ALS members may be interested in a new website at the University of Melbourne, for the ARC project 'A longitudinal study of the interaction of home and school language in two Aboriginal communities', at http://www.linguistics.unimelb.edu.au/research/projects/ACLA2/.
This project is the second phase of a longitudinal study funded by the ARC, thus we refer to the project as ACLA2 (the Aboriginal Child Language Acquisition project, phase 2). The first phase of the project 'How mixed language input affects child language development: Case studies from central Australia' (or ACLA1) was completed in 2007. In ACLA2 we will investigate, over four years, what happens when these children enter the formal school system.
The researchers for this project are Gillian Wigglesworth, Jane Simpson, Debbie Loakes, Sally Dixon and Therese Carr.
The Australian Computational and Linguistics Olympiad (OzCLO) has been running for the last two years. In 2009 teams from six states and territories competed in state rounds, then a national round. A winning team went on to compete in the International Linguistics Olympiad in Poland. The competition was a huge success and a lot of fun for all involved. Competitors ranged from year 9 to year 12, and came from both state and private schools. Problems ranged from Japanese Braille to Quechua spelling. We plan to hold it again next year, and have steering committee and local committees for many states.
We are now calling for expressions of interest from colleagues around Australia who would be willing to be involved in next year's competition. As in 2009, we will distribute the workload across a national steering committee, and various local committees.
The Steering committee will be responsible for fundraising, maintaining the website, setting the problems for the state and national rounds, organizing prizes, and liaising with the local committees. Local committees will be responsible for contacting schools, managing registrations, running the training and competition days, AND contributing at least one question to the pool of questions for the Olympiad.
Are you interested in helping us continue and maintain this fun and exciting new competition? There are many ways to become involved: joining a local committee or the steering committee, contacting schools, fundraising, running the competition, maintaining the web page, or writing some problems.
We would like to hear from anyone who would be interested in participating in any way. All offers and suggestions most gratefully received! Planning for OZCLO 2010 has already begun, so the sooner we know who is keen to be involved, the better!
Further information about this year's competition can be found at http://www.ozclo.org.au/.
Please send your expression of interest to the organizers of your local committee, at the email address STATE@ozclo.org.au, replacing STATE with act, nsw (Sydney region), une (UNE region), qld, sa, vic, wa or admin (if you are in a state or territory not listed here, or have a general query).
News from CALL
This is the first contribution to the ALS newsletter from CALL (Centre for Australian Languages and Linguistics) at Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education. CALL is headed by Jeanie Bell who leads a small team spread across the Northern Territory: Margaret Carew and Gail Woods (Alice Springs), Greg Dickson (Katherine) and Neil Chadwick (Batchelor).
Firstly, congratulations to first-year Bachelor of Arts (Language and Linguistics) student Leonie Boddington who was awarded the 2009 Living the Vision award in the Higher Education student category. Leonie is a Wajarri woman from Geraldton and has done excellent work as a new student this year and also does excellent work at home supporting Wajarri language maintenance initiatives at Irra Wangga Language Centre. Congratulations also to Jeanie Bell who took out the Staff Leadership award. This is well-deserved recognition for her hard work with CALL and the important role she plays as a Senior Lecturer at Batchelor Institute.
This year a fantastic group of around 50 Indigenous students have been studying linguistics through our Bachelor degree course, coming from places as diverse as Melbourne, Boigu Island, Galiwinku and Canberra. Students range from first language speakers of Indigenous languages to those who are reclaiming languages only from archived written sources. As well as developing knowledge of linguistic concepts students learn a wide range of practical and theoretical skills. Some highlights this year include: producing interlinear glosses of recordings of students' own languages in ELAN, producing talking dictionaries with the Miromaa program, completing a basic course in Arrernte, undertaking sociolinguistic research into attitudes towards Kriol, turning traditional stories into short films and developing funding applications for own language projects.
Meanwhile, Neil Chadwick has been delivering the Diploma of Interpreting to trainees who cover a wide range of Indigenous languages. Training interpreters to the paraprofessional standard is vitally important for remote communities where communication gaps and breakdowns are commonplace and significant.
CALL also delivers Certificate One and Two in Own Language Work across the Northern Territory. The courses help remote students develop language work skills such as own language literacy, producing resources, making recordings and combining these skills with other fields such as art and media studies. Students in these courses focus on languages as diverse as Warlpiri, Rembarrnga, Jaminjung, Ngarinyman, Alyawarr and Gurindji.
The newest course developed by CALL is the Diploma of Australian Languages and the first group graduated at a special ceremony held in Cardwell, North Queensland after completing coursework focusing on the Warrgamay language. This year, another group has been completing studies in Cairns and Weipa on the Thaynakwith language.
Batchelor Press continues to lead the way in producing Indigenous language materials, having recently launched another five readers in Noongar to assist with language revitalisation in south west WA. The titles contain seven traditional stories in both Noongar and English and come with audio CD, talking book DVD and teaching and learning resources. They are available from Batchelor Press: batchelorpress-at-batchelor.edu.au or 08 8939 7352.
For any other inquiries about CALL, please contact jeanie.bell-at-batchelor.edu.au or 08 8939 7405.
Consortium on Training in Language Documentation and Conservation
We are pleased to announce the formation of the Consortium on Training in Language Documentation and Conservation (CTLDC). The CTLDC has been established as an international response to the crisis confronting the world's languages by co-Directors Carol Genetti (University of California at Santa Barbara and InField founder) and Margaret Florey (co-founder and co-Director of the Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity).
The central aim of the CTLDC is to build a global resource for all those who are actively working to maintain linguistic diversity through fostering collaboration among people who are engaged in training in language documentation and conservation. The CTLDC will provide a critical network to foster communication and collaboration, and enhance the sharing of skills and resources.
