Newsletter August 2002

ALS Newsletter August 2002

ALS 02/3, August 2002


News and information

Minutes of AGM 2002

The President opened the meeting at 4:40pm in Building W5C at Macquarie University, with the following members present: Doug Absalom, Hilary Chappell, Bill Foley, Tim Curnow, Andrew Pawley, Barbara Horvath, Bill Palmer, Alan Libert, Peter Peterson, Pauline Bryant, Paul Black, Wiem Burung, David Nash, Jane Simpson, Helen Harper, Melanie Wilkinson, Jean Mulder, Hiromi Masumi-so, Mary Adelstein, Peter Collins, Sandra V. Williams, Darrell Tryon, Verna Rieschild, Mengistu Amberber, Dennis Alexander, Helen Tebble, Rob Amery, Pat McConvell, Michael Walsh, John Henderson, Michael Clyne

1. Apologies

Cliff Goddard, Toni Borowsky, Rachel Nordlinger

2. Minutes of the 2001 AGM

Amendment to the minutes of the 2001 AGM so that the change to section 3 of the constitution is now correctly recorded as:

'3. The terms of office for officers other than the Editor of the Journal shall run for two Annual General Meetings. One Vice-President, the Secretary, Associate Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected in even numbered years. The President, two Vice-Presidents and Postgraduate Student Representative shall be elected in odd numbered years. The Editor shall be elected for a term of five years.'

Moved John Henderson, seconded Peter Peterson. Passed.

Accept the minutes of the 2001 AGM. Moved Andy Pawley, seconded Bill Foley. Passed.

3. Matters arising

3.1 OzBib

Michael Walsh reported that the executive will pursue this issue with Pacific Linguistics.

3.2 Profile of Linguistics

Verna Rieschild spoke on the need to make a concerted effort and encouraged members to work with the media people at their universities. During discussion, Bill Palmer suggested that an executive position could be given responsibility for promoting linguistics in the media. Doug Absalom suggested that one of the vice-presidential positions might concentrate on this.

4. Reports

4.1 President's Report

Michael Walsh reported the sad news of the passing of Ken Hale and Stephen Wurm.


The executive has chosen David Bradley to replace Stephen Wurm as ALS representative on the Permanent International Committee on Linguistics (CIPL).

Foundation for Endangered Languages

Michael approached the FEL in relation to the society supporting their work. Corporate membership, at a cost of around AU$250 pa, is available.

The President moved that ALS take up membership, seconded Rob Amery. Passed.

Pacific Linguistics

Correspondence has been received from Linguistics at ANU requesting financial assistance for Pacific Linguistics. Andy Pawley spoke to this, pointing out that PL is a major publisher of Australian linguistics. The ANU department already makes a significant financial contribution to PL, with direct benefits to Australian linguistics of around $60K p.a.

Doug Absalom reported that the society has sufficient funds. Jane Simpson suggested that ALS would be represented on the board of PL. Doug Absalom raised the issue of the society's liability. Michael Walsh suggested that the executive could discuss these matters with PL.

That ALS make a contribution to Pacific Linguistics of $5000 p.a. for two years. The executive to negotiate conditions of this grant. Moved Margaret Sharpe, seconded Bill Palmer. Passed.

The Society's name

The President reported that he had received correspondence from a member pointing out that some recent materials had given the name as the 'Australian Linguistics Society' rather that the official 'Australian Linguistic Society'.

4.2 Secretary's Report

Apart from minor requests for information, no correspondence had been received.

4.3 Treasurer's Report

Australian Linguistic Society (Inc). Financial Statement. 30/11/01-12/7/02. ABN 55 533 808 998.

Income Expenditure
Membership $7,465:00 ALI $10,000:00
Interest $1,852:53 CIPL $791:76
AJL $8,594:83 AJL $8,843:50
GIO $423:50
Treasurer $532:00
Bank fees $224:54
Total $17,912:36 Total $20,815:30

Operating loss $2,902:94
Funds 30/11/01 $106,059:41
Current funds $103,156:47

Represented by:

Invest. Acct. $35,219:42
Money Managers $64,983:63
Cheque Acct. $2,905:42
Deposit 10/7/02 $580:00
Sub-total $103,688:47
Unpresented cheque $532:00
Total $103,156:47

Doug Absalom distributed copies of the Financial Statement for 2001-2002. He reported that public liability insurance was no longer required as a condition of incorporation in NSW but indicated that it should be continued. Treasurer's expenses cover this year and last year. Contributions to the LSA Institute were recorded in last year's statement.

Bruce Rigsby, a long term member of the society and a former president and vice-president has just retired.

