Newsletter February 2003

ALS Newsletter February 2003

ALS 03/1, February 2003

From the editor

Welcome to the February Newsletter of the Australian Linguistic Society. It's coming to you a little earlier in the month than usual, since I'm about to pack up and move from Melbourne to Brisbane. Consequently, please note that my La Trobe University e-mail address will stop working, probably at the beginning of March - you can contact me from now on Hopefully my move will be relatively seamless from the point of view of the ALS website management, ALS Online and the Newsletter, but for the next month or so be aware that things might not happen quite as quickly as they sometimes have in the past, so if you want to send me any messages to distribute through ALS Online, please try and give me as much lead time as possible!

Thanks, Tim Curnow,

Australian Journal of Linguistics

Submissions urgently requested from linguists working in Australia and New Zealand. We are particularly keen to encourage submissions from postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows working in linguistics!

Information for contributors is available at:


News and information

Are you financial????

Membership fees for ALS for the current calendar year are now due. Fees remain the same as for last year with full membership being $50, student membership $20 and joint membership $60, with a $5 discount being applicable if fees are paid by March 1st. There is a renewal form on the ALS website showing details of the information required (, particularly current e-mail addresses, and fees should be paid to the treasurer, Doug Absalom, either by posting cheque or credit card details to him at Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle, NSW, 2308, or by contacting him at

Your present financial status would have been included on the address label of your last AJL, but few people seem to read that label and even fewer retain it for later reference. If you are unsure of your financial status (and some members have forgotten to renew since the turn of the century!) then please contact Doug for this information.

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Awabakal language website

Readers may be interested in the new website on the Awabakal language (Newcastle-Lake Macquarie region), which includes the first-ever publication of The Gospel of St Mark in Awabakal (1837), online at:

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News from the RCLT

Carola Emkow has just returned to the Research Centre for Linguistic Typology at La Trobe University from a successful fieldtrip in Bolivia where she worked on Araona, a previously undescribed Tacana language.

Two books were recently published by members of the Centre: Sasha Aikhenvald's Language contact in Amazonia, and Bob Dixon and Sasha Aikhenvald (editors), Word: A cross-linguistic typology. For details, see Books section, below.

A local Workshop on Imperatives and other types of command will meet fortnightly at the RCLT, La Trobe University, on Wednesday from 4.00 - 5.30 p.m., commencing in February 2003. At the first meeting, Sasha Aikhenvald presented a position paper on the parameters of variation of imperatives and strategies used for commands across the world's languages. At subsequent meetings, members of the Workshop each give 30-minute presentations on imperatives and commands in a language on which they have specialised knowledge. At the end, we will attempt to put forward appropriate inductive generalisations. The position paper for the workshop is available at

The RCLT will hold an International Workshop on Serial Verbs on 9-14 June 2003. The position paper by A. Aikhenvald on Serial verbs is available at

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News from UNE

Karen Woodman has recently accepted appointment to a permanent position co-ordinating UNE's online Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics degree. Karen took part in the IDP Gulf Roadshow in November, touting the MAAL to new markets in Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Oman and Dubai.

18 months since its commencement UNE's online Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics has celebrated it first graduands completing this degree. The MAAL now has almost 100 students from all over the world, with 45 new enrolments for 2003.

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Language Contact in Amazonia (Aikhenvald)

Alexandra Aikhenvald, 2002, Language contact in Amazonia. Oxford University Press. Hardback. ISBN: 019925785X, Pages: 350 pp, Price: A$175.00 approx.

This book investigates the contact between Arawak and Tucanoan languages spoken in the Vaupes river basin in northwest Amazonia, which spans Colombia and Brazil. In this region language is seen as a badge of identity: language mixing is resisted for ideological reasons. The book considers which parts of the language categories are likely to be borrowed. This study also examines changes brought about by recent contact with European languages and culture, and the linguistic effects of language obsolescence. Book URL:

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Word: A cross-linguistic typology (Dixon & Aikhenvald)

R.M.W. Dixon & Alexandra Aikhenvald (editors), 2002, Word: A cross-linguistic typology. Cambridge University Press. Hardback. ISBN: 0521818990, 353 pages. Price: A$150 approx.

