Newsletter August 1999

From the editor

Well the new distribution system seems to have worked well and satisfied most needs. Thanks to those who sent comments. We'll keep this system for a while now, so this newsletter will continue to be available to members in three ways, as follows. Please do continue to keep me informed of how it is working for you. In particular it might be useful to find out how many people use the plain text option, as this might not actually be necessary.

  • as a password-protected webpage, at, which you can read on-line or download to print out [If the following is teaching you suck eggs, ignore it: when you have the webpage open in your browser you can 'Save As > Source' and store the whole thing as is on your computer to look at any time in your browser without logging back on; or 'Save As > Text' to save it in exactly the format it comes to you in the email, to edit in your own word processor); you can also 'Print' to print the whole thing as it appears on the screen - takes about 20 pages, but very nice and easy to read.]
  • as a paper version for the (hopefully dwindling number of) those who still require one
  • as plain text in an email message for you to and print out with your own formatting

Important: password required!!

The newsletter and the members' contact list are behind a password on the website, and I send a password for each issue to everyone I have an email address for. If you still haven't let me know your email address, and you are a member, please email me asap on <>.

Members' Contact List

People seem to be using the Members' Contact List more now that it is behind a password. Send me your details on the form provided there, and I will be happy to add them to the list.

Table of Contents

ALS Conference 1999 in Perth including workshops
ALAA conference
NZLS conference
Language and Gender Symposium
Australex 1999
Place-names of Indigenous Origin
International Pragmatics Conference
International Prize
Language maintenance in immigrant communities
New: Jobs in Katherine
Vacancy for foundation chair in Communication Studies
Call for Reviewers
News from the Typology Centre
News from Monash
News from the University of Sydney
News from UNE
Carfax abstracting service
At the Coalface
About ALS
About ALS
ALS Office Bearers
Next newsletter
ALS membership and address changes
ALS journal: The Australian Journal of Linguistics


Useful sources of information on Linguistics and related conferences around the world are:

ALS 1999 Conference

University of Western Australia 28 Sept - 2 Oct

The main information on the conference is provided at the conference website

Major speakers will be

  • Prof. Stephen R. Anderson (Yale)
  • Prof. Janet Holmes (Victoria University of Wellington)
  • Dr Malcolm Ross (ANU)
  • Prof Shirley Brice Heath (Stanford)

Papers are invited in any area of contemporary linguistic research. Selected papers will be published on the web as proceedings of the conference.

Program Outline

  • Tuesday, September 28 evening: Welcome function.
  • Wednesday, September 29 Common day with ALAA conference.
  • Thursday, September 30 General sessions, Annual General Meeting (5pm), Conference Dinner
  • Friday, October 1 General sessions
  • Saturday, October 2 Linguistic Issues in Native Title Claims workshop

Submitting an abstract

The deadline for submitting abstracts was July 1, but late abstracts may be accepted - contact the organisers. Abstracts for papers accepted for the conference are now available at the conference website. The program will be made available via the website in late August.

Workshops, Symposia, Forums

  • 'Non-standard' Dialect Issues, contact Ian Malcolm (
  • Linguistic Issues in Native Title Claims, contact John Henderson (
  • Linguists and Field Texts: What to do with them? contact Harold Koch (
  • Issues in Teaching Linguistics, contact Jane Simpson (
  • Dictionaries for Australian Languages, contact John Henderson ( or Margaret Sharpe (

Back to Table of Contents


If you have access to the web, we would appreciate it if you could use the web registration form at the conference website rather than the e-mail form in this newsletter. See the registration form for the fees.

Conference website


Accommodation has been arranged at two colleges at UWA. The main bookings are with St George's College but there are a limited number of slightly cheaper rooms available at St Thomas More College. Breakfast is included in the quoted rates. Evening meals can be arranged with the colleges at additional cost. A $50 deposit is required to make a booking: you will be expected to pay the remainder of the accommodation charges directly to the relevant college office during your stay. Bookings can be made on the registration form. If your first preference for accommodation is unavailable, the colleges will contact you.

Most of the college accommodation is in single rooms but there are a few twin rooms available in St George's College. If people wishing to share a room are both registering for the conference, both should submit a separate registration form, with both indicating on the registration form the person who has agreed to share with them.


The official conference airline, Ansett, offers conference rates if you quote masterfile number MC 08153. Standard advance purchase fares can be cheaper, though unlike the special conference rates, many require a Saturday night away. Contact Ansett on 131300 for details.

Further information

See the conference website

Or contact:

John Henderson, Centre for Linguistics, UWA, WA 6907
ph. 08 9380 2870
fax 08 9380 1154

Back to Table of Contents

Workshops at ALS99

ALS working party on teaching linguistics

The ALS's working party on teaching linguistics will hold a workshop at the next ALS meeting in Perth to discuss issues in the teaching of linguistics (as decided at the last AGM). With more focus on teaching accountability these days, attendance at this workshop is a good way of earning brownie points - as well as being a useful opportunity to discuss issues such as 'what to include in first year', 'how to integrate multimedia courses into teaching', to share information about who is doing what, and to strengthen collaboration in creation of materials, etc. There will also be discussion of postgraduate teaching and supervision - which again is highly relevant in view of The Green Paper's focus on funding by postgraduate completion, as well as being a useful topic in its own right.

