Newsletter August 2005

Welcome to the August issue of the Newsletter of the Australian Linguistic Society. As usual, in what follows 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.

Tim Curnow

ALS 2005

Don't forget the ALS 2005 Conference, coming up next month, 28-30 September. Early bird registration ends on 12 August, and registration closes on 16 September!

The Conference will be in Melbourne this year, hosted by Monash University's Linguistic Program. Have a look at the website to see what's on.

Those who are giving a paper may be interested to note that there will be conference proceedings, and that full papers must be submitted by 7 October 2005 to be accepted. See the website for details.

From the Treasurer

About twenty copies of the most recent AJL were returned as undeliverable, which means that members have not informed us of address changes (or we somehow lost the information). Among them are Asha Rajan, Ria Jubhari, Sadami Kondo, Susan Kaldor, Mike Dowman, Cathy Bow, Giao Tran, Ian Green, Gary Williams, Greg Mellow, Annik Foreman, Andrew Ingram, Casuarina Pearson and Daphne Huang. If you happen to be one of these people, or know the current whereabouts of these people, could you let Doug know via email,

The other big piece of news is that I'm retiring from my position at University of Newcastle on 15 December 2005. At that stage, I should be able to devote more time to keeping the ALS books and membership up to date.

Doug Absalom

Report from the Editors of AJL

The Australian Journal of Linguistics continues to publish under the new leadership at Taylor and Francis. At this time the editors and the publishers are working to get AJL onto the DEST list of refereed journals. [News Flash: Success! AJL is now included on DEST's peer-reviewed journals register.] As discussed some years back at an ALS annual meeting, a new editorial board has been appointed including the following people:

  • Associate Professor David Bradley, La Trobe University
  • Professor Kate Burridge, Monash University
  • Associate Professor Alan Dench, University of Western Australia
  • Dr Nick Enfield, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
  • Professor Nicholas Evans, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Margaret Florey, Monash University
  • Dr Jen Hay, University of Canterbury
  • Professor Nikolaus Himmelmann, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • Dr Mary Laughren, University of Queensland
  • Dr Rachel Nordlinger, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Jane Simpson, University of Sydney
  • Dr Jae Jung Song, University of Otago
  • Dr Marija Tabain, La Trobe University
This board is in effect from 1 July 2005.

The editors continue to encourage the membership to submit papers to the journal. At present the journal is in good standing because of a number of special issues. However, we aim to produce regular issues with high quality papers. The ranking of the journal both locally and internationally is dependent upon the quality of the papers submitted. The great majority of papers should come from the membership but at the moment that is probably not the case. As members you have the principal input to the status of the journal.

AJL 25.1, a special edition edited by Margaret Florey and Pat McConvell has recently appeared. Issue 25.2 is complete and in press. This volume is a regular issue of the journal edited by Mark and Toni. Issue 26.1 will again have a guest editor, Rachel Nordlinger.

Toni Borowsky, Mark Harvey

News from the RCLT

The RCLT welcomes a new visitor, Professor Dr Mechthild Reh of the University of Hamburg, a leading expert on grammaticalization and on African languages, their typology and grammatical structures. She will be at RCLT between 29 July and 9 October, and will be finalising her book A typology of experiencer constructions (African languages).

Dr Oliver Iggesen has been awarded a three-year RCLT Research Fellowship. He will be documenting Chacobo and Pacahuara, the two Panoan languages of Bolivia.

Seino van Breugel, a PhD student at RCLT, has commenced his fieldwork on Atuŋ [the final letter should be a velar nasal symbol, but I can't promise how it will show up on your browser; have you got your browser set to view Unicode or Automatic encoding? TJC], a Tibeto-Burman language of North-East India.

Rik de Busser, a PhD student at RCLT, is shortly to commence his fieldwork on Bunun, an Austronesian language of Taiwan.

Several books by members of the RCLT have been recently published or accepted for publication.