That Bruce Rigsby should be given honorary lifetime membership in the society. Moved Doug Absalom, seconded Bill Foley. Passed.

Reminder that presenting papers at an ALS conference is a privilege of membership. Michael Walsh suggested that, in future, when presenters are notified of the acceptance of abstracts they should be reminded that it is contingent on membership.

4.4 Journal Editors

In the absence of the editors, Alan Libert reported as reviews editor. There are sufficient reviews in hand for the next few years and no more would be accepted for the time being. Peter Peterson suggested publishing shorter book notices, with a maximum of 500 words. Bill Palmer suggested electronic publication of some reviews. Paul Black pointed out that this has the advantage of more rapid turnaround. Jane Simpson suggested that the journal incorporate a list of publications received.

There was discussion about whether AJL was recognised by DEST since it is not on the official list. Michael Clyne pointed out that AJL satisfies DEST requirements, regardless of the list. Doug Absalom suggested that the editors investigate getting AJL added to the DEST list.

4.5 Newsletter Editor

Tim Curnow offered to investigate setting up a domain name (e.g. for the society's website, which currently uses a LaTrobe Uni address. Michael Clyne expressed support: ALS should be seen as an autonomous organisation.

4.6 ALS2002 Organisers

Peter Collins reported that there are about 100 registrations. The conference is likely to break even or produce a small profit. Peter thanked his co-organisers, especially Mengistu Amberber, helpers, presenters, session chairs, Verna and the ALI team. Web Proceedings are to be published: guidelines will be sent to presenters.

4.7 ALI 2002 Organisers

Verna Rieschild reported that the first week had been very successful, and that things looked equally bright for the second week. She pointed out problems relating to insurance and processing the finances through university accounts.

5. Future Events

The President reported that the 2003 ALS conference would be held in Newcastle in September.

It has been suggested that ALI might be held in New Zealand in 2004. Michael Clyne suggested that it might be possible to organise a joint conference with the NZLS. Bill Palmer felt that, even if ALI is held in NZ, the ALS conference should be in Australia. Paul Black supported this view. There was some discussion of the timing of ALI 2004 in relation to the weather and availability of northern hemisphere participants. Patrick McConvell noted that having ALI in NZ might fit in with a major Indigenous Language Conference being planned for 2004. Michael Walsh said that the executive would begin negotiations with NZ colleagues.

Margaret Sharpe nominated UNE as a fall back position for ALS 2004, subject to agreement by her colleagues.

6. Election of Officers

Vice President: Verna Rieschild. Nominated by Michael Walsh, seconded by Barabara Horvath. Elected.

Treasurer: Doug Absalom. Nominated by Michael Walsh, seconded by Peter Peterson. Elected.

Secretary: John Henderson. Nominated by Michael Walsh, seconded by Peter Peterson. Elected.

Newsletter Editor (Associate Secretary): Tim Curnow. Nominated by Michael Walsh, seconded by Peter Peterson. Elected.

There being no other business, the President closed the meeting at 5:55pm.

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News from Monash

The Linguistics Program and the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University is about to announce the appointment of the Chair in Linguistics. With this appointment, the Program will return to its full staffing complement, with the appointee joining Keith Allan, Heather Bowe, Julie Bradshaw, Margaret Florey, and Anna Margetts.

Linguistics is a flourishing field in the School. A sociolinguist, Dr Ana Deumert, has recently been appointed within German Studies. Other linguists throughout the School include Helen Marriott and Robyn Spence-Brown (Japanese), Heinz Kreutz (German Studies), Mirna Cicioni (Italian Studies), Marisa Cordella (Hispanic Studies), Patrick Durel (French Studies), and Jonathon Clarke (Slavic Studies).

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News from the University of Sydney

The Department of Linguistics at the University of Sydney is sponsoring a lively exchange of scholars from various parts of the world. Currently visiting the department are: Song Li, of the Department of Foreign languages, Harbin Institute of Technology, who is pursuing research on cross-cultural communication between Chinese and Australian interlocutors; Dr. Barbara Stiebels, of the Department of Linguistics and Information at Heinrich-Heine University, who is investigating argument linking and affix ordering in Australian and Oceanic languages; Professor Li Zhanzi of the English department at Heilongjiang University, who is researching appraisal frameworks in language and cultural identity autobiographies; and Ana Ortigosa, who is furthering research on cross-cultural communication.

Upcoming visitors to the department include Dr. Wang Yunying of the English department of Binshou teachers college, who is observing language teaching methodologies, who will join us for seven months from January 2003; and Koo Bon-jung, who will be pursuing an OT account of English consonant alternations for a year starting in December this year.