Please e-mail any comments or suggestions to all of us:

ALS Conference Workshop on Linguistic Issues in Native Title Claims

Saturday, October 2

Linguistic evidence has played an increasingly important role in native title claims, as highlighted recently in the Miriuwung-Gajerrong and Yorta-Yorta cases. This workshop will provide an opportunity to draw together the linguistic issues arising in the various claims. It will be of interest to linguists, anthropologists, lawyers and others involved in native title claims.

Papers are invited on all relevant aspects of native title claims, including but not limited to:

  • revisiting the issues of the relationships between language, people and country, including the notion of the language group
  • historical and comparative evidence for the continuity of language in a given area, including
  • use of historical documentation
  • issues of contemporary knowledge and use of language
  • the role of place names and geographical and ecological terms
  • communication in court and in the preparation of claims, including communicative styles
  • interpreting and translation
  • difficulties in communication
  • comparison with similar issues in other countries

More information, including a short bibliography, is available via the ALS conference website. Contact John Henderson at UWA (; ph. 08 9380 2870; fax 08 9380 1154).

Back to Table of Contents

ALS 1999 Forum: Linguists and Field Texts: What to do with them?

Convenors: Harold Koch <> and Peter Carroll <>

Most field linguists record, transcribe, and analyse texts of various kinds in the process of documenting a language. What is done with these texts, apart from being used as a means of discovering and describing the grammar? Many if not most remain in notebooks, filing systems or on hard drives. Should they, or how can they, be made available more widely?

At this ALS 1999 forum we would like to get field linguists to share their ideas and experiences on these matters with one another, with a view to making progress toward getting many of our texts into the public domain in some way.

We propose to introduce the forum with several brief presentations and then have a structured discussion of the issues mentioned in the accompanying outline. We would like participants to come prepared to relate their experiences and desires with regard to field texts to the issues we have flagged. Particular issues (e.g. software for text manipulation) may be explored in greater depth in future years. Anyone interested in presenting a full paper on some aspect of texts is encouraged to submit it for the full ALS conference program. Although the convenors' experience is with Australian Aboriginal languages, we welcome participation by linguists from any language.

Issues for Discussion

  • Previous practice (since Boas)
  • What is the usefulness of texts?
  • Kinds of texts
  • Who is potentially interested in texts?
  • To whom do we have obligations to make texts available?
  • Issues of data collection and management, etc.
  • Issues of publication

Back to Table of Contents

ALS99 Symposium on Issues in Non-standard Dialect Research


  • To provide an international forum for discussion of issues related to research into nonstandard dialects
  • To include specific focus on research in relation to setting (in particular, workplace, school, community and legal contexts)
  • To include non-standard dialect speaker participation
  • To include opportunity for informal inputs as well as formal papers
  • To lead towards appropriate publication of papers and discussion contributed

International Invited Speakers

  • Professor Diana Eades, University of Hawaii
  • Professor Viv Edwards, University of Reading
  • Professor Janet Holmes, Victoria University of Wellington


The symposium will take place on Thursday 30th September (2nd full day of the ALS conference). Final programming is not yet determined but it will probably commence mid-morning (after the opening plenary) and run until mid or late afternoon.

Call for Contributions

Intending participants are invited to express their interest in either:

  • contribution of a symposium paper (30 minutes)
  • short papers or informal contributions (work in progress, discussion of texts, poster presentation, etc, 15 minutes)

Convener (for inquiries, expressions of interest or offers of contributions)

Professor Ian Malcolm
School of Language and Literature, Edith Cowan University
2 Bradford Street, MOUNT LAWLEY, WA 6050

Tel. (08) 9370 6478
Fax. (08) 9370 6027
E-mail <>

Back to Table of Contents

Applied Linguistics Association of Australia Conference

The twenty-fourth annual congress of the Applied Linguistics Association of Australia (ALAA) will be held in Perth, Western Australia, between the 26th and the 29th of September 1999 (back-to-back with the ALS conference). The venue will be St George's College and the Graduate School of Education at the University of Western Australia.

Further information from

Graham Mackay
School of Language and Literature
Edith Cowan University
2 Bradford Street
Mount Lawley Western Australia 6050
Telephone: (08) 9370 6543/+61 8 9370 6543
Fax: (08) 9370 6608/+61 8 9370 6608

Back to Table of Contents

Australian Linguistics Institute 2000

The Australian Linguistic Institute will take place at the University of Melbourne from 3-14 July 2000.

