Newsletter May 2011

Welcome to the latest Newsletter of the Australian Linguistic Society. As usual, the @ symbol in people's email addresses has been replaced with -at-, and clicking on any link will open that site in a new window.

Check out the information on Workshops and Tutorial offered at ALS 2011 below, under "Conferences".

Andrea Schalley

Expressions of Interest: Curriculum Writers and Advisory Panel Members, Australian Curriculum


Over the next few months the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority will be finalising the curriculum shaping phase for languages and will be moving into the curriculum writing phase.

The Australian Curriculum: Languages will include the development of language-specific curricula and a Framework for Australian Languages (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages). The selection and staging of language-specific development will be determined by the outcome of consultation on the draft 'Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages' paper.

ACARA welcomes applications/expression of interests (EOI) for the following roles within the 'Australian Curriculum: Languages' for the curriculum writing phase.

  • Languages - Curriculum Writers and Advisory Panel Members
  • Australian Languages (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages) - Curriculum Writers and Advisory Panel Members

Expressions of Interest close Friday 27 May 2011.

Please send your expression of interest forms with the appropriate attachments to:

For more information, cf.

Andrea Schalley

Language and Asylum Research Group (LARG)

The convenors of Language and Asylum Research Group (LARG) are happy to announce the launch of LARG's website:

LARG is a group of experts who share an interest in LADO ( Language Analysis for the Determination of Origin) as a research topic, from a practitioner's point of view, or both.

The primary mission of LARG is to stimulate research, contribute to the further development of guidelines, and promote best-practice for practitioners working in this field, through exchange of informed views, in the spirit of and extending the scope of the'2004 Guidelines for the Use of Language Analysis in relation to Questions of National Origin in Refugee Cases'.

On LARG's website, you will be able to read about language analysis in asylum cases, keep up with research-in-progress, already published research, relevant legal decisions, and much more.

Applications for LARG membership are welcome from academics, practitioners, lawyers, qualified linguists, government representatives, NGOs, and anyone else with an interest in responsible, valid and scholarly practices in LADO.

We also welcome news about LADO activities, research, publications, government policies and legal decisions, as well as links to relevant websites. Our email address is

Please forward this announcement to others interested in this area.

Thank you
Diana Eades and Peter Patrick, LARG Co-convenors.

Diana Eades

News from AIATSIS Language Unit

AIATSIS Summer Research Scholars

The AIATSIS Language Unit (ALU) has successfully hosted Summer Research Scholars for the past two summer periods. Most recently, David Osgarby from the University of Queensland completed his project on noun incorporation in the Dalabon language, giving a full-length seminar at ANU to great reception from the approximately 20 linguists attending.

We are preparing to announce another two scholarships for 2011-12, and ask those linguists teaching undergraduate students to mention the scholarship program to students interested in pursuing further study on Australian languages. This year, we are developing a partnership with Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre, which will see a focus on Pilbara languages as well as the possibility of a funded field trip to Port Hedland.

A Summer Research Scholarship at The Australian National University is an exceptional research opportunity for high achieving undergraduate and honours students, providing an insight into what studying for an honours or a graduate research degree is all about.

Under the supervision of the Language Research Fellow, ANU Linguistics Summer Scholars work on research projects to add value to a specific language collection in the AIATSIS Archive, as well as participate in the general activities of the AIATSIS Language Unit.

'Adding value' to a language collection involves transcribing and annotating language recordings, adding to the metadata, identifying analytical issues in the language and/or the data set and reporting on these as well as communicating with the relevant language community about the work being undertaken. The scholarship culminates in a presentation to the linguistics community, summarising the results of the student’s project. Funds are also available to support the scholars to attend the annual Australian Languages Weekend in March.

Indigenous Visiting Research Fellowships

AIATSIS has been awarded $350,000 from the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research to fund the 2011-2012 round of Indigenous Visiting Research Fellowships. The fellowships are available to Indigenous researchers, particularly those enrolled in higher degrees by research, to enable them to come to AIATSIS to conduct their research.

The fellowships are available for periods between three to twelve months, and include a pro rata salary of $52,963-$88,207, travel to and accommodation in Canberra, as well as a small fund for travel for field work and conferences. It is expected that the applications for fellowships will be announced in May, and due some time in June. We have not yet had a linguistics student attend AIATSIS through this program, and are keenly hoping that this year will be different!

For more information, please contact

AIATSIS Research Seminar Series

This semester’s seminar series has featured papers on the theme ‘Language in Public’. We have had a diverse range of papers on topics such as the politics and practice of placenaming, Indigenous Languages in the National Curriculum, the bilingual education debate and the media, Blackfellas using language in performance, Whitefellas using language in publishing, Torres Strait Islanders using language in social media and Aboriginal English in the legal process. All seminars are webcast live at 12:30pm EST on Mondays at Audio and video of previous seminars (as it becomes available) can be streamed from

New appointments

Dr. Jaky Troy commenced in February as the new Research Director, Indigenous Social and Cultural Wellbeing. The AIATSIS Language Unit is part of Jaky’s portfolio, and we look forward to even more exciting language developments at AIATSIS under her leadership.

Rhonda Smith commenced as the new Communications and Administrative Support Officer in the ALU in March. Rhonda is a Gamilaraay and Wiradjuri woman, and a graduate of UNE’s linguistics program. She will also be developing a small research project on Wiradjuri as part of her role at AIATSIS.

Sarah Cutfield

News from the Language and Culture Research Group at the Cairns Institute, James Cook University


Dr Mark Post a Post-Doctoral fellow in Anthropological linguistics at the LCRG within the SASS/Cairns Institute, has received a top award - the 'Panini award', from the Association for Linguistic Typology for the best PhD thesis (2007-2010), for his monumental 'A Grammar of Galo' (La Trobe University, 2007) (first-named supervisor R M W Dixon, second-named supervisor Alexandra Y Aikhenvald).

