Newsletter November 1999

ALS Newsletter November 1999

From the Editor

Inside this issue you can find the Minutes of the recent AGM in Perth, a list of financial members to check for your name (if it is not there you may have fallen dangerously behind with your fees, so please get in touch with Doug Absalom asap), and the usual selection of job opportunities, conference announcements, and news. Thanks to everyone for their contributions.

Tim Curnow has added a list of contents and abstracts of AJL issues to the ALS webpage - check it out. Thanks heaps Tim!

I believe nominations for delegates to be sent to the Pacific Rim conference are now being sought - see below in the AGM Minutes.

As those of you who get the newsletter by email will know, I have set up an email list for distribution of information between newsletters. Well actually I am still in the process of doing this. Life has been a bit hectic lately. What I have been doing as an interim measure is offering a distribution service - if you have something you would like members to know about between newsletters, mail me and I will distribute. I think we should keep this list for members only, and limit the content to information and announcements, rather than discussion - we can review this policy when we see how things are going. I am also in the process of setting up a web-based bulletin board where we can have a discussion forum.

Links and information about the recent ALS conference in Perth, and the 2000 conferences in Melbourne are available from the ALS website, or from the conference organisers listed below. For those of you who need non-electronic info, I'm sorry I do not have phone or mail addresses - I suggest you get in touch with the linguistics departments responsible.

Best wishes


Table of Contents

ALS AGM 1999 Minutes
ARC awards in linguistics
At the Coalface
News from University of Melbourne
Membership list - check for your name
About ALS - office bearers, membership details, etc
Next newsletter - want to contribute?

ALS AGM 1999 Minutes

The meeting opened at 5.10 at the University of Western Australia with 57 in attendance and Peter Austin in the Chair.

1. Apologies

Apologies were received from Toni Borowsky, Michael Clyne, Bill Foley, David Lee, Jean Mulder, Anne Pauwels, Peter Peterson, Nick Reid.

2. Acceptance of the minutes of the ALS AGM 1998

It was moved that the minutes of the ALS AGM 1998 be accepted.

Proposed: Doug Absalom, Seconded: Michael Walsh. Passed

3. Matters arising


Doug Absalom, within his Treasurer's Report, reported that the ALS was now incorporated.

Linguistics in NT

There was little to report on the situation at this stage and ALS agrees to maintain a watching brief.

Pacific Rim

Peter Austin reminded the meeting that ALS needed to maintain liaison with Charles Li and that as part of ALS' contribution 2 delegates should be sent from ALS to the Pacific Rim conference. To that end the Chair called for nominations which would be funded by ALS up to US$5000 each for their attendance and participation in the conference. Nominations could come via the AGM, through the next ALS Newsletter and by e-mail. Nominations for the 2 delegates should be sent to the ALS Secretary.

Language in School Curriculum

Doug Absalom and Peter Austin reported on this issue. Funding had been a problem with delays experienced in early 1999. An application for $110,000 had only yielded $40,000 due to adminstrative difficulties. There will be a meeting before the end of 1999 to apply for further funding. A new course in English language has been developed for the VCE by a team including Peter Austin, Kate Burridge, Michael Clyne and Jean Mulder. Very strong interest has been in evidence during the pilot program and further evidence was apparent in a course run by Kate Burridge for 92 teachers. The first graduates of the VCE English language course will complete in 2001. This is an area that has great potential for the dissemination of linguistics at the High School level.

Heather Bowe drew attention to the VCE Australian Indigenous Languages Overview. Although there has not been a lot of progress so far a pilot program has begun which includes the study of Gupapuyngu and Yorta Yorta reclamation. Peter Austin observed that some NSW languages are moving to have recognition as a LOTE in the education system.

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4. Reports


[PKA to supply and to check the following]

From the Chair Peter Austin moved a huge vote of thanks to the conference organisers especially Ian Malcolm and John Henderson (with special thanks to the latter for the excellent Web-based facilities). The vote of thanks was passed with acclamation.

