Newsletter February 2016

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

ALS Annual General Meeting 2015 - Minutes

Held at 6pm on the 10th December 2015, Arthur Phillip High School, Macquarie St, Parramatta

Present: Lesley Stirling, Nick Thieberger, Mark Harvey, Bill Palmer, Keith Allan, Joe Blythe, Michael Walsh, Jean Harkins, Jill Wigglesworth, Jane Simpson, Rachel Hendery, Rachel Nordlinger, David Nash, Don Daniels, Jonathan Schlossberg, Jonathon Lum, Christopher Carignan, Lucija Medojevic, Adam Schembri, Celeste Rodriguez Louro, Barbara Kelly, Nick Evans, Mary Laughren, Rob Pensalfini, Harlod Koch, Katie Jepson, Jill Vaughan, Greg Dickson, Myf Turpin, Felicity Meakins, Amy Parncutt, Prudencio da Silva, Brighde Collins, Ivan Kapitonov, Melanie Wilkinson, Mary-Anne Gale, Rob Amery, Deborah Hill, Avery Andrews, Cynthis Allen, Mahesh Radhakrishnan, Catherine Travis, Kate Burridge, Alyssa Severin, Anita Szakay, Bianca Vowell, Matthias Heyne, Liao Chih-i, Xuan Way, Peter Nihuis Torres, James Bednall, David Osgarby, Tom Ennever, Amanda Hamilton, Jackie van den Bos, Naomi Somers-Esh, Pegi Bakula, Ann Bachfield, Claire Gourlay, Alexandra Grant, Rob Mailhammer, Marie-Eve Ritz, Peter Colins

1. Apologies

Andrea Schalley, Alan Libert, Lochlan Morrissey, Diana Eades, Geoff Siegel, Helen Tebble, David Bradley, Maya Bradley, Stephen Morey, Felicity Cox

2. Minutes of the 2014 AGM accepted (L Stirling/J Harkins)

3. Matters arising

  • Re 3. AQF:

    A meeting of interested parties was held at ALS after the AGM last year but there was a lack of appetite or energy to pursue this issue by the membership, especially given that Programs had already submitted AQF information. This could be pursued in the future if there is sufficient interest and resources.

  • Re 4.1. VCE English Language:

    LS held discussions with relevant individuals after the ALS and determined that there was no need at that time to employ someone to research the status of VCE EL. However, LS, Jean Mulder, and Kate Burridge, have been meeting through 2015 to discuss possible initiatives. We would like to make use of the funds nominated at last year’s meeting but not used in 2015 to employ someone in 2016 to assist with developing the web presence for English Language. For example, the LAGB has just announced an initiative of their education committee which has prepared a glossary of grammatical terminology for teachers, which we could link to. The University of Melbourne is planning a Professional Certificate course which would be available to teachers of VCE EL and of English F-10 nationally. Several members of the Society have suggested that it would desirable to explore extending a subject offering such as VCE EL to other states, and if there is anyone interested in pursuing this, they should contact Lesley, Jean and Kate for advice.

  • Re 4.1. ARC medical research policy:

    As agreed, LS prepared a letter for the ARC but on advice contacted Marian Simms (head of the SBE panel) before sending it. Marian recommended instead that we invite her or Dennis del Favero (head of the HCA panel) to attend ALS this year to present on this issue and answer questions. We have done this and Professor del Favero gave his presentation on Wednesday the 9th December. LS briefly summarised the main points of his presentation for the meeting, which were that:

    • Research on the language and communication of “clinical populations” essentially would normally be eligible for funding by the ARC if:
    • It relates to adding to our understanding or knowledge base concerning human behaviour and life stages in general
    • It does not involve (clinical) interventions designed to improve health and is not designed to aid diagnosis of particular conditions
    • It is appropriate to write to the ARC for clarification if in doubt
    • The ARC would contact the Research Office of the applicant’s institution in the first instance if they have any doubts about eligibility issues for a particular application
  • Re 10. Motion to write to relevant bodies concerning the position of Senior Language Research Officer in the NT and the ALS’s support for bilingual education in Indigenous languages:
    We wrote to the relevant bodies and have had responses acknowledging the letter with more detailed responses pending.

4. Reports

4.1 President

LS noted the fantastic activities and achievements in our community (as reflected in the ALS newsletter).

We need to acknowledge the sad news of deaths in the linguistics community of the region – though already noted in newsletters: Terry Klokeid, Ruqaiya Hasan, Chris Candlin, Frank Lichtenberk

We have had some discussions re. webpages and we have decided to pay someone to assist with setting up additional functionality on the web page – e.g. links to all programs of linguistics in Australia; records of past office holders.

We have agreed to provide support ($2000) for the TISLR conference in particular in light of the costs they face in paying AUSLAN and ASL interpreters.

LS thanked the Exec for all of their work during the year.

4.2 Secretary

Nothing to report.

4.3 Treasurer

Treasurer’s report is attached.

Motion 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. (Harvey/Mailhammer – passed)

In discussion we agreed that there be a 2 year term for members and that the Exec would put out a call for expressions of interest.

Motion That the ALS donates $500 on an annual basis to the LinguistList. (Harvey/Harkins – passed)

4.4 Journal Editors

AJL Editor’s report for ALS 2015 Conference, at Western Sydney University:
In the past 12 months there have been 120 submissions from 19 countries. 27% from Australia, 13% from Iran, 11% from China and 7.5% from Pakistan. The average time from submission to final decision is 50 days. The 2015 volume 35 includes 14 articles. And already the first three issues of the 2016 volume 36 are with the publisher for a total of 20 articles. 36-1 is a general issue, 36-2 a special issue on ‘Language use in institutional settings’, and 36-3 is a special issue entitled ‘Grammatical change in the Pacific. Frank Lichtenberk: in memoriam’. The impact factor of AJL jumps all over the place. In 2010 it was 0.208, in 2011 it was 0.263, in 2012 it was 0.143, in 2013 it was 0.400, in 2014 it was 0.158. Thanks again to all those who spend time reviewing for AJL. And thanks, also, to all of you who have submitted papers. Please submit good stuff to AJL and cite it frequently to help raise its impact factor yet further.
Keith Allan, Editor Australian Journal of Linguistics

Alan Libert (Reviews editor) No problem with lack of material and in fact there is a backlog of reviews in hand, and the reviews already submitted might be enough for the next year or so –nevertheless he encourages members to submit reviews.

4.5 Associate Secretary (Newsletter Editor)

Andrea asked if the AGM could quickly discuss whether members are happy with the format newsletters currently have, or whether anything would need to be changed? There was general agreement that the newsletter worked well and we thank Andrea for her continued work on it.

4.6 CIPL Representative

CIPL will be holding their 20th Congrès International des Linguistes in Cape Town, South Africa from 2nd to  to 6th  July 2018. The congress title will be 'The Dynamics of Language'. There will shortly be a call for workshop proposals, and a preliminary announcement of keynote speakers, session topics and session organisers.

4.8 ALS2015 Organisers (Western Sydney)

Vote of thanks to Western Sydney for their good work in organising the conference. Caroline Jones said that there were 190 registrations and an 84% acceptance rate. The new system of using a Program committee to review abstracts has worked well.

4.9 ALS2016 Organisers (Monash)

There is a single organising committee for ALAA and ALS. ALS 2016 will be held between the 7th and 9th of December 2016. The issue of a clash of dates with the SST conference was discussed, but it was recognised that the ALS dates are set and cannot now be changed.
The CoEDL Summerschool will run at U.Melbourne in the week prior to the ALS conference.