A volume including revised versions of papers presented at our 2000 Workshop (held at La Trobe University), Word: a cross-linguistic typology, edited by Dixon and Aikhenvald, was published in December 2002 by Cambridge University Press. After the introductory chapter, 'Word: a typological framework', by R. M. W. Dixon and Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, there are the following chapters: 'Typological parameters for the study of clitics, with special reference to Tariana', by Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald; 'The word in Cup'ik', by Anthony C. Woodbury; 'The word in Eastern/Central Arrernte', by John Henderson; 'The eclectic morphology of Jarawara, and the status of word', by R. M. W. Dixon; 'Towards a notion of 'word' in sign languages', by Ulrike Zeshan; 'Synchronic and diachronic perspective on 'word' in Siouan', by Robert Rankin, John Boyle, Randolph Graczyk and John Koontz; 'What is a word in Dagbani', by Knut J. Olawsky; 'The word in Georgian', by Alice C. Harris; 'The word in Modern Greek', by Brian Joseph; and 'What can we conclude?', by P. H. Matthews.

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The land is a map (Hercus et al)

The land is a map: Placenames of Indigenous origin in Australia, edited by Luise Hercus, Flavia Hodges and Jane Simpson. Canberra; Pandanus Press and Pacific Linguistics. 210 x 297mm; xxv + 304 pages. ISBN 1 74076 020 4.

This book contains papers on indigenous place names practices by Luise Hercus and Jane Simpson, David Wilkins, Michael Walsh, Patrick McConvell, on documenting particular systems by Peter Sutton, Franca Tamisari, Brett Baker, Barry Alpher, Bernhard Schebeck, on reconstructing systems of placenames by Edward Ryan, Rob Amery, Anna Ash, Philip Jones, on the interaction between the two placenames systems by Paul Monaghan and Tamsin Donaldson, and on assigning and reinstating placenames by Nicholas Reid, Rob Amery and Georgina Yambo Williams.

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Jobs, grants and scholarship possibilities

Tenders, consultancies Gurang Land Council

Gurang Land Council (Aboriginal Corporation)
Native Title Representative Body

Invitation to Tender, Consultants, 2002/2003 and 2003/2004

Gurang Land Council (Aboriginal Corporation), Native Title Representative Body, invites tenders from suitably qualified and experienced professionals to provide Consultancy services in 2002/2003 and 2003/2004 financial years in the following disciplines:

  • Law (Solicitor and Barristers in Native Title, Commercial, Administrative, General)
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Linguistics
  • History (Including experienced researchers)
  • Natural and Cultural Heritage Resource Management
  • Land and Marine Use and Management
  • Social, Economic and Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Regional Planning
  • Community Development and Participatory Planning Techniques
  • Economic Development
  • Mining Economics/Financial Analysis
  • Negotiation & Mediation
  • Valuation
  • Financial and Management Services
  • Auditor
  • Information Technology

Interested parties should provide written submissions addressing the criteria detailed in the information package. Submissions that meet our requirements will be entered onto our Register of Consultants.

The Register will be used as the basis for selecting consultants to quote for specific projects in 2002/2003 and 2003/2004. Expertise in Native Title and experience working with Aboriginal people in Central Queensland will be a distinct advantage in some of the disciplines mentioned above. The Gurang Land Council (Aboriginal Corporation) is an equal opportunity employer. Indigenous people are encouraged to apply.

An information package must be obtained by contacting Gurang Land Council (Aboriginal Corporation) on (07) 4153 3990 by 5th February. Further details can be provided by Faye Cooke on (07) 4153 3990 or Sharyn Craig on mobile 04238533801.