Cairns Institute Visiting Fellows

Dr Knut Olawsky (Senior Linguist, Kununurra Language Centre) is undertaking research at LCRG in March-May, as a Special Visiting Fellow, working on the grammar of Miriwoong, from Western Australia.
On 19 April, he presented a seminar 'A race against time in the Kimberley: Language maintenance and revitalisation at Mirima Language Centre, Kununurra'
Abstract: 'Kununurra is a young town in the East Kimberley region, featuring a population composed of local Miriwoong, other Indigenous and non-Indigenous residents. Under the development of the Ord irrigation scheme Indigenous leaders soon started to realise that their language would suffer under the massive influence of Western culture. They founded a Language Centre whose function is to maintain and revitalise the traditional languages of the area - before the last fluent speakers disappear. This presentation deals with the various strategies and projects aimed at documenting, stabilising and transferring the Miriwoong language to following generations, considering issues as well as areas of success'
The text of the lecture is available at

Professor Claudia Maria Riehl of the University of Cologne presented a lecture at the Cairns Institute on 22 March 2011, on Language contact and language change in German-speaking enclaves
Abstract: 'In contrast to other minority language speakers, members of language enclaves describe themselves as belonging to the ethnos of a linguistic motherland where the language is spoken as a majority language. This has an impact not only on language attitudes but also on the linguistic development in these particular groups. The paper will address the concept of language enclaves by comparing historical, linguistic and sociolinguistic developments and language attitudes across different constellations.'
The text of the lecture is available at

Professor Carol Genetti (University of California at Santa Barbara), an internationally recognised expert on the Tibeto-Burman family and general linguistics, has been awarded a Cairns Institute Distinguished Visiting Fellowship for May-August 2011. She will be working on the history and classification of Tibeto-Burman languages, designing a dictionary for Dolokha Newar and investigating models of language conservation.


Dr Mark Post organized the 6th International Conference of the North East Indian Linguistics Society, with support from Cairns Institute and SASS.

The March 2011 Bulletin of the Language and Culture Research Group (32 pages) is available at

Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

News from RCLT and Linguistics, La Trobe University

Recent Publications

Barry Blake has completed a consolidated account of three dialects of Kulin entitled, Dialects of Western Kulin, Western Victoria Yartwatjali, Tjapwurrung, Djadjawurrung. It can be accessed at This site also contains a revised version of his paper 'Kulin and its neighbours'. Barry's recently published book Secret Language (OUP 2010) will be out in paperback later this year.

People on Fieldwork

Randy La Polla is currently on fieldwork in Northern Thailand. Anthony Jukes and Tim Brickell are currently on fieldwork in Minahasa, Indonesia David Sangdong is currently on fieldwork in Myanmar, Burma

Visitors at RCLT

Gwendolyn Hyslop has been awarded an Endeavour Australia Executive Award to spend 4 months at RCLT from 24 March to 31 July this year.

Tonya Stebbins

News from Macquarie University

For news of what's been happening in linguistics at Macquarie Uni, visit, where you can see all the latest news or check back in earlier issues of Lingline.

Verna Rieschild

News from Linguistics, CAP & CASS, Australian National University

Projects, Fellowships and Awards

Congratulations to Wayan Arka who has been awarded a prestigious Georg-Forster Fellowship for Experienced Researchers from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, to spend 12 months at the University of Cologne and University of Konstanz. This will give him a chance to synthesise the results of fieldwork he has been carrying out in Flores over the last decade or so in a book entitled "The Austronesian Languages of Flores: from Language Description to Linguistic Theory". Wayan will spend his fellowship working with Nicholas Himmelmann at the University of Cologne and with Miriam Butt at the University of Konstanz.

Congratulations to Nick Evans and his team! The ANU team led by Nick Evans has just received a substantial award from the Volkswagen Foundation's DoBeS program to produced detailed documentation of several languages of Southern New Guinea (Nen, Tonda and Idi), with a particular focus on recording large amounts of multimaterial on knowledge of natural resources (especially plants and birds). The project, awarded EUR 285,000 over the next three years, includes doctoral student Christian Döhler, postdoc Julia Miller, anthropologist Chris Healey and botanist Kipiro Damas from the PNG Herbarium, along with Bernard Comrie and Volker Gast, two German-based FAUSTS – 'future archive user simulation team-members'.

Congratulations to Antoinette Schapper, who has just been declared the co-winner of the Panini award of the Association for Linguistic Typology. Antoinette submitted her PhD at ANU last year in the Department of Linguistics. This award, inaugurated some years ago for the best doctoral grammar of an underdescribed language, is awarded by the ALT every 4 years against stiff international competition; this year more than two dozen entries were received from around the world. Antoinette's thesis was a grammar of Bunaq, a Papuan language of Timor. In the context of CAP we would also like to note that the name of the award honours the great classical Indian linguist Pāṇini, whose grammar of Sanskrit is still said by many to be the most sophisticated, elegant and exhausitve grammar ever written. Antoinette, now on a postdoc at the University of Leiden, will formally receive the award at the ALT's biennial meeting in Hong Kong in July.

Congratulation to Niko Kobepa, who won the James McCawley Fellowship, one of the six named fellowships made available by the Linguistic Society of America for its 2011 Summer Institute! Maïa Ponsonnet also received an LSA fellowship to attend the Institute, held at University of Colorado at Boulder in the month of July. With Nick Evans, Malcolm Ross and Alexandre François among the instructors, Niko Kobepa and Maïa Ponsonnet as LSA sponsored participants, and presumably many more of us among students, the 2011 LSA Summer Institute is gradually turning into the “Linguistics department’s winter outstation”.

Shunichi Ishihara’s paper 'Variability and Consistency in the Idiosyncratic Selection of Fillers in Japanese Monologues: Gender Differences' presented at the Australasian Language Technology Association Workshop 2010 was awarded the best paper award:

AusTalk, an ARC funded national project to collect the accents of 1000 Australian English speakers, was launched on Australia Day. Australian English accents from adults of all ages from various locations in all states and territories will be collected to represent the regional and social diversity of Australian English. The information will be used to support Australian speech research and technology and drive better speech technology applications. ANU is one of the partner universities to this project, with Dr. Shunichi Ishihara (CAP) and Dr. Phil Rose (CASS) featuring as Chief Investigators on the project. Professor Denis Burnham, the Project Leader of AusTalk, was interviewed by national and state radio stations. A link to his interview with the ABC's AM program can be found here ( AusTalk website:

Shunichi Ishihara signed a collaborative research agreement with the Research Institute of Police Science, Japan. This agreement allows him and the members of his lab to use their huge database for forensic voice comparison studies.