The President reported that he had received lots of correspondence from Sydney concerning the Olympic Games. His own correspondence had included letters concerning bilingual education to the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory and the Minister for Education in the Northern Territory. He had received 1-line responses along the lines of: Thanks for your interest. Peter Carroll said that government sources in the NT indicated that the issue had received a tremendous amount of attention. Robert Hoogenraad encouraged ALS members to sign a petition that had been prepared on this issue. Pat McConvell inidicated a report by Bob Collins is to appear soon and it would be useful for us to keep up the pressure - pehaps through a statement based on existing research. He volunteered to be a point of contact for this initiative. David Nathan reported that FATSIL has produced a document that engages with this issue. Heather Bowe mentioned another report by Jean Clague. Peter Austin recommended that Robert Hoogenraad and a number of volunteers should join together on this issue and suggested that Doug Absalom might make some funds available for this important issue.


The Secretaty's report: 'Nothing to report' was received with acclamation.


ALS (Inc) Financial Statement 30/6/98 to 24/9/99




$ 7171:11


$ 1645:03

ALS 98

$ 4863:67

ALS 99

$ 4000:-

ALI 98


ALI 2000

$ 5000:-


$ 6326:39


$ 501:-


$ 3060:99

Bank costs

$ 394:42


$ 140:-


$ 312:-

Treas. Ex's.

$ 344:21






$ 51422:16


$ 12336:66


$ 39085:50

Accumulated funds 29/6/98

$ 68548:42

Current funds

Represented by:
Fixed deposit 1. $ 11788:20
Fixed deposit 2. $ 30000:-
Money Managers $ 64352:34
Cheque account $3663:81
Sub-total $109804:35
Unpresented cheques (46,49,50,51) $2170:43
Total $107633:92

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Treasurer's Report

Figures can be deceiving. Last year, after having a $10,000 deficit, I suggested that the Society had no need to worry. This year, with a $39,000 excess, I'm suggesting that things are not nearly as good as they might seem at first glance. Despite the fact that we have over $100,000 in the bank for the first time in our history, much of that money is earmarked for special projects; about $25,000 for ALI 2000, about $15,000 for Pacific Rim 2001 and then there is the Carfax bill for AJL Volumes 18 and 19, which we haven't as yet received but which will be about $30,000. On the brighter side, our membership income has doubled this year, not because of the fee increase, but more due to the fact that I sent out a 'tactful' letter to about 70 people who had not paid since 1996, and received positive responses (i.e. with money!) from almost 50 of them. I'll do the same this year for those who have not paid since 1997, but do not expect as strong a response. I also sent letters to about 60 people who had attended ALI last year and who had been made 'temporary' members, but received fewer than ten positive responses. Regarding membership, there will be a list of financial members published in the newsletter. If your name is not on it, you will need to contact me. Membership rates will remain at their current level for the coming year.

Special congratulations must go to Mary Laughren, Graham Scott, David Lee and their team for the excellent financial results from both the conference and the Institute last year. There is also some increased income from Carfax, who are now paying us royalties, as well as our editorial expenses.

On the expenditure side, D.F.T. refers to the Department of Fair Trading, for the expenses incurred in becoming incorporated, and G.I.O refers to our Public Liability policy for about eleven million dollars, which was required for incorporation and which will be a recurring expense from now on. However, Incorporation has been relatively cheaply achieved for us, largely due to some expert 'free' advice from a valued colleague from our Law faculty. I now owe him only innumerable lifts to work and a good bottle of red wine. Our next step, i.e. becoming a registered charity, is likely to be much more difficult since we are in competition with natural disasters like droughts, floods and earthquakes, etc. and the process appears to be highly complex. However, it is necessary if sponsorship for ALI is to be tax deductible.

Finally, there is the matter of Honorary members and it gives me a great deal of pleasure to recommend that Prof. Rodney Huddleston, foundation editor of AJL, Dr. Tom Dutton, former business manager of AJL, and Dr. Peter Paul, former newsletter editor, be admitted to this category. All have given outstanding voluntary service to the Society and all three were, I think, foundation members, or else joined very soon after our establishment.

Doug Absalom, Hon.Treas. ALS (Inc.)


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It was moved that a vote of thanks be extended to Doug Absalom for his work in incorporating ALS.

Proposed: Jane Simpson, Seconded: Margaret Sharpe. Passed

Doug Absalom moved that Honorary Membership be accorded to 3 members who have retired in recent years and have provided major contributions to ALS:

Tom Dutton
Proposed: Doug Absalom, Seconded: Michael Walsh. Passed
Rodney Huddleston
Proposed: Doug Absalom, Seconded: Margaret Sharpe. Passed
Peter Paul
Proposed: Doug Absalom, Seconded: Mary Laughren. Passed

Journal Editor

Members should by now have received their copies of Vol 19 No 1. Vol 19 No 2 is in press and will be distributed shortly. It contains papers by Curnow, Harvey, Jarkey, Pensalfini and Zewi. AJL has been receiving a healthy number of submissions in recent times. I am currently negotaiting a special issue on Anaphora for next year (with Lesley Stirling as guest Editor).