5. Anniversary of the ALS in 2017, the 50th anniversary of the first ALS conference

ALS 2017 will be held in Sydney (8-10 December) followed by the ALT conference in Canberra (11-13 December 2017).
Discussion followed about ways to mark the 50th anniversary and included: inviting older members to attend the conference and to speak on a panel about the history of the ALS (maybe also with a ‘where to now’ theme); fund ECRs to record older members’ reminiscences; fund a small project to write up a history of the ALS; invite NZ linguists to participate. It was agreed that a sub-committee be formed to follow up, volunteers include: Celeste Rodriguez Louro, Mahesh Radhakrishnan, Robert Mailhammer, Harold Koch.

6. Future ALI and ALS conferences

2017 marks the 50th Anniversary of the first ALS conference. The ALT conference will be held in Canberra in 2017 (as noted above).
No venue is yet fixed for the 2018 ALS conference.
The ICHL conference will be at ANU in July 2019, and the International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS) will be hosted by LaTrobe Uni in 2019.

7. Australian Computational and Linguistics Olympiad (OzCLO)

OzCLO 2015 Report for Australian Linguistics Society AGM 2015:

We would like to thank the Australian Linguistic Society for their generous continuing support of $5,000 per year until 2018.
We had a successful 2015 competition. 1470 students competed across Australia, with the majority, 1338, competing online. ACT, NSW and VICTORIA were the only locations in which some paper-based competitions were held, and 132 students took the paper-based option in those states. The University of New England is no longer involved in OzCLO because of staffing issues, so we unfortunately lost a few schools with that change. Numbers were low in NT and NSW possibly because of the later timing of the competition in March, rather than February, in 2015. The first month or so of the new year is very busy for most schools so OzCLO has quite a bit of competition at this time.  National 2015 Winner was All Saints Anglican School, Merrimac, Queensland. This team was Queensland’s top senior team in 2014, and Top Queensland Junior team in 2013. The second place getter was Sydney Church of England Grammar School, NSW, and the third place getter was Brisbane State High School. Presbyterian Ladies College, Armidale, NSW, was 2015’s Top Junior. This means two teams were from regional areas and two from urban areas.
Both the All Saints team and the Sydney Church of England Grammar School’s team travelled to the International Linguistics Olympiad (IOL), which was held in Bulgaria in July, 2015, and in which 44 teams from 29 countries participated. Two team members from Sydney Church of England Grammar School received awards at the 2015 IOL: one received an individual Bronze Medal and the other received an individual honorable mention - a great outcome for Australia! Congratulations to the teams and the teachers for their great work.

OzCLO is also enormously grateful to Griffith University, the home of our online competition and greatly indebted to Andrea Schalley and the other helpers at Griffith. Still on sponsorship, each of the OzCLO locations has maintained good links with its local prize sponsors, and the Macquarie Dictionary has extended its support of OzCLO and contributes prizes to the National winners – 16 prizes in all, plus a prize for the winners’ schools. In addition, Prof. Caroline Jones and Dr. Dominique Estival, from The University of Western Sydney, secured sponsorship for a linguistics outreach event, and in December, 2015, a local Sydney School, Baulkham Hills High School, hosted an OzCLO training session.
Discussion followed about the lack of presence of the ALS in social media and it was generally agreed that we should employ a student to maintain relevant accounts (FaceBook, Tumblr …) at half a day per week. ALS will call for expressions of interest.

8. Awards (Laves, Clyne, Kaldor)

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

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

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

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

9. Report on Fully (Sic).

Allie Severin asked for articles to be submitted to this popular media site (run by Crikey), summarising research and publicising it.

10. Election of Officers

Thanks to retiring officers: Felicity Cox and Lochlan Morrissey.

Nominations were called for the following positions:

  • The President – Lesley Stirling agreed to serve for another term – elected
  • Three Vice-Presidents – Caroline Jones and Bill Palmer agreed to serve for another term – elected. Jean Mulder was nominated and elected
  • Postgraduate Student Representative – Katie Jepson was nominated and elected

11. Motion to endorse the “Guidelines for Communicating Rights to Non-Native Speakers of English in Australia, England and Wales, and the USA” (Diana Eades) [updated link:]
(Stirling/Walsh – carried)

12. Open Access and the AJL (Bill Palmer)

Some members have asked about possibilities of making AJL Open Access (OA). NT reported on a meeting that he and LS had with Sarah Blatchford (T&F) in which the pros and cons of OA for AJL were discussed. A summary of the points made by T&F follows.

  • T&F have philanthropic program activities (including via third parties such as Research4Life):
  • AJL is sold by T&F on behalf of the ALS, on a subscription basis as well as via online collections, and is available in full-text in more than 10,000 thousand libraries globally through T&F and partner access agreements. All monies from sales of AJL are recorded back to the journal and royalties are paid to the ALS from these revenues.
  • T&F’s author friendly licence and access models fully support Green OA (posting of author accepted manuscript):
    • Posting on author’s own website or departmental website without embargo
    • Posting on institutional repository after embargo (18 months for SSH journals; 12 months for STM = for reasons of sustaining subscriptions sales which cover publication costs and society royalties)
  • T&F meets Gold OA funding policies and requirements around the world: AJL authors can make their article freely available upon publication through payment of an APC (Article Publishing Charge).
  • T&F can publish fully Gold OA supplemental content over and above budgeted subscription-based content (for which libraries have paid)  at a discounted rate to the ALS. This would be with a view to ALS funding this in full or in part for its members  as an added member benefit.. We are awaiting specifics on pricing for ALS. It was noted that this would require additonal edictorial effort by ALS members.
  • Open Access information on Taylor & Francis Online

Note, the current contract with T&F commenced in December 2011 and ends at the end of 2017.
T&F pays 30% of sales to the ALS, and provides $10,000 pa for editorial assistance.
If we went to a completely OA model the Society would need to increase membership fees and would lose benefits such as distribution, IF and metrics, reputation, services including collection of fees and editorial services, and access to library subscription ‘bundles’.

The question was asked as to what happens to access to back issues of the journal if a library stops its subscription. [After the AGM, Exec checked with T&F and had this reply: “If a library cancels their subscription to ALS they will lose access to the archive (currently libraries can access back issues from 1997 onwards as part of their subscriptions) however, they will retain the right to right to perpetually access the year in which they purchased a subscription.”]

13. Any Other Business

Motion: That ALS set aside a certain amount each year (e.g. up to $5000) to support attendance at ALS annual conference and pre-ALS workshops by Indigenous people of Australia or the Pacific, on a need basis and to be determined by the ALS Exec and by application. This could be for costs of travel, accommodation (and maybe also teacher-release time to help any Indigenous teachers get released from school, which costs about $300 a day in NSW). (Jones/Nordlinger – carried)

Nick Thieberger

Australia Day Awards

Two linguists were honoured in the Australia Day awards this year:

  • Posthumously, Professor Chris Candlin: awarded AO Officer of the Order of Australia General Division, for distinguished service to higher education, particularly in the fields of linguistics and communication research, and as an academic, teacher and mentor.
  • Gavin Breen: AO Officer of the Order of Australia General Division, for distinguished service to the Indigenous community through the preservation of languages, to the development of orthographies, and to education.
Lesley Stirling

Hindi and Turkish curricula and a Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages

ACARA has published the Australian Curriculum: Languages for Hindi and Turkish, and the Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages on the Australian Curriculum website.

The Hindi and Turkish language curricula have been developed to recognise Australia’s relationships with both India and Turkey, our important trade links, and a significant number of Australians originating from these countries.