An international Planning Group has been established to guide the development of the Consortium. The Planning Group (listed below) comprises representatives of organizations which are at the forefront of supporting linguistic diversity through planning and administering training programs, creating funding strategies to support linguistic diversity, designing tools to provide more accurate data on trends in linguistic diversity, establishing resource networks, and developing and influencing language policy. UNESCO's Intangible Heritage Section has agreed to host the first meeting of the Planning Group in Paris in late 2010. That meeting will allow us to prioritize activities and establish the structure and goals of the Consortium.Following the 2010 meeting, the CTLDC will open for international membership and will begin to work towards its longer-term goals, to
- construct a clearinghouse of materials accessible to LDC trainers and community members from across the globe,
- provide a forum for the sharing of curricula, teaching and assessment strategies, and methods,
- facilitate the explicit discussion of the goals and models currently being developed and implemented for training in language documentation and conservation (LDC),
- encourage partnerships between trainers of varied backgrounds and experiences,
- take into account a wide variety of perspectives and approaches by bringing together instructors from universities, communities, intensive institutes, school-based programs, language centers, and other initiatives,
- promote new collaborations, exchange ideas, and support training efforts worldwide,
- identify successful practices for LDC education,
- establish ethical and other principles to guide practitioners in documentation, conservation, and capacity-building activities,
- develop strategies to increase the range of funding opportunities to support LDC training at all levels,
- publicize LDC activities and events to raise greater awareness about the importance of linguistic diversity.
We will continue to provide updated information as the Consortium develops, and we look forward to many of you joining us as members and sharing your expertise to further support linguistic diversity.
Advisors and Planning Group for the CTLDC
- American Indian Language Development Institute, USA (Ofelia Zepeda)
- Asia/Pacific Cultural Center for UNESCO, Japan (Misako Ohnuki)
- Asociación Oxlajuuj Keej Maya Ajtziib and Center for the Indigenous Languages of Latin America (Nora England)
- Batchelor Institute for Indigenous Tertiary Education, Australia (Jeanie Bell)
- Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Institute, Canada (Sally Rice)
- Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropologí a Social, Mexico (B'alam Mateo Toledo)
- Comhairle Nan Sgoiltean Araich, Scotland (Finlay Macleoid)
- Documentation of Endangered Languages, Volkswagen Stiftung, Germany (Jost Gippert)
- Endangered Language Fund, USA (Doug Whalen)
- First Nations Languages Program, University of British Columbia, Canada (Patricia Shaw)
- Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project, and 3L Summer School London representative, England (Peter Austin)
- Index of Linguistic Diversity, USA (David Harmon)
- Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee, South Africa (Nigel Crawhall)
- Indonesia Training Workshops (Margaret Florey)
- Institute on Field Linguistics and Language Documentation (InField), USA (Carol Genetti)
- Institute of Language and Culture Studies, Bhutan (Lungtaen Gyatso)
- Instituto Nacional de Lenguas Indígenas and Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social, Mexico (José Antonio Flores Farfán)
- LinguistList, Digital Endangered Languages and Musics Archive Network, and Electronic Metastructure for Endangered Languages Data, USA (Helen Aristar-Dry)
- Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages and National Geographic Society, USA (David Harrison)
- Mahidol University, Thailand (Suwilai Premsrirat)
- Miromaa Aboriginal Language and Technology Centre, Australia (Daryn McKenny)
- National Science Foundation, Documenting Endangered Languages Program, USA (advisor, Susan Penfield)
- Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures, Australia (Nicholas Thieberger)
- Program of Professional Development in Intercultural Bilingual Education for the Andean Countries, Universidad Mayor de San Simón, Cochabamba, Bolivia (Luis Enrique Lopez)
- Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Japan (Toshihide Nakayama)
- Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity, Australia (Margaret Florey and Nicholas Thieberger)
- School of Communication, International Studies and Languages, University of South Australia (Kathleen Heugh)
- SIL International, USA (J. Stephen Quakenbush)
- Summer School on Documentary Linguistics in West Africa (Felix Ameka)
- Te Puna Wänanga, University of Auckland, New Zealand (Peter Keegan)
News from Linguistics, CAP, ANU
Grants, scholarships and awards
- Yusuf Sawaki is in Manokwari, West Papua, Indonesia. He is back to the field to collect more data for his PhD project on Wooi - an Austronesian language of Yapen Island, West Papua, Indonesia spoken by around 1,800 speakers. His project is also part of language documentation funded Volkswagen Foundation Germany. Yusuf's PhD at the ANU is sponsored by the MPI, Leipzig, Germany.
- Sébastien Lacrampe is back to Vanuatu, after briefly in Canberra in early September. Sébastien's PhD thesis is on Lelepa, an oceanic language of central Vanuatu spoken by around 500 speakers.
- Stef Spronck has been back from the field, the Kimberly, Western Australia. Stef is working with the Aboriginal community of Mowanjum. Stef's PhD project is on reported speech and thought in Ngarinyin, which is also part of the ARC-funded research project on social cognition and language, led by Nick Evans.
- Chikako Senge has been back from the field, Halls Creek. She was in the field from April to early November. She was in the field collecting data for her PhD project, working there with speakers of the endangered Wanyjirra language.
- Nick Evans has just returned mid-month from a 4-week fieldtrip to Bimadeben village in the Western Province of PNG. On this second fieldtrip he concentrated on the Nen language (though getting a bit as well from Idi, from the nextdoor village). High points of the trip included developing a new orthography for the language, discovering a special class of positional verbs, and the organization of the verb suffixes into two aspect series. Nick took up a very rough draft dictionary based on last year's work and on the last day of his visit participated in the new ritual of erecting a 20-foot high Nen Zi Dben Wlwl or 'Nen dictionary pole': this will be notched with the number of dictionary entries as it grows from year to year.
- Back in Canberra Nick had to regroup quickly, so as to work with three Dalabon speakers (Margaret Katherine, Lily Bennett and Queenie Brennan) who were visiting the AIATSIS archive in Canberra. This afforded the opportunity to work with them on some old archival material recorded in the 1960s as well as investigating the special polite register known as drebuyno, used for positioning speaker and hearer with respect to kin.