Newsletter Editor

Costs for the Newsletter since the last AGM have been as follows

99/3 August 1999 $201.26
99/2 May 1999 $229.17
99/1 February 1999 $249.83
98/4 November 1998 $265.66
98/3 August 1998 $371.23

The continuing decrease in costs has obviously been due to the newsletter being distributed electronically where possible. Thanks to all for cooperation in making this possible.

The webpage is also available for between-newsletter publishing of information, though till now I have hesitated to use it for this purpose. I'd be glad to receive guidance from members on whether this would be useful.


Cliff Goddard suggested setting up a Discussion List as an arena for ALS issues. Helen Fraser volunteered to look into setting up a bulletin board as part of the ALS Web page. She also indicated that she would welcome someone taking over as Newsletter Editor in the not too distant future.

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ALS in Perth 1999

Ian Malcolm thanked those who came, Basically 120 came to Perth with 19 registrations just for the workshop on Non-Standard Dialects and about 90 for the workshop on Linguistic Issues in Native Title. The income was around $14,000 and the total expenditure around $12,000. The cap on registration had placed severe constraints on the conference organizers and it had only been viable through substantial donations to ALA & ALAA from a number of sources: $5000 from UWA; $5000 from Edith Cowan University; $6,500 from the WA Department of Education. These cash contributions had been extended by substantial in kind assistance from ECU and UWA. He extended his thanks to all those who had contributed.

ALI in Melbourne 2000

Peter Austin reported that planning on ALI 2000 was progressing well with 72 presenters involved in more than 50 courses and workshops. The local organizing committee involves all the universities in the greater Melbourne area (including the University of Tasmania) and this committee has been ably serviced by Julie Bradshaw. Two problem areas arose in discussion: fees may attract GST and members should check the Web page for details; Harold Koch pointed out that most if not all universities had rescheduled 2nd semester in 2000 because of the Olympic Games and this could cause a clash between the 2nd week of ALI and the 1st week of classes in 2nd semester in home institutions.

Committee on Linguistics Teaching [JHS to supply]

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5. Green paper on education

Peter Austin advised that the Green paper on education could potentially have a major impact on ALS' activities. In particular he wondered whether representations should be made to DETYA concerning the 3.5 year funding cap on candidates for postgraduate study. Many students would be badly affected especially those working on endangered languages, sociolinguistic and other long term projects. Mark Harvey suggested a combined approach with other relevant disciplines like Anthropology if fieldwork is the main focus. Graham McKay suggested joint action with ALAA perhaps via Anne Pauwels. Cliff Goddard proposed that a sub-committee be set up. Peter Austin volunteered to write a document addressing these issues with input from other members of a subcommittee to include Doug Absalom, Michael Clyne, Nick Evans and Cliff Goddard.

6. Future conferences

ALS in 2001

This is to be held at ANU with RSPAS as the host.

ALI & ALS in 2002

These events will probably be held in the greater Sydney area through a consortium consisting of the University of Sydney, UNSW, UWS, Macquarie University and the University of Newcastle.

7. Election of officers

It was moved that Mary Laughren be the President.

Proposed: Jane Simpson, Seconded:Peter Austin. Passed

2 Vice Presidents

It was moved that Robert Hoogenraad be a Vice-President.

Proposed: Michael Walsh, Seconded: Jane Simpson. Passed

It was moved that Malcolm Ross be a Vice-President.

Proposed: Peter Collins, Seconded: John Ingram. Passed

8. AOB

Kate Burridge drew the members' attention to a number of conferences: a fortcoming conference on Language Endangerment; the International Society of Historical Linguistics to be hosted by LaTrobe University in mid August in 2001; and the Australian Indigenous Languages Expo being held towards the end of ALS.

There being no further business the meeting concluded at 6.30pm.

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Ngaanyatjarra College

Ngaanyatjarra College is seeking a qualified and experienced Linguist to assist aboriginal people residing in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands with language maintenance and the development of support materials.