Hilário de Sousa has just left for Papua New Guinea, where he is traveling to Kamberatoro to conduct research on the Dera language of the little-known Senagi family. He is especially interested in switch-reference phenomenon, on which he has already written a typological paper summarising the uses and extensions of these constructions cross-linguistically. For his first trip he shall be away for four months, furthering the department's activities in Sandaun province, from whence we hope to arrange a visit from Mr. Samuel Paulon of the Provincial Literacy Office, who will come down to Sydney for intensive language and literacy work.

Barbara Jones is (hopefully!) finalising her PhD thesis, which is a descriptive grammar of Wangkajunga, a northern Western Desert language. Barbara's quote: "It has the most beautiful agreement system of any language in Australia. In the world." We'll see.

Bid for Phonetic Sciences Congress

Some members of the Australian Speech Science and Technology Association (ASSTA) are thinking about making a bid to host the 2007 (yes 5 years from now!) meeting of the International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS) in Australia. It is a huge conference (see covering all aspects of phonetics and (even fairly distantly) related areas, and could be a great boost for phonetics in Australia/NZ.

We are still just at the 'scoping' stage, and making contact with as many people as we can in Aust/NZ to see how many organisations would 'in principle' be interested in being involved in the promotion of such an event. At this stage we are not looking for any kind of financial or other commitment from anyone but for registrations of interest and offers of support. We think it would help to be able to show a high level of enthusiasm from organisations in a range of different phon-related disciplines.

If any ALS member has ideas about individuals or organisations we should contact, or other offers of information, advice or help in putting together the bid (which needs to be ready sometime during the first half of 2003), could you please contact one of us:

  • Helen Fraser
  • John Ingram
  • Denis Burnham
  • Marija Tabain
  • Janet Fletcher
  • Brett Baker
  • Phil Rose

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News from Melbourne University

The Department of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics welcomes their new lecturer in Applied Linguistics, Dr Carsten Roever. Carsten recently completed a PhD at University of Hawaii in second language acquisition, with a dissertation on a web-based test of pragmalinguistic knowledge. He comes to the University of Melbourne from the Research and Development division of the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey.

Recent books from the Department include:

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, by Rodney Huddleston and Geoffrey K. Pullum, with a substantial contribution by Lesley Stirling. Cambridge University are calling it: "The definitive grammar for the new millennium, written by an international team of more than a dozen linguists and spanning a decade of research."

Macmillan English Language: VCE Units 1, 2, 3 and 4, by Jean Mulder, Kate Burridge, Michael Clyne, Caroline Thomas and Anne Isaac. Specifically written for the new VCE English Language Study Design, features comprehensive coverage of the linguistic component of the study, full text in CD-ROM format for easy navigation, plus audio files glossary words with pop-up definitions and practical learning activities.

Tetun Dili: A Grammar of an East Timorese Language, by Catharina Williams van-Klinken, John Hajek and Rachel Nordlinger. Tetun Dili is an Austronesian language spoken as first language in Dili and also spoken as lingua franca throughout much of East Timor. Showing strong Portuguese influence after centuries of contact, it is set to become East Timor's national language.

Melbourne Papers in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, edited by Debbie Loakes. MPLAL is an annual publication by the Department. It is produced by postgraduate students to act as a first avenue of publication for work done by emerging linguists and applied linguists - both within the Department and in the Greater Melbourne Area.

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News from the RCLT

Professor Raoul Zamponi (Macerata, Italy) will be visiting RCLT in September (for about 6 weeks). He is an expert in Northern Amazonian languages (including Arawak, Betoi and others), and will be giving a series of seminars.

Following on from our workshops at the ANU in 1997 and in 1998 and at La Trobe in 2000 and 2001, we held a very successful International Workshop on 'Adjective Classes', from Monday 12th until Satruday 17th August 2002. The position paper for the workshop, by R.M.W. Dixon, can be accessed on our website, The presenters at the Workshop were: R. M. W. Dixon (Jarawara), N. J. Enfield (Lao), Fiona McLaughlin (Wolof), Felix Ameka (Ewe), Randy LaPolla and Chenglong Huang (Qiang), Carol Genetti and Kristine Hildebrandt (Manange), Tony Backhouse (Japanese), Ho-Min Sohn (Korean), Alexandra Aikhenvald (Tariana), Nicole Kruspe (Semelai), Nora England (Mam), Paulette Levy (Papantla Totonac), Wallace Chafe (Caddo and Seneca), Catriona Hyslop (Ambae), Greville G. Corbett (Russian) and John Hajek (summing up).