- From 24-27th August the department hosted a brief visit by Prof. Midori Osumi (Tokyo Women's Christian University), en route to her fieldwork in New Caledonia on Tinrin and Neku. Neku is a previously undescribed, highly endangered Melanesian language. She is working on its grammar and collecting data for a comprehensive dictionary. While visiting the department she attended an Anthropology Seminar (Reciprocity in Language and Beyond) presented by Anneliese Kuhle, and a grammar-writing seminar conducted by Nick Evans on 26 August. She immensely enjoyed her short stay at her old alma mater and appreciated very much the warm friendship extended to her by the colleagues she met. She is very grateful to the department for providing her with computer access and an office.
- Dr. Maia Ponsonnet is a Visiting Fellow at the department from 1 September 2009 to 30 September 2010. Maia's visit is supported by a grant from the IATSIS (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies). Her project is Semantics of Emotions in Dalabon and Kriol. She arrive at the department in early September to start the fellowship. She is now in the field in South-Western Arnhem Land (Weemol, Beswick) to work with her consultants to finalise the trilingual glossary and to gather authorisations for her project. Maia got her PhD in Philosophy from Paris-8-Saint-Denis University in 2005, with a thesis entitled 'Comparing Languages Games: Ways of seeing the World of Dalabon People, Nothern Australia'.
- Mr Eh Nyotkhampheuy visited the department in September, working with Paul Sidwell on the Nyaheun Folk Narrative Project, funded by the MPI Leipzig Germany. Mr Nyotkhampheuy is a native speaker of Nyaheun, a small Bahnaric (Austroasiatic) language spoken on the Boloven Plateau in southern Laos. In 1995 there were around 5,000 people identified as Nyaheun. Many still practice traditional swidden farming and hunting, although the language and lifestyle are now seriously endangered.
- Fiona Blake joined the department as a tutor for the new course 'Languages of the Pacific', coordinated by Nick Evans and then team taught by a number of members of this department. Fiona has been working on three Pacific languages, Marshallese and then Momu and Tok Pisin (the languages spoken in Mori village, Sandaun Province, Papua New Guinea, where she did fieldwork for her honours thesis in 2005-06).
Languages of the Pacific
- The department offered a new subject, 'Languages of the Pacific', in the second semester 2009. This subject is intended to build the linguistic offerings within the newly developing Pacific Studies major, and was team-taught by all members of the department, with Fiona Blake tutoring. The course has been a veritable feast of material and Nick would like to thank the many people who have contributed their expertise by teaching segments of it - Wayan Arka, Mark Donohue, Alex François, Andy Pawley, Malcolm Ross, Ruth Spriggs - and especially Fiona Blake for her key role in tutoring it and keeping the thread running through this team-taught course over the semester. We hope this course will spark off a long-term interest in Pacific languages among students who took it, and plan to offer it again in 2011.
Publications and Pacific Linguistics
- Nick's controversial article with Steve Levinson, 'The Myth of Language Universals', has now appeared in the cognitive science journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences, attracting a spirited commentary and final riposte; spillover commentary is going to be published in a special issue of the journal Lingua next year.
- Wayan's paper on Rongga documentation in a volume on Endangered Languages of Austronesia, edited by Margaret Florey published by Oxford University is already out now. Information about the volume can be viewed at http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199544547.do.
- Mali (Baining) texts by Tonya N. Stebbins with the assistance of Julius Tayul PL E-8 is now available as a PDF file on disc. This collection of twenty Mali texts was recorded in 2001 and 2002 and were transcribed and translated by Tonya Stebbins and Julius Tayul. The texts are a representative sample of the materials used as a corpus in the development of the Mali (Baining) Grammar (Stebbins forthcoming). For further information about these electronic texts, and other books published by PL, see http://pacling.anu.edu.au/.
- The Kioloa Papuanist Workshop was held 31 October-1 November. It was a small weekend gathering of Papuanists from the ANU. Presentations were given by Patrick McConvell (Omaha skewing in New Guinea), Nick Evans (Mirrors of time: tense in Nen), Mark Donohue (A language which welcomes description by ordinary means), Tom Honeyman (A phonological puzzle from Momu).
- The department runs different kinds of seminars and research group meetings. The full program can be viewed at http://rspas.anu.edu.au/linguistics/seminars.php. If you would like to give a linguistic presentation at the ANU, contact Wayan Arka (wayan.arka-at-anu.edu.au).
News from Uni of Melbourne
MOVE! The School of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Melbourne has relocated back to the Babel Building (building 139). You can find Linguistics on the 6th floor, enquiries to room 611. Seminars will now be held in room 407 of the Babel building (4th Floor); all other contact details remain the same.
JOB! We are pleased to announce a position, Senior Lecturer in Linguistics. See the Jobs section of the newsletter below for details.
News from LCRG, James Cook Uni
As part of the 'Celebrating Research at JCU' series of events, the Language and Culture Research Group conducted a Day of Linguistics on Thursday 15 October. This consisted of
- Public lecture by Professor Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald 'The Joy of language'
- Interactive talk-back session 'Language we live by' conducted by the Panel consisting of Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald (chair), Professor R. M. W. (Bob) Dixon, Dr. Anne Schwarz, Dr. Tianquiao Lu.
The Language and Culture Research Group at JCU Cairns has organizing celebrations for the Papua New Guinea Independence, including an art exhibition and a mini-conference 'Celebrating Thousand Voices' on 14 September 2009. The mini-conference covered broad issues relevant to Papua New Guinea, from public health to language and culture maintenance.
Three of the members of LCRG took part in the Linguistics section of the conference 'Tropics of the Imagination' (3 November, 9am-10.30am), organized by Dr Stephen Torre (JCU) within the realm of the Cairns Institute:
- R. M. W. Dixon. 'The metrical patterns of Dyirbal song poetry'
- Anne Schwarz. 'The thetic-categorical dichotomy: insights into discourse principles and grammatical features'
- Mike Tianqiao Lu 'Little Red Cap in South China - the linguistic cause of folktale variation'
The following recent publications by Professors Dixon and Aikhenvald were launched by the Vice-Chancellor of JCU, Professor Sandra Harding, at a special event organized by Professor Nola Alloway, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Arts, Education and Social Sciences, on 30 October 2009, at the Townsville Campus of JCU:
- Semantics of clause-linking: a cross-linguistic typology, edited by R. M. W. Dixon and Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald. Oxford: Oxford University Press. xviii, 410 pp.