Tenders should be submitted by 14th February 2003. They should be addressed to:
Register of Consultants
Gurang Land Council (Aboriginal Corporation)
PO Box 1551
Fax: (07) 4153 3615

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Post-doc position, Multi-modal interaction

Max-Planck-Institut für Psycholinguistik, Nijmegen

Scientific staff position in the field of 'multi-modal interaction'

A post-doctoral research position for 3 years (renewable for further 2 years) is available from July 2003. Candidates must have demonstrable interests in the study of human interaction and communication, and may have backgrounds in areas such as linguistics, psychology, anthropology, communication, or another relevant field. Command of a non-Indo-European language, experience in fieldwork, interaction-coding or relevant experimental methods could be an advantage. The project involves interdisciplinary investigation of the fundamentals of human interaction, with theoretical considerations such as 'theory of mind', multimodal integration of information, coordination of natural interaction, semantics/pragmatics interface. Applications should include: vita, statement of research interests, names of three referees. For further details see:

Send expressions of interest or applications to:
Dr. N. J. Enfield (
Max-Planck-Institut für Psycholinguistik
Postbus 310
6500 AH Nijmegen
The Netherlands
Fax: 31-24-3521213

Deadline for receipt of applications: March 15th 2003

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Conferences and workshops

2003 Australian Linguistic Society conference

This year's Annual Conference of the Australian Linguistic Society will be held at the University of Newcastle from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th September, with welcome, etc. on the Friday night and papers on Saturday and Sunday (finishing reasonably early to let people escape).

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Language and the Law

The sixth International Conference on Language and the Law, sponsored by the International Association of Forensic Linguists, will be held on 9-12 July 2003 in Sydney. It is being hosted by the Linguistics Department of the University of Sydney.

Papers will be presented on all topics involving linguistic analysis of legal issues, including: forensic linguistics (linguistic evidence/expertise), linguistic interaction in the courtroom, analysis/interpretation of legal texts, court interpreting, multilingualism/language policy, ethics of testifying/consulting on linguistic matters, and corpus-based approaches to legal issues.

For full details on the conference, see the website at

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Morphology and Language Typology (MMM4, 2003)

Call for papers: MMM4, Morphology and Language Typology - Catania (Sicily, Italy), September 21-23, 2003

Geert Booij (University of Amsterdam)
Angeliki Ralli (University of Patras)
Sergio Scalise (University of Bologna)
Salvatore Sgroi (Local organizer, University of Catania)


  • Which of the Greenberg universals on morphology have stood the test of time, and in which ways do they have to be corrected?
  • Which new typological universals might be proposed for the domain of morphology?
  • How can we explain morphological universals and typological patterns? (potential factors are language change, grammaticalization, language processing, semantics, etc.)
  • What is the relation between syntactic and morphological typological generalizations? (for instance, is there a relation between the position of the head in phrases and that in compounds?)
  • Which role should morphology play in language typology in general? Does the traditional morphological classification of languages (isolating, agglutinative, synthetic, polysynthetic, etc) still make sense?
  • Does the distinction between languages with word-based morphology versus those with stem-based morphology, and that of word-based versus morpheme-based morphology makes sense?
  • Is there a prefix-suffix asymmetry from a typological point of view, and if so, what is he explanation for that?
  • To which extent are the implicational hierarchies of morphological typology reflected by patterns of first and second language acquisition, by patterns of language contact and codeswitching, and by patterns of language change?


  • End of March 2003: one page abstract
  • May 10: notification of the accepted abstracts
  • May 30: Definitive program
  • Sept. 21-23: Meeting

Abstracts cannot exceed one page (normal size, including bibliography, if any) and should be sent to Sergio Scalise ( AND to Salvatore Sgroi ( The abstract page should contain ONLY the title and the text. Your name, affiliation, telephon and fax number, e-mail address and 'terrestrian' address have to be in a separate page of the same attachment. Please, name your attachment in the following way: M4YOURNAME.