Dixon, R. M. W. 2005. A semantic approach to English Grammar. Oxford: Oxford University Press. This is a revised and enlarged second edition of Dixon's best-selling 1991 monograph, A New Approach to English Grammar, on Semantic Principles. Three new chapters have been added: on Tense and Aspect, Adverbs and Negation, and Nominalisations and Possession. It has been published in hardback and paperback.

Morey, Stephen. 2005. Tai languages of Assam: a grammar and texts. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. A special feature of this book is an accompanying CD with sound files, text files and comprehensive linking to a document within the grammar.

Iggesen, O. 2005. Case asymmetry: a world-wide typological study on lexeme class dependent deviations in morphological case inventories. Munich: Lincom Europa.

A volume from RCLT's 2004 International Workshop on Complement clauses and complementation strategies has been accepted for publication by Oxford University Press, under the title: Complement clauses and complementation strategies: a cross-linguistic typology, edited by R. M. W. Dixon and A. Y. Aikhenvald (volume 3 in the series Explorations in linguistic typology, edited by Aikhenvald and Dixon).

Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald


From Report No. 2 of the Linguistic Society of Australia, 23 April 1968.

"The workshop will meet on the 27th and 28th of May in Canberra. It is too early yet to present a detailed programme. Papers in the following fields have tentatively been offered up to date: types of speech communities in Australia (Clyne, Jernudd, Kaldor, Neustupny), speaking problems (Cunningham, Flint, Laycock), aboriginal languages (Hall, de Zwaan) and grammatical theory (Clowes and Zatorski, Franklin, Hammarström, Zimek). More contributions may be offered."

"The Journal. Professor U.G.E. Hammarström has been elected Chairman of the Editorial Board. The Editorial Board asks all members to communicate the titles of those papers that they:

  1. would be prepared to submit to the proposed Society Journal before the end of this year, or
  2. would have available before the end of 1969.
The terms of reference of this Board includes such a survey to estimate the possibilities of founding a Society Journal."

Tim Curnow

News from the University of Adelaide

Linguistics at the University of Adelaide has recently introduced a couple of new courses.

Australian Indigenous Languages (Undergraduate - Level II and III). This course will provide an introduction to Australia's Indigenous languages, with a particular focus on the Indigenous languages of South Australia. It is professionally desirable for students of linguistics to become familiar with non-Indoeuropean languages. It is especially relevant to students of anthropology and students intending to work in Aboriginal education, health and other service delivery areas. The course will be delivered in collaboration with Indigenous groups and will be a source of affirmation of identity for Indigenous students. Similar courses have been attractive to international students wishing to find out about Indigenous Australia. The course will address the following topics: Australia's Indigenous languages today; language, land and identity; the distribution of Australian languages; South Australian languages; language and culture; sounds and writing systems; words: a window on Australian languages; grammar of Australian languages; language connections; comparative Australian linguistics; mission linguistics; language maintenance, reclamation and revival; Australian languages in education; SA Pidgin, Aboriginal English and Australian creoles; interpreting and translation; prospects for the future.

Language Teaching Methods: TESOL/LOTE/Literacy (Postgraduate). The course is designed to prepare students for teaching in different settings. It introduces a theoretical framework for language pedagogy which conceptualises language learning and teaching as processes of socialisation. Students review instructional techniques, plan lessons, develop resources, and construct assessment procedures. They examine a variety of syllabuses and curricula to become familiar with preparation of teaching materials based on them. Students rehearse techniques in micro-teaching sessions, which are video-recorded for analysis. The course includes a Practicum, in which students systematically document lesson observations, prepare instructional materials and teach under supervision.

Rob Amery

Language Endangerment in the Sinosphere

Issue number 173 of the International Journal of the Sociology of Language has just come out. This issue is a special issue entitled 'Language Endangerment in the Sinosphere'. It is edited by David Bradley and contains ten articles and one review on various endangered languages of China.