The Framework for Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages was identified as necessary for development – given there are at least 250 distinct Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages. The framework builds on existing language frameworks for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, already used in some states and territories.

See the full story here:

Lesley Stirling

News from the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages

Digital Creations: Gunnai/Kurnai Story Book Apps Released

A set of six Gunnai/Kurnai story books originally published in 2008 have been redeveloped into digital resources and released as six brand new Aboriginal language apps featuring Gunnai/Kurnai language of the Gunnai/Kurnai peoples of Gippsland in east Victoria.

Launched on Monday 14th December 2015 at Dala Yooro Pre-School in Bairnsdale, the six interactive digital storybook apps feature traditional Gunnai/Kurnai Creation Stories including why Kowern the Echidna has spikes on his back and how Wurrin the Sun was made. These stories are supported by illustrations and narration from Gunnai/Kurnai community members and artists.

Interactive digital story books are a great resource for children of all ages to develop reading and comprehension skills and can be used as part of a lesson plan or reading strategy and to help children learn spelling and pronunciation.

The development of these digital resources will support language reclamation and revitalisation activities in Victorian schools and communities.

Read more about the project here.

The Apps are available now for download at the App Store, for use on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

Paul Paton joins Global Indigenous Language Discussions in New York

Representatives from First Languages Australia Paul Paton (Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages) and Daryn McKenny (Miromaa Aboriginal Language and Technology Centre) were in New York last week to take part in the United Nations 2016 expert group meeting on Indigenous Languages.

The meeting Indigenous Languages: preservation and revitalization (articles 13, 14 and 16 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) was undertaken to build upon recommendations from the previous expert group meeting in 2008, focusing on the principles of cultural diversity and indigenous languages as a way to promote intercultural dialogue and affirm indigenous peoples identity. 

Both Paul and Daryn had the opportunity to speak at the meeting about the state of language revival in Australia and demonstrate projects and initiates which are making positive inroads into language revival and cultural strengthening. 

To read more about the meeting click here.

Biyadin (short-tailed shearwaters) bring language from around the world

The Shearwater Festival drew guests from across Victoria and the world to celebrate the migration of the short-tailed shearwater birds to Phillip Island. The aim of the festival is to develop partnerships, cross cultural understanding and environmental awareness about the short-tailed shearwaters, which are a significant part of local indigenous culture. The festival takes the opportunity to celebrate diversity and culture, featuring language as one of the main components.

Events at the festival included a lively street parade, performances, workshops and guided tours. VACL is proud to take part in and auspice the festival which has a strong focus on language where Victorian Aboriginal Elders and artists participated in telling stories, sharing poetry, playing music and exhibiting artwork. Many of the activities were in language including Aunty Caroline Briggs' Welcome To Country, songs by Marbee Williams in Boon Wurrung and Wiradjuri, Aunty Fay Stewart-Muir's poetry reading and Mick Harding's poetry and stories in Taungurung. Other presentations included Kutcha Edwards singing in Mutti Mutti and performances of rain songs by choir singers in a Northern Australian language.  

The cultural emersion also incorporated languages of the world with an interactive chanting activity, responding to each other with words of peace in a unifying performance with the audience. Indigenous leaders and performers from Africa and First Nations in Canada and the USA were also involved in the festival, bringing song, dance, music and language to the stage.

Read more about the project here.

Visit the festival website here.

Emma Hutchinson

News from UNE Linguistics


Over the summer, UNE linguists have been conducting fieldwork in various parts of the world: Mark Post and Yankee Modi (Northeast India), Cindy Schneider and Charlotte Gooskens (Vanuatu), Finex Ndhlovu (South Africa), Arvind Iyengar (India), Thoai Ton (Vietnam).


Congratulations to Emeritus Professor Jeff Siegel, who was recently inducted as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.


Associate Professor Charlotte Gooskens, a UNE adjunct, visited the department from Sept-Dec 2015 from the University of Groningen.

Books published

  • Ndhlovu, Finex. (2015). Hegemony and Language Policies in Southern Africa: Identity, Integration, Development. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. [ISBN 978144877077], pp.237.
  • Post, M. W., S. Morey and S. DeLancey, Eds. (2015). Language and culture in Northeast India and beyond. Canberra, Asia-Pacific Linguistics. 366 + xxix pp. ISBN: 978-19-2218-526-6.


Mark Post and Yankee Modi recently conducted a week-long workshop on language documentation for indigenous community linguists in Northeast India, sponsored by a fellowship from the Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research.

Cindy Schneider

News from ANU

Upcoming workshop

The Australian Languages Workshop (ALW) is scheduled to take place at the Australian National University and Kioloa, 3–6 March 2016, with sponsorship from the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. It will include a launch of the Austkin database, a Verbal Arts workshop, and launches of several new books. Speakers will include Nigel Fabb and Rob Pensalfini.

View the full program here.

Registration: Please also go online HERE to fill out the registration and payment form.

Questions about ALW:

Questions about the Verbal Art workshop:


In January 2016, we celebrated Luise Hercus’ 90th birthday, and her life’s work. Around 60 people attended, and listened to colleagues, community members and friends talk on the contribution Luise has made to the study of Aboriginal languages. She was presented with an edited volume compiled in her honour, with around 35 new papers set around the themes of language, land and song.(Language, land and song: Studies in honour of Luise Hercus. Edited by Peter K. Austin, Harold Koch and Jane Simpson. London: EL Publishing)

University Languages Portal Australia

The brand-new University Languages Portal Australia is purpose built to help prospective students discover where to study a given language, how to do it, and why it’s a great thing to do.

The Project Team comprises Jane Simpson (project leader), John Hajek, Martina Möllering, Catherine Travis and Anya Lloyd-Smith (project manager).

National Science Forum

SLLL Linguistics participated in the National Youth Science Forum, which brings high school science students from all over the country (Mt Isa, Perth, Darwin, Wagga, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart …) to ANU for several weeks to learn about science – and for the first time Linguistics! Thanks to our summer scholar Alex Grant and Jane for organizing, and Elisabeth, Susy and Catherine from SLLL for participating in the lab visit and the speed-date-a-scientist.

PhD students

Theresia Tamelan arrived in Canberra just before the semester started to get ready for her PhD. Thress is from west Timor, and has already completed an MA in linguistics, and has presented at several major conferences on Dela, the westernmost Rote language. She will be working with us for the next four years on an Indonesian government scholarship.

Mark Donohue and his collaborator Dubi Nanda Dhakal have published the first dictionary of the Tsum language, from northern Nepal. Entitled 'A Tsum lexicon', the work includes maps, a phonology sketch, and sociolinguistic notes.

Roselind Wan is with the School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics on a 6-month Endeavour Fellowship, working on Kayan her mother tongue indigenous language from Sarawak for her PhD, expanding the indigenous language landscape at SLLL.

Staff, movements, visitors

Solène Inceoglu has accepted the position of Lecturer in French; she works in Applied Linguistics, and has a particular interest in the teaching of pronunciation; she currently has a position at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Susy Macqueen, applied linguistics, has taken up a 5-year position in the School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics.

Bert Peeters, who was a visiting fellow at the School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics in 2015, has been offered a five-year honorary appointment (2016-2020).

Maïa Ponsonnet has joined the Linguistics Department at the University of Sydney, as a DECRA Post-doctoral Fellow. She will continue to work on emotions in languages of Western Arnhem Land, under the guidance of Nick Enfield.