Salary and Conditions: An attractive salary package with generous accommodation and leave provisions is available. Applicants should note that this is a "dry" area and consumption and sale of alcohol is prohibited under the Aboriginal Communities Act. A position description and selection criteria is available by contacting Bryan McKain on (08) 8950 1711.

Application detailing qualifications and experience should be accompanied by the names of three referees and addressed to:-

Manager (Field Support)
Ngaanyatjarra Council
PO Box 644
Alice Springs NT 0871
Phone: (08) 8950 1711
Fax: (08) 8953 1892

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University of Canterbury Christchurch New Zealand, Department of Linguistics

Two Post-Doctoral fellowships in Linguistics are available from 1st February 2000. These fellowships are for the ONZE research project (ONZE stands for "origins and development of New Zealand English"). One is for a two-year period, and one for a three-year period, beginning Feb. 1st, 2000 or as soon thereafter as possible. Both fellowships include a return airfare.

(1) Acoustic phonetics (Funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand, Marsden Fund)

This fellowship is for three years, at $45,000 NZ per year. Interest in sociolinguistics and/or language change will also be of value, though not strictly required.

(2) Auditory phonetics and sociolinguistics (Funded by the University of Canterbury)

This fellowship is for two years at $45,000 NZ per year. Interest in language change will also be of value, though not strictly required.

Note: the cost of living in New Zealand is lower than in many other countries - for example, the average wage is under $24,000 per year; the fellowship is comparable to the salary received by beginning lecturers in New Zealand (equivalent to assistant professors in North America.)

The Origins and Development of New Zealand English (ONZE)

Project leaders:

Assoc.-Prof. Elizabeth Gordon, Department of Linguistics
Professor Lyle Campbell, Department of Linguistics
Dr Margaret Maclagan, Department of Speech-Language Therapy

This is a sociolinguistic research project interested in the origin of New Zealand English and how it has changed. Since the European settlement of NZ dates back only 150 years, New Zealand English (NZE) has developed at a time when it is possible to have not only written accounts of the early speech heard in this country, but also actual recorded evidence. We have an archive of recorded interviews collected by the NZ National Broadcasting Corporation in 1946/47 containing the speech of over 200 old New Zealanders, some born as early as the 1850s (almost as early as the major colonisation, from 1840). This archive, along with other more recent recorded data, provides us with the complete history in apparent time of this new variety of English. This research, therefore, provides keys to resolving theoretical questions of how languages change, how dialects emerge, and how new colonial and postcolonial English varieties develop.

The main objectives of the research are to establish the origin and development of NZE and to use developments in NZE to test general claims about language change and the emergence of new varieties of English.

These will be achieved through the phonetic analysis of archives of recordings which collectively include the speech of New Zealanders born from 1850-c1975.

The project will provide opportunities for the post-doctoral fellows to work in a rich research environment with an established team which includes Elizabeth Gordon, Lyle Campbell; Margaret Maclagan, and Peter Trudgill.

For more information please contact:
Associate Professor Elizabeth Gordon
Tel: 64 -3-364-2008
Professor Lyle Campbell
Tel: 64-3-364-2242

Guidelines for applicants applying for a position are to be found at:
Position 1 (acoustic phonetics): Marsden Grant
Position 2 (auditory phonetics and sociolinguistics): LG74

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Computational Linguist - Statistical Language Modelling


  • With other team members, design, develop and implement algorithms for creating statistical language models
  • Collect and process data for creating language models
  • Contribute to research and development of language understanding systems

Information from <> or

HR Manager
Level 8, 132 Arthur Street

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ARC Awards to Linguists

ARC Fellowships (1 in linguistics)

A cross-linguistic typology of first/non-first person marking systems and related splits in evidentiality systems.

Dr Timothy Jowan Curnow - La Trobe University (Australian Postdoctoral Research Fellowship)

This project investigates systems of person marking across languages of the world, examining those with distinction only between first ('I') and non-first ('you, he, she') person. It also investigates evidential systems which distinguish between first and non-first person, describing the similarities between these evidentiality systems and person marking systems. While these two systems are traditionally treated as unrelated, there are clear areas of overlap. This will be the first cross-linguistic study of these phenomena in a wide range of unrelated languages, and will thus make a significant contribution to the understanding of the underlying cognitive and linguistic mechanisms involved.

ARC Large Grants (6 in linguistics)

Divergence, Contact and Convergence in Lisu: dictionaries, description and cultural reconstruction.