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Pidgin and Creole Linguistics Conference

The summer conference of the Society of Pidgin and Creole Linguistics will be held August 14-17 2003 at the Imin International Conference Center at the University of Hawai'i in Honolulu. This is first SPCL conference to be held in the Pacific region! In addition to the usual papers on the linguistic aspects of pidgins, creoles and other language contact varieties, SPCL '03 will feature special sessions on creole literature and applied issues. Other highlights include cultural and scenic tours, Asian-Pacific food and entertainment and the chance to hear Hawai'i Creole English (locally known as "Pidgin").

The call for papers and information about accommodation can be found on the SPCL '03 web site: Or email

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Foundation for Endangered Languages conference

Call for Abstracts

Seventh International Conference hosted by the Foundation for Endangered Languages "Maintaining the Links: Language, Identity and the Land"

Broome, Western Australia, September 22nd - 24th 2003

Minority language groups around the world are endeavouring to maintain their languages, traditions and identities in the face of immense pressures from more dominant languages and cultures in their regions.

Some languages express identity or ethnicity in terms of having and controlling the traditional language normally associated with a particular tract of land. Many other languages, English included, often refer to various ethnic groups and their language varieties in terms of a connection to a particular region, even if only a historical one. Some groups who have been either displaced from their traditional lands or have emigrated to new lands see maintaining their original languages and cultures as a means of reinforcing their identity and keeping alive the links with their homeland.

Throughout the world the relationships between language, land and identity are varied and complex, especially for indigenous communities. For some coastal and seafaring communities the 'sense of place' may be felt in connection with the sea as well as the land. In Siberia the survival of languages can be linked to the continuation of traditional practises such as herding reindeer. In Australia dreaming stories recount the creation of the land and explain, amongst other things, topographical features, animal behaviour and language distribution.

In the Federal and High Courts of Australia, recent native title claims have been won and lost based on whether or not the claimants were able to demonstrate continuous connection with the country under claim. Knowledge of the traditional languages is a factor in determining the extent of that connection. For this reason the sound documentation of languages and their successful maintenance has become more important than ever and has a bearing on people who may not otherwise be concerned about language loss.

The seventh international conference of the Foundation for Endangered Languages aims to better understand the relationships between language, the culture and identity of its speakers, and the land. These understandings can then provide an important guide to establishing priorities, when choosing approaches to documentation and revitalization of endangered languages.

We hope to find answers to many questions:

  • What lies behind the idea, common in indigenous communities, that a language may have an intrinsic link with a place, or a traditional way of life?
  • Are there principles for demarcating functions of different language varieties, such as local and national languages?
  • Can languages be owned? Do small language communities have a right to restrict access to their language, even if it is severely threatened?
  • Do outsiders have any right to know a small community's language?
  • How have so many widely spoken languages lost their link with their homeland? Are all widespread languages (national, imperial, commercial) cut off from their roots?
  • How can we learn from speakers of indigenous languages about cultural identity, and a sense of place?
  • Can knowledge of the language of your forebears link you to a place that you have never seen?
  • Is it possible to successfully document or maintain a language without careful consideration of its cultural and environmental setting?
  • What do the speakers of endangered languages see as the most important thing for the future: documentation in archives or passing on the language to the next generation?
  • Is there a conflict between documentation and archiving on the one hand and language revitalization on the other? Who should set priorities and how should they go about it?
  • What is the relationship between language revitalisation and the connection to ancestral country?

To seek answers to these and other questions the Foundation for Endangered Languages hereby calls for papers to be presented at its seventh conference, Maintaining the Links: Language, Identity and the Land, to be held in Broome, Western Australia.

It is no coincidence that we chose this venue to host the conference. Broome is a growing town in the Kimberley region in the remote north of Western Australia. It is a colourful town with a laid-back atmosphere. To the west the Indian Ocean and beautiful beaches and to the east the Great Sandy Desert, it is spectacular country.