The RCLT is currently running a workshop on Copula and Verbless Clauses which meets fortnightly on Wednesdays from 4.00-5.30 p.m. Each session consists of two 30-minute presentations on copulas in a language on which they have specialised knowledge. At the end, we will attempt to put forward appropriate inductive generalisations.

In addition, the RCLT currently has PhD scholarships and Postdoctoral Fellowships available. Details are given below in the Jobs, grants and scholarships section.

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Books and theses

Martuthunira Grammar (Dench)

Dench, Alan. 1995. Martuthunira: A Language of the Pilbara Region of Western Australia. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics C:125.

This grammar of Martuthunira is out of print but is now available as a set of downloadable linked PDF files. These can be accessed via

The linked files allow navigation by the Table of Contents, by the index, to the bibliography, and by various other cross-references within the text.

Algy Paterson, the last fluent speaker of Matuthunira, passed away on 6th August, 1995.

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Forensic linguistics (Rose)

Philip Rose. Forensic Speaker Identification. Taylor & Francis Forensic Science Series. ISBN 0-415-27182-7OK.

Expert opinion is being increasingly sought in the legal process as to whether two or more recordings of speech are from the same speaker. Although evidence from DNA analysis grabs the headlines, DNA can't talk. It can't be recorded planning, carrying-out or confessing to a crime. It can't be so apparently directly incriminating. Perhaps it is these features which contribute to the interest and importance of Forensic Speaker Identification. Forensic speaker identification (FSI) can be very effective, contributing to both conviction and elimination of suspects on the basis of their voice. Yet there is still a considerable lack of understanding as to what it involves; what constitutes appropriate methodology; what it can achieve; and what its limitations are. The aim of this book is to address these questions with the appropriate technical precision.

Forensic Speaker Identification clarifies the problems of inferring identity from speech under the less than ideal conditions typical in forensics. It will help the reader to appreciate:

  • the complexities of voice sample comparison
  • the probabilistic nature of the technique, which should be Bayesian in approach
  • the difficulties introduced by differential variation within and between voices and the generally poor degree of control over forensic samples
  • the necessity for both acoustic and auditory comparison; and for the comparison of linguistic and non-linguistic features
  • the expertise required in linguistics, acoustics and statistics

Drawing on his many years of teaching experience, the author presents a clear and accessible account, suitable for readers with no prior knowledge of forensic speaker identification or the sub-disciplines phonetics, linguistics, statistics, speech acoustics and speech perception which inform it. Examples are given from several languages, including American, British and Australian English, Japanese and Chinese. Essential reading for the legal profession, law enforcement officers, and phoneticians, speech scientists and linguists, who have an interest in how identity is encoded in speech.

Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Why Voices are Difficult to Discriminate Forensically 3. Forensic Phonetic Parameters 4. Expressing the Outcome: the Bayesian Approach 5. Characterizing Forensic Speaker Identification 6.The Human Vocal Tract and the Production and Description of Speech Sounds 7. Phonemics 8. Speech Acoustics 9. Speech Perception 10. What is a Voice? 11. The Likelihood Ratio Revisited: A Demonstration of the Method 12. Summary and Envoi

Phil Rose is a forensic phonetic consultant, senior lecturer and head of the phonetics laboratory at the Australian National University. He holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge in Chinese phonetics, as well as degrees in Linguistics, and German and Russian. He is a member of the International Association for Forensic Phonetics, is a past member of the Forensic Standards Committee of the Australian Speech Science and Technology Association, and a Member of Council of the International Phonetics Association. For almost 30 years, he has researched similarities and differences between individuals in their speech, and has been undertaking forensic speaker identification casework in Chinese and Australian English for over a decade.

344 pp. hardback. Available now (75 GBP). For more information, and orders:

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VCE English Language Unit 3&4

Macmillan English Language: VCE Units 3 and 4, by Jean Mulder, Kate Burridge, Michael Clyne, Caroline Thomas and Anne Isaac. ISBN 0 7329 5902 0. Price (Inc GST): $39.95.

This student CD-Rom, along with the Units 1 and 2 textbook (and CD-Rom) which was published in January 2001, were specifically written for the new VCE English Language study. The series features comprehensive coverage of the linguistics component of the study, practical learning activities and assessment tasks interspersed throughout to reinforce understanding and to bring the subject to life for students, language samples as text and audiofiles, and a comprehensive glossary with pop-up definitions on the CD-Rom.

Unit 1 explores the nature and functions of languages as a means of communicating with others, Unit 2 looks at the what, how and why of language change over time, Unit 3 delves into language in society focusing on language variation, the use of language in social interaction and the construction of identity through language, while Unit 4 investigates the stylistic features of spoken and written varieties of English and their interrelationship with how a message is constructed and conveyed.