ANU PhD graduate (2005) Evershed Amuzu, who now teaches linguistics at the University of Ghana, has just been awarded a one-year fellowship in the African Humanities Program of the American Council of Learned Societies for a research project on "The syntax of English and French verbs in Ewe-English and Ewe-French codeswitching”. His thesis was published in 2010 by Lambert Academic Publishing as Composite codeswitching in West Africa: The case of Ewe-English codeswitching.

Fieldwork trips

Mark Donohue went on a short, but sweet, field trip to the Onin peninsula. This was the first major product of the ARC funding that he received last year. After travelling to Manokwari, Yusuf Sawaki's home town, and picking up Sutriani Narfafan, who works at the Center for Endangered Languages Documentation, Mark and Sutri travelled by ship to Fakfak, and got into contact with old friends.
They worked primarily with Simon Hindom, head of the local cultural centre and proponent of all things to do with the Iha languages, and the Mbaham-Matta culture area. This involved trips to the village of Gewerpe, known in Iha more challengingly as Nggeveyrkpeh; meeting and working with speakers of Arguni, Karas Darat and Kesui; and presenting materials in the local Don Bosco Junior High School for students to use. This last initiative came about with the cooperation of the boundlessly enthusiastic head of the school, who acknowledged the need for local language and cultural materials in the curriculum, even if there was no direct government support for it. Mark and Sutri recorded a number of 'model' conversations between Iha speakers, and will be sending the recordings on DVD along with accompanying booklets for students to study, as a means of learning the orthography.

Greg Dickson recently returned to ANU from Ngukurr community in the Northern Territory where the wet season turned a 4-hour drive into a 32 -hour rain-soaked adventure.

Owen Edwards, honours student, went on a four month field trip to South East Sulawesi to conduct linguistic fieldwork on the Tolaki language for his honours thesis. This grew out of the Field Methods course in Semester 1 2010 whenTolaki was the language of investigation with Omar Pidani being the Tolaki language teacher. Owen had the advantage of already speaking some basic Tolaki before he left.
After arriving in the capital Kendari and spending a week or two adjusting (mainly learning to eat really, really good food) Owen spent his time surprising Tolaki people with his ability to speak Tolaki (and inability to speak Indonesian). He did this mainly in Unaaha, two hours west of Kendari, where his research was focused. When not attending Tolaki weddings, making friends with staff and students from Universistas Lakidende (Unaaha) and Universitas Haluoleo (Kendari), or helping teach English and Linguistics at Universitas Lakidende, Owen found time to get thoroughly confused by grammatical functions in Tolaki as well as to start creating on a Tolaki picture dictionary.
He also made field trips to Kolaka, Kampung Alaaha, Kolaka Utara as well as Konawe Utara to investigate Tolaki dialectology, make more friends, eat sinonggi and see the amazing scenery.
It was a highly successful field trip; all that’s left to do is for Owen to process his data and ask: “Te’ipia kutule’i lako mendua?”

Wayan Arka was in Bali during the Easter break, working with Pak Paskalis Kaize (his Marori language consultant from Merauke). This is part of his ARC-funded project on the languages of SNG. Having no much time to travel to Merauke, Wayan invited Pak Paskalis to Bali – something that Pak Paskalis liked very much as he could also travel in Bali as a tourist! Wayan desperately needed some fresh data for the papers he is working, especially the one already accepted for the LFG conference in Hong Kong in July 2011. Part of the data collected during this visit has also led to further findings, e.g. on Tense and Aspect, presented at the Grammar writing group meeting on 4th of May 2011.

Conferences and Workshops

Malcolm Ross departed on 31st March for five months in Europe. The first month was holiday with family and friends in the UK (after all, he is retired, even if his wife and neighbours think he has forgotten it). He is now at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. Malcolm's goal is to do some comparative-historical work on the huge Trans New Guinea family, but he has so many loose ends to tie up that he wonders when he will ever get to the Papuan data. In June he will be a plenary speaker at a symposium on language contact in Leiden, organised by Brill to mark their takeover of the Journal of Language Contact.

Nick Evans had a three-week trip in Europe and Hawaii (early Feb-late February 2011). In Germany he spent most time in Leipzig, for meetings of the Scientific Advisory Committee (Fachbeirat) of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology there; he took advantage of being there to spend time with Christian Doehler (including a memorable hike in the sandstone outcrops of the Sächsische Schweiz that also included erstwhile Coombs dweller Bethwyn Evans) and to work with Martin Haspelmath and others on a cross-linguistic project on valency and verb classes. While in Europe he also visited VU Amsterdam to meet with Lourens de Vries' team working on Awyu-Dumut languages, and Nijmegen to meet with colleagues there on the Social Cognition project. He returned via Hawaii, delivering a paper on Hypertext Grammars as part of a special workshop on Electronic Grammar-writing inside the LDC Conference.
In April, Nick Evans gave a series of talks in the Netherlands and Germany, including a plenary session at the upcoming NWO-sponsored conference in Leiden, on ‘Confronting diversity: four challenges for 21st Century Linguistics’, two presentations at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, and a talk at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig on Valency Classes in Nen at the DFG-sponsored workshop on Valency Classes Across Languages.

Wayan Arka was invited as a plenary speaker at the 2nd International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC), University of Hawai’i in February 2011. Wayan talked about ‘Language management and minority language maintenance in (eastern) Indonesia: Strategic issues’. From Hawaii, Wayan flew to Japan as he was also invited to give a talk at the workshop on TAM in the languages of Indonesia at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (18 February 2011). At this workshop, Wayan reported and discussed the issues of TAM in Indonesian and the work in progress in handling TAM in the computational grammar of Indonesian as part of his ARC funded ParGram project.

