised to send samples of their written work in linguistics (at least some of this should be in English).

Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

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