Inspection/Order: Macmillan, Victoria/Head Office, 627 Chapel St, South Yarra 3141. Ph: 03 9825 1025, Fax: 03 9825 1010.

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Jobs, grants and scholarship possibilities

University of Sydney SESQUI Postdocs

Applications are now being sought for the University of Sydney SESQUI Postdoctoral Research Fellowships. These are tenable for three years for full-time research undertaken in any Department or School at the University. As well as salary, they include a start-up research support grant of A$25,000.

Closing date: 20th September 2002

Successful applicants are expected to be based full-time at the University for the duration of the Fellowship. The University will be offering up to twelve new Fellowships in 2003.

Assessment Criteria

Excellence will be the primary criterion, both in terms of the project and the researcher. Equal weight will be given to the quality of the project, the track record of the applicant relative to opportunity, and the research environment in the host Department/School. It is VERY important that you contact the Department of Linguistics to discuss your project in advance, as we can give you guidance in writing your application. The Department has recognised research strengths in field linguistics (Australian, Papuan and Austronesian) and systemic functional linguistics, but members of staff carry out research in a range of areas. Look at, and contact the member of staff with interests closest to yours for help. You'll also need to contact the Chair of Department, Dr Toni Borowsky,

Overlap with other Fellowship schemes including ARC/NHMRC Applicants who have requested Fellowship support from other sources in 2003 may submit the same project to the Sesqui Fellowship Scheme provided full disclosure is made in the relevant section of the Sesqui application. If the applicant is awarded a Fellowship from another source, then the Sesqui Fellowship application may not be considered.

Details on Fellowship

The application form and related information is available from the Research Office website at:

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Endangered Languages Documentation Programme

The Endangered Languages Documentation Programme has just published its first invitation to apply for funding. Full details of the programme and application forms are available on the ELDP web page

The deadline for submission of preliminary applications is the 11th October 2002.

Please direct any queries to
Mrs Jacqueline Arrol-Barker
Ph: +44 (20) 78984021
or Mrs Maureen Gaskin
Ph: +44 (20) 7898 4022

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PhD scholarship, Victoria University of Wellington

Targeted PhD Scholarship in i) Psycholinguistics OR ii) Lexicography, at the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

A PhD scholarship (NZ$20,000 per annum for 2.5-3 years, plus tuition fees at the domestic student level) is offered in one of the following two areas. The application deadline for the scholarship is 1st October 2002 (for details of the application process and to download an application pack go to:

1. Word recognition and sound change in New Zealand English

Psycholinguistic research into spoken word recognition typically assumes a stable linguistic system, in which the processes and representations involved are clearly defined. By contrast, pronunciation changes reflect a system that is in a state of flux, which is more problematic for current models of speech perception and word recognition. This project explores the consequences of changes-in-progress for perception and recognition, and will thus contribute to our understanding and modelling of the processes involved. Applicants for this scholarship should have a solid grounding in phonetics and/or psycholinguistics.

For further details of the above project contact:
Dr Paul Warren
Tel: +64 4 463-5631
Fax: +64 4 463-5604

2. New Zealand English lexicography

The NZ Dictionary Centre provides a context for research on lexicographical aspects of New Zealand English. There are opportunities to undertake research on such topics as the language used in domestic contexts, government administration, recreation and sport, school administration and organization, local government, law and order, property administration and real estate, horticulture and flora, the military, and public works and development. Research could also focus on such diverse groups as early missionaries, goldminers, parliamentarians, adolescents, and different professions and trades. Applicants for this scholarship should have a good academic background in fields such as the language sciences, English, or history, and a strong interest in adding to our knowledge of the words used distinctively in New Zealand.

For further details of the above project contact:
Prof Graeme Kennedy
Tel: +64 4 463-5627
Fax: +64 4 463-5604

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Lecturer in TESOL, Sydney

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in TESOL, School of Development and Learning, Faculty of Education, The University of Sydney. Reference No. B30/00

The Faculty of Education is seeking an experienced academic in the area of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) to contribute to the teaching of TESOL in undergraduate and postgraduate programs. The position will also require supervision of students undertaking practice teaching in schools as well as supervision of research students and the coordination of units of study in degree and diploma programs.

The appointee will have demonstrated successful teaching experience in TESOL and will have a doctoral qualification relevant to teaching in this field. Knowledge of current theory and practice underlying the teaching of English as a second or a foreign language is essential. An interest in the application of systemic functional linguistics to TESOL is desirable. Postdoctoral research experience and refereed publications in the field, as well as demonstrated success in university teaching are also desirable.