David Bradley

News from RSPAS, ANU

Malcolm Ross was Christensen Fellow at St Catherine's College, Oxford, from mid-April until late June 2005. He gave a talk on Oceanic Austronesian historical linguistics to the Oxford Graduate Seminar on 30 May. Two weeks earlier, he was keynote speaker at the first Workshop of the UK Austronesian Research Group at St Catz. This network has been organised by Bill Palmer, formerly of Sydney University and now at the University of Surrey. The first UKARG meeting took place in April, when the speaker was Bethwyn Evans, a stalwart member of CRLC, formerly of the ANU and now at Manchester University. In early June Malcolm was a speaker at the Loanword Typology Project workshop at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, then at a workshop on contact in the Pacific at the University of Oslo.

Basil Wilson, chief Copy Editor for Pacific Linguistics, is retiring at the end of June. We will miss his limericks, short stories and tales of apartment life in the suburbs of South Canberra, as well as his professional skills. Basil first worked for the Department way back in 1973-76 as a linguistic assistant under the aegis of Professor Stephen Wurm. Among the fruits of his labours in that period was the famous Wurm and Wilson reference work an English finderlist of reconstructions in Austronesian languages, a work which surprised Basil by giving him a reputation as an Austronesianist. After a long stint as a public servant Basil rejoined the Department in 1993. Basil brings to his copy-editing work a rare combination of attributes that make him an ideal editor of books on linguistics - a considerable knowledge of the technicalities of linguistic analysis, scholarly thoroughness that stops short of obsessiveness, a feel for good style, patience in dealing with sloppy and difficult authors and a sense of humour and perspective. Basil, we wish you all the best and will try to leave you in peace but don't be surprised if we send out a copy-editing SOS call now and then.

Wayan Arka is now doing fieldwork in Flores Indonesia after attending two conferences in Indonesia. He gave a talk as keynote speaker on the core-oblique distinction in the Austronesian languages of Indonesia at the ALT VI conference in Padang on 25 July 2005. One week earlier he also presented two papers and a poster with demonstration in relation to his current ELDP project on Rongga at the national MLI (Indonesian Linguistic Society) conference which was also held in Padang. He was also invited to give a lecture at the University of Andalas. Wayan will be back in Canberra early October.

Wayan Arka

News from the University of Sydney

Nick Riemer has returned from France to take up a position in the Department of English.

Caroline Lipovsky has completed her doctoral thesis and is taking up a position in the Department of French. Her thesis was "Negotiating solidarity: a social-linguistic approach to job interviews", with supervisors Alice Caffarel, Jim Martin and Jane Simpson. Abstract: In any kind of encounter, you are often judged, amongst other things, after your behaviour. This is why people often engage in impression management to influence their audience in a desirable way. Controlling one's interlocutor's impressions is particularly important if there is much at stake, or if something can be lost or gained from a given interaction,so a good way to investigate impression management is to look at job interviews. This study sets to find out how candidates and interviewers, in the course of a job interview, manage the impression they make on one another. This study is based on the analysis of video-recordings and transcriptions of four authentic interviews in either French or French and English (83 minutes), five role-played interviews in French (74 minutes), and follow-up interviews with candidates and interviewers for both authentic and role-played interviews (23 hours 34). All but two of the candidates were native speakers of English, whereas the interviewers were native speakers of French or English; however there were few intercultural misunderstandings in the interviews with the French L2 speakers. The analysis uses systemic functional linguistics to identify key elements of the participants speech, and the theory of politeness to interpret the motivations for their choices. The findings are supported by the candidates' and interviewers' post-interview comments. The study focuses on three areas: the candidates' negotiation of their expertise, the interviewers' and candidates' negotiation of a common identity, and their negotiation of rapport. The analysis shows that the candidates' enactment of their expertise (how they talk about it) is more important for the impression they make on their interviewers than their actual skills and professional experience. Successful candidates volunteer relevant, sufficient and precise information through numerous full clauses, material processes that describe what they did or do at work, circumstantial adjuncts that express where, when, how, etc, they perform/ed tasks at work, and show in-group knowledge through technical language. Then, the interviewers and candidates may highlight co-membership through their use of the semantic resources of Involvement (e.g. familiar terms of address and informal or specialised language) or humorous utterances and joking. They may also try to establish co-membership by discussing shared attributes of their identity, through small talk about common acquaintances, or self-disclosure of information pertaining to their non-professional life. An appraisal analysis highlighted that candidates also share feelings and beliefs with their interviewers in order to show they belong. For instance, they make positive judgements on their capability to perform in their job to negotiate their professional co-membership. They also display positive feelings, such as enthusiasm and passion for their job to negotiate empathy, and a positive attitude to emphasise they are the kind of individuals people want to work with. On the other hand, interviewers share positive feelings and appreciations about the candidate's performance in the interview to build rapport and appear friendly as future colleagues. Thus, this study illustrates how the interviewers and candidates lexico-grammatical and semantic choices play a role in their impression of one another and how they successfully manage to bond with each other.