Course presenters and course titles are:

Keith Allan

The Semantics of Number

Avery Andrews

LFG Architecture and Description


Multilingual Management

Gabi Appel

To be announced

Kathleen Bardovi-Harlig

The Acquisition of Second Language Pragmatics

Walter Bisang

Grammaticalization in Southeast Asian Languages

Francis Bond

Machine Translation/Lexicology

John Bowden

The Austronesian Languages of Eastern Indonesia

John Bowden, Nick Evans and Peter Austin

Workshop on Applicative Constructions: a Cross-Linguistic Perspective

Jan Branson and Veronica Pardo

Addresssing Linguistic Human Rights through Bi-lingual Education

Anne Brown, Cathie Elder, Lis Grove, Kathryn Hill, Noriko Iwashita, and Tim McNamara

Doing Language Testing Research

Claudia Brugman

Figures of Speech

Lyle Campbell

Hot Issues in Historical Linguistics

Hilary Chappell

Grammatical Typology of Sinitic Languages

Michael Clyne

Intercultural Communication

Malcolm Coulthard

Forensic Linguistics

Alan Davies

Applied Linguistics or Linguistics Applied: Why the Distinction Matters

Robert Debski

Learning and Teaching Languages with the Web

Diana Eades

Sociolinguistics and the Law

Marie Emmett and Jean Mulder

Language in the Curriculum

Nick Enfield

Linguistics of Mainland Southeast Asia

Margaret Florey and Nick Thieberger

Issues in Training Linguists to Work with Endangered Languages

Cliff Goddard

Ethnopragmatics: At the interface of semantics, pragmatics and culture

Ian Green

The Indigenous Languages of Australia - an introductory overview

Paul Gruba

Language and Digital Media

Mark Harvey

Phonology of Australian Languages

Luise Hercus

Languages of Victoria

Nikolaus Himmelmann

Prosodic Units and Grammatical Constructions

Flavia Hodges

Toponymic Research

James Huang

Argument Structure and Syntactic Structure

Jeri Jaeger

Functional Theories of Language Acquisition

Paul Kay

Construction Grammar

Sotaro Kita and David Wilkins

Gesture and Speech: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

James P. Lantolf

Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Learning

Batia Laufer and Paul Nation

To be announced

Mary Laughren

The Ngumpin-Yapa languages and their neighbours past and present

Penny Lee

Whorfian Linguistics: an Introduction

Stephen Levinson

To be announced

Audrey Li Yen-hui

Phrase Stuctures - a Chinese Perspective

Charles Li

The Evolutionary Origin of Language

Chris Manning and Jane Simpson

Computational Lexicography

Duncan Markham and Meg Rosse

Foreign Accents: Cause and Remedy

Pascual Jose Masullo

Complex Predicates: Theory and Description

Jim Miller

Acquiring Speech and Learning to Write

Peter Mühlhäusler


Ilana Mushin and Lesley Stirling

Deixis and Perspective

David Nathan

Language Multimedia Resources

Mark Newbrook

Skeptical Linguistics

Rachel Nordlinger

Introduction to LFG

Robert L Rankin

The Siouxan languages

Back to Table of Contents

Matt Shibatani

Mood and Modality

Roland Sussex

Prestige Models and American Influences in Australian English

Sally Thomason

Language Contact

Laura Tollfree

Forensic Applications of Phonetics

Jennifer Toms and Berna Hutchins

Introduction to Auslan

Andrea Truckenbrodt and Michèle De Courcy

Issues in Bilingual Education

Robert D.Van Valin Jr.

Role and Reference Grammar

Nigel Vincent

Optimality and Syntactic Theory

Debra Ziegeler

New Insights in Grammaticalisation

The ALI-2000 is offered in conjunction with:

ALAA 2000 (Applied Linguistics Association of Australia) Conference, 7th - 9th July 2000. University of Melbourne.

Contact: Howard Nicholas, <>

ALS2k (Australian Linguistic Society) Conference,

7th - 9th July 2000. University of Melbourne


Australex 2000 10th July 2000.University of Melbourne


ISFC 2000 (27th International Systemic Functional Linguistics Conference) 9th - 14th July, University of Melbourne.


The latest information is available on our website:

Or contact:

ALI-2000, Department of Linguistics & Applied Linguistics,
The University of Melbourne,
Parkville, VIC 3052,
international telephone +613 9344 5488
international fax +613 9344 8990

e-mail: <>

Back to Table of Contents

Australex 1999 Conference

Call for Papers

AUSTRALEX, the Australasian Association for Lexicography, will hold a one-day conference at the Australian National University, Canberra, on Saturday 30th October, 1999. Full details appear on the AUSTRALEX website, at which will be regularly updated.

To register for the conference, please complete the form on the webpage or contact

Dr Bruce Moore
fax +61 2 6249 0475
telephone +61 2 6249 0474;
Australian National Dictionary Centre,
Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200

The registration fee is $30. Information about accommodation available on campus may be found at; a listing of nearby hotels can be obtained from Dr Moore.

To submit a proposal for a paper (20-25 minutes in length) to be read at the conference, please email the President, Jane Simpson < >, or if e-mail is not possible, by post to her at AUSTRALEX President, Department of Linguistics, University of Sydney, NSW 2006 . The 100-word abstract of the paper may be sent as an attachment.