For appointment at senior lecturer level, postdoctoral research experience and a substantial record of refereed publications in the field, as well as demonstrated success in university teaching are essential. Also desirable for appointment at senior lecturer level are an interest in the application of systemic functional linguistics to TESOL, experience in the coordination of units of study and degree programs at university level, demonstrated successful supervision of research students and evidence of capacity to attract competitive researching funding.

The position is full-time continuing, subject to the completion of a satisfactory probation period for new appointees. Membership of a University approved superannuation scheme is a condition of employment.

Enquiries about the position can be directed in the first instance to Ms Cecilia Rigor-Aguilar on (02) 9351 2601, fax (02) 9351 2606, email: Further enquiries can be directed to the Head of the School of Development and Learning, Associate Professor Len Unsworth on (02) 9351 3687, email

Remuneration package: $63,214 - $75,045 p.a. (which includes a base salary Lecturer Level B $53,440 - $63,461 p.a., leave loading and up to 17% employer's contribution to superannuation)

Remuneration package: $77,388 - $89,113 p.a. (which includes a base salary Senior Lecturer Level C $65,464 - $75,485 p.a., leave loading and up to 17% employer's contribution to superannuation)

Level of appointment and responsibility will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Closing date: 22 August 2002

Selection Criteria

Essential Criteria for Lecturer:

  • Demonstrated successful teaching experience in TESOL
  • A Doctorate relevant to teaching in this field
  • Knowledge of current theory and practice underlying the teaching of English as a second or a foreign language

Desirable Criteria for Lecturer:

  • An interest in the application of systemic functional linguistics to TESOL
  • Postdoctoral research experience
  • Refereed publications in the field
  • Demonstrated success in university teaching

Essential Criteria for Senior Lecturer:

  • Demonstrated successful teaching experience in TESOL
  • A Doctorate relevant to teaching in this field
  • Knowledge of current theory and practice underlying the teaching of English as a second or a foreign language
  • Postdoctoral research experience
  • A substantial record of refereed publications in the field
  • Demonstrated success in university teaching

Desirable Criteria for Senior Lecturer:

  • An interest in the application of systemic functional linguistics to TESOL
  • Evidence of capacity to gain competitive research funds
  • Demonstrated successful supervision of research students
  • Experience in the coordination of degree programs

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PhD scholarship, RCLT, La Trobe

The Research Centre for Linguistic Typology at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, invites applications from suitably qualified students to enter the PhD program.

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. We prefer students 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. Fieldwork methodology should be centred 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 areas of specialisation are the languages of Amazonia, the Papuan languages of New Guinea, and the Aboriginal languages of Australia.

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, phonology/phonetics and comparative-historical linguistics, 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).

The Research Centre for Linguistic Typology consists, at any one time, of about twenty scholars, working on a variety of languages and typological issues. Besides the permanent staff of Professor R M W Dixon (Director) and Professor Alexandra Y Aikhenvald (Associate Director) we have an array of Research Fellows and PhD students; each year a number of senior scholars from across the world spend from three to six months with us as Visiting Fellows. Our personnel this year includes specialists on spoken languages from the following families or areas: Quechua, Tsimshian, Arawak, Arawá, Tacanan, Barbacoan, Indo-European, Turkic, Afroasiatic, Niger-Congo, Nilo-Saharan, Tibeto-Burman, Austro-Asiatic, Sinitic, Papuan, Austronesian and Australian.

There is also an excellent Department of Linguistics in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe University, with Professor Barry Blake, Associate Professor David Bradley, Associate Professor Kate Burridge, and Dr Hilary Chappell. And there are fine Departments of Linguistics at the University of Melbourne and at Monash University.

The scholarship will be at the standard La Trobe University rate, Australian $16,432 p.a. Students coming from overseas are liable for a visa fee (effectively, a tuition fee); we will pay this. A small relocation allowance may be provided on taking up the scholarship. In addition, an appropriate allowance will be made to cover fieldwork expenses. The scholarship is for three years.

The deadlines for submitting an application for a scholarship are: 30 September for non-Australians, 31 October for Australians. Applications are to be lodged through the Research and Graduate Studies Office, La Trobe University, with a copy sent to RCLT, La Trobe University.

Further information about RCLT is at our website: See, in particular, our February 2002 Newsletter, available on this web site.

Prospective applicants are invited to get in touch with Professor Aikhenvald at, providing details of their background, qualifications and interests.