Rena Torres Cacoullos visited the School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics for the month of January, while she works with Catherine Travis on their project on language contact in New Mexico.

Anna Wierzbicka retired, after 40 years of service to the university. Her contribution over this time has been enormous, and all SLLL staff have, like the wider ANU community, greatly benefited from her presence among us. She leaves a wonderful legacy in her retirement.


Wayan Arka was in Merauke, west Papua in January 2016 doing fieldwork and starting his ELDP-funded project on linguistic and ethno-biological documentation, focusing on Marori in Kampung Wasur and Smärky in the village of Tomeraw. The project is an interdisciplinary project involving collaboration with the relevant stakeholders with different expertise: linguists (Wayan Arka, ANU), (ethno-)biologists (Prof. Eko Baroto Waluyo from the Indonesian Academy of Sciences, Jakarta; Norce Mote from the Musamus University in Merauke), Anthropologists (Ngurah Suryawan, Universitas Papua, Manokwari), and Forestry expert (Saiful, Balai Taman Wasur). Wayan’s activities include the first project meeting with a training workshop on linguistic and ethnobiological documentation at Musamus University, a meeting with the local community in collaboration with NGOs and a picnic retreat with youth organisations to raise the awareness of language and culture endangerment.

Danielle Barth recently returned from Matukar, Papua New Guinea. She went with her partner Wolfgang Barth and child Jesse Barth. She spent a fast and furious three weeks running the family problems picture task for Matukar Panau. The themes from the task resonated strongly with the speakers and all sorts of interesting linguistic factors came out: 2 competing kinship systems, dubative markers, optional encoding of definiteness and indefiniteness and more. A Matukar-based transcription and translation team used ELAN to transcribe about six hours of video and audio, and have plans to transcribe another 3 hours of data which will then be sent on to ANU. Madang province is slowly recovering from the drought, but although it is rainy season, things are still fairly dry. Data collected during this field trip will be used at the Social Cognition Workshop in Bamberg at the end of March.

Mark Donohue continued work with the languages of Upper Gorkha district in Nepal, part of the 'Narrating Disaster' project funded by the National Science Foundation (USA). The team now has 400GB of material collected from 9 languages, and is working towards selecting recordings for transcription and for translation. These materials will be made publicly available, and will inform future earthquake protocols and responses in rural areas. In addition to the narrative work, Mark Donohue and Dubi Nanda Dhakal have compiled the first lexicon of the Tsum language, due for publication in the next month or two. (DEC)


Andrews, Avery. 2016. Reconciling NSM and Semantics. Australian Journal of Linguistics 36(1), 79–111.

Allen, Cynthia. 2015. Review of Ilja A. Seržant and Leonid Kulikov (Eds.), The diachronic typology of non-canonical subjects. Diachronica 32, 277–283.

Evans, Nicholas and Julia Colleen Miller. 2016. Nen. Journal of the International Phonetic Association, available on CJO2016. doi:10.1017/S0025100315000365.

Kelly, Piers. 2016. Introducing the Eskaya Writing System: A Complex Messianic Script from the Southern Philippines. The Australian Journal of Linguistics 36 (1): 131–63. doi:10.1080/07268602.2016.1109433.

Mayer, Elisabeth and Manuel Delicado Cantero. 2015. Continuity and Innovation in Peruvian Spanish: Pragmatics and Contact in (Differential) Object Marking. In Sessarego, Sandro & González-Rivera, Melvin (Eds), New Perspectives on Hispanic Contact Linguistics in the Americas. Madrid / Frankfurt: Iberoamericana / Vervuert (Colección: Lengua y Sociedad en el Mundo Hispánico, 35.)

Peeters, Bert (Ed.). 2015. Language and cultural values: Adventures in applied ethnolinguistics. Special issue of International Journal of Language and Culture 2(2).

  • Introduction, pp. 133-141
  • Tall poppies in the land down under: An applied ethnolinguistic approach, pp 219-243

Rumsey, Alan. 2015. Language, Affect and the Inculcation of Social Norms in the New Guinea Highlands and beyond. The Australian Journal of Anthropology 26: 349–64.

Wierzbicka, Anna. 2015. A whole cloud of culture condensed into a drop of semantics: The meaning of the German word Herr as a term of address. The International Journal of Language and Culture 2(1), 1-37.

Wierzbicka, Anna. 2015. The meaning of color words in cross-linguistic perspective’. In Andrew J. Elliot, Mark D. Fairchild and Anna Franklin (Eds.), The Handbook of Color Psychology, pp. 296-316. Cambridge University Press.


Wayan Arka gave a keynote talk at the International Conference on Language, Culture and Society organised by LIPI (Indonesian Institute of Sciences), Jakarta 24-26 November 2015. He discussed the dynamics of Glocalisation (i.e. the increasing significance of the local context in the global setting and vice versa) in relation to language advocacy and capacity development in contemporary Indonesia, particularly in Merauke and Flores, Indonesia. His talk received national publicity in the press and social media in Indonesia.

Wayan Arka has been invited to give a talk at the international workshop on information structure organised by Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, 18-20th February 2016. For this, Wayan talked about the morphosyntactic resources of information structure in Marori.

Mark Donohue and new PhD student Naijing Liu attended, and presented at, the 21st Himalayan Languages Symposium in Kathmandu, Nepal. Naijing talked about results from her Masters thesis, the first look at tone in Tsum. Following the conference she visited Nima Lama, the head of the Tsum Welfare Committee and the man whose voice Naijing had analysed in her work, and presented him with a copy of her thesis (the first book of any kind about the Tsumpa people) and some mahua, a traditional sweet snack from her hometown of Tianjin.

Yufei He (exchange student semester 1 2015) presented a paper 'A Cultural Script for Making Academic Criticisms in Australia’s Academic Settings' at the 15th International Conference of the International Association for Languages and Intercultural Communication, held at Beijing University. It was based on her final project for the Cross-cultural communication course.

Amanda Laugesen attended the AUSTRALEX 2015 conference in Auckland, New Zealand, and presented a paper on the Australian National Dictionary. The conference brought together linguists and lexicographers from around the Pacific region. Amanda was also elected Treasurer of AUSTRALEX.

Narah Lee and Yoko Yonezawa presented a paper "A contrastive study of second person reference terms in Korean and Japanese" at the 9th Korean Studies Association of Australasia Biennial Conference in Adelaide at the end of November 2015. They won the Prof. Chung-Sok Suh Best Graduate Paper Award.

Elizabeth Mayer gave a paper “Direct Object Clitics and Differential Object Marking in Shipibo-Spanish and Ashaninka-Spanish Bilingual speech at the First International Symposium of Amazonian Spanish at the Catholic University of Peru, 23-24 November 2015.

Bert Peeters travelled to Clermont-Ferrand (France) in December, where he was an invited guest of the Université Blaise Pascal. He was one of two international members of the assessment panel convened to confer the post-PhD "habilitation à diriger des recherches" (HDR) to fellow linguist Lidia Lebas-Fraczak. While in Clermont-Ferrand, he also delivered a seminar titled "Langue et valeurs culturelles : Six façons d'y voir plus clair". In March he will travel to Melbourne, where he will deliver the same seminar as an invited guest of the French program at Monash University and present the Monash "Annual Language and Culture Centre Lecture - 2016" on "CULTURAL LINGUISTICS and cultural linguistics: applied ethnolinguistics in search of a home".