Aung Si also presented at the 2nd International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC), University of Hawai’i in February 2011. He presented a paper on Documenting traditional biological and ecological knowledge – an Indian example.

Charles Grimes, an Adjunct fellow at the department, was also at the 2nd ICLDC. His gave a presentation entitled How should we write this language? Early education and a regional approach to designing practical orthographies. Charles also took an Amarasi school teacher, Heronimus Bani, with him for a joint poster session on ethno-mathematics, and Dela university lecturer, Thersia Tamelan M.A., who gave a poster session on community-based efforts to document her language.

Mark Donohue attended a workshop at the University of California (Berkeley) to kick off the NSF grant to investigate tone in and near New Guinea (February 2011). Invited speakers included Carols Gussenhoven, Matthew Dryer, Ian Maddieson, Heriberto Avelino, Tony Woodbury, Sharon Rose, Keren Rice, Martine Mazaudon, Graham Thurgood, Jim Matisoff, Will Leben, Lev Michael, Keith Johnson and David Solnit. Mark reports that it was a great workshop where in addition to regular talks and discussion, they worked on the analysis of tone language, live, and discussed methodological problems and recommendations for overcoming problems in studying tone. CAP now has a small cohort of linguists looking at tonal languages, such as Julia Miller (Beaver), Fanny Cottet (Mbaham), Yusuf Sawaki (Wooi) and Niko Kobepa (Ekagi/Me) who can benefit from workshops like these.
In April, Mark Donohue presented a paper at the Workshop on American Indigenous Languages. He argues that the Dene -Yeniseic connection, recently establishing a genealogical link between Ket (a central Siberia language) and the Na-Dene languages of North America (including the various Athapascan languages, Eyak and Tlingit) represents an east-to-west linguistic movement of language from Alaska into Siberia. This implies that understanding the linguistic and social history of Asia must necessarily include a study of North American language and social history.

Paul Sidwell is on the organiser for two conferences this year. One is 21st Annual Meeting of Southeast Asian Linguistic Society held in Bangkok, Thailand from May 11 – 13, 2011 ( The other, also in Bangkok, is the Fifth International Conference on Austroasiatic Linguistics (ICAAL 5) which will be held on November 9-12, 2011. Abstracts can be submitted between June 1 and August 1. Visit the conference website at

Stef Spronck attended the international conference 'Grammaticalisation and (Inter)Subjectification' in Brussels, Belgium in December 2010 and was able to present some fresh fieldwork data.

Carol Priestley gave a talk on ‘Semantic fieldwork with speakers of endangered languages’ on the second day of the March Semantics Workshop held at ANU on March 4-5. Other participants/contributors were from the University of New England, Macquarie Uni, ANU and the Universities of Helsinki, Milan and Pisa.

The Australian Languages Workshop, was held on Stradbroke Island, from March 11-13. Presentations by CAP linguists included Nick Evans and Murray Garde: ‘Too many triangles: form, meaning, etymology and pragmatics of Kunderbi trirelational terms’ and Greg Dickson: ‘Talking Kriol, Roper style’.

The Kioloa Pacific Studies Retreat, held from March 18-20, generated many useful discussions about future directions in Pacific Studies at the ANU, and was attended by a number of members of the Department: Wayan Arka, Fanny Cottet, Nick Evans, Niko Kobepa, Yusuf Sawaki and Ruth Spriggs plus many other Pacific Studies people from across CHL.

A Language and Social Cognition workshop was held in Melbourne from March 25-27 as part of Nick Evans and Alan Rumsey’s ARC project, giving a chance for researchers from ANU, Griffith and Melbourne, plus visitor Henrik Bergqvist, to move forward the analysis of collected materials. Papers on the analysis of the Family Problems picture task were presented by Nick Evans, Tom Honeyman, Aung Si, Stef Spronck.

New Students

We welcome a batch of new PhD students to the Coombs building: Fanny Cottet, recently arrived in the department, will be carrying out descriptive work on a language of the Bomberai peninsula as part of Mark Donohue's ARC project. Yoko Otaki and Ayuko Taguchi have also recently arrived to commence PhD studies in Japanese linguistics.


Henrik Berqvist (Stockholm), who works on double-perspective phenomena in Lacandón (Mexico) and Kogi (Colombia), and visited the department with support from the Swedish Academy of Science and the Language and Social Cognition Project. He gave a talk on March 17 entitled ‘Complex perspectives in epistemic marking: evidence from Kogi (Arwako)’.

Simon Greenhill (Auckland), who is warming up a planned project applying phylogenetic methods to languages of New Guinea, visited the department in March. He gave a presentation at the linguistics seminar entitled ‘Phylolinguistics: Tackling old questions with modern methods’ on March 16.

Ulrike Mosel (Kiel), en route to Bougainville Island, visited the department briefly. She gave a talk entitled ‘Lexical and constructional flexibility in Teop ‘ on March 28.

Ruth Dekker-Wester, a PhD student at VU Amsterdam, has just received a travel grant from the Australian-Netherlands Research Council (ANRC) to visit the Department early next year as part of her project on the history of the Awyu-Dumut languages of West Papua.

Publications and book launch

Kevin Windle’s co-edited book The Oxford Handbook of Translation Studies (Oxford: OUP, 608 pp) has been published. This book consists of 32 chapters by 25 authors and covers the history of the theory and practice of translation from Cicero to the digital age. Designed as an up-to-date reference work and practical guide, it offers critical accounts of current research, and compares theoretical perspectives on translation and interpreting in all major genres and fields of discourse. The book is intended to serve the needs of professional translators and interpreters, researchers in translation studies and allied disciplines, and undergraduate or postgraduate students.

Murray Garde snuck into Canberra and launched a publication he has edited, Bininj Gunwok talk about health: medical terms and vocabulary for health professionals. The launch was held on February 18 in the Sir Roland Wilson building.

March saw a gigantic lexicographic milestone: Andy Pawley submitted the draft of his Kalam manuscript to Pacific Linguistics, after four and a half decades work. This is without doubt the most thorough and innovative dictionary of a Papuan language yet written and we look forward to it coming out later in the year with Pacific Linguistics.