- Basic Linguistic Theory, by R. M. W. Dixon. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Vol 1: Methodology, xvi, 381 pp. Vol 2: Grammatical topics, xvii, 489 pp.
- Modern Hebrew (Sovremennyj Ivrit), by Alexandra Aikhenvald (2nd edition) published in the URSS Publishing House (Moscow), issued at 20,000 copies. 146 pp.
Appointments and fieldwork
Dr Anne Schwarz has joined the LCRG as Postdoctoral Research Fellow. She is planning to do substantial fieldwork on Siona/Secoya, a Western Tucanoan language spoken in Ecuador and is preparing for her fieldwork. She is also completing some publications on Grammar and Information Structure in African languages and preparing new publications on selected Gur and Kwa languages she has worked on so far.
Dr Tianqiao (Mike) Lu has joined the LCRG as Postdoctoral Research Fellow. He is working on a comprehensive monograph on noun categorization devices in Kam-Tai languages.
A third Postdoctoral position is about to be filled.
At the invitation of the Malluruch/Alngit council, Aikhenvald and Dixon undertook a brief exploratory trip to the Aboriginal community at Weipa in western Cape York (1-3 October). They met with members of the community and worked with four speakers. They then provided a report on the language situation at Weipa.
Chia-jung Pan, a PhD scholar working on Lha'alua (or Saaroa), a critically endangered Austronesian language of Taiwan, has relocated from La Trobe University.
Brigitta Flick continues working as a Publication Officer for the LCRG.
Cairns Institute Distinguished Visiting Fellows
The following distinguished scholars have been awarded Cairns Institute Distinguished Fellowships, to come and work within the LCRG, in close cooperation with Aikhenvald, Dixon, Lu, Pan and Schwarz in 2009-2010 (each for a period of about 3 months: the dates are approximate and subject to change):
- Professor Anvita Abbi, of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, an expert on languages of the Anadaman Islands, and languages of India in general (May-September 2010);
- Dr Henry Chang, of Academia Sinica, Taiwan, an expert on Austronesian languages of Taiwan (June-September 2010);
- Professor Ken Sumbuk, Professor of Linguistics and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Papua New Guinea, an expert on the indigenous languages of the Sepik area (December 2009-February 2010);
- Associate Professor Catherine Travis, of the University of New Mexico, an expert on Spanish and discourse analysis (May-August 2010)
- Professor Lourens de Vries, of the Free University of Amsterdam, an expert on Papuan languages (May-September 2010).
- Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald. 2010. Imperatives and commands, to be published by OUP.
- Ines Fiedler and Anne Schwarz (eds.). 2010. The Expression of Information Structure: A Documentation of its Diversity Across Africa, to be published by John Benjamins (Typological Studies in Language Series).
New book series launched
Brill's Studies in Language, Cognition and Culture, edited by Alexandra Aikhenvald, R. M. W. Dixon and N. J. Enfield.
This peer-reviewed book series offers an international forum for high-quality original studies in languages and cultures. It focusses on the interaction between linguistic categories (and their conceptualization), cultural values, and human cognition. The publications in this series will include interdisciplinary studies on language, its meanings and forms, and possible interactions with cognitive and communicational patterns. The series spans cultural and social anthropology, cognitive science and linguistics. The emphasis is on inductive based cross-linguistic and cross-cultural studies, with special attention to poorly known areas, such as Lowland Amazonia and the Pacific. The series is international in its scope. Authors are encouraged to write in English, to maximize readership. We envisage producing 3-4 new volumes per annum.
We welcome high-quality submissions from ALS members!
Members of the editorial board are: Willem F. Adelaar, Carol Genetti, Bernd Heine, Rosita Henry, Lev Michael, John Lucy, Ton Otto, Bambi B. Schieffelin, Masayoshi Shibatani, Anne Storch, Peter Trudgill, Anthony Woodbury.
Change of address
Sasha.Aikhenvald-at-jcu.edu.au will expire towards the end of this month. The new address is Alexandra.Aikhenvald-at-jcu.edu.au
Professor Tim Murray, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of La Trobe University, has conveyed to us the apologies of the current directorate of the 'Research Centre for Linguistic Typology', recognising that, in the 2009 Newsletter distributed to members of the linguistics community across the world, 'certain items related to the activities of Professors R. M. W. Dixon and Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald were incomplete, incorrect or left out'. An undertaking has been given that a leaflet listing errata and corrigenda will be mailed to all those who received the oringinal newsletter, and will also be posted on the website.
News from UNE
Nick Reid has been engaged in research on language maintenance and revival activities in New Zealand, Hawai'i and Australia, and in October gave an address to the Symposium on Endangered Languages at the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage in New Delhi.
Cliff Goddard visited the Department of Communication at U. Massachusetts in October 2009. He presented a graduate seminar titled 'Cultural scripts and communication style in three 'Anglo Englishes' (Australian English, English English, and American English)', and a guest lecture titled 'Analysis of Cultural Meaning and the Discourse of 'Security''. Prof. Goddard was hosted by Prof. Donal Carbaugh.
Jeff Siegel spent three months as an external fellow at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies. There he worked on a project titled 'Linguistic Complexity in Interlanguage Varieties, L2 Varieties, and Contact Languages'.
Anna Gladkova has been invited to collaborate in the international project 'The Impact of Emotion Language on International Negotiation' (ELIN) run by the Swiss Centre for Affective Sciences at the University of Geneva. Volunteers with native or near-native knowledge of Australian English are invited to participate in an online questionnaire on the meanings of selected emotion terms (contact Anna Gladkova, email Anna.Gladkova-at-une.edu.au).