Jane Simpson

News from Linguistics, Arts, ANU

We regret to report the death of Timothy Shopen on 6 June 2005, after a lengthy illness. The funeral on 10 June was a memorable occasion, with eloquent tributes from linguistic and musical associates. Tim was a member of the Linguistics Department of ANU from 1975 to 1998, and a Visiting Fellow in the School of Language Studies during the last few years. The second edition of his 3-volume magnum opus, Language Typology and Linguistic Description, will be seen through press by his co-editor Matthew Dryer.

Some recently PhDs are:

  • Evershed Kwazu Amuzu: Ewe-English Codeswitching - A Composite rather than Classic Codeswitching
  • Meiyun Chang-Smith: First Language Acquisition of Functional Categories in Mandarin Nominal Expressions: A Longitudinal Study of Two Mandarin Speaking Children
  • Radu Ionel Daniliuc: Relevance in advertising: a conceptual approach
  • Shunichi Ishihara: An acoustic-phonetic descriptive analysis of Kagoshima Japanese tonal phenomena
Recently completed Masters of Linguistics are:
  • Bevan Barrett: Historical reconstruction of the Maric languages of Central Queensland
  • Koichi Honda: Phonological history of Vietnamese: with special focus on the phonological system of Middle Vietnamese
  • Pema Wangdi: Sharchokpa-lo Phonology and Morphosyntax

The latest edition of the Newsletter of the Centre for Research on Language Change is available at

Harold Koch

News from Macquarie University

Macquarie University Linguistics has news (fresh and archived) online at

Verna Rieschild


Publications received, August 2005

The following is a list of publications relating to the study of language, received by the Reviews Editor. 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.

  • Baker, P. (2005) Public Discourses of Gay Men. Routledge, London.
  • Casadio, C. P. J. Scott, and Rag Seely, eds. (2005) Language and Grammar: Studies in Mathematical Linguistics and Natural Language. Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford, CA.
  • Chomsky, N. (1980/2005) Rules and Representations (foreword by N. Hornstein). Columbia University Press, New York.
  • Cinque, G. and R. S. Kayne, eds. (2005) The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Syntax. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Himmelmann, N. P. and E. F. Schultze-Berndt (2005) Secondary Predication and Adverbial Modification. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Hoffman, S. (2005) Grammaticalization and English Complex Prepositions. Routledge, London.
  • Li, Y. (2005) A Theory of the Morphology-Syntax Interface. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
  • McKinnon, S. and S. Silverman (2005) Complexities: Beyond Nature and Nurture. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL.
  • Widdows, D. (2004) Geometry and Meaning. CSLI, Stanford.
Alan Libert

Upcoming Conferences

Australian Language and Speech Conference

Sydney, 15-16 December 2005

The 15th Australian Language and Speech Conference is being hosted by the Speech Hearing and Language Research Centre and the Department of Linguistics at Macquarie University in Sydney on December 15th and 16th 2005.

Invited speakers are Professor Catherine Best (Chair in Psycholinguistic Research, MARCS Auditory Laboratories, UWS) and Professor Brian Byrne (School of Psychology, University of New England).

