Newsletter February 2012

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.

Andrea Schalley

Membership Fees are Due

Now that Christmas is over, the credit card is paid off, the kids are back to school and all uniforms, text books and new shoes have been paid for, it’s time to think about renewing your membership with ALS. The coming year looks to be an exciting one with lots of great activities, some extensive publishing opportunities and a December conference in Perth. Fees remain as they were last year; namely $60 for full membership, $30 for student or concessional membership or $70 for joint membership, i.e. two members at the same address, receiving only one copy of the journal. Remember too that there is a $10 early bird discount if your fees are paid before March 1st. Membership forms are available on the website, and should be sent to Doug Absalom, 32 Murray Rd., Cardiff, NSW, 2285. Payment can be made by cheque or credit card (Visa or Mastercard only) with cheques made out to ALS.

Members who are on the Automatic List (and that’s now about 150 of our total 450 membership) will receive a reminder towards the end of this month that fees will be deducted from their card. Those whose cards have expired will receive a request to update within the next week or so.

Some members have allowed their membership to have fallen into arrears, which is not surprising given the increasing workloads and sets of demands placed on academics in the current climate. Special deals are available for catch-up packages. However, if a membership falls more than three years in arrears, the member will have to be deleted from the Society (after due reminders of course) since increasing costs particularly of the journal necessitate this.

I look forward to hearing from all of you within the next month.

Doug Absalom

Minutes of the 2011 Annual General Meeting of the Australian Linguistic Society

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011, ANU. 5.30 pm

In attendance:
Stephen Morey, Sarah Cutfield, Piers Kelly, Greg Dickson, Aidan Wilson, Lauren Gawne, Anders Ahlquist, Lesley Stirling, Marie-Eve Ritz, Nicholas Evans, Jane Simpson, Hugues Peters, Marjolaine Martin, Lou de Beuzeville, Alan Libert, Knut Olawsky, Elisabeth Mayer, Manuel Delicado Cantero, Mary Laughren, David Moore, Geraldine Triffitt, Henry Fraser, Ian Malcolm, Harold Koch, Rachel Hendery, Wayan Arka, Melanie Wilkinson, Adam Saulwick, Janet Fletcher, Rachel Nordlinger, Bill Palmer, Kate Burridge, Jeff Siegel, Maia Ponsonnet, Howard Manns, Rosey Billington, Kate Horrack, Jill Vaughan, Barbara Kelly, Kari Sullivan, Brighde Collins, Lea Brown, Avery Andrews, Hilary Chappell, Nerida Jarkey, Bahman Gorjian, Simon Musgrave, Cliff Goddard, Trevor Johnston, Adam Schembri, Brigitte Agnew, Erich Round, Felicity Meakins, Caroline Jones, Alexander Coupe, Jean Mulder, Doug Absalom, John Henderson, David Nash, Brett Baker, Mark Harvey, Nick Thieberger, Andrea Schalley, Alan Dench, Keith Allan

1. Apologies

Helen Tebble, Celeste Rodriguez Louro, Diana Eades

2. Tribute

Tribute was paid to members who passed away in the past year: Bill Ransom, Colin Yallop, Kevin McKelson, Michael Clyne.

Nick Evans thanked Alex Muir for her excellent organisation of LangFest.

3. Minutes of the 2010 AGM

The President moved that the minutes be accepted. Seconded by Brett Baker. Carried.

4. Matters arising

Letter to Deans proposed in the minutes is superseded by a motion being put at this meeting.

5. Reports

5.1 President

Work on the National Curriculum is proceeding and may involve some training by linguists.

5.2 Secretary

Nothing to report

5.3 Treasurer

A financial statement was circulated to the meeting. See separate report.

The Treasurer reported that the ALS should make a profit in future if the promises of the new journal contract are realised (see next item). Discussion followed about ways to use these funds. Simon Musgrave suggested investments to allow the use of interest for ALS projects. Rachel Nordlinger observed that OZCLO has been offered ALS support in the past and that it is a good use of ALS funds. Nick Evans suggested that the ALS could underwrite the ALS Conference to allow administrative support (he estimates that this year’s admin support for ALAA and ALS cost around $27,000, funded by the ANU), to be recouped from other sources if possible.