Mark Donohue's paper, ‘Substrate Features in Papuan Malay, appeared in a major volume on pidgins and creoles,Creoles, their Substrates, and Language Typology, edited by Claire Lefebvre, continuing a line of publications that he and Yusuf Sawaki have authored about some of the more typological unusual features of the Malay variety spoken in the easternmost island of Indonesia.
Mark has also been involved in developing vernacular literacy materials for education programs. Wordlists and readers in Iha are being trialed in one school at this stage, which is helping to iron out orthography issues.

Other publications by Mark include:
Donohue, Mark. 2011. ‘Syllables and boundaries’. In Linda Uyechi and Wee Lian Hee, eds., Reality Exploration and Discovery: Pattern Interaction in Language and Life. Stanford: CSLI Press.
Donohue, Mark. 2010. ‘The Papuanness of the eastern highlands’. In Loren Billings and Nelleke Goudswaard, eds., Piakandatu ami Dr. Howard P. McKaughan. Manila: Linguistic Society of the Philippines and SIL Philippines.
Donohue, Mark. 2010. ‘Pronouns, clitics, orders and grammaticalisation: theoretical issues in Tukang Besi’. In Studies in Philippine Languages and Cultures 17. Linguistic Society of the Philippines and SIL International. Puerto Princesa, Philippines.
Pedro Soares, Teresa Rito, Jean Trejaut, Maru Mormina, Catherine Hill, Emma Tinkler-Hundal, Michelle Braid, Douglas J. Clarke, Jun-Hun Loo, Noel Thomson, Tim Denham, Mark Donohue, Vincent Macaulay, Marie Lin, Stephen Oppenheimer, and Martin B. Richards. 2011. Ancient Voyaging and Polynesian Origins. The American Journal of Human Genetics 88: 239–247.

This last publication follows the critique in 2010 that Mark and Tim published in Current Anthropology, about received views of a demic diffusion of peoples, languages and technologies out of Taiwan, by presenting genetic evidence that Polynesian genes are not primarily descended from Taiwanese material, but rather come from mainland Southeast Asia by way of the Bismarck archipelago in Melanesia.

Nick Evans’ publications include the following:
Evans, Nicholas. 2010. ‘Complex events, propositional overlay and the special status of reciprocal clauses’. In Sally Rice & John Newman (eds.), Empirical and experimental methods in cognitive/functional research. Stanford: CSLI. Pp. 1-40.
Evans, Nicholas, Lucía Golluscio and Fresia Mellico. 2010. La construcción diádica en Mapudungun y sus implicancias tipológicas. LIAMES (Línguas Indígenas Americanas) 10: 49-66.
Evans, Nicholas. 2011. ‘Semantic Typology’. In Jae Jung Sung (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Typology. Oxford: OUP. Pp. 504-533.
Majid, Asifa, Nicholas Evans, Alice Gaby and Stephen Levinson. 2011. The grammar of exchange: a comparative study of reciprocal constructions across languages. Frontiers in Cultural Psychology 2.34:1-15.

Wayan Arka’s publications:
Arka, I Wayan. 2010. Numerals in Rongga. In A journey through Austronesian and Papuan linguistic and cultural space: papers in honour of Andrew Pawley, edited by J. Bowden, N. Himmelmann and M. D. Ross, 319-332. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
Arka, I Wayan. 2010. Maintaining Vera in Rongga: struggles over culture and tradition in modern Manggarai-Indonesia. In Language endangerment in the Austronesian world: challenges and responses, edited by M. Florey, 90-109. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Arka, I Wayan. 2010. Dynamic and stative passives in Indonesian and their computational implementation. Proceedings of the 2nd International MALINDO workshop, Jakarta 2 August 2010.

Aung Si’s paper, A diachronic investigation of Hindi–English code-switching, using Bollywood film scripts was published online in the International Journal of Bilingualism in January. The article can be accessed at

In January, Carol Priestley did further work on Koromu elementary school materials and on some initial guidelines for Koromu teachers. Carol is contracted to convene and lecture Cross-Cultural Communication again this semester in the School of Language Studies and owing to an emergency situation, was recently asked to share the teaching of Semantics with Zhengdao Ye (also a former ANU PhD student).

Ponsonnet, Maïa. 2011. ‘"Brainwash from English"? Barunga Kriol speakers' views on their own language’. In D. Bradley (ed.), The Sociolinguistics of Language Endangerment. Anthropological Linguistics, 52(2):160-183.

Pacific Linguistics

Recent and forthcoming releases from Pacific Linguistics include:

For the complete list of PL publications, go to

Other news

Greg Dickson recently gained accreditation as a Kriol-English interpreter (Paraprofessional level), after successfully passing the exam set by NAATI (National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters). While on fieldwork, Greg is employed casually by the Northern Territory government to occasionally provide interpreting services to legal and medical professionals.

Greg Dickson has also been interviewed recently, commenting on research linking falling attendance rates in remote schools in the Northern Territory to language policies that discriminate against the use of Aboriginal languages in education. Greg was interviewed by local ABC radio in Darwin, The Australian and Sydney Morning Herald Newspapers and also quoted on the Crikey news website.

Wayan Arka


New Textbook: Intercultural Communication: A Critical Introduction

Author: Ingrid Piller
Publication Date: Apr 2011
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Paperback ISBN: 9780748632848
Hardback ISBN: 9780748632831

"Ingrid Piller’s book will be seen as a landmark in a ‘second wave’ of studies on intercultural communication. Solidly grounded in discourse analysis and sociolinguistics, clearly and accessibly written and compellingly argued, it revives a field not always well served by its scholars, and we are now at last in a position to see intercultural communication for what it is: a historically situated and politically sensitive complex of communication modes, analysis of which requires attention to the smallest details as well as to the biggest things in the world – globalization processes."
(Jan Blommaert, Tilburg University)

Combining discourse analytic and sociolinguistic perspectives, this introduction provides students with a comprehensive, up-to-date and critical overview of the field of intercultural communication. Ingrid Piller explains communication in context using two main approaches. The first treats cultural identity, difference and similarity as discursive constructions. The second, informed by bilingualism studies, highlights the use and prestige of different languages and language varieties as well as the varying access that speakers have to them.