Preliminary information about the conference can be found on the website at

Please note that papers focusing on any area of language processing or linguistics will be considered. The closing date for abstract submissions is September 23rd 2005.

If you require any further information, or would like to be added to the mailing list, please contact

Felicity Cox

Training workshop on linguistic data management

Melbourne, 27 September 2005

A one-day training workshop on linguistic data management will be offered by the Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity (RNLD) on September 27th 2005 preceding the Australian Linguistic Society Conference, to be held at Monash University's Melbourne City campus. There will be a $40 charge to cover costs.

The training workshop will cover the following topics:

  • general linguistic data management
  • archiving data before analysis rather than some time after
  • creation of persistent identification and citability of data
  • creating metadata and managing small-medium scale linguistic data collections
  • transcription of digital media with time-alignment of transcripts
  • interlinearising multilingual data with Shoebox
  • managing a lexical database as the basis for dictionary production, using Shoebox
  • conversion of data using regular expressions
Please contact Nick Thieberger ( to reserve a place at this workshop.

Nick Thieberger

Australian Placenames of Indigenous Origin

Canberra, 1 October 2005

The timetable and a registration form for this conference have been emailed to all who earlier expressed interest in attending, and are also available on the ANPS website at Early-bird registration fees apply until the end of August.

Flavia Hodges

Conceptualising Communication

University of New England, 8-9 December 2005

Conceptualising Communication: Building Cross-disciplinary Understanding in Human Communication Science, University of New England, NSW, Australia, Thur/Fri 8th-9th December, 2005


This two-day workshop targets a major barrier to cross-disciplinary research in the human communication sciences: fundamental differences among disciplines in their understanding of what communication is. The workshop aims to

  • identify concepts of communication operating in a range of disciplines
  • explore existing and potential avenues to improving interdisciplinary collaboration

Plenary speakers

  • Prof. Catherine Best, MARCS Laboratories, University of Western Sydney
  • Prof. Michael Corballis, Psychology, University of Auckland
  • Prof. Roger Dean, Sonic Research Group, University of Canberra
  • Prof. Peter Eklund, Information Systems, University of Wollongong

Call for papers: Proposals are sought for half hour papers addressing the general theme from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives. The number of papers is limited to allow plenty of time for group discussion. Some possible topics are listed on the workshop website at Publication of workshop proceedings is envisaged as a well-informed cross-disciplinary introduction to 'communication'.

Student scholarships: A number of student scholarships are available to cover travel and accommodation costs of Australian/New Zealand students who wish to attend. To apply see The closing date for scholarship applications is 5th Sept. 2005.

Cost: Thanks to the sponsors, registration for the workshop is free, and discussion-only participation is welcome. However, registration is essential, as numbers are limited.

Submission procedure: Submissions for half-hour presentations should take the form of a 300-word abstract. Authors should not self-identify anywhere in the abstract. Please email your submission to, with 'ConCom05 submission' as subject line. You can either enclose your abstract in the message body (i.e., send it as plain text) or attach it as PDF file (which must not contain any author information). The body of message should in any case commence with the title of presentation, name and affiliation of author(s), and contact postal address, email address, and phone number. The closing date for submissions is 5 September 2005.

Sponsors: ARC Human Communication Science Network ( and UNE's Language and Cognition Research Centre ( Note that the workshop integrates in time with several other relevant HCSNet events.

Contacts: The conference website is, and the organisers can be contacted on

Andrea Schalley

Tenure-track position, University of California, Berkeley

Pending budgetary approval, the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley has been authorized to make a tenure-track appointment at the rank of assistant professor. Salary will be commensurate with experience; the PhD is required by July 1, 2006, the starting date of the appointment. Duties will include undergraduate and graduate teaching (four courses per year) and advising, supervision of student research, and development of a successful and original research program.