Suggestions for use of funds to be sent to the Secretary.

Treasurer’s report accepted.

Motion: Treasurer moved that Roly Sussex be appointed a Life Member of the ALS. Seconded: Doug Absalom. Carried.

5.4 Journal Editors

Keith Allan presented the Journal Editor's report. AJL had an 8.6% acceptance rate in 2010.

  • 30-1 was a special issue on the language of song edited by Myf Turpin, Tonya Stebbins and Stephen Morey. It contained 11 articles.
  • 30-2 was a general issue and contained four articles, three with an Australian focus, one on Turkish and Arabic.
  • 30-3 was also a general issue three articles on widely differing topics.
  • 30-4 was a special issue Studies in Australian Indigenous Conversation edited by Ilana Mushin and Rod Gardener. It contained six articles.
  • There were 10,654 full text downloads in 2009 and 13,006 in 2010. Full text downloads were highest for the second issue.

66 articles were submitted from 18 countries, most from Australia, followed by China and Iran; 13 articles (8.6%) were accepted for publication (though some articles may have been resubmitted and accepted later).

AJL in 2011

  • 31-1 was a general issue containing six articles, five on Australian languages and one on a Papuan language.
  • 31-2 contained four articles on widely differing topics.
  • 31-3 contained four articles, three with an Australian focus.
  • 31-4 contains five articles, three on aspects of semantics, one on phonology, the other on narrative discourse in an Australian language.

From January 1 to November 11, 2011 there had been 26,130 full text downloads from the AJL archive. At 0.208 the impact factor of our journal is not high enough. Things members could do to help out:

  • Submit good papers to AJL.
  • Cite articles from AJL as often as you can.
  • Check your institution has a subscription to AJL.
  • Whenever possible recommend AJL articles to students.
  • Encourage your best students to submit an article to AJL.
  • Link your email signature to the AJL page at

Alan Libert (Reviews Editor) asked for members to review any of a large number of books he has received from publishers.

Need for a new contract: Brett Baker and Keith Allan have had discussions with the currrent publishers, Routledge/Taylor & Francis and with Benjamins/Wiley. Keith presented a list of the offers made by each publisher and then moved the following motion.

Motion: Members of the ALS executive recommend that the AGM of the ALS approve signing a new (six year) contract with Routledge/Taylor & Francis for the publication of the Australian Journal of Linguistics under the conditions this publisher has proposed. Moved: Keith Allan, Seconded Andrea Schalley

Discussion: Bill Palmer asked about what strategy we may need to engage in to navigate the concentration of journal ownership in future. Kate Burridge observed that we have a long-standing relationship with Routledge/Taylor & Francis that we should maintain if possible. Motion Carried

5.5 Associate Secretary (Newsletter Editor)

Andrea Schalley reported briefly on the status of the Newsletter.

5.6 CIPL Representative

Nothing to report

5.7 Pacific Linguistics Representative

Wayan Arka reported on Pacific Linguistics operations.

Felicity Meakins asked if the shift to Mouton is a fait accompli. Nick Evans said it is, and a reason for the shift is that the administrative staff for PL have been funded by the ANU and the ANU is no longer able to support this. Further, PL is unable to distribute its books in the way that they deserve, while Mouton are able to offer their experience in publication and distribution.

Motion: The President moved that the ALS provide $5,000 to PL as a subsidy for this financial year. Carried.

5.8 ALS2011 Organisers

Nick Evans thanked Cindy Allen, Rachel Hendery, Helen Moore and the Conference organising committee as well as the volunteers. A detailed report appears below as an attachment to the minutes. There were about 210 ALS registrants plus 25 for the ‘Language and the law’ day. There may be a surplus to be returned to the ALS, as costs for administrative support were covered by the ANU.

Jane Simpson – this ALS was the first to have a poster session. The organisers aimed at no more than 4 parallel streams. ALS could consider running conference management software which would then allow for some persistence in the location of the abstracts. Questions for the membership: Do we want to keep having poster sessions? Do we want to keep to fewer parallel sessions? Do we want to host conference software?

Thanks to Appen and NICTA for their support.