New PhD candidates Sandy Habib and Mark Conroy recently got confirmed in their candidature at UNE. Sandy is working on the thesis entitled 'Conceptual analysis in Arabic and Hebrew (NSM approach)'. He is supervised by Cliff Goddard and Anna Gladkova. Mark Conroy's topic is 'Syntactic priming: Implicit second language learning'. His supervisors are Brett Baker, Inés Antón-Mendéz and Jeff Siegel.
David Penn is undertaking field studies towards his PhD on Meuang in northern Thailand.
Ms Sophia Waters has been selected to take part in the 22nd Ship for World Youth program in January-March 2010. Sponsored by the Japanese government, the program aims at fostering cultural sensitivity, understanding and friendship.
Postgraduate Scholarships Announcements!!! UNE Linguistics advises that APA scholarships will be available to high quality applications in Linguistics, specifically in the areas of NSM semantics, creoles and Aboriginal or Pacific languages. Other areas are not excluded. The information on the scholarships is available at http://www.une.edu.au/research-services/pgstudy/prospectivestudents/. For further information please contact Linguistics Convenor Prof. Cliff Goddard (email: cgoddard-at-une.edu.au) or Linguistics HDR Coordinator Dr Anna Gladkova (email: Anna.Gladkova-at-une.edu.au).
News from School of Language Studies, ANU
Harold Koch, who retired in July, was awarded the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Career Achievement at a recent awards ceremony.
Patrick McConvell, Research Fellow at the School of Language Studies, Australian National University, has been invited to participate in a technical expert meeting organized by UNESCO, in the framework of its Endangered Languages Programme, in Paris on 14 and 15 December 2009. The title of the meeting is 'Towards a Linguistic Vitality Index: Methodology for developing the 2010 Target Indicator on Status and Trends of Linguistic Diversity and Numbers of Speakers of Indigenous Languages'.
Recent publications by Visiting Fellows Luise Hercus and Harold Koch:
- Jeremy Beckett and Luise Hercus, The Two Rainbow Serpents Travelling: Mura track narratives from the 'Corner Country' (Aboriginal History Monograph 18), Canberra: ANU E Press and Aboriginal History Inc. http://epress.anu.edu.au/two_rainbow_citation.html.
- Koch, Harold and Luise Hercus (eds). 2009. Aboriginal placenames: Naming and re-naming the Australian landscape. (Aboriginal History Monograph 19) Canberra: ANU E Press and Aboriginal History Inc. http://epress.anu.edu.au/placenames_citation.html.
News from RCLT, La Trobe
ARC Future Fellowship
We were delighted to receive news in September that Dr Birgit Hellwig was one of seven successful applicants from La Trobe University to receive a prestigious ARC Future Fellowship! Congratulations! Dr Hellwig's application 'Semantic categories: Exploring the history of the Baining languages of Island Melanesia' was awarded a total of $548,400 over 5 years and will be taken up at RCLT in mid-2010. She was the only person in linguistics in Australia to enjoy success in this round, so we are especially delighted! Members of RCLT are looking forward to welcoming Dr Hellwig back!
We are pleased to announce that Dr Seino van Breugel having submitted his PhD thesis and been passed by his examiners, he officially graduated last month. Well done!
Rik de Busser's thesis has also been passed by all the examiners and is now just waiting for the completion of the formalities. Congratulations!
Due to high interest, the Local Workshop series on 'Transitivity' has continued. Workshops are held on Thursdays, 3.30pm - 5pm in the RCLT Reading Room unless otherwise specified. If anyone is interested in presenting a talk as part of this Workshop, please contact Dr Simon Overall (s.overall-at-latrobe.edu.au). Handouts from some of these talks are available for download from http://www.latrobe.edu.au/rclt/localworkshop.htm.
The Language Workshops (now from 10am - 1pm: presentations on particular languages) have continued with Tok Pisin, Chinese and Amharic. Discussions have been in-depth and thought provoking. The remaining sessions for this year are Atong (19/11), Siar (10/12) and Berber (17/12). Anyone wishing to present a language for discussion, please contact Dr Yvonne Treis at y.treis-at-latrobe.edu.au.
Wilderness first-aid training
Many members of RCLT recently attended a two-day Wilderness First-aid training course held on site. The course was customised to meet the specific needs of researchers going into remote areas for long periods of time. Members report that they found the course very interesting and relevant and would definitely recommend it to anyone planning to go to the field. We expect to facilitate this course once a year at RCLT and be able to open it up to other interested parties in the Melbourne area.
- Dr. Alejandra Vidal, Associate Professor at Facultad de Humanidades, Universidad Nacional de Formosa, Argentina, is visiting with us from September - December 2009 working on the Pilagá (Guaykuruan) and Wichí (Mataco-Mataguayan) languages.
- Dr Roberto Zavala, from Centro de Investigación y Estudios Superiores en Antroplogía Social, Unidad Sureste, will be a Visiting Fellow at RCLT from December 2009 - March 2010. He will be working on grammatical changes that took place in Cholan (Mayan) due to language contact with Zoquean (Mixe-Zoquean). He also plans to write a paper on Complementation in Olutec and Zoque (both of them Mixe-Zoquean languages).
- Dr. Cheon-hak Kim, of the University of Seoul, Korea, will be a Visiting Fellow at the RCLT from December 2009 - December 2010, funded by a Korea Research Foundation grant.
- Dr Mark Post, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, is undertaking fieldwork on the Eastern Tani languages of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, Northeast India, May - November 2009.
- Dr Stephen Morey, DoBeS Postdoctoral Research Fellow, will be undertaking fieldwork in Northeast India from 23 November till 26 February 2010.
- Roberto Zariquiey, Phd student, will be returning to his fieldsite in Peru later this month till May 2010 to continue his work on Kashibo-Kakataibo.
- David Sangdong, PhD student, has returned from fieldwork on the Kadu language of western Myanmar.