Linguistics students will find this book a useful tool for studying language and globalization as well as applied linguistics.

Key features include:

  • Case studies from around the world
  • Learning objectives, key points, exercises and suggestions for further reading in each chapter
  • Reader-friendly, accessible style
Ingrid Piller

Upcoming Conferences

ALS 2011 Workshops and Tutorial

2-4 December
ANU, Canberra

The ANU ALS organizing committee are delighted to announced the acceptance of six workshops and one tutorial for the 2011 conference. Papers for the workshops will be submitted and reviewed in the same way as papers for the ALS Conference generally.

If you want to submit a paper for consideration for a workshop, go to the ALS abstract submission page, and, when you submit your abstract, make sure you choose as the "track" the relevant workshop name, rather than the "General papers" track.

Deadline: 31 May 2011


  • Epistemic perspective and social cognition
  • Current issues in non-verbal communication research
  • Kids, Kriol(s) and Classrooms
  • Romance Linguistics in the Pacific: Variation in time and space
  • The Semantics of Nouns
  • Modality in the Indigenous languages of Australia and PNG


Epistemic perspective and social cognition
Convenors: Barbara Kelly (University of Melbourne) & Andrea Schalley (Griffith University)

Social cognition is the capacity to represent and reason about agents and events in our social universe, and to interact with others by building a shared mental world (e.g. Goody 1995; Enfield & Levinson 2006). This workshop will look at how social cognition categories are grammaticalised across the world's languages, and will in particular focus on the nexus of social cognition and epistemic perspective (cf., amongst others, Evans 2007). This includes, but is by no means limited to, the tracking of contents of other minds, the expression of knowledge sources (such as mirative and evidential marking), representations and reports of others' speech and thoughts, or how social group role descriptors (such as kinship systems) depend on epistemic perspective.

The workshop aims at bringing together researchers working in this new exciting area of typological research. We invite contributions that are evidence-based treatments of the epistemic perspective and social cognition nexus in a single language, but also those that showcase cross-linguistic comparisons or present overviews of a subarea such as the ones mentioned above. In addition, we welcome methodological discussions and presentations of fieldwork tasks used for such purposes. It is our hope that the workshop will invigorate and instigate a broad interest in the study of social cognition and how it is encoded in natural language.

The workshop is organized by the ARC Discovery project "Social Cognition and Language".

Enfield, Nick J., and Stephen C. Levinson (eds.) 2006. Roots of Human Sociality: Culture, Cognition and Interaction. Oxford: Berg.
Evans, Nicholas 2007. View with a view: Towards a typology of multiple perspective. Proceedings of the Berkeley Linguistics Society 2005, 93-120.
Goody, Esther N. (ed.) 1995. Social Intelligence and Interaction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Current issues in non-verbal communication research
Convenors: Barbara Kelly (University of Melbourne) & Jenny Green (University of Melbourne)

The field of non-verbal communication is a burgeoning area in linguistics. Analysts employ a broad range of measures in investigations of gesture use in communication. This workshop will examine issues inherent in analytic approaches from different non-verbal communication perspectives, including gesture, sign language, and general multimodal analysis.

The workshop will bring together researchers working in non-verbal communication with the goal of highlighting the differences and commonalities across theoretical perspectives. We envisage a half-day workshop divided into two parts. In the first we will invite papers that deal with a range of issues in non-verbal communication, focusing on issues of categorisation and the interface between gesture and sign cross-linguistically. In the second an invited panel, chaired by Barbara Kelly, will be asked to provide their analysis of a pre-selected segment of multi-modal data, outlining their theoretical approaches and assumptions, and discussing the analytic tools they employ. We anticipate that this forum will provoke stimulating discussion about such questions as: What is the role of gesture in everyday communication; in primary sign languages; How do we define multimodality?; Are the categories used in gesture studies applicable in other fields?

The workshop aim is to try and search for common ground across Australian researchers with interests in diverse but related fields. An anticipated outcome is a deeper understanding of each others' theoretical perspectives and a sharing of resources and tools.

Proposed speakers and topics will include focus papers and discussion on: theoretical issues in gesture communication; the sign/gesture interface (e.g. in Auslan and BSL); sign and gesture in use at Yarraba in Queensland; hand sign, gesture and drawing in Arandic languages from Central Australia; multi-modal interactions in first and second language learning.

Kids, Kriol(s) and Classrooms
Convenors: Sally Dixon (ANU), Jane Simpson (ANU), Gillian Wigglesworth (University of Melbourne) & Aidan Wilson (University of Melbourne)

With the Australian federal government commitment to 'close the gap' there has been greater interest at a political level in increasing the educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. However, simultaneously, support for bilingual programs in NT schools is at an all-time low, and it is as yet unclear what the role of languages is to play in closing the gap on education for Indigenous children.

This workshop aims to bring together researchers whose work addresses issues critical to understanding language as a variable for Indigenous children in the classroom. The focus of this workshop is Indigenous children living in remote communities who speak traditional Indigenous language(s) and/or contact language(s); therefore, children for whom the classroom is a foreign language environment (i.e. where there are no other children speaking the 'target' Standard Australian English).

In light of the recent release of the national languages curriculum shaping paper ('Draft Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages'), and the continued problematic implementation of NAPLAN tests throughout remote Australia, it is urgent that research which addresses these issues be shared and discussed, so that we may continue to apply pressure for evidence-based policy making at every level of government.