All proposals will be assessed by the AUSTRALEX committee; they should be received by 30th August and acceptance will be confirmed by 20th September. Abstracts of all papers accepted may be posted on the conference web page and full papers may also be published there if the author wishes it.

Back to Table of Contents

Place-names of Indigenous Origin: An Interdisciplinary Workshop

A one-day workshop on Place-names of Indigenous origin in Australia will be held at the Australian National University, Canberra, on Sunday 31st October 1999.

The workshop is sponsored by AUSTRALEX, (the Australasian Association for Lexicography), the National Place-names Project and the Australian Language Research Centre, University of Sydney.

The importance of placename study lies in the light it sheds on the cultural history that is the heritage of all Australians. Many place-names 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 cirucmstances of its bestowal.

The task of understanding place-names brings together people versed in indigenous knowledge, in language, ethnography, history and geography. The central focus remains the understanding of the meaning of the place-name at the time of bestowal and its subsequent history. However, place-name study raises issues that range from contemporary ownership and the use of place-name evidence in native title claims, to the application of philological methods for the renaming of places with indigenous names (as is happening at present in the City of Adelaide).

Papers should be 20-25 minutes in length. All interested researchers are invited to submit proposals for papers to be read at the conference to:

Dr Jane Simpson,
Department of Linguistics F12,
University of Sydney, NSW 2006
Dr Luise Hercus
Linguistics, The Faculties
ANU, GPO Box 4
Canberra ACT 2601

All proposals will be assessed by the conference committee; they should be received by 3rd September, and acceptance will be confirmed by 18th September. Abstracts of all papers accepted will be posted on the University of Sydney Linguistics Department website We intend to publish the proceedings of the conference.

The workshop has been timed to follow the AUSTRALEX conference on 30th October (for details see, which in turn follows the conference (for details email <>):

"Who's centric now? The present state of post-colonial Englishes"

Back to Table of Contents

7th International Pragmatics Conference

Budapest, Hungary; 9-4 July 2000

Special Topic: Cognition in Language Use - the role of perception and representation, memory and planning and metalinguistic awareness.

The conference is open to all other pragmatics-related topics, where pragmatics is conceived broadly as a cognitive, social and cultural perspective on language and communication.

Plenary lecturers

Jens Allwood (Goteborg)
Wolfgang Dressler and Heinz Stark (Vienna)
Rey Gibbs (Santa Cruz)
Auli Hickman (Paris)
John Lucy (Chicago)
Csaba Pleh (Szeged)
Michael Tomasello (Leipzig)

Call for Papers

Letters of intent for the organisation of panels, specifying a clear pragmatics-related topic and explaining the rationale behind the initiative, should reach the IprA Secretariat as soon as possible, but no later than September 15th 1999.

Paper submissions for panel contributions, lectures and posters, as well as proposals for data-sessions should be sent before November 1st to the IPr Secretariat.

IPr Secretariat
PO Box 33 (Antwerp 11)
B-2018 Antwerp
Tel/Fax: 32 3 230 55 74
Home Page:

Back to Table of Contents

13th New Zealand Linguistic Society Conference 1999

The 13th New Zealand Linguistic Society Conference will be held at Massey University, Palmerston North, 24-26th November 1999. For more information contact Dr. John Newman <> or visit the website:

Back to Table of Contents

Language and Gender Symposium

A Language and Gender Symposium, as part of the VUW Centennial celebrations, will be held on 20th and 21st October 1999 at Victoria University of Wellington.


Internet: http://www.vuw.a

Email: <>

Surface address:
Language and Gender Symposium
School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies
Victoria University of Wellington
PO Box 600
Wellington, New Zealand

Back to Table of Contents

International Prize, Fondation Fyssen

The Fyssen Foundation's general aim is 'to encourage all forms of scientific enquiry into cognitive mechanisms, including thought and reasoning, that underlie animal and human behaviour, their biological and cultural bases, and phylogenetic and ontogenetic development'.

For this pupose, an international prize of 200,000FF is awarded annually to a scientist who has conducted distinguished research in the areas supported by the Foundation such as ethology, paleontology, archaeology, anthropology, psychology, epistemology, logic and the neurosciences.

Recipients of previous awards are:

Professors Andre Leroi-Gourhan (1980), William H Thorpe (1981), Vernon B Mountcastle (1982), Harold C Conklin (1983), Roger W Brown (1984), Pierre Buser (1985), David Pilbeam (1986), David Premack (1987), Jean-Claude Gardin (1988), Mrs Patricia Goldman-Racik (1989), Jack Goody (1990), George A Miller (1991), Pasko Rakic (1992), L Luca Cavalli-Sforza (1993), Mrs Lila R Gleitman (1994), William D Hamilton (1995), Colin Renfrew (1996), Michel Jouvet (1997), Alan Walker (1998).