- Paul Hastie, a PhD student, is on fieldwork in Northeast India, documenting a variety of the Tangsa language.
News from AIATSIS
Restructuring of ASEDA
AIATSIS is currently restructuring ASEDA (The Aboriginal Studies Electronic Data Archive) and seeks attention and cooperation from those who may have an intellectual property interest in ASEDA material.
ASEDA has been a separate collection from the rest of AIATSIS collection, which is held in the Library and the Audio-visual Archive. Material in ASEDA is currently not listed in the AIATSIS collection catalogue MURA (http://mura.aiatsis.gov.au). Instead, ASEDA has its own catalogue (http://www1.aiatsis.gov.au/). Up until now, ASEDA has been promoted primarily among the linguistic community and the existence and availability of valuable material in ASEDA has not been transparent outside the linguistic community. AIATSIS is committed to making materials held at AIATSIS available to a wider community, in particular to Indigenous people. It is hoped that increased awareness of the ASEDA holdings and improved access to them will result in more appreciation of linguists' valuable work on Indigenous languages. AIATSIS has therefore made a decision to merge materials in ASEDA with the rest of the AIATSIS collection and catalogue them in MURA. Since materials in ASEDA are all electronic files, AIATSIS also wishes to make them available for download from MURA, where possible. As part of this process (and also for ease of long-term maintenance of materials), some files in ASEDA may have to be converted into text and/or PDF formats, as these are formats that can be opened through the MURA.
AIATSIS has written to those who have placed their materials in ASEDA as well as those who may have some intellectual property interest in these materials in order to gain their consent to make their material accessible online. If you have received a letter from ASEDA, please respond by the due date of 15 December 2009. If AIATSIS does not receive a response by this date, we will assume that you consent to you material being listed in the online MURA catalogue and made available for download. If you have an updated version of the materials currently housed in ASEDA, AIATSIS encourages you to send it to us to replace the old materials.
AIATSIS has not been able to locate and contact the following people. If you have contact details of these people (or their executors, if applicable), please advise AIATSIS, or, advise them that AIATSIS is trying to contact them.
- A Rogers (Garawa/Wanyi)
- Anna-Kristina Sands (Garadjari)
- Christine Kilham (Wik Mungkan) (SIL)
- Barbara Sayers (Wik Mungkan)
- Peter Carroll (Kunwinjku)
- Anna Schnukal (Torres Strait)
- Peter Thorley (Walungurru)
- Sue Robertson (Jaabugay)
- Ann Farmer (Lardil)
- Rita Gularrbanga (Yan-nhangu)
- Edward Johnson (Karajarri)
- Anthony Cook (Wagiman)
- Bruce Anderson (Yindjibarndi) (SIL)
- Christine and Edward Furby (Garawa) (SIL)
- Tony Jefferies (Yagara)
- Sue Davenport (Mardu)
- Phil Fitzpatrick
- Belinda Scott (NATSIVAD)
AIATSIS would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your contribution to ASEDA and for ongoing support of AIATSIS functions and collection. If you wish to make alternative access and storage condition on your materials or if you have any concerns about this migration process, please email ASEDA (aseda-at-aiatsis.gov.au), or contact Kazuko Obata (02 6246 1166) or Jutta Besold (02 6246 1222).
Australian Languages Workshop 2010
A call for papers for the Australian Languages Workshop 2010 is now open. The workshop will be held from 12 to 14 March at ANU Kioloa Coastal Campus. The details of the workshop are available at http://www.aiatsis.gov.au/research/workshops.html. If you are interested in presenting a paper or attending the workshop, please contact Kazuko Obata (kazuko.obata-at-aiatsis.gov.au) before 30 November 2009.
AIATSIS Conference 2009: Perspectives on urban life: connections and reconnections
The 2009 AIATSIS conference was held at ANU Sept 29 - Oct 1. As part of a packed overall program, two day-long language sessions were held; one entitled 'Language, Kinship, Heritage' and the other entitled 'Language, Revitalisation and Education'. Both were well-attended and featured a wide range of presenters; from established academics to students to community representatives and combinations of the above. There are plans to publish the proceedings from these sessions.
Congratulations to Mary-Anne Gale, Eileen McHughes, Phyllis Williams, and Verna Koolmatrie who won 'Best Presentation Overall' for their presentation entitled 'Lakun Ngarrindjeri Thunggari - Weaving the Ngarrindjeri language back to health.' (http://www.aiatsis.gov.au/research/conf2009/papers/LRE1.html#gale) The judging committee said of their presentation: 'This is an excellent story of language revitalisation. Mary-Anne, Eileen, Phyllis and Verna used different methods to present an overview of the revitalisation program. The Ngarringdjeri are known for their weaving of baskets and mats. The women used the aspects of weaving baskets and mats and showed how they could be applied to the language program - weaving was and is a metaphor for the weaving of the threads of language, in a way to revitalise it for the Ngarrindjeri people and others. Their presentation was interesting, exciting and inspiring! Congratulations women on a fantastic presentation and being awarded the best presentation of the Conference.'
R.M.W. Dixon, Basic Linguistic Theory, Vol 1: Methodology (381 pp.) and Vol 2: Grammatical topics (489 pp.). Each volume is AU$65 paperback (also available in hardback).
Described by the publisher, Oxford University Press as follows: 'Basic Linguistic Theory is the triumphant outcome of a lifetime's thinking about every manifestation of language and linguistic fieldwork. It is a one-stop text for undergraduate and graduate students of linguistics, as well as for those in neighbouring disciplines sch as psychology and anthropology.'Contents of Volume 1 - Methodology: Basics; Principles to follow; Grammar overview; Analysis, argumentation and explanation; Terminology; Doing typology; Phonology; Lexicon; Field linguistics.
Contents of Volume 2 - Grammatical topics: Grammatical word and phonological word; Distinguishing noun and verb; The adjective class; Transitivity; Copula clauses and verbless clauses; Pronouns and demonstratives; Possession; Relative clause constructions; Complement clauses and complementation strategies.