Possible topic areas include:

  • Indigenous children's interaction in an classroom context
  • The classroom as a site of language contact
  • Descriptions of children's language varieties
  • Acquisition of Indigenous traditional languages and/or contact languages
  • Acquisition of English as a second language/dialect
  • Policy and practice in the multilingual classroom

Romance Linguistics in the Pacific: Variation in time and space
Convenors: Manuel Delicado Cantero (ANU) & Elisabeth Mayer (ANU)

The field of Romance linguistics is a solid research field in the international arena, and we wish to take this opportunity to highlight the presence of this field in this part of the world. On the one hand, several Romance languages are spoken around the Pacific Rim, including a variety of dialects of Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Italian. On the other hand, the presence of the CRLC at the ANU creates the perfect environment to bring together scholars working on any aspect of the diachrony and dialectology of the Romance languages to share their findings and create an atmosphere of discussion in this research institution.

For all the previous reasons, we invite presentations dealing with the rich variation of any Romance language(s), either in synchrony or in diachrony. A variety of theoretical approaches are welcome, in particular those exploring grammar change from a formal or functional framework. In particular, we welcome papers addressing the following topics:

  1. Historical studies of specific Romance languages
  2. Comparative historical studies involving Romance languages
  3. Synchronic and diachronic variation within one or more Romance languages
  4. Regional variants in the Pacific Rim (i.e., Macanese Portuguese, Timorese Portuguese, Indian Portuguese, Philippine Spanish, New Caledonian French, Tahitian French, Vietnamese French, Cambodian French, Vanuatuan French, Spanish along the northern and southern Pacific coast)
  5. The evolution of creoles and pidgins in the region
  6. Morphosyntactic and lexical contact phenomena in the area
  7. Romance languages in Australia

The Semantics of Nouns
Convenor: Zhengdao Ye (ANU)

It is a widely held view among linguists that nouns and verbs are two major word classes that can be found in every human language. The attention linguists have given to these two word classes, however, is uneven. While many studies have been devoted to verbs, the same cannot be said for nouns. And when the noun class is mentioned or discussed, the focus tends to be placed on its grammatical properties or the formal criteria for recognising such a class. The semantics of nouns has been largely left unexplored. Detailed semantic analysis of individual nouns is even harder to come by. A notable exception was Wierzbicka's (1985) Lexicography and Conceptual Analysis, where she analysed a large number of nouns of different classes using a unified methodology. An insight emerging from that work is that the exploration of the deep semantic or conceptual structure of nouns should be done in tandem with detailed, systematic, and painstaking semantic analysis of individual nouns. This workshop aims to further the study of the semantics of nouns by focusing on both the theoretical issues and empirical analysis. In particular, it will welcome papers pertaining to the following four areas: (a) linguistic methods in a systematic study of the semantic properties of nouns, (b) the semantic characteristics of the noun class, (c) the semantic structures of sub-classes, and (d) the semantic content of many individual nouns.

Modality in the Indigenous languages of Australia and PNG
Convenors: Patrick Caudal, (C.N.R.S. / Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7), Tom Honeyman (ANU) & Stef Spronck (ANU)

Modality remains one of the most understudied topics in research on most Indigenous languages. Two primary reasons for this situation are that modal categories are notoriously hard to elicit and that their morphological realisation is often highly heterogeneous. The fact that modality tends to interact in complex ways with other grammatical categories such as tense, aspect and mood further adds to the difficulty of providing a comprehensive account of modality in newly described languages. In recent years, however, modality has received increased interest from both field researchers and theoretical linguists working on Indigenous languages, especially for languages in the Americas (see e.g. Matthewson et al., 2007; Rullmann et al., 2008; Davis et al., 2009; Faller, forthc.; and at a recent workshop on this theme held at Leiden University (March 25-26, 2010)). Indigenous languages in Australia and Papua New Guinea are also becoming a major focus of attention, however (see e.g. Verstraete, 2005; 2006; McGregor and Wagner, 2006, Klamer, to appear; and ongoing work by members of the TAMEAL project).

The workshop aims to bring together researchers working on modality in Indigenous languages, build on this emerging research and to indicate new directions for studying modality in the languages of Australia and PNG.

The workshop will specifically address the problems of 'discovering' modal categories: How to discuss modality in the field (see e.g. Matthewson, 2004; San Roque et al., in prep.)? How to elicit modality in a systematic way? Secondly, the workshop will tackle the problem of the theoretical/typological identification and study of modal forms. What are the categories most frequently found in the languages of Australia and PNG? What are their semantics and pragmatics? And how do they relate to other grammatical categories?

Although the focus of the workshop lies on languages from Australia and Papua New Guinea, more typologically and methodologically oriented papers are also invited.

Davis, Henry; Lisa Matthewson; Hotze Rullmann (2009). "'Out Of Control' Marking as Circumstantial Modality in St'át'imcets". In: Hogeweg, Lotte; Helen de Hoop; Andrej Malchukov (eds.), Cross-linguistic Semantics of Tense, Aspect, and Modality, 205-244. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Faller, Martina (forthcoming). "A possible worlds semantics for Cuzco Quechua evidentials". In: Li, Nan; David Lutz (eds.), Proceedings of SALT 20, University of British Columbia / Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia (April 29 - May 1, 2010). Ithaca: CLC Publications, Cornell University.
Klamer, Marian (to appear). 'Reality status in Teiwa (Papuan)'. To appear in Language Sciences, Special issue on "What do languages code when they code reality status?", guest-editors Caterina Mauri & Andrea Sansò.
Matthewson, Lisa (2004). "On the Methodology of Semantic Fieldwork". International Journal of American Linguistics 70(4): 369-415.
Matthewson, Lisa; Henry Davis and Hotze Rullmann (2007). "Evidentials as Epistemic Modals: Evidence from St'át'imcets". In Van Craenenbroeck, Jeroen (ed.), Linguistic Variation Yearbook 7, 201-254. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
McGregor, William and Tamsin Wagner (2006). "The Semantics and Pragmatics of Irrealis Mood in Nyulnyulan Languages". Oceanic Linguistics 45(2):339-379.
Rullmann, Hotze, Lisa Matthewson, and Henry Davis (2008). "Modals as Distributive Indefinites". Natural Language Semantics 16(4): 317-357.
San Roque, Lila, Lauren Gawne, Darja Hoenigman, Julia Miller, Stef Spronck and Nicholas Evans (in preparation). "Getting the story straight: Language fieldwork using a narrative problem-solving task".
Verstraete, Jean-Christophe (2005). "The semantics and pragmatics of composite mood marking: The non-Pama-Nyungan languages of northern Australia". Linguistic Typology 9(2): 223-268.
Verstraete, Jean-Christophe (2006). "The Nature of Irreality in the Past Domain: Evidence from Past Intentional Constructions in Australian Languages". Australian Journal of Linguistics 26(1): 59-79.