Topics considered for the 1999 prize: Cognitive and Linguistic Anthropology

Candidates may be proposed by recognised scientists. Proposals for candidates should consist of:

  • curriculum vitae
  • list of publications
  • a summary (four pages maximum) of the research

The proposal should be submitted in 15 copies by October 30 1999 to:

Secretariat de la Fondation Fyssen
194 Rue de Rivoli
75001 PARIS

Scientific Committee

Mrs A H Fyssen, President
JP Changeux (Neurobiology) Vice President
S Dehaene (Cognitive Neurosciences)
P Descola (Anthropology)
RA Foley (Prehistory and Human Palaeontology)
Marc Hauser (Primatology)
P Jaisson (Ethology)
SC Levinson (Cognitive Anthropology)
J Mallet (Neurobiology)
T Shallice (Cognitive Neuropsychology)
F Sigaut (Technology and History of Techniques)
W Singer (Neurophysiology)

Back to Table of Contents

Language contact and language maintenance in immigrant communities in Australia

For continuing research on language contact and language maintenance in immigrant communities in Australia, I am eager to hear of any unpublished theses that have been written in those areas.

Michael Clyne <>

Scholarly Articles Research Alerting

This service will deliver tables of contents for any Carfax journal completely free of charge. To register for this complimentary service, please send an e-mail to with the word "INFO" in the body of the message. You will then be asked to choose which titles are of interest. You can request contents pages for all of our journals, for those in a subject cluster, or for just one title. You may leave the list at any time by sending an e-mail containing the message "unsubscribe ajl" to <>. More information is available from

Back to Table of Contents

Jobs at Katherine

The Diwurruwurru-jaru Aboriginal Corporation (the Katherine Regional Aboriginal Language Centre) is currently seeking to fill a number of casual and contract linguist positions. We would greatly appreciate it if you could bring these positions to the notice of any students (present, former and post-grad etc) who may be interested. They can find out more about the positions by contacting:-

Robin Hodgson (Coordinator)
ph. (08) 89 711 233
fax. (08) 89 710 561


contract position (over the 1999 - 2000 financial year) based in Katherine with duties on a "needs basis": including supervision of Aboriginal Interpreting, with the possibility of some school-based work, materials production etc


3 year contract position (1999 - 2002) based at Ngukurr on the Roper River; servicing the many languagesof the region (traditional & Kriol) at this community & others along the Roper Highway; duties entail researching and delivering community-based activities in conjunction with community members, with the possibility of involvement with school language programs.


short term contract (possibly Sept-Nov: to be negotiated) based at Ngukurr Community; to assist staff and community members with developing and delivering their community languages program


short term contract ("block" or part-time; possibly Sept-Nov: to be negotiated) assisting staff and community members with developing and delivering the school languages program


short term contract (over "Wet season" 1999-2000: possibly Dec-Feb) based in Katherine: working with Wardaman speakers recording stories in Wardaman & Kriol and transcribing these.

University of Otago (Dunedin, NZ)

The Council of the Univeristy of Otago invites applications for a foundation Chair in Communication Studies in the Division of Humanities. Specific enquiries may be directed to Professor Alistair Fox, Assistant Vice-Chancellor, Division of Humanities, Univeristy of Otago, TEL +64-3-479 8672, Fax +64-3-479 5024, email

Reference number: AG99/36. Closing date: Friday September 17 1999.

Australian Journal of Linguistics - Call for Reviewers

The Australian Journal of Linguistics receives a number of books from publishers for review in the journal. I do not have at my finger tips the names of suitable reviewers. Therefore I am keen to set up a list of potential reviewers for AJL, to cover as wide a range of topic areas as possible.

If you are interested in the possibility of writing a review for AJL and would like your name included in my database for possible future reviews, please send me your name, affiliation, and topic areas of interest at the following address:

Peter Peterson
Reviews Editor, AJL
Department of Linguistics
University of Newcasdtle
Callaghan NSW 2308
email: <>

Back to Table of Contents

OZBIB: a Linguistic Bibliography of Aboriginal Australia and the Torres Strait Islands

The book is finished, processed, and about to go to the printer, so I am spring-cleaning my house with a clear conscience! 10% discount if ordered at the ALS Conference. Malcolm Ross will be taking a couple of copies of the book to Perth for perusal - and order forms too.

OZBIB: a linguistic bibliography of Aboriginal Australia and the Torres Strait Islands
Lois Carrington and Geraldine Triffitt
Pacific Linguistics, D-92 x+282pp

Orders to

J Manley, Pacific Linguistics,RSPAS
Australian Natrional University
Canberra 0200


Lois Carrington <>

Back to Table of Contents

News from the Research Centre for Linguistic Typology


Bob Dixon and Sasha Aikhenvald both attended the Chicago Linguistic Society conference in April. Bob presented a paper on 'Semantic roles and syntactic functions: The semantic basis for a typology', and Sasha's paper was entitled 'Multiple marking of syntactic function and polysynthetic nouns in Tariana'.

Ulrike Zeshan recently attended the 6th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference in Stockholm where she presented a paper entitled 'Perspective and context in Indopakistan Sign Language Discourse'. She also attended the recent XIII Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf which was held in Brisbane. during the Congress she was able to collect more data for her research on interrogatives and negatives in signed and spoken languages. She is currently presenting a series of lectures at the ANU on sign language linguistics. Further information can be obtained by contacting the Centre Administrator.