5.9 ALS2012 Organisers

John Henderson, ALS will be held in Perth, Wednesday 5th - Friday 7th December. Masterclasses/tutorials will run in the two days prior to the conference.

6. Future ALI and ALS conferences

Rachel Nordlinger offered that Melbourne will run the ALS conference in 2013.

Alan Libert tentatively offered to run the conference at Newcastle in 2014.

7. Australian Computational and Linguistics Olympiad (OzCLO)

Andrea Schalley reported that more than 800 students participated. A Victorian team won this year, and for the first time an Australian participant won a silver medal in the International Linguistics Olympiad (ILO).

Rachel Nordlinger thanked Jill Vaughan and Lauren Gawne for their help in supporting the Australian team at the ILO.

8. Awards (Laves, Clyne, Kaldor, Talkley)

Michael Clyne Prize 2011 (jointly awarded with ALAA) – No nominations

The Gerhardt Laves Scholarship for 2011 has been awarded to Katerina Naitoro, an MA student at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. She will be undertaking field work on ‘Are’are, a language spoken in the southern part of the Malaita province in the Solomon Islands. Our congratulations and best wishes to Katerina.

Susan Kaldor Scholarship 2011– No nominations

Talkley Prize 2011 - Awarded to Kate Burridge

9. Election of Officers

President – Lesley Stirling

Three Vice presidents – Caroline Jones, John Henderson, Brett Baker

Treasurer – Mark Harvey

The President thanked Mark Harvey for taking up the role of Public Officer for the ALS during 2011.

10. Webpage, mailing list, and membership management

Andrea Schalley suggested that the ALS investigate the use of a content management system for its website and presented a wishlist for a combined membership and website system. Alan Dench thanked Doug Absalom for his efforts over the years in running the membership system for the ALS.

Motion: That the ALS establish a subcommittee to investigate ways in which the website and online membership services could be developed. Moved: Andrea Schalley, seconded Alan Dench. Carried.

Doug Absalom noted that online systems may lack the personal touch he has brought to managing the membership in the past.

11. Support for Aboriginal languages and speakers (in particular bi/multilingual education in schools)

What can be done in the future by Australian Linguistic Society, being Australia's premier group of professional linguists, to show solidarity and support for the Aboriginal languages and speakers in the NT. Particularly those who previously had, and those who would like to have, bi/multilingual education in their schools?

This item was to be discussed but there was no time at the meeting. Recognising that this is an issue that deserves proper consideration by the ALS, Alan Dench suggested that comments be sent to the Newsletter Editor by the end of February.

12. Any Other Business

Motion: That the President write to the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney, expressing the alarm of the members of the Australian Linguistic Society at the proposed draconian staff cuts in this university, which we believe will have severely detrimental effects on the quality of education provided at this institution.
Moved: Bill Foley (in absentia)
Seconded: Anders Alquvist
Discussion: General feeling that there was not enough information to pass the motion. Alan Dench spoke against the motion as it did not provide enough detail of what was being planned at the University of Sydney. He suggested working through the NTEU. Bill Palmer suggested an amendment that the President be empowered to send this letter if it becomes clear that funding cuts will affect linguists employed at the University of Sydney or at other Universities if they are suffering a similar fate.
Motion (amended): That the ALS authorises the Executive to write to the Vice-Chancellors of Universities which are proposing staff cuts that may have affect linguists in their universities.
Motion as amended carried.
Details to be sent to the Newsletter editor.

Motion: That the ALS write to the ARC noting that curated corpora of linguistic data and accompanying analysis should be counted as research outputs subject to certain criteria being met. Further, that the ALS Executive establish a sub-committee to detail what constitutes a collection for these purposes and how such collections can be evaluated.
Moved: Alan Dench
Seconded: Andrea Schalley

Motion: Lesley Stirling moved a motion of thanks to Alan Dench as outgoing President for his hard work and wise leadership.

The meeting closed at 7.25 pm.

Nick Thieberger

Attachment to ALS AGM 2011 minutes: ALS 2011 Conference Report

1. Registrations

There were approximately 217 registrations for the ALS conference itself, plus another 22 for the Language and the Law Day. Taking all events into account (ALAA/ALANZ, Master-classes) there were over 600 registered participants in Langfest.