In November 2015, Catherine Travis hosted a workshop on the Sydney Speaks Project, which included talks by Barbara Horvath on her experiences conducting sociolinguistic work in Sydney in the 1970s and 1980s, and by Greg Guy (New York University), on ongoing sound changes in New York English. Catherine Travis and Katrina Hayes presented the project, and other presentations were given by Caroline Jones (UWS), Shuyu Zhang (MA, ANU), Josh Clothier (UMelb) and Jennifer Lee (UWS).
Watch this space for a post-doc on this project (to be advertised shortly) in the area of variationist sociolinguistics (e.g. sociophonetics, ethnolectal variation, the role of frequency in language change).

Several staff attended the Languages & Cultures Network of Australian Universities colloquium at Macquarie University on Nov. 25-27 2015:

  • John Giacon: University Gamilaraay courses: Minya? Minyagu? Gulaarr? Dhalaa? What? Why, How? Where?
  • Daniel Martín, Louise Jansen and Elizabeth Beckmann: Calming down the bean counters: Comparing language and culture student retention rates with those of other disciplines
  • Gabriele Schmidt: Memories and Motivation: How previous experiences of language learning at school influence the decision to continue at university

Many ANU linguists gave papers at the Australian Linguistic Society Annual Conference at Western Sydney University, 9-11 December:

  • Cynthia Allen: Already losing it: External possession in Old English
  • Avery Andrews: Analysing complex predicates in LFG with distributive attributes
  • Danielle Barth: Careful and Casual Speech in Matukar Panau
  • Matthew Callaghan: Language change in a changing society: A real and apparent time study of the Chilean second-person singular pre and post Pinochet
  • Don Daniels: Explaining drift by reconstructing pragmatic variation
  • Sally Dixon: Alyawarr children’s present temporal expression in two closely-related speech varieties of Central Australia
  • Mark Ellison and Luisa Miceli:Does Grosjean’s Language Mode require Variable Language Activation?
  • Nick Evans: Zi Terber Yngm: Multilingualism in the Morehead District
  • Murray Garde, Ruth Singer and Jill Vaughan: Language naming in Arnhem Land
  • Siva Kalyan and Mark Donohue: A new approach to a posteriori language sampling
  • Siva Kalyan and Mark Donohue: Genealogical and typological clustering of Austronesian and peri- Austronesian languages: a comparison of non-cladistic methods
  • Harold Koch: Towards the reconstruction of Proto-Pama-Nyungan kinterms
  • Inge Kral, Jenny Green, Lizzie Ellis, Jane Simpson, Hywel Stoakes: Desert clicks, taps and sound symbolism: Vocal style in Ngaanyatjarra narratives
  • Narah Lee: How to be polite with subject expression in spoken Korean?
  • Ben Purser: ‘Highs, lows, and in-betweeners’: A case study of formant frequency differences and children’s social relationships
  • Mahesh Radhakrishnan: Irish, sean-nós and the linguistic ecologies of traditional singing performance
  • Catherine Travis & Rena Torres Cacoullos: Variationist typology: using the structure of variability to compare cross-language types
  • Yoko Yonezawa: A study of the second person pronoun anata in Japanese: Absolute specification of second person
  • Shuyu Zhang: Multiple voices under one name: Ethnic Orientation and heritage language in second-generation Chinese Australians

ANU Linguists also ran, and participated in, workshops at ALS:

  • Jane Simpson & Jill Wigglesworth ran a workshop “Home to School: Language Practices of Indigenous Children”, in which Denise Angelo and Sally Dixon presented papers.
  • Sophie Nicholls ran a workshop “Learning Indigenous Languages -- Can Universities Help?” in which John Giacon and Jane Simpson participated.
  • Catherine Travis, Celeste Rodríguez Louro & Adam Schembri ran “Language Variation and Change Australia 2 (LVC-A2)”, in which Matthew Callaghan, Sally Dixon, Ben Purser and Catherine Travis presented the papers listed above.
Charlotte van Tongeren, Harold Koch

News from the University of Queensland

Small grants

Erich Round received a CoEDL Transdisciplinary grant "Auto-harvested insights from wordlists: How to assess the crop”.

Ilana Mushin has received a CoEDL small grant to run a training workshop for Garrwa language workers in 2016 in Borroloola.

Erich Round received a CoEDL small grant for fieldwork with remembers of Gangalidda (a.k.a Yukulta).


  • Gardner, R & Mushin I. (2015) Expanded transition spaces: The case of Garrwa. Frontiers in Psychology 6:251 doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00251
  • Macklin-Cordes, J, & Erich R. Round. 2015. High-definition phonotactics reflect linguistic pasts. In Proceedings of 6th Conference on Quantitative Investigations in Theoretical Linguistics
  • Meakins, F. (2015). Not obligatory: Bound pronoun variation in Gurindji and Bilinarra. Asia-Pacific Language Variation, 1(2), 128-161.
  • Meakins, F., Jones, C., & Algy, C. (2015). Bilingualism, language shift and the corresponding expansion of spatial cognitive systems. Language Sciences.
  • Munro,J & Mushin, I. (2016) Rethinking Australian Indigenous English-based speech varieties: Evidence from Woorabinda. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 31:1, 82-112. Round, Erich R., 2015, Rhizomorphomes, meromorphomes and metamorphomes. In G. Corbett, D. Brown & M. Baerman, eds. Understanding and measuring morphological complexity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 29­52.
  • Sullivan, K. 2015. 'If you study a word, do you use it more often? Repetition priming in a corpus of NSM publications'. Corpora 10:3, 277--290.
  • Sullivan, K. 2016. 'Why suave movimiento isn't "smooth movement": A corpus comparison of polysemous adjectives in English and Spanish'. Languages in Contrast 16:1, 118--132

Rob Pensalfini's book Prison Shakespeare: for these deep shames and great indignities was launched at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, on January 25, as part of the Shakespeare Prison Network and Shakespeare Theatre Association conferences. The book provides a global history and survey of Prison Shakespeare programs, and assesses their impact on prisoner participants, prison culture, and broader attitudes towards both prisoners and Shakespeare.

PhD Students

Nahyun Kwon graduated with her PhD in December. Her thesis "The Natural Motivation of Sound Symbolism” was supervised by Erich Round, Michael Harrington and Kimi Akita.

Nahyun then won a Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellowship for Foreign Researchers. Her project "A typological investigation of sound symbolism focusing on Japanese, Korean, and English expressives” will begin this year at Nagoya University, Japan.

Jayden Macklin-Cordes received an APA and has commenced as a PhD student in UQ’s Ancient Language Lab. Jayden’s research is primarily in historical linguistics and phonology, with a particular interest in the application of phylogenetic methods to linguistic data, and a special focus on the Indigenous languages of Australia.