Following CLS Bob Dixon went on to Brazil to undertake fieldwork on the Jarawara language in southern Amazonia. He returned to Canberra at the end of May.

Sasha Aikhenvald has just returned from several weeks in the field in northern Amazonia where she carried out fieldwork on a dialect survey of Tariana as well as patterns of multilingualism. The latter marks the commencement of a new project studying 'Multilingualism in north-west Amazonia' which will be funded by a small grant of US$18,000 which was awarded to Sasha recently by the Wenner-Gren Foundation.


Current Visiting Fellows at the RCLT include Professor Hans-Jürgen Sasse (Cologne), Professor Mauro Tosco (Istituto Universitario Orientale, Naples) and Professor Masa Onishi (Meio University, Okinawa). In September we will welcome Professor Nikolay Vakhtin (Academy of the Sciences, St Petersburg) and Dr Tom Payne (U. of Oregon and SIL), both of whom will be here until the end of the year.

Staff changes

We welcome our new administrative assistant, Ms Jenny Bourne to the team at RCLT. Jenny is now "job-sharing" with the Centre Administrator, Jennifer Elliott, who has just commenced a full-time masters degree in the Department of Linguistics, The Faculties, ANU.

For further information

Ms Jennifer Elliott, Centre Administrator
Research Centre for Linguistic Typology,
The Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200
Phone: (02) 6249 0012
Fax: (02) 6249 0332

Back to Table of Contents

News from University of Sydney

Scott Kiesling has taken up a postdoctoral position at Ohio State University. Christopher Manning has taken up a joint position in Computer Science and Linguistics at Stanford University. Que Chi Luu is going to do a doctorate at Rutgers, and Stephen Wilson is going to a doctorate in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Science, MIT. We shall miss them all.

We will soon be advertising a position in sociolinguistics, with a preference for applied linguistics interests.

Elke Teich is joining the Department as a Postdoctoral Fellow.

Mark Donohue has returned from a successful field trip to New Guinea, resulting in administrative links being forged in both Irian Jaya and in Papua New Guinea's Sandaun province. He has started education initiatives in two locations, with a mini-thesaurus produced and distributed for Skou speakers, as well as a set of primers.

Recent Publications

Stephen Wilson's Honours thesis "Coverbs and complex predicates in Wagiman" has recently been published by CSLI in the Stanford Monographs in Linguistics series.

Mark Donohue, A Grammar of Tukang Besi (Mouton Grammar Library 20) 1999. 24 x 16 cm. XXVI, 576 pages. 14 fig. 23 tab. 7 plates. 5 maps. Cloth. US$ 218.00. (a cheaper price of US$ 50.00 is available to members of Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas ( or Association for Linguistic Typology ( ISBN 3-11-016188-5

Includes description on all aspects of Tukang Besi grammar, as well as 30 pages of texts, a 1200-item two-way wordlist, discussion of the typological position of this language in the Philippine-Oceanic cline of Austronesian, and theoretical analysis of aspects of valency alternation in the language.

Back to Table of Contents

News from Monash

Linguistics has been amalgamated with Philosophy and Bioethics in a School of Philosophy, Linguistics, and Bioethics.

It is with great regret that the Department said goodbye last December to Edina Eisikovits, Heather Lotherington, and Peter Paul. Edina and Peter, who had been on the Monash staff for 20 and 30 years respectively, will continue to be associated with us as honorary research associates. Heather is now Associate Professor of Multilingual Education at York University, Toronto.

Susanne Doepke's ARC Fellowship expired in June and she is now an honorary research fellow. Laura Tollfree was awarded a 2-year Post-doctoral Fellowship by the University. Among our new courses is a 3rd year compulsory subject in inter-cultural communication in the B.A.(Tourism) on the Berwick campus. Language in Society has been declared a research priority area in the Faculty of Arts. Small ARC grants were awarded to Keith Allan (vantage theory), Joanne Winter (discourse features of boys' networks and playground interaction), and the Australian English project (Mark Newbrook, Laura Tollfree, Joanne Winter, Michael Clyne, and Edina Eisikovits). Michael Clyne received a large ARC grant for 'dynamics of language contact'. He has also been awarded the 1999 Jakob und Wilhelm Grimm Prize (international German studies award) for his work on German sociolinguistics and language contact.

Books that have recently appeared or are expected out this year:

Heather Bowe and Stephen Morey, The Yorta Yorta (Bangerang) language of the Murray-Goulburn, S.E. Australia, including Yabula Yabula. (Pacific Linguistics)

Michael Clyne and Sandra Kipp Pluricentric Languages in an Immigrant Context (Mouton de Gruyter) Published July 1999

Susanne Doepke Cross-linguistic structures in simultaeous bilinguals. (Benjamins)

Among overseas visitors this semester: Heinrich Kelz (Bonn), Rudolf Muhr (Graz), Guus Extra (Tilburg), Beat Glauser (Heidelberg), Kerstin Nordenstamm (G/teborg).