We invite applications from linguists specializing in either of the following: the social or demographic contexts of language, or languages of the Pacific or the Asian Pacific Rim. Applicants under the first rubric could include specialists in language variation, sociolinguistics, anthropological linguistics, dialectology, language contact, creole linguistics, or mixed languages (among other areas). Applicants under the second rubric could include areal specialists in East or Southeast Asian, Austronesian, Papuan, or Australian languages, and could include linguists working on any aspect of language structure, history, or context. Under either rubric, applicants should have a broad intellectual engagement with the field of linguistics, a theoretically informed and empirically grounded research specialization, and demonstrated excellence in teaching. We are especially interested in applicants whose research involves quantitative analysis, corpus work, documentary linguistics, or other new methodologies.

Applications should include a curriculum vitae, representative work, and evidence of excellence in teaching; three letters of recommendation should also be sent. (Please direct referees to for the University's statement on confidentiality.) Applications and supporting materials should be sent to the following address:
Search Committee
University of California
Department of Linguistics
1203 Dwinelle Hall #2650
Berkeley, CA 94720-2650

Applications must be received by November 15, 2005; late applications will not be considered. Questions can be sent by email to: The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

Nick Evans

Jobs, grants, and scholarships

Postdoctoral Fellowship, RCLT, La Trobe University

Applications are invited for a two-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the Research Centre for Linguistic Typology at La Trobe University in Melbourne. This is to commence within six months from the date of offer.

Applicants should have been awarded their doctorate within the last five years. They should have experience of linguistic fieldwork and will, ideally, have already completed a grammatical description of some previously undescribed language (not their native language) in terms of basic linguistic theory. The University may consider cases in which the period is in excess of five years due to special circumstances. Applications will be considered from candidates whose thesis is currently under examination. Applicants must hold a doctoral degree or have equivalent qualifications at the date of appointment. La Trobe graduates should normally have a minimum of two years postdoctoral research experience at another institution. A Fellowship will not normally be awarded to an applicant who holds a permanent appointment within the University.

The successful applicant will work as part of a team with Professor R.M.W. Dixon, Professor Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, and other members of the Research Centre, on a topic relating to languages preferably from South America or New Guinea (although applicants with primary interest in another area would be considered). They will undertake extensive fieldwork and will either (i) produce a comprehensive description of some previously undescribed language; or (ii) pursue an in-depth study of a language contact situation. Exceptionally, applicants may suggest their own research topics, which must fall within the ambit of RCLT's research profile. Option (ii) will be suitable for someone who already has good knowledge of one or more of the languages involved in a suitable contact situation. The choice of project will be made after discussion between the successful applicant and Professors Dixon and Aikhenvald.

The Fellowship will be a two-year appointment and is intended to advance the research activities of the University by bringing to or retaining in Australia a promising scholar.

Enquiries should be directed initially to the Associate Director of RCLT, Professor Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald (email, phone +61 3 9479 6402).

Further information and the application form may be obtained from

The application must be received by the Secretary of the RCLT Research Committee, Mrs May Tan, no later than 23 September 2005. Applicants should supply the names and addresses of three academic referees; they should ask each referee to provide a confidential statement, to reach the RCLT Research Office directly by 23 September 2005. Applicants should also send in hard copies of their theses and/or dissertations, and of published work (including papers in press).

Salary Range: currently A$50,336 pa. - A$52,184 pa
Closing Date: 23 September 2005

Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

About ALS

The Australian Linguistic Society is the national organization for linguists and linguistics in Australia. Its primary goal is to further interest in and support for linguistics research and teaching in Australia. Further information about the Society is available by clicking here.

The ALS Newsletter is issued four times per year, in the middle of February, May, August and November. Copy for the Newsletter should be sent to the Editor, Tim Curnow ( 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's time to contribute material; if you wish to be added to that list, send Tim an email.

Unless you paid for several years at a time, or have given the Treasurer your credit card details and permission to use it, 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 your copy of the Australian Journal of Linguistics comes in. A subscription form is available by clicking here.

The only membership list is maintained by the Treasurer, Doug Absalom ( If you wish to check your membership status, change your address or make some other enquiry, please contact Doug.