Audio theory and practice for Language Documentation
David Nathan, Endangered Languages Archive, SOAS, University of London

This workshop presents theoretical and practical aspects of audio recording for those engaged in documenting endangered and minority languages. Concepts in digital audio will be covered, but the workshop is predominantly in the form of discussion, practical, experiential and evaluative activities. Starting with the premise that recording needs to be grounded in a suitable epistemology, we proceed to discussion and demonstration of various equipment, especially microphones, with a focus on listening and evaluative skills. Some of the most common questions asked by documenters are about dealing with noise, so we consider the philosophical issues involved in deciding what is noise and what isn't, and survey practical strategies and equipment choices that can be used to deal with noise. We will emphasise the importance of recording using stereo or microphone pairs to capture spatial acoustic information for its documentary value, as well as for more effective transcription and listenability. The main session of the workshop will consist of a practical demonstration where participants listen (via headphones) to simulated fieldwork scenarios where a variety of microphones and configurations are used to deal with challenges such as noise and multiple participants.

Jane Simpson

Workshop 'The roots of linguistic diversity'

The Cairns Institute, James Cook University, Cairns
Room 113, Building E2 of the Cairns Campus, JCU.
9 – 10 June 2011

Auditors are welcome, at no fee. For information contact Professor Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald ( or Elena Rhind (

Thursday 9 June 
14.00 Opening of Workshop
14.10-15.00 René van den Berg (SIL, PNG) Pronominal systems in Austronesian languages of Papua New Guinea
15.00–15.50 Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald (CI, JCU) Along the river and deep in the bush: linguistic diversity in the Middle Sepik area.
15.50-16.20 Coffee
16.20-17.10 Mark Post: Isolate substrates, realization and the internal diversity of Tibeto-Burman
Friday 10 June 
9.30–10.10 R M. W. Dixon. The wonderful linguistic diversity there was in north- east Queensland.
10.20-11.10 Sean Ulm, Nicholas Evans, Daniel Rosendahl, Helene Tomkins and Fiona Petchey. Radiocarbon and linguistic dates for occupation of the South Wellesley Islands, Northern Australia
11.10-11.40 Coffee
11.40-12.30 Anne Schwarz: The West Africa hot-spot.
14.00-14.50Tianqiao (Mike) Lu: The Tai-Kadai peoples — their languages, cultures and histories
14.50–15.40Carol Genetti (University of California) 'What can we conclude'
Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

AIATSIS National Indigenous Studies Conference: “Young and Old: Connecting Generations”

19th-22nd September Canberra,

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is relatively young. In 2008, almost half (49%) of Australia's Indigenous population was aged under 20 years and a further 16% aged between 20 and 30 years with just 3% were aged 65 years and over.

The AIATSIS National Indigenous Studies Conference brings together multi-disciplinary expertise from across the Indigenous Studies sector, including researchers, policy makers, community members, academics, representative organizations, consultants, traditional owners and service providers. The conference presents a unique opportunity to communicate information about your research, projects and programs with a wide audience and to benefit from discussion around shared areas of interest.

We will consider key issues for the younger and older generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, whether living in urban, regional or remote areas of Australia. As well as research and projects associated specifically with the young or older generations, the conference will also focus on the relationship between the two.

Funding is available to support Indigenous participants to attend the conference. Abstracts are due 25th May.

Sarah Cutfield

2nd Barcelona Summer School on Bilingualism and Multilingualism

Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona
September 12-15, 2011

The aim of the summer school is to bring together prominent experts in the field of bilingualism and multilingualism who represent different disciplinary approaches and will discuss state-of-the-art research on the psychological, linguistic, cognitive, socio-cultural and educational aspects of bi- and multilingualism.

The school is intended for post-graduate students and researchers interested in an updated overview of the field in an international academic context.

Course Description

Course modules
The summer school will consist of the following five modules:
Lera Boroditsky (Stanford University, U.S.) - Psychological perspective
Jasone Cenoz (University of the Basque Country, San Sebastián) - Educational perspective
Istvan Kecskes (State University of New York, Albany) - Linguistic perspective
Pieter Muysken (Radboud University, Nijmegen) - Socio-cultural perspective
Norman Segalowitz (Concordia University, Montreal) - Cognitive perspective

Each module will comprise 4 contact hours for a total of 20 contact hours for the whole summer school, which will run for 4 days (from Monday 12 through Thursday 15). Each day students will have classes in the morning, plus one afternoon session on Tuesday, from 15:00 to 19:00. At the end of the summer school students will be awarded a certificate issued by Pompeu Fabra University.

Doctoral workshop
Contributions to the doctoral workshop by course attendants are most welcome. Each contribution should use 10-20 minutes to present Master or PhD research projects either in progress or finished.

Workshop Chairs:
Albert Costa (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) & Carmen Pérez Vidal (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

For further information and registration:
Email contact:

Michael Haugh

Jobs, grants, and scholarships

ALS Scholarships and Prizes

The Australian Linguistic Society administers the Gerhardt Laves Scholarship, which covers fieldwork expenses for postgraduate researchers in indigenous languages, and the Susan Kaldor Scholarship, to support ALS student members to attend an international summer school or institute. Jointly with the Applied Linguistics Association of Australia, it also administers the Michael Clyne Prize, for the best postgraduate research thesis in immigrant bilingualism and language contact.

Due dates for this year's scholarships and prize are:
Gerhardt Laves Scholarship: 31 May 2011
Susan Kaldor Scholarship: 20 May 2011
Michael Clyne Prize: 31 May 2011

For more information, including details of the scholarships/prize, eligibility, and submission process, cf.

Lesley Stirling

About ALS

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

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