Back to Table of Contents

News from UNE

Nicholas Reid is on study leave. In addition to wrapping up the Phonetics CD (which should be available by November), he'll be engaged in fieldwork in the Northern Territory and Sumbawa (Indonesia).

Helen Fraser is on leave for two years, currently working on two outside projects: one for DETYA on improving the teaching of pronunciation in adult ESL education, and one for the National Museum of Australia's Centenary of Federation exhibition, on Australian English as a symbol of national identity. She also continues her occasional work on various aspects of forensic phonetics, and has created a webpage to help with communication of important information on this topic to police and legal professionals: Do mention it to anyone who may be interested: comments or suggestions are welcome of course. As well, Helen has been working on dictionary pronunciation guides (Macquarie and Heineman) and 'The Macquarie Bad Speller's Friend' which has been published recently, and on multimedia teaching materials for phonetics.

Jean Harkins has taken over Helen's lecturing position for the duration of her absence, but will continue with her ARC Fellowship over the summer break.

Diana Eades, who has been on leave from UNE while at the University of Hawaii, has now formally resigned from UNE (unfortunately for us) and will stay on in Hawaii. It is not yet known what will happen to her position here, which is currently filled temporarily by Jennifer Peck. Watch this space!

Back to Table of Contents


David Nash draws our attention to the new National Statement on research ethics emanating from

The Australian Anthropology Association considers them to have very serious implications, for fieldwork practices among other things, and has been discussing them at meetings. Visit ANU Anthropology's site at:

The Australian Health Ethics Committee (the primary authors of the National Statement) is presenting a series of workshops on the new guidelines, as follows:

18 Aug, Melbourne, Stamford PLaza
19 Aug,Sydney, Mercure Hotel Central Station
20 Aug, Hobart, Salamanca Inn
23 Aug, Perth, Mercure Hotel
24 Aug, Adelaide, Hinley Parkroyal
25 Aug, Darwin, MGM Grand
26 Aug, Brisbane, Country Comfort Lennons
27 Aug, Canberra, Chifley on Northbourne

Cost is $50 adults and $15 concession. The contact to book a place or for further information is:

Australian Convention and Travel Services Pty Ltd
GPO Box 2200, Canberra ACT 2601
ph 0-2 6257 3299 fax 02 6257 3256
Email: <>

Back to Table of Contents

At the coalface

Two new doctoral theses from the University of Sydney. To obtain copies, e-mail the authors and negotiate, or:

Bill Palmer <> or <>

A grammar of the Kokota language, Santa Isabel, Solomon Islands.

Ooe Kokota ('Kokota talk') is spoken in three villages on the island of Santa Isabel in the Solomon Islands. Its speakers now number probably in excess of 900. It is an Oceanic language within the Austronesian family, belonging to the North-West Solomonic subgrouping. This dissertation is the result of field research carried out on Santa Isabel between 1994 and 1998. It presents an overview of the grammar of the language, including its phonology, and its phrase, clause and sentence level syntax. Particular attention has been paid to a number of areas of interest in the grammar. The stress regime is complex with substantial irregularity, variation between and within speakers, and changes in progress. These changes include a shift from a system based on moraic trochees to one based on syllabic trochees, and the regularisation of irregularities resulting from the prosodic shadow of lost morphological complexity. A discussion of this comprises the bulk of a chapter on stress and prosody.

The system of possession also comprises a chapter on its own. One form of inalienable possession exists, and two of alienable (consumable and general). The relationship between these categories and nominals is semantically driven, not syntactically, with any nominal potential occurring with any category depending on the semantic context. Argument structure is a further area receiving special attention, particularly the assignment of argument indexing in the verb complex. This operates on the basis of a hierarchy of semantic roles. One result of the system is the coreferential assignment of both preverbal agreement (typically indexing actors) and postverbal agreement (typically indexing undergoers) to a single argument, an experiencer, regardless of the presence of other core arguments in the clause.

Like many Oceanic languages, Kokota has limited morphological complexity. Consequently aspects of the morphology are discussed in conjunction with other areas of the grammar to which they relate syntactically or functionally.

Back to Table of Contents

Nicholas R. Riemer <>

A study of semantic extension in percussion/impact vocabulary in English and Warlpiri.

This thesis investigates the polysemous meanings associated with verbs meaning 'hit,' 'strike,' 'pelt,' 'knock,' 'beat,' etc., in English and Warlpiri, a Pama-Nyungan language of central Australia. Its central claim is that the following four categories of 'extension' convincingly account for the non-core meanings of percussion/impact (P/I) verbs in both languages:

1. Metaphorical applications of the core P/I meaning
2. Metonymic extension to the effect of P/I
3. Metonymic extension to the context in which P/I occurs
4. Metonymic extension by selection of a constituent of the P/I event

The meaning of P/I expressions is represented by a metalanguage paraphrase broadly similar to many of the reductive paraphrases used in current semantic descriptions, without being committed to a system of primitives. Thus, I have attempted to represent the meaning of P/I verbs in language that illuminates their semantic properties in the simplest and most illuminating way in each case: to this extent, the metalanguage is entirely pragmatic.