Publications received, November 2009
The following is a list of publications relating to the study of language, received by the Reviews Editor of the Australian Journal of Linguistics. Note that it is not possible to return books to the publisher, and that acceptance of a book implies no promise that it will be reviewed in the Australian Journal of Linguistics. Reviews are printed as circumstances permit, and copies are sent to the publishers of the works reviewed. If you wish to review a book, please contact the Reviews Editor, Alan Libert (Alan.Libert-at-newcastle.edu.au). Note that many books from previous lists of publications received are still available, so you may want to look at them also. If there is a book you are interested in reviewing but it is not on the list, please contact Alan as it is possible that ALS could then obtain a review copy from the publisher.
- Ballard, K. (2007) The Frameworks of English (second edition). Palgrave MacMillan, Basingstok, Hampshire.
- Frampton, J. (2009) Distributed Reduplication. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
- Hasan, R. (2009) Semantic Variation: Meaning in Society and in Sociolinguistics. Equinox, London.
- Peters, P. P. Collins, and A. Smith, eds. (2009) Comparative Studies in Australian and New Zealand English. John Benjamins, Amsterdam.
- van Gelderen, E., ed. (2009) Cyclical Change. John Benjamins, Amsterdam.
Upcoming conferences and calls for papers
Call for papers: IGALA 6 Conference
Sixth International Gender and Language Association Conference (IGALA 6)
September 18 - 20, 2010
Tsuda College (Kodaira Campus), Tokyo, Japan (http://www.tsuda.ac.jp/en/)
Keynote/Special Lecture Speakers
- Professor Deborah Cameron (University of Oxford)
- Professor Momoko Nakamura (Kanto Gakuin University)
- Professor Ingrid Piller (Zayed University)
IGALA6 hopes to highlight the following areas:
- Language and gender in the Asia-Pacific
- Performing the body
- Negotiating multicultural/multilingual places/spaces
- Queer(y)ing language and education
- Responding to change(s) in language education
- Gender, language and international development
Abstracts for paper presentations (individual and panel), posters and workshop sessions are invited on any aspects of gender and language analysis from a variety of fields, including bilingualism, communication studies, conversation analysis, cultural studies, discourse analysis, language acquisition, linguistic anthropology, media studies, multicultural studies, multilingualism, queer studies, second language teaching, sociolinguistics, and other related fields and disciplines.
Authors must create an account with the IGALA6 website in order to submit a paper proposal. To submit a proposal abstract, visit the website at https://orc.tsuda.ac.jp/IGALA/ocs/index.php/IGALA6/IGALA6Conf and follow the instructions to create an account and commence the submission process. All presenters must be paid members of IGALA at the time of presentation.
The Call for Papers closes on 31 December 09. Presenters will be notified in March 2010.
Jobs, grants, and scholarships
Senior Lecturer in Linguistics (Level C), position no. 0022308. Full-time continuing (=tenure-track) position at the Parkville campus of the University of Melbourne, School of Languages and Linguistics.
The Senior Lecturer, reporting to the Head, School of Languages and Linguistics, contributes to the success and continuing future growth of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics through distinction in teaching, carrying out and supervising research in the areas of general linguistics, grammatical description and typology, and various administrative roles. In particular, this position is aimed at sustaining and advancing the teaching of descriptive and theoretical approaches to aspects of grammar, in line with Linguistics and Applied Linguistics' commitment to an understanding of the little-studied languages of Australia and the region.
The appointee will have a research focus on Australian languages or languages of the region and will also have a proven record of fieldwork-based research in grammatical description. In addition, s/he will have the background to contribute more generally to undergraduate first-year teaching, core areas of the undergraduate program and Masters Level courses in general and applied linguistics. S/he will be active in supervising honours and postgraduate research, will have an outstanding record of publications, and a demonstrated ability to attract competitive external research funding and initiate new research projects.
The appointee will work as a team member within the Discipline, undertaking appropriate administration at the direction of the head of Discipline and Head of School, and will be involved in developing collaborative links outside the Discipline.
Salary: A$90,480 - A$104,329 p.a. plus employer superannuation contributions of 17%
Closing date: 14 Dec 2009, 11.55pm
Enquiries: Professor Gillian Wigglesworth, tel: +61 3 8344 4720, email: g.wigglesworth-at-unimelb.edu.au
For Position Description and Selection Criteria: http://jobs.unimelb.edu.au (search on 'linguistics')
Sophisticated and interesting job opportunities for linguists at Appen
We are looking for energetic, adaptable and proactive linguists who want to use their linguistic qualifications working in an exciting commercial field.
Appen provides high quality, cost effective speech and language technology solutions for organisations developing Speech and Language Applications such as Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), Text-to-Speech Synthesis (TTS) and Text Processing (NLP). Linguists in our company have the opportunity to work on many languages at all levels of language.
The products of our work are to be found in automotive navigation systems, command and control embedded devices, mobile phones offering conversion of spoken messages into text, word processing packages, directory assistance, speaker verification, hand-held machine translation devices for field hospitals, call centres and training courses in orthographic variation, to name a few most prominent applications.
Our international client base includes many of the world's leading companies. We work in many languages, providing services and products relating to phonology, linguistic analysis and description, cultural language specific features, transcription, thesauri, Named Entity collection, NLP and resolving issues of script representation, romanisation and spelling conventions.
Appen linguists apply their analytic skills in grammar, phonology and typology to
- processing of written text for automated applications, e.g.
- Part-of-Speech (POS) tagging and proper name coding
- Morphological analysis of languages to facilitate automated POS tagging
- Grammar and orthographic error analysis
- Thesaurus development
- Orthographic standardisation of less commonly taught languages to facilitate computer applications
- Researching romanisation schemes to facilitate computer processing of non-Latin script languages
- Transcription of recorded speech used in modelling of phonemes and phonemes clusters for speech recognition
- Pronunciation dictionaries including regional and other pronunciation variants to be used for acoustic modelling
- Data marked up for Test to Speech in many languages including less commonly taught languages.