A/Prof David Bradley - La Trobe University
Dr Gam Shae - United Bible Societies
Mr David Ngwaza - Lisu Cultural Centre
Mr Caibang Hu - Yuanmou County Government
2000: $110,500 2001: $109,000 2002: $109,000

An international team will continue a broadly-based descriptive and comparative study of Lisu language in its cultural context. This will produce dialect and comparative dictionaries, overall descriptive studies, and a cultural reconstruction of Lisu and Himalayan society to extend our understanding of the history of the region. We will also document and analyse traditional Lisu knowledge including ethnotaxononomies (of plants and other areas) and oral literature. Processes of change within Lisu and in contact with other languages are being elucidated; this will provide an extended example of the nature of sociolinguistic and historical linguistic processes in a barely investigated region.

Endangered Languages: Australia and Amazonia.

Prof RMW Dixon - The Australian National University
Prof Alexandra Aikhenvald - The Australian National University
Prof Barry Blake - La Trobe University
A/Prof Nicholas Evans - The University of Melbourne
2000: $75,500 2001: $75,500 2002: $77,000

The great majority of languages are spoken by small communities and are endangered, being likely to drop out of use within the next few generations. Many of these languages have complex grammars and unusual sets of categories; it is important to document them in order to attain a full characterisation of human cognition. The project will focus on the languages of indigenous Australia and of Amazonia, documenting them, providing full descriptions of some of them, and examining the processes of change involved when a new generation of speakers modifies the structure of their language under influence of a dominant lingua franca.

A study of the Yarluyandi and Yardliyawara languages and associated oral traditions

Dr Luise Hercus - Private (ACT)
2000: $5,400 2001: $4,786 2002: $4,400

The aim is to study, on the basis of extensive recorded materials, two Aboriginal languages, now no longer spoken, from the eastern Lake Eyre basin. The outcome will consist of grammars and comparative studies, including the investigation of links between shared myths and songs and language distribution. The project is intended as a step forward in the theoretical debate over genetic similarities versus diffusion in Australian languages. The process is also intended to contribute to the maintenance of a sense of identity and self-esteem in a number of Aboriginal communities.

Modelling a multilingual and multimodal meaner in a semiotic role network

A/Prof Christian Matthiessen - Macquarie University
2000: $77,000 2001: $77,000 2002: $70,000

Based on systemic functional theory, the research will develop a detailed theoretical model of multimodal generation and knowledge acquisition as capabilities of a meaning server in a semiotic role network. It will transform the Multex generator, a stand?alone multilingual and multimodal presentation generator developed through a large ARC grant 1996-8, into Semunet, a general framework for dynamic content creation, coupled with a workbench for linguistic resource development. This will greatly increase the acceptance of the dynamic content technology by the multimedia and web industry and accelerate the transition from file-based processing to content-based processing.

Small Island - Big Issues: The changing language ecology of Norfolk Island.

Prof Peter Muhlhausler - The University of Adelaide
2000: $64,000 2001: $61,000 2002: $60,000

Desert Island situations have traditionally been used by linguists to study the effects of isolation on a single language. This study by contrast uses desert island evidence to study language contact. It investigates 150 years of interactions between Pitkern-Norfolk and other languages on Norfolk Island. Attention to the social history of language contacts will lead to significant advances in the understanding of language development in general and that of Pitkern-Norfolk in particular. These new understandings combined with a comprehensive documentation of Norfolk's multilingual past will form the basis of a programme to revitalise the endangered Pitkern-Norfolk language.

Kaytetye, Ngardi and Warumungu: effective representation of word meanings in Aboriginal languages

Dr Jane Simpson - The University of Sydney
Dr Christopher Manning - The University of Sydney
Dr Linda Barwick - The University of Sydney
Ms Myfany Turpin - The University of Sydney
Ms Lee Cataldi - Independent Researcher
Ms Peggy Rockman - Independent Researcher
2000: $50,500 2001: $45,000 2002: $46,000

Essential to languages and cultures are the meanings of words, links with other words, figurative uses and cultural connotations. We will investigate how to represent most effectively this information in three endangered Aboriginal languages, Warumungu, Kaytetye and Ngardi, carrying out fieldwork informed by linguistic and literary theory, native speaker knowledge and ethnomusicological expertise. Analysis of the data collected will be enhanced by computational lexicographic approaches developed in a small ARC project. We will build hyperdictionaries for the languages (lexical and text data sources manipulable to produce appropriate information), and test them on different audiences for dictionaries (native speakers, learners, linguists).