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Postdoctoral Fellowships, RCLT, La Trobe

The Research Centre for Linguistic Typology (at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia) invites inquiries from suitably qualified linguists concerning applying for a Postdoctoral Fellowship on the documentation of an endangered language.

Applicants should have a PhD in linguistics, with training in basic linguistic theory and some experience of language description.

Two types of Fellowships are available: (1) LaTrobe University Postdoctoral Fellowship, (2) a Fellowship under the Endangered Languages documentation programme, financed by the Lisbet Rausing Charitable Fund.

Interested scholars should write to Professor Aikhenvald ( with a CV and details of their experience and research interests.

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Conferences and workshops

Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities

Call for Papers/Abstracts/Submissions
Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities
January 12 -15, 2003
Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, Honolulu Hawaii, USA

Submission Deadline: August 21, 2002

Web address:, email address:

The 2003 Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities will be held from January 12 (Sunday) to January 15 (Wednesday), 2003 at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Conference will provide many opportunities for academicians and professionals from Arts and Humanities and related fields to interact with members inside and outside their own particular disciplines. Cross-disciplinary submissions are welcome.

Topic Areas (All Areas of Arts and Humanities are Invited)

  • American Studies
  • Archeology
  • Architecture
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Art
  • Dance
  • English
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Film
  • History
  • Languages
  • Literature
  • Linguistics
  • Music
  • Performing Arts
  • Philosophy
  • Religion
  • Second Language Studies
  • Speech
  • Theatre
  • Other Areas of Arts and Humanities
  • Cross-disciplinary areas of the above related to each other or other areas

The Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities encourages the following types of papers/abstracts/submissions for any of the listed areas:

  • Research Papers - Completed papers
  • Abstracts - Abstracts of completed or proposed research
  • Student Papers - Research by students
  • Poster Sessions/Research Tables - informal presentation of papers or abstracts
  • Work-in-Progress Reports or Proposals for future projects
  • Reports on issues related to teaching
  • Panel Discussions, Practitioner Forums and Tutorials are invited

For more information about the conference and how to submit a paper, see:

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Postgraduate Workshop, UQueensland

Postgraduate Workshop: Linguistics and Language Processing, The University of Queensland, Friday 4 October, 2002

Call for papers

Calling all Postgraduate researchers working in the multidisciplinary field of Linguistics:

A one-day Postgraduate Workshop is being run by the Linguistics Program at the University of Queensland with the support of The Center for Research in Language Processing and Linguistics (CRLPL) This event will be held in conjunction with the annual Work in Progress Postgraduate Conference

Submissions are invited from all areas including the following:

  • Syntax
  • Evolution of language
  • Semantics
  • Language and education
  • Phonology / phonetics
  • Language acquisition
  • Speech pathology
  • Language and cognition
  • Real-time language processing

Abstract submission: Abstracts should not exceed 300 words including title, references etc. Please send as plain e-mail messages or as attachments in rtf format to Sacha DeVelle:

Deadline for abstract submissions: Monday 12 August, 2002

For further information and regular updates please access or contact Julie Steele at the following email address:

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American Association for Applied Linguistics conference

Call for Papers: AAAL 2003

The annual conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) will be held March 22-25, 2003 at the Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington, VA, across the Potomac River from Washington, DC. Proposals for presentations related to policy, research, and theory are invited in any area of applied linguistics. Proposals may be for individual papers, poster sessions, or colloquia. The abstract submission and refereeing process will be paperless this year. Instructions regarding abstract preparation and online submission and other aspects of the conference may be found on the organization's website Proposals may be submitted online from now until the deadline of August 26, 2002. Please join us in Arlington for AAAL 2003!

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Speech Science and Technology Conference

The 9th Australian Speech Science and Technology Conference, (SST-2002 Melbourne), will be held at The University of Melbourne from 3 December to 5 December 2002, with a Tutorial Day on 2 December 2002.

Conference website:

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Australian Placenames Colloquium

Australian Placenames: An interdisciplinary colloquium

Call for papers and expressions of interest in attending

A one-day colloquium on Australian placenames, sponsored by the Australian National Placenames Survey and Pandanus Press, will be held at the Australian National University, Canberra, on Thursday 5 December, 2002. (This is the day preceding the AUSTRALEX biennial meeting at the same location.)

A centrepiece of the day will be the launch of The Land is a Map: placenames of Indigenous origin in Australia, edited by Luise Hercus, Flavia Hodges and Jane Simpson (Pandanus Press, 2002). This is a landmark publication in the field of Australian placename research, and most of the papers in it were originally presented at previous colloquia in the series (Canberra 1999 and Adelaide 2000).