Summer Research Scholars

We have run four Summer Research Scholar programs this year:

  • Wendy MacKay has been working with Ilana Mushin over this summer working on the Garrwa dictionary files. The files were created over 5 field trips between 2006 and 2011. Ilana checked entries from the 1997 Garrwa draft dictionary, compiled by Hugh Belfrage (largely from the SIL linguists Ted and Christine Furby’s work in the late 1960s) with Garrwa speakers. Wendy has been listening to all of those hours of recorded sessions and incorporating all of the changes that speakers proposed into an updated Toolbox of Garrwa words. This will be used as the basis for developing a published Garrwa-English dictionary in collaboration with Garrwa people in Borroloola and Robinson River.
  • A number of students from ANU, Melbourne and UQ have been working with Erich Round on three projects: morphological complexity in Australian languages and the visualisation of paradigms in R (Katja Manne, Bonnie McLean, Peter Nyhuis); the archival fieldnotes of Bruce Sommer’s work in Cape York (Gen Richards, Jordan Hollis); and the semi-automated extraction of semantic networks from mega-dictionaries (Bec Taranto).
  • Celeste Humphris (U-Adelaide) and Yuka Morinaga (ANU) have been working with David Osgarby and Amanda Hamilton to add enormous value to an existing corpus of Mudburra language materials created by Rebecca Green by matching up each section of each audio file with its corresponding page in the original linguist’s fieldnotes. Before this, the audio and written Mudburra corpora existed as separate entities; now, with these detailed cross-references added, the whole collection has become markedly more informative and discoverable. Yuka and Celeste’s work will have both a long-term positive impact on the usefulness of the Mudburra corpus as well as providing immediate benefits to the ongoing Traditional Mudburra documentation and Mudburra language contact projects.
  • Kate Charlwood (U-Melb) and Elizabeth Hall (UQ) have worked with Felicity Meakins to make significant contributions to the Gurindji Kriol corpus, using CLAN to transcribe, sound link and annotate recordings from Gurindji children. They have also been finessing the search-ability of the corpus with Jackie van den Bos (UQ) and Sasha Wilmoth (Appen). The team have produced a database of 70 speakers coded for 200 grammatical and lexical variables. This database has significantly scaled-up the data available for studies of language change and will form the basis of a number of studies of language variation and evolution with Simon Greenhill (ANU).

Ancient Language Lab

UQ’s Ancient Language Lab is now up and running, initiated under Erich Round’s DECRA grant, with one honours student (Katja Manne), three summer research projects, and PhD student Jayden Macklin-Cordes. The lab is seeking students interested in applying breakthrough methods to questions of historical linguistics and linguistic diversity. Students with a strong background in descriptive linguistics as well as mathematics, statistics, bioinformatics or computer science are especially encouraged to enquire. Weblink:

Visitors and workshops

Eva Schultze-Berndt (U-Manchester) is visiting UQ as under the CoEDL visitor program. She is running a Masterclass on 7 April. See website for more details.

The ARC-funded ’Trilingual contact in an Aboriginal community’ project is running a workshop on 8 April on contact between Ngumpin and Mirndi languages. See website for more details.

Felicity Meakins

News from La Trobe University

Linguistics/CRLD Visiting Fellows

As part of the CRLD/Linguistics visiting scholars program, funded by the La Trobe University Linguistics Discipline Research Program, we currently have the pleasure of hosting Professor Victor Friedman from University of Chicago. His area of research focuses on grammatical categories, language contact, and sociolinguistics in the Balkans and the Caucasus.  He arrived in January and will be with us until April.

General news

  • Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area Volume 39 (1), which has been edited by David Bradley, has just been submitted to the publisher John Benjamins.
  • David’s chapter, 'Chinese calendar animals in Shanhaijing and in Sino-Tibetan languages' is about to be published in Shanhaijing World Geography and Ancient Chinese Civilization (full details below). This publication will be published in both Chinese and in English.
  • Selected refereed papers from the 3rd Sociolinguistics of Language Endangerment workshop, which we organised in China in October 2014, have just appeared in Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area 38 (2) October 2015, including David Bradley’s article 'Language reclamation strategies: Some Tibeto-Burman examples'.


  • David Bradley gave the keynote 'Preparing to Teach Ethnic Minority Languages in Myanmar' at the UNICEF International Conference on Language Policy in Multicultural and Multilingual Settings, 8-11 February in Mandalay, Myanmar. The full report on this project to develop a new language policy for Myanmar is to be published later this year by UNICEF.
  • The 9th conference of the North East Indian Linguistics Society, co-organised by Stephen Morey from La Trobe University, Gauhati University (Assam) and the University of Oregon, was held on the delightful campus of Tezpur University in Assam from 5th to 7th February. The conference brought together local and overseas researchers working on the huge number of languages in the region. La Trobe was represented by Stephen Morey and PhD students Mijke Mulder and Kellen Parker van Dam who have been undertaking fieldwork for the last 4 months. We were also pleased to see two La Trobe PhD graduates: Mark Post and Pavel Ozerov.
  • La Trobe University will be hosting the upcoming symposium Conceptualizing Rapport, to be held on the 17th to 20th July, 2016.  This symposium will bring together linguistic anthropologists from around the world to discuss the importance of building rapport between the researcher and research subjects, and the issues that might arise from this.
  • In December 2015 David was the guest of Minzu University of China and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Bejing, and gave three lectures at Minzu University.
  • David also presented a plenary paper at the UNESCO International Conference on Science and Civilization on the Silk Roads conference at CASS, 'Linguistic history of animals and crops from the ancient Silk Road'.

Thesis submissions

  • We have recent PhD completions by Tim Brickell, Temmy Thamrin and Holly Sellers.  Temmy has returned to her job at Bung Hatta University in Padang, Sumatra, Indonesia.
  • Our 2014 visitor from Chulalongkorn University, Sujinat Jitwiriyanont, completed his PhD under David Bradley’s co-supervision at Chulalongkorn University in December 2015, and started in a lectureship in Linguistics at that university in January 2016.

Seminars - previous

  • Wednesday, November 25th: Susan Douglas- ‘How do children with Autism Spectrum Disorder engage in social pretend play?’

Seminars - forthcoming

  • Thursday, February 25th: Victor Friedman- ‘An Overview of the Structure of Lak’

Selected new publications

David Bradley & Pei Likun (eds) 2016.  Shanhaijing World Geography and Ancient Chinese Civilization. Beijing: Beijing Foreign Language Press.

Sally Bowman

News from the University of Sydney

The “Transient Building”, in which the Sydney University Department of Linguistics was housed for decades, has finally been demolished.

Myfany Turpin (USYD) and Felicity Meakins (UQ) worked with Gurindji elders in conjunction with Karungkarni Arts to document ceremonies performed on Wave Hill Station late 2015. The songs range from restricted women's ceremony (Jarrarta and Yawulyu) to public songs (Mintiwarra, Kamul, Laka, Juntara, Wajarra). The project aims to produce a book with audio which documents public ceremony from the station, as well as two DVDs for the Gurindji community, and a half-hour documentary. The Gurindji songs project was funded by a UQ Research Engagement Award (Meakins) and an ARC Future Fellowship (FT140100783, CI Turpin).

Myfany will be working with Jenny Green, Michael Proctor, David Strickland and David Blackman on a project led by Mark Harvey to add audio and phonetic transcriptions to the existing Anmatyerr and Alyawarr dictionaries . This has been funded by a Transdisciplinary & Innovation Grant from the Centre of Excellence in the Dynamics of Language which was awarded in late 2015.

Maïa Ponsonnet joined the Linguistics Department officially on 1st February, and is now hard at work on her DECRA.

The Martin Centre for Appliable Linguistics at Shanghai Jiaotong University hosted a five day conference on functional language typology from December 12-16. The keynote speakers were Nick Enfield and J R Martin (University of Sydney), Christian Matthiessen and Kazuhiro Teruya (Hong Kong Polytechnic University), Wang Pin (Shanghai Jiao Tong University), Ed McDonald (Sun Yat-sen University), Miriam Tavernieres (Ghent University), Beatriz Quiroz (Catholic University of Chile, Santiago) and Giacomo Figueredo (Federal University of Ouro Preto, Brazil). Parallel sessions included papers featuring functional descriptions of  Chinese, Korean, Mongolian, Gija, Welsh, Indonesian, Tagalog, Thai, Javanese, Lampung, Japanese, Spanish, Dagaare alongside colloquia exploring functional language typology across a range of languages.