The summary below by COAST gives pretty accurate figures, though the ALS and Master-class figures rose slightly after this summary was compiled.

2. Presentations and activities

5 plenaries (one shared with ALAA): Diana Eades, Katherine DeMuth, Birgit Hellwig, Janet Fletcher, Larry Hyman.
All papers and posters peer-reviewed [overall 70 reviewers]; at least one and often 2 reviewers
103 papers accepted in general sessions and workshops
30 accepted as posters [ca 18 actually gave posters]
20 were declined or sent to ALAA

2 strands of general papers, and 7 workshops (including Indigenous language revitalisation session on Thursday)
1 audio tutorial [David Nathan, SOAS]
1 Gamilaraay language tutorial [John Giacon, ANU]

4 book launches (Birgit Hellwig Goemai grammar, launched by Larry Hyman, Andy Pawley Kalam dictionary, launched by Alan Rumsey, Nick Thieberger Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Fieldwork launched by Andy Pawley, Felicity Meakins Case Systems in Contact launched by Rachel Nordlinger).

2 week-long master classes right after the ALS conference: Joan Bresnan on Probabilistic Syntax and Fiona Jordan on Cultural Phylogenetics, held at Kioloa. Attendance: 30 across both sessions.

2-week workshop on Tone in Papuan languages, sponsored by the NSF, led by Steven Bird, Larry Hyman and Mark Donohue, again right after the conference. Attendance: 25 people. Languages: Iha (West Papua), Kirikiri (West Papua), Alekano (PNG).

Language and the Law Day on Friday – this was a way of giving theme and focus to the common day with ALAA; the wrap-up forum chaired by Damien Carrick (ABC Law Report) (with Diana Eades, Michael Cook, and Tim McNamara as the linguist discussants

Overall principles: no more than 4 parallel sessions as norm. This restricted how many papers we could accept.

Note 1: We negotiated with ALAA to send them papers more suitable to ALAA.

Note 2: We checked that people we had invited to give papers had registered and wrote to them, and that way reduced the number of no-shows as we learned of some people who were not coming to give papers/posters etc

Software Problems

  1. software for abstract submission and refereeing. OCS software is great free software which does everything we want, EXCEPT that the implementation at ANU was unacceptably slow running, and we could not get anyone to fix this.
  2. As a result of slow running we decided not to use it to do the timetable – but doing the timetable manually proved a headache in itself. It was also a headache because we did not directly control the site on which the program was hosted.
  3. ANU will only keep the abstracts on the site for a year.
  4. FOR ALS to consider: getting a general website with conference management software to run future ALS conferences.


We had not expected so many registrants, and we underestimated the number of handouts in giving advice to presenters.

Publications: Conference Proceedings

(1) Maia Ponsonnet is coordinating publication of the proceedings electronically. More information here:

(2) Independently of (1), The Australian Journal of Linguistics. AJL is seeking good submissions from conference participants that will invite citation and boost AJL's impact factor. Read AJL and cite it often. We encourage conference participants to beef up their conference papers for publication and submit online at

3. Finances

Overall, the conference will just break even (allowing for a thousand or so to contribute towards the proceedings). This is in spite of a higher-than-previously registration fee of $300 (standard rate) or $250 (concessional rate) and a higher-than-usual conference attendance. (We had wondered about setting the registration this high, but the fact that attendance was so good showed that this was a reasonable amount).

ALAA will be in a comparable position. For this year’s conference we did not receive any seed funding from ALS, but the following ANU sources provided financial subsidies:

CASS (Research Hub funding for ALS, the Bresnan master-class, and the Language and the Law workshop) Linguistics Postgraduate Cluster
CAP Department of Linguistics
CAP School of Culture, History and Language

Taken together this amounted to a subsidy of around 17,000 for the ALS part of the conference. This is in addition to us being able to use the services of COAST, the in-house conference organisation support service housed in the ANU Faculty of Law, which gave us excellent support at very low rates, and to the economies made by sharing the part-time appointment of a conference administrator (Alexandra Muir) with ALAA/ALANZ.

We pass these figures on to future conference organisers to raise their awareness of the approximate amount of support they will need to raise in their hosting institution (possibly with ALS kicking in) if the conference is to be viable.