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At the coalface

Anne Horan, The presentation of English grammar in schools (MLitt, UNE)

This is a study of the presentation of English grammar in 24 schools across Sydney, surveyed through 1998. The data appear in 4 parts: (1) the approach taken by individual teachers; (2) the approach taken by schools; (3) an analysis of grammar books used by students; (4) an analysis of current teacher-reference material.

The findings are that traditional grammar (TdG) continues to exert a strong influence with individual teachers and in schools. Systemic Functional Grammar (SFG) has a lesser presence, its significance being largely in the 'genre' approach to writing. Any awareness of a 'structural' or descriptive approach to grammatical analysis is minimal.

The purpose of the study is to make some attempt at brining structural linguistics out of academia and into schools, so that teachers might have access to a broader understanding of linguistics. The general situation in the schools visited is that where there is a linguistics presence, it is SFG and only SFG. The study recommends that debate and dialogue take place between both systemicist and structural linguists, with a view to establishing some sensible combination of the two perspectives appropriate to school education. It also urges that ALS approach the publishers in question in regard to the dozens of linguistically unsound student grammar texts which, year after year, continue to appear on the market.

Further information from Anne Horan 02 9744 3885 (w) 02 4787 6293 (h) 02 9744 3815 (fax)

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Lynn Berry, Alignment and Adjacency in Optimality Theory: evidence from Warlpiri and Arrernte. (PhD, University of Sydney 1999)

The goal of this thesis is to explore alignment and adjacency of constituents in the framework of Optimality Theory. Under the notion of alignment, certain categories, prosodic and morphological, are required to correspond to certain other categories, prosodic or morphological. The alignment of categories is achieved through the operation of constraints which evaluate the wellformedness of outputs. The constraints on the alignment of categories and the ranking of these constraints are examined with emphasis on two Australian languages, Warlpiri and Arrernte. The aim is to provide an adequate account in the theory of Optimality of the processes of stress, reduplication and vowel harmony evident in the data.

The thesis expands on the range of edges for the alignment of feet. Foot alignment is developed to account for the fact that the edges of intonational phrases, morphemes, and specific morphemes, as well as phonologically specific syllables, play an active role in determining the location of feet. An additional finding is that the location of feet can also be determined by adjacency, resolving conflict between morphological alignment, and ensuring rhythmic harmony. Requirements on adjacency are further supported to account for segmental harmony, where harmony provides evidence for the simultaneous action of segmental and prosodic processes.

The analysis provides a unified account of binary and ternary rhythm recommending modifications to alignment of certain categories, thereby laying the groundwork to deal with variation. The account of variation involves relaxing certain constraints. In addition, the notion of rhythm is expanded to account for onset sensitivity to stress, with evidence of this sensitivity found in reduplication and allomorphy. The interaction of prosodic categories with each other and with morphological categories can be directly captured in OT, providing a unified and coherent account of phenomena, some of which were previously seen as exceptions and, therefore unrelated and arbitrary.

Available from:

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News from The University of Melbourne, Department of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics

Peter Austin has received a DAAD Academic Exchange Fellowship to spend three months from mid-November at Frankfurt University working with Bernd Nothofer on the classification of Balinese-Sasak-Sumbawan within Western Austronesian. Peter has also been invited to give talks at Cologne, Bochum, Mainz, Leipzig, Konstanz, Amsterdam and Leiden Universities. In February he has been invited to give a lecture series on Lexical Functional Grammar in the PhD seminar at Roma Tre University, Rome, Italy. He will be giving a seminar at Chinese University, Hong Kong at the end of February before returning to Melbourne.

Nick Evans was a successful applicant (with Bob Dixon, Sasha Aikhenvald and Barry Blake, La Trobe) for a large ARC grant to work on endangered languages of Australia and the Amazon. Janet Fletcher, Andy Butcher (Flinders), and Johnathan Harrington (Macquarie) received a REIF grant to set up a mobile phonetics laboratory. Tim McNamara received an IREX grant for collaborative research with Mike Long, University of Hawaii.