Nick Enfield’s new book The Utility of Meaning: What Words Mean and Why (Oxford University Press 2015) was reviewed by Kate Burridge in the Australian Book Review. The book is described as ‘ground-breaking’, representing ‘a new and different approach, one that connects a wide range of discipline areas and offers an account of linguistic meaning that is like no other’.

Nick Enfield will deliver an ‘Insights 2016’ public lecture on “The Conversation Machine” on March 10 at 5.30pm - 7.15pm, in the Nicholson Museum & General Lecture Theatre, The Quadrangle, University of Sydney. For info and registration:

Gwen Hyslop recently published this paper:

Hyslop, Gwendolyn. 2015. Emergent insights into Proto-East-Bodish agricultural economy. In (eds) Mark W Post, Stephen Morey, and Scott DeLancey Language and culture in Northeast India and beyond: In honor of Robbins Burling, 276-288. Canberra: Asia-Pacific Linguistics.

Sebastian Fedden was awarded a Research Incubator Grant (5000) from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney.

Sebastian Fedden (with Grev Corbett and Tim Feist) organized the
2016 Dissemination workshop “Gender and classifiers: diachrony and variation”, University of Surrey, 28-29 January 2016, where Fedden gave the following paper: 2016 (with Greville G. Corbett): “Gender and classifiers: refining the typology”. Presented at the Workshop: “Gender and Classifiers, Diachronic and Synchronic Variation” (28-29 January 2016), University of Surrey, 28 January 2016.

Sebastian Fedden delivered the following lecture series in Jerusalem:

2016 “Working with a speaker”, five 90-minute courses about working with language consultants during fieldwork, Winter School in Language Documentation and Fieldwork: Theory Meets Practice, Hebrew University Jerusalem, 7-11 February 2016.

and gave this paper at IMM17 in Vienna:

2016 (with Greville G. Corbett): “One system or two? A Canonical Typology approach”, paper to be given at the 17th International Morphology Meeting (IMM17) in Vienna, 17-21 February 2016.

Ahmar Mahboob recently published the following papers:

Mahboob, A. (2015). Understanding and providing ‘cohesive’ and ‘coherent’ feedback on writing. Writing and Pedagogy, Vol 7.2.  

Mahboob, A., Paltridge, B., Phakiti, A., Wagner, E., Starfield, S., Burns, A., Jones, R. & Costa, P. (2016). TESOL Quarterly Research Guidelines. TESOL Quarterly Vol. 50.1. 

Ahmar’s 2014 book edited with Leslie Barratt “Englishes in Multilingual Contexts: Language Variation and Education” was reviewed in TESOL Quarterly. The review states, “This is a very ambitious book, bringing together a number of issues relating to the ever-increasing complexity of describing, analysing, and teaching “Englishes,” considering a variety of audiences and aspects”.

Nick Enfield

News from the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL)

CoEDL has been busy with a range of events over summer:

  • the Patji-Dawes Award for excellence in language teaching was conferred to Sarah Payne of Canberra Grammar by writer and translator Robert Dessaix
  • the Linguistics Roadshow, an initiative of Katie Jepson, Rosey Billington and Jill Vaughan made waves in high schools across country Victory and became a minor media sensation in its own right
  • Summer School 2015 took place at Western Sydney University under the expert management of Caroline Jones
  • ANU and UQ coordinated a rewarding Summer Scholars program
  • The Wellsprings Forum Dialogues, with James Stanford and Peter Trudgill took place at the ANU
  • Piers Kelly took up a new position at the MPI, Jena.
  • The annual CoEDL Fest was a great success, featuring two well attended public lectures given by Janet Wiles ('Talking with robots') and Lizzie Ellis, Jenny Green, Inge Kral and Jane Simpson ('Being language').

All the details can be found on our website at And please sign up to our fun and informative newsletter by scrolling to the 'Subscribe to our newsletter' field at the bottom of the web page.

Piers Kelly

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

Grants, Honours and Awards

Professor Alexandra Aikhenvald and Prof Dr Anne Storch received a joint competitive grant under the 2015-2016 Universities Australia – Germany Joint Research Co-operation Scheme.

In recognition of her contribution to linguistics, Professor Alexandra Aikhenvald was elected Fellow of the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Linguistics at JCU was judged 'above world standard' in the recent round of Excellence Research Australia.

Diana Forker (Adjunct Fellow at LCRC) was offered a Chair of Caucasian Studies at the University of Jena (Germany).

New PhD student starting

Bai Junwei (Abe) (MA Nanjing University, PR China) will be working on a previously undescribed Tibeto-Burman language of China.

LCRC members news

Kasia Wojtylak is currently undertaking fieldwork with Ashéninca-speaking communities in Peru.

Visiting Fellows at LCRC in 2016

Mateus Cruz Maciel de Carvalho (MA, Universidade Estadual Paulista - 2013) is a PhD student at the Universidade Estadual Paulista 'Júlio de Mesquita Filho', Faculdade de Ciências e Letras de Araraquara (Brasil). He is spending a year at LCRC (August 2015-July 2016) working on his PhD 'A morphosyntactic study of the Deni language (Arawá)'.

Professor Pavel Štekauer, Professor of English Linguistics, Department of British and American Studies, Faculty of Arts, P. J. Šafárik University, Kosice, Slovakia, Professor in English Linguistics, English Philology, Rzeszow University and Professor at KRE University, Budapest, Hungary, is an expert on derivational morphology with special focus on English. He will be visiting LCRC 3 April-3 May 2016, offering lectures in the area of his expertise and collaborating with the members of LCRC on derivational networks.

Associate Professor Lívia Körtvélyessi, of the Department of British and American Studies, Faculty of Arts, P. J. Šafárik University, Kosice, Slovakia and Rzeszow University, is an expert on typology of derivation, evaluative morphology and word formation. She will be visiting LCRC 3 April-3 May 2016, offering lectures in the area of her expertise and collaborating with the members of LCRC on derivation.

Martin Kohlberger (MA University of Edinburgh) is a PhD student at Leiden University. He will spend a total of 4 months at LCRC (April and June-August 2016) working on his PhD 'A grammar of Shiwiar'.

Joseph Brooks (MA University of California Santa Barbara) is a PhD student at the University of California Santa Barbara. He will spend c. 4 months at LCRC (April & June-August 2016) working on his PhD 'Realis and irrealis distinctions in Chini' and after which time he will spend 2-3 months conducting fieldwork in Papua New Guinea.

Activities in 2016

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
3 April 2016, D3-059, 9.00-12.00

Held as part of:

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

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 new market economies 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 new developments in cultural patterns and social relationships.

Grammatical categories and information structure

Special Workshop of the Language and Culture Research Centre
Dr Valérie Guérin, Dr Simon Overall and Prof Alexandra Aikhenvald (Convenors)
27-28 June 2016

Nominal and verbal grammatical categories can be deployed to express meanings related to information structures — covering discourse prominence, new and old information and topic and focus in their various guises. For instance, differential case marking across the languages of the world reflects pragmatic features of noun phrases (which can be in object function, in case of Differential Object Marking; or in subject function, in case of Differential Subject Marking). Meanings related to information structure can also be expressed through pronominal cross-referencing, gender agreement, classifier choice, or marking of possessor or possessee within a possessive construction. Alternatively, a language may have special grammatical markers (often subsumed under an umbrella term 'particles') whose sole function is to mark a participant as being a topic or a focus of a stretch of discourse.