Our linguistic projects often require typological analysis of less documented languages and our linguists work with native speakers of various languages. Linguists who have done field work are therefore especially welcome to apply. Our linguists work closely with our IT department developing valuable computational skills, providing them with an excellent facility in manipulation of data. In house training is provided for all positions.
The variety of languages processed is wide and diverse. Appen works in over 100 languages.
Based in Chatswood NSW, Appen is a world leader in its field and a winner of many awards in Information and Communication Technology. Our staff include linguists and IT professionals who collaborate in producing quality work for clients. For more information on Appen, please refer to our website http://www.appen.com.au.
The positions currently available are for new graduates to several years experience to PhD level.
- Completion of a recognised linguistics course. Typically, this involves study topics such as phonetics, phonology, syntax, morphology and semantics undertaken as the major stream of study at university level. An Honours degree or post-graduate degree would be well regarded.
- Alternatively, completion of a course in Modern Languages will be considered
- Good interpersonal skills and an ability to work with other cultures and successfully engage in teaching and managing a team of native speakers of non-English languages
- Ability to work collaboratively in a multi-disciplinary team
- Ability to learn new skills quickly is essential
- Ability to work under pressure
- Good computer skills and the ability to rapidly learn more sophisticated skills while on the job
- Fluent English is necessary
- One or more languages other than English
- Some experience managing teams or projects would be an advantage
Applications and Further Information: Interested applicants should send a one page covering letter and a detailed CV / resume to jobs-at-appen.com.au. Please include copies of university transcripts.
Senior Linguist, Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre
A key position is available in one of Australia's leading language centres. This is a great opportunity to work in a vibrant and complex linguistic and cultural environment. Be part of a passionate, hard-working team. We are looking for an experienced, motivated linguist who can engage with the community and effectively manage the centre's language projects. Highly developed linguistic analysis and staff management skills essential.
This is a full-time position based in Port Hedland.
$10,000pa housing allowance and attractive salary sacrifice options.
Applicants should address the selection criteria and attach a copy of a current resume and two referees to The Manager, WMPALC, PO Box 2736, South Hedland WA 6722 or manager-at-wangkamaya.org.au by close of business Monday 7 December 2009.
For further information or a copy of the job description and selection criteria phone Nadine Hicks 08 9172 2344.
The Pilbara region of Western Australia provides a challenging and stimulating environment in which to carry out linguistic work. It contains 30 plus languages at varying levels of endangerment, some with over 100 competent speakers, and some with only a handful. Wangka Maya's base in Port Hedland allows access to the many surrounding remote indigenous communities. We are engaged in a wide range of interesting community projects, such as mobile phone dictionaries, multimedia language resources, grammars and interactive online dictionaries. We are also engaged in supporting other community and grass-roots organisations in their own language ventures. This is your chance to be part of the crucial work of language documentation, revitalisation and promotion. As Senior Linguist you will have the opportunity to manage a team of linguists and language workers, and to plan and direct the language work of the centre. You will be responsible for the high quality and appropriateness of all products. We welcome your ideas in all these areas.
Port Hedland is the economic centre of the Pilbara, therefore job opportunities for partners are readily available.
Job Opportunities, UCL, London -- DEADLINE IMMINENT
Job 1: Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Full Time)
Creating a Web-Based Platform for English Language Teaching and Learning
Department of English Language and Literature
The Survey of English Usage (SEU)
This post is funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and tenable for 22 months, starting 1 January 2010.
Salary, including London Allowance (to be confirmed): GBP31,778 - GBP38,441
The SEU seeks to fill a position of Postdoctoral Research Fellow. The successful candidate will work on the project 'Creating a Web-Based Platform for English Language Teaching and Learning', a Knowledge Transfer Fellowship funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). S/he will work alongside a computer scientist and will report to the Director. The project, which has the London Borough of Camden School Improvement Service as a partner, is described at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/english-usage/projects/grammar-teaching.
For more information see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/english-usage
The Director of the Survey of English Usage is Bas Aarts. He can be contacted for general information (b.aarts-at-ucl.ac.uk).
Closing date: 2 December 2009. Latest time for submission of application, 5 pm. Interview date: 9 December 2009.
Job 2: Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Full Time)
The changing verb phrase in present-day British English
Department of English Language and Literature
The Survey of English Usage (SEU)
This post is funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and tenable for 14 months, starting 1 January 2010.
Salary, including London Allowance (to be confirmed): GBP31,778 - GBP38,441
The SEU seeks to fill a position of Postdoctoral Research Fellow. The successful candidate will work on the project 'The changing verb phrase in present-day British English', funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and will report to the Director. The project is described at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/english-usage/projects/verb-phrase/index.htm.
For more information see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/english-usage.
The Director of the Survey of English Usage is Professor Bas Aarts. He can be contacted for general information (e-mail b.aarts-at-ucl.ac.uk).
Closing date: 2 December 2009. Latest time for submission of application, 5 pm. Interview date: 9 December 2009.
Post-doctoral position, RCLT
The Research Centre for Linguistic Typology at La Trobe University, Melbourne, is accepting applications for a one-year full-time or part-time post-doctoral position, to start immediately. The successful applicant(s) will be required to write an application in the current round for an ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship, Australian Research Fellowship, or Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship to be carried out at the RCLT if successful. The project should involve documentation of an undescribed or under described language, preferably of the Tibeto-Burman language family or a language of Papua New Guinea, but excellent candidates working on any language will be considered. Aside from this the post-doctoral fellow would be expected to participate in RCLT activities, do their own research, and publish journal articles or revise their PhD thesis for publication.
Applications should reach RCLT by Tuesday 15th December 2009.
Mailing address: RCLT, La Trobe University, Victoria 3086.
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 (tjcurnow-at-ozemail.com.au) 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 (doug.absalom-at-newcastle.edu.au). If you wish to check your membership status, change your address or make some other enquiry, please contact Doug.