Recent small ARC grant successes include:

Peter Austin, Nick Evans, John Bowden (ANU), Anna Margetts (Nijmegen) 'Three-place predicates in the languages of the world'

Rachel Nordlinger, John Hajek 'Tetum Prasa language project: towards the description and standardizaton of the lingua franca of East Timor'

Brian Paltridge 'Writing a thesis in a second language: advice, expectations and interpretations'

Lesley Stirling, Myung-Hee Kim 'Referential choices in Australian Aboriginal languages'

Stephen Matthews (University of Hong Kong) has been awared an Edward Clarence Dyason Universitas 21 Fellowship to visit the Department from 1st July 2000 for six months. Stephen is a specialist on Cantonese linguistics and language typology and will be teaching an honours course on 'Language typology and Sinitic' in second semester 2000.

Tonya Stebbins has just completed her PhD on 'Issues in Sm'algyax (Coast Tsimshian) Lexicography' which focusses on consideration of dictionary design for this endangered language, including lexicographic and sociolinguistic considerations, and discussion of the role of linguists in language preservation.

Working Papers in Sasak, Vol 2 will be available at the end of November. It contains papers on verbs and valence, animacy effects, relativisation, relativisation in Sumbawan, discourse strategies, code-switching, speech levels, and sample dialogue and monologue texts. Contributions come from scholars in Melbourne, Lombok, Japan and Germany. For further details visit the web site (

or e-mail <>

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New list

A group of WA Language Centres has set up a private email list to facilitate discussion of linguistic and administrative issues. Anyone wanting to post a message on this list should send it to me and I will forward it to the list (I am the listowner). The language centres involved are: Kimberley Language Resource Centre (Halls Creek); Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring (Kununurra); Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre (Hedland); Yamaji Language Centre (Geraldton).

Doug Marmion <>

Professional indemnity insurance

Are any ALS members interested in obtaining professional indemnity insurance? I would like to explore the possibility of the ALS taking out a group policy that may be cheaper for the members than individual policies. Please contact me if you are interested: <>

Nicholas Thieberger
Department of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
University of Melbourne
Ph: 03 9344 5193 (Office)
Postal address: 27 John St. Brunswick East, Vic 3057, Australia

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

Australian Linguistics Institute ALI-2000 3-14th July 2000

The list of courses, workshops and presenters for ALI-2000 has been finalised and is available on the web site ( A draft timetable and enrolment details will be available by the end of November. Early bird registration closes on 1st April 2000 and the organising committee would appreciate enrolments as soon as possible, especially bookings for accommodation. For any enquiries contact:

Note that the ALS, ALAA, Australex and International Systemics conferences will be held at Melbourne in conjunction with ALI-2000. Links to information about these are available on the ALI web site.

ALS 2000

will be held in Melbourne from 7th - 9th July 2000, at the University of Melbourne.


ALAA 2000 (Applied Linguistics Association of Australia)

Conference, 7th - 9th July 2000. University of Melbourne.

Contact: Howard Nicholas, <>

Australex 2000 10th July 2000.University of Melbourne


ISFC 2000 (27th International Systemic Functional Linguistics Conference)

9th - 14th July, University of Melbourne.


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The XVth International Conference on Historical Linguistics will be hosted by the Department of Linguistics, La Trobe. It will be held at the Hotel Ibis, Therry St, Melbourne from 13 to 17 August 2001. Further information in the next newsletter.

Barry Blake


6th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing

Announcement and Call for Papers

16-20 October, 2000

Beijing International Convention Center Beijing China

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Membership - are you financial???

The following list indicates the current membership, with the number in brackets after the name showing the year for which membership is valid, i.e. 1999 indicates that the member is financial to December 31, 1999. All (and only) members in the list below will receive AJL 19/2, which is ready for despatch. If your name does not appear in this list, it means you are not a financial member - please contact the treasurer asap if you wish to rectify the situation. If you believe that there is an error in the year indicated, please contact the treasurer urgently.

Names removed

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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.

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ALS Office Bearers


Mary Laughren (UQueensland)

Vice Presidents

Jane Simpson (USydney)
Malcolm Ross
Robert Hoogenraad


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

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 (02) 49 215155 Fax (02) 49 217170
Doug Absalom (Newcastle)
Box 8, Hunter Building, Newcastle University, NSW 2308
Ph.02 49216437; Fax 02 4921 6895
< >

Newsletter Editor

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

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Next Newsletter

The ALS Newsletter is published four times per year. This is the fourth issue for 1999. The next issue (00/1) will come out in mid February. Copy will be due on the first Monday in February. 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. 19/2 is being published and will be distributed shortly. 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).

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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: __________________


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