This workshop will focus on the kinds of grammatical categories prone to reflect information structure, the way they are used, and their origins and development. Special attention will be paid to dedicated markers of discourse-pragmatic categories, their meanings and usage in various genres, and their spread and histories.

Program will be soon available on - Everyone is welcome!

Creativity in language: secret codes and special styles

Special workshop of the Language and Culture Research Centre and the Institute of African Studies (University of Cologne) supported by a grant from DAAD and Universities Australia
Convenors: Prof Dr Anne Storch, Distinguished Prof Alexandra Aikhenvald
First week of August 2016

Program will be soon available on - Everyone is welcome!

Global Workshop on Possession

will commence on 16 March and run for several months. R. M. W. Dixon and Alexandra Aikhenvald will present an Initial Orientation

New books published and accepted for publication

  • Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. Forthcoming. Serial verbs. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Angeliki Alvanoudi (ed). Forthcoming. Gender, language and cognition. A special section of the International Journal of Language and Culture, due out 2016.
  • Simon Overall and K. I. Wojtylak (eds). Forthcoming. Nominalization: A view from Northwest Amazonia. Special issue of STUF - Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung (Language typology and universals). Forthcoming 2016.
  • K. I. Wojtylak and Y. Treis (eds). Forthcoming. On the Expression of Comparison: Contributions to the typology of comparative constructions from lesser-known languages. Linguistic Discovery (a special issue).

Seminars and Workshop presentations

  • Seminar, Wednesday 10 February: Angeliki Alvanoudi - Language contact, borrowing and code switching: a case study of Australian Greek
  • Seminar, Wednesday 17 February: Bob Dixon - The grammar of English pronouns
  • Workshop on Non-spatial setting, Wednesday 24 February: Alexandra Aikhenvald - Non-spatial setting: summary and conclusions
  • Seminar, Wednesday 2 March: Simon Overall - Negation in Kandozi
  • Seminar, Wednesday 9 March: Elena Mihas - Syntactic and prosodic projections of turn completions in Alto Perene turn-taking management
  • Workshop on Possession, Wednesday16 March: Bob Dixon & Alexandra Aikhenvald - Possession — Introduction
  • Workshop on Possession, Wednesday 23 March: Mateus Cruz Maciel de Carvalho -  Possession in Deni
  • Workshop on Possession, Wednesday 6 April: Nick Piper - Possession in Meriam Mir
  • Seminar, Wednesday 13 April: Pavol Stekauer - Onomasiological theory of word-formation
  • Seminar, Wednesday 20 April: Livia Körtvélyessy - Typology in word-formation


The LCRC Bulletin for 2016 will soon be available at the LCRC website.

Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

The Australian PhD Prize for Innovations in Linguistics

This prize is a continuing prize in Australian linguistics which started in 2013. It is open for PhDs completed and examined since January 1 2014. An amount of $500 will be awarded to the best PhD (judged by the assessor - email below) demonstrating methodological and theoretical innovations in Australian linguistics, particularly those NOT focussing on grammar writing and those NOT using well-established theories in Australia. Of particular interest are 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. Creative and excitingly written PhDs which push the boundaries of the discipline are particularly welcomed. The PhD should have been awarded by an Australian university or other institution but not necessarily be about Australian languages and cultures.

Email a pdf copy of the full PhD to by 31 March 2016 (PhDs still under examination may also be considered). The prize winner will be announced within one month of the deadline and all applicants will be contacted about the decision.


New Books Received February 2016

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.

  • Bowcher, W. L. and J. Y. Liang (eds.) (2016) Society in Language, Language in Society: Essays in Honour of Ruqiya Hasan. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, Hampshire.
  • Broekhuis, H. and R. Vogel (eds.) (2013) Linguistic Derivations and Filtering: Minimalism and Optimality Theory. Equinox, Sheffield.
  • Chang, W.-L. M. (2015) Face and Face Practices in Chinese Talk-in-Interaction: A Study in Interactional Pragmatics. Equinox, Sheffield.
  • Horobin, S. (2016) How English Became English. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • McLeod, S. and J. McCormack (eds.) (2015) Introduction to Speech, Language and Literacy. Oxford University Press, South Melbourne.
  • Solly, M. (2016) The Stylistics of Professional Discourse. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.
  • Toivonen, I., P. Csúri, and E. van der Zee (eds.) (2015) Structures in the Mind: Essays on Language, Music, and Cognition in Honor of Ray Jackendoff. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
Alan Libert

The Routledge Handbook of Linguistics

The Routledge Handbook of Linguistics, Edited by Keith Allan © 2016 – Routledge. 592 pages


"This is a far-reaching and inclusive overview, which offers diverse perspectives on the study of language. Beginners will find clarity, and every expert will find something new."
Nigel Fabb, University of Strathclyde, UK.


"The Routledge Handbook of Linguistics is an extraordinarily useful resource both for newcomers and for practicing linguists. Keith Allan has put together a treasure trove of information encompassing the breadth and depth of the field by a truly impressive group of authors. This work outdoes most other books of its type in striking a balance between historical background and current research. This volume would be a valuable addition to any linguist’s bookshelf; I know I will be referring to it often."
Betty Birner, Northern Illinois University, USA


"This volume provides an approachable introduction to unusually many areas of linguistic investigation and application. The clear presentations by highly qualified scholars should prove informative and broadly useful not only for linguists but for students and professionals representing a wide spectrum of interests."
Ronald W. Langacker, University of California, San Diego, USA


"This is an impressively rich, thorough and up-to-date overview of the many sub-domains that make up the discipline of linguistics by a group of leading scholars from around the world. Both newcomers and those already working in the field will find much here to educate, enlighten and entertain them."
Nigel Vincent,University of Manchester, UK


"This Handbook brings together an impressive team of experts to provide an introduction to linguistics more comprehensive than any that has gone before. The discussions are clear and insightful, and the chapters cover an array of topics ranging from gesture to neurolinguistics to social media, and everything in between. This volume is essential reading for university students, linguistic researchers, and lay readers alike."
Rachel Nordlinger, University of Melbourne, Australia

Keith Allan

Jobs, grants, and scholarships

Lecturer in Quantitative Linguistics, School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics, Australian National University

The School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics at ANU is seeking to appoint a Level B lecturer (equivalent to Assistant Professor) in Linguistics into a full-time, continuing appointment. The appointee must have an active research agenda in quantitative approaches to the study of language (e.g. corpus linguistics, sociolinguistics, usage-based linguistics, computational linguistics). S/he will be expected to sustain high level research in his/her area of specialization, engaging with scholars across ANU, in particular in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (; contribute to the School’s teaching programs in Linguistics at all levels (Undergraduate, Honours, MA and PhD); recruit and supervise Honours, MA and PhD students; and be active in professional service within ANU, and nationally and internationally in his/her relevant disciplines, as well as in the broader community.

Applications close 7 March 2016. Please apply online via the ANU website and include the following in your application:

  • A statement of no more than three pages, addressing the selection criteria
  • A current curriculum vitae (with details of three referees)

For more information, and to apply, please go to:

Catherine Travis, Charlotte van Tongeren

Lecturer in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics

Monash Linguistics and Applied Linguistics seeks to fill a continuing position to be taken up (preferably) by July 2016. The appointee to this position is expected to have a dynamic research and teaching profile. We seek candidates with a strong track record in applied linguistics/linguistics with research expertise in intercultural communication/competence.

You can view the job ad at the following link:

Closing date: Sunday 20 March 2016, 11:55pm AEST

Kate Burridge, Farzad Sharifian

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