The importance of placename study lies in the light it sheds on the cultural history that is the heritage of all Australians. Many placenames in Australia are drawn from Indigenous languages (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages). Researching placenames of Indigenous origin in Australia requires an understanding of Indigenous principles of naming places, of the colonial practices of bestowing names, of the application of names to geographic entities, and for each name the historical circumstances of its bestowal. The task brings together people versed in indigenous knowledge, in language, ethnography, history and geography. While the central focus remains the understanding of the meaning of the placename at the time of bestowal and its subsequent history, placename study raises issues that range from contemporary ownership and the use of placename evidence in native title clams, to the application of philological methods for the renaming of places with Indigenous names.

Everyone interested in attending this event is invited to send their contact details (name, position and institution if applicable, postal address, phone number, and email address) to ANPS research fellow Flavia Hodges, (snailmail: Department of English, Macquarie University, NSW 2109).

Those wishing to make a presentation should in addition send its proposed title, together with an abstract of around 100 words and a note of any equipment required. As a guideline, papers should be 20-25 minutes in length, but this is flexible and suggestions of other activities for the day are welcomed.

Expressions of interest and offers of presentations should be received by Monday 30 September -- but the sooner the better! Further details and a timetable will be circulated in October.

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Australex Biennial Meeting

Call for papers and expressions of interest in attending

The 2002 biennial meeting of AUSTRALEX, the Australasian association for lexicography, will be held at the Australian National University, Canberra, on Friday 6 December, 2002. (This is the day following the ANPS interdisciplinary colloquium on Australian placenames at the same location.)

The proceedings will consist of a number of presentations on lexicographic projects and theoretical issues, a short business meeting to elect officers for the next biennium and discuss future activities, and probably a panel discussion canvassing different perspectives on a topic of widespread interest.

Everyone interested in attending is invited to send their contact details (name, position and institution if applicable, postal address, phone number, and email address) to AUSTRALEX secretary Flavia Hodges, (snailmail: Department of English, Macquarie University, NSW 2109).

Those wishing to make a presentation should in addition send its proposed title, together with an abstract of around 100 words and a note of any equipment required. As a guideline, papers should be 20-25 minutes in length, but this is flexible. Suggestions for the topic of panel discussion and offers to be involved are also very welcome.

Expressions of interest and offers of presentations should be received by Monday 30 September -- but the sooner the better! Further details and a timetable will be circulated in October.

More details about Australex and the meeting are available on the website

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About ALS


  • To further interest in, and support for, linguistic research and teaching in Australia.
  • To organise an annual meeting and visits of local and overseas speakers.
  • To publish a journal of international standing.
  • To organise an International Congress of Linguists when appropriate.
  • To organise an Australian Linguistic Institute.

Benefits of membership

  • Free quarterly Newsletter.
  • Free subscription to the Australian Journal of Linguistics.
  • Membership rates for ALS conference registration.
  • Entitlement to present papers at the Annual Conference.
  • The more intangible benefits of belonging to the network of Australian linguists.

ALS office bearers

President Michael Walsh (Sydney)
Vice-Presidents Verna Rieschild (Macquarie)
Rachel Nordlinger (Melbourne)
Peter Peterson (Newcastle)
Secretary John Henderson (UWA)
Treasurer Doug Absalom (Newcastle)
Journal Editors Toni Borowsky (Sydney)
Mark Harvey (Newcastle)
(Reviews) Alan Libert (Newcastle)
Newsletter Editor Tim Curnow (La Trobe)
Postgrad Student Rep Nick Thieberger (Melbourne)

Next newsletter

The ALS Newsletter is published four times per year. This is the third issue for 2002. The next issue (02/4) will come out in mid November 2002. Copy will be due on the first Monday in November. If you would like to be on the email list for a reminder that the date is approaching, contact the Newsletter Editor.

Please send copy, and any queries, comments or suggestions to Tim Curnow (

The ALS journal

The ALS publishes a journal, the Australian Journal of Linguistics (AJL) twice a year. The latest issue is 22/1. The journal is published by Carfax (Taylor & Francis),

Correspondence regarding papers and reviews should be sent to any of the editors or the reviews editor (contact details in office bearers section).

ALS membership and address changes

In general, subscriptions are due at the beginning of each calendar year, unless you pay for several years at a time. The year you are paid to is shown on the address label on the envelope your journal comes in. If you haven't paid at all this century, you won't be getting any more journal issues ...

A form is available on the website to renew your subscription.

This may be a good time to remind you that apart from email addresses, there is only one membership list and that is maintained by the Treasurer, Doug Absalom. If you need to change your address or make other enquiries, please do it through him.