In the 1880s the Kimberley was one of the last regions of the country to be settled by Europeans with the opening of the area to the pastoral industry and the discovery of gold. The town of Broome began with the establishment of the pearling industry. Aboriginal people along with many Japanese, Malays, Filipinos, Timorese, Macassarese and Ambonese worked in this industry which is still one of the town's most important. The influence of Broome Pearling Lugger's Pidgin, now no longer spoken, can be heard in 'Broome Talk', one of the varieties of English spoken by many Broome locals today.

It is a region of great linguistic diversity. There are twenty-five traditional Aboriginal languages still spoken in the Kimberley although many have only a handful of speakers and only two are spoken by children as their first language. As the 'gateway to the Kimberley', Broome is also close to the Pilbara region where there are some 20 languages still spoken.

Australia is a sad example of extreme language endangerment. Over 250 languages were once spoken, but now only ninety or so remain. Initially death from violence and disease, then policies aimed at cultural assimilation have diminished speech communities that had never been large and had devastating effects on the transmission of language from parent to child.

In the last twenty years, regional language centres have emerged as a result of grass roots movements to reclaim and protect local languages. They concern themselves with the production of language materials, facilitation of language revitalisation projects, documentation, archiving and the delivery of interpreting and translation services.

We invite contributions not only from the fields of linguistics and ethnography but also from any practitioners in the field, those with experience of language and cultural maintenance.

The Foundation for Endangered Languages is a registered charity in England and Wales. FEL conferences, besides being opportunities to discuss the issues from a global viewpoint, are working meetings of the Foundation, defining our overall policy for future years. Participants at the conference therefore, unless offering media coverage, need to be members of the Foundation. There are full facilities to join on arrival, but all proposers are strongly urged to join as soon as possible, and so take full part in the Foundation's activities in the lead-up to the conference.

Presentations will last twenty minutes each, with a further ten minutes for discussion. Authors will be expected to submit a written paper for publication in the Proceedings well in advance of the conference. All presentations should be accessible largely in English but use of the languages of interest, for quotation or exemplification would be appropriate.


  • Joseph Blythe, Broome, Western Australia
  • Nicholas Ostler, FEL, Bath, England
  • Chris Moseley, BBC Monitoring Service, England
  • Mahendra Verma, University of York, England
  • McKenna Brown, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
  • Karen Johnson-Weiner, SUNY-Potsdam, USA
  • Louanna Furbee, University of Missouri, USA
  • Abstract Submission

    Abstracts should not exceed 500 words. They can be submitted in either of two ways: (preferably) by electronic submission, but also on paper. They should be in English.

    A) Electronic submission: Electronic submission (by 9th March 2003) should be as attachment in Word format in email message to R. McKenna Brown at

    B) Paper abstracts: Three copies should be sent, (again, for delivery by 9th March), to: R. McKenna Brown, Virginia Commonwealth University, International Studies Program, Box 843080, Richmond, VA 23284-3080 USA (fax +01-804.225.3479). This should have a clear short title, but should not bear anything to identify the author(s).

    On a separate sheet, please include the following information:

    • NAME : Names of the author(s)
    • TITLE: Title of the paper
    • EMAIL: Email address of the first author, if any
    • ADDR: Postal address of the first author
    • TEL: Telephone number of the first author, if any
    • FAX: Fax number of the first author, if any

    The name of the first author will be used in all correspondence. If possible, please also send an e-mail to R. McKenna Brown at informing him of the hard copy submission. This is in case the hard copy does not reach its destination. This e-mail should contain the information specified in the above section.

    Important Dates

    • Abstract submission deadline 9th March
    • Committee's decision 13th April
    • Authors submit camera-ready text 29th June
    • Conference 22nd-24th September

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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 first issue for 2003. The next issue (03/2) will come out in mid May 2003. Copy will be due on the first Monday in May. 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 was 22/2. 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.