On a more general level, one of the aims of the thesis is to demonstrate that semantic extension is a much less chaotic phenomenon than has often, particularly diachronically, been thought. Accordingly, in the last part of the thesis I present evidence from other Australian languages of differing degrees of relatedness to Warlpiri showing that the types of extensions to P/I vocabulary shown in them and Warlpiri are remarkably similar.

Back to Table of Contents

About ALS

ALS Website


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

Benefits of membership

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

Back to Table of Contents

ALS Office Bearers


Peter Austin (UMelbourne)
Dept of Linguistics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3052

Vice Presidents

John Ingram (UQld) <>
Hilary Chappell (La Trobe) <>
Ian Malcolm (Edith Cowan) <>


Michael Walsh (USydney)
Linguistics, F12 Transient, University of Sydney, NSW 2006.
Ph.02 9351 4228; Fax 02 9351 7572 <>


Doug Absalom (Newcastle)
Box 8, Hunter Building, Newcastle University, NSW 2308
Ph.02 49216437; Fax 02 4921 6895
< gt;

Journal Editors

Peter Collins (UNSW)
Linguistics Department, Univ of New South Wales, NSW 2052.
Peter Peterson (Newcastle) (reviews editor)
Dept of Linguistics, Univ of Newcastle, NSW 2308.
Tel: 02 49 216437 Fax 02 4921 6895
Doug Absalom (Newcastle)
Box 8, Hunter Building, Newcastle University, NSW 2308
Ph.02 49216437; Fax 02 4921 6895
< gt;

Newsletter Editor

Helen Fraser (UNE)
School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics, UNE, Armidale NSW 2351
Tel: 02 6773 3189; Fax: 02 6773 3735
Email: <>

Back to Table of Contents

Next Newsletter

The ALS Newsletter is published four times per year. This is the third issue for 1999. The next issue (99/4) will come out in mid November. 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 the Newsletter Editor, Helen Fraser, contact details in office bearers section.

The ALS journal

The ALS publishes a journal, The Australian Journal of Linguistics (AJL) twice a year. The latest issue is 19/1. The journal is publised by Carfax,

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

Back to Table of Contents

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 don't happen to have kept the last label framed on your wall, you can get in touch with the Treasurer, Doug Absalom, to find out your status, or wait till the next journal comes.

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 (see form below).

Please use the form below for both subscriptions and address changes, or email directly to the Treasurer, Doug Absalom, contact details in office bearers section.

Please note that the Treasurer maintains the only membership and address list, so this information should be sent directly to him rather than to the Newsletter or Journal editors. Thanks.


Please copy this form to email or paper and send completed form to ALS Treasurer (contact details in office bearers section).


Title _____ Surname

First name

ADDRESS (institutional address greatly preferred)



State __________ Postcode____________

Country (if not Australia)____________________

PAYMENT ENCLOSED (Please delete those not applicable):

$50 Full membership, one year
$60 Joint m'ship, one year (two people at same address)
$20 Concession membership (full-time student)
$5 discount on all fees if paid by 1st April 1999


Please enclose cheque payable to 'ALS'


Please fill in the following details

Which card? Bankcard Mastercard Visa

Number: ______ ______ ______ ______

Expiry date (month/year) _ _ / _ _

Amount: $________ Today's date: _ _ / _ _ / 19 _ _

Signature: __________________


Back to Table of Contents

ALS99 Conference Registration Form


If you do need to use email, copy this form into an email message and follow the directions below.



Given name:


Postal address:




Name tag:

REGISTRATION TYPE (delete others)

Standard Paid by July 1

Conference only Waged ALS member $110 $90

Student/unwaged ALS member $70 $50

Conference + membership Waged $160 $140

Student/unwaged $90 $70


St George's College single room, shared bathroom facilities $44 per night

single room, ensuite bathroom $56 per night

twin room, shared bathroom facilities $66 per night

twin room, ensuite bathroom $84 per night


St Thomas More College single room, shared bathroom facilities $35 per night

If selecting a twin room, person who has agreed to share with you: ....................................

$50 booking deposit to be paid with registration. If your preferred accommodation is not available, you will be contacted by the Colleges.

NIGHTS ACCOMMODATION REQUIRED (delete those not required):

Sun 26/9 Mon 27/9 Tue 28/9 Wed 29/9 Thu 30/9 Fri 1/10 Sat 2/10


Number of tickets -at- $35 each (excluding drinks): ........


Registration $..........

Accommodation Deposit $..........

Conference Dinner $..........

Total $____

Cheques (AU$ only) should be payable to ALS99 and posted to the address below.

Credit card payments are also acceptable.

There is a $20 fee for cancellation once your payment has been received.

Visa / Mastercard / Bankcard

Card no.: _ _ _ _ / _ _ _ _ / _ _ _ _ / _ _ _ _

Expiry date _ _ / _ _

Name exactly as on card:

Send e-mail form to

If paying by cheque, post cheque to

ALS99, Centre for LInguistics, UWA, WA 6907


Back to Table of Contents