4. Coordination with ALAA/ALANZ, ALTA and other organisations

Though it increased the complexity of organisation, we believe that scheduling a meaningfully integrated conference with ALAA/ALANZ, Australex, and ALTA brought many benefits and relatively high levels of fertilisation. To make this work it was vital to have an administrative person (first Elizabeth Mullan, then Alex Muir) tying all this together. Advice from them suggests it would be good for future organisers to plan in a second person to assist them in coordination in the week or two leading up to the conference. We also acknowledge with gratitude the enormous work that Helen Moore put in as liaison with ALAA.

5. Acknowledgments

We would like to acknowledge the following people, without whose commitment and hard work the conference would not have been possible:

Administrative support: Alex Muir, Elizabeth Mullan

Program Coordinators: Cynthia Allen, Rachel Hendery (ALS Conference), Helen Moore (Language & The Law and coordination with ALAA), Meladel Mistica (ALTA / Poster Session), COAST (College Marketing, Outreach and Admin Support Team, ANU College of Law), particularly Christine Debono

Conference Organising Committee: Avery Andrews, Wayan Arka, Loan Dao, Manuel Delicado, Dan Devitt, Susan Ford, John Giacon, Peter Hendriks, Rebecca Hetherington, Shunichi Ishihara, Kush Jha, Harold Koch, Sebastian Lacrampe, Duck-Young Lee, Doug Marmion, Elisabeth Mayer, Pat McConvell, Julia Miller, David Nash, Maïa Ponsonnet, Chikako Senge, Aung Si, Stef Spronck, Zhengdao Ye

Volunteers: Peter Appleby, Margit Bowler, Johanna Castles, Yu-jie Cheng, Virginia Dawson, Tom Honeyman, Sebastian Lacrampe , James McElvenny, Meladel Mistica, Rima Muryantina, Maïa Ponsonnet, Chikako Senge, Aung Si, Stef Spronck, Laurentia Sumarni, Van, Oscar Wood, Asefeh Zeinalbedeini

Also the following organisations for their generous financial contributions:

Sponsors: School of Language Studies, CASS; School of Culture, History and Language, CAP; Department of Linguistics, CAP; Wurm Endowment, NSF (Tone Workshop), Appen-Butler, Cengage, Wiley Blackwell, Routledge, DeGruyter (sponsorship of book displays, catering at poster sessions and book launches).

ALAA/ALANZ Registrations
Concess member4
Concess non member12
Early B concess member38
Early B concess non member45
Early B member130
Early B non member86
Early B non member 1 day3
Non pay speakers/volunt/pg convenors15
ALS Registrations
1 day19
Early B concess54
Early B90
Non pay speakers/volunt/9
Language & Law
Early B concess non member4
Early B non member8
Non member4
Concess non member1
ALS Grad Master Classes
Early B non student7
Early B student2
Non student5
ALAA/NZ Mini Conference
Nick Evans, Jane Simpson

ALS Treasury Statement 2010/2011

Investments 1/07/2010 30/06/2011 Profit/Loss
Scholarship fund $43,378.65 $45,595.55 $$2,216.90
Investment fund $81,597.97 $86,975.25 $5,377.28
Total profit/loss investments $7,594.18
Treasurer's accounts 1/07/2010 30/06/2011 Profit/Loss
Money Managers $25,442.16 $22,552.96 $(2,889.20)
Cheque account $53,251.91 $39,508.73 $(13,743.18)
Clyne Prize $- $23,652.02 $23,652.02
Total profit/loss savings 2010-2011 $7,019.64
Treasurer's accounts detail:
Income Expenditure
AJL $18,972.26 Laves schol $4,000.00
ALS/ALI09 balance $4,427.13 ALS webhosting $179.40
Membership $15,000.00 Editorial expenses $2,000.00
Interest $1,211.87 FEL $169.20
Michael Clyne Estate $20,000.00 Clyne Prize $3,000.00
Clyne Prize donations $3,650.00 Kaldor Schol $2,500.00
AJL $37,351.52
PL $5,000.00
Senate Inq. $1,000.00
DeptFairTrading $539.00
OzClo $500.00
Bank fees $2.50
Total $63,261.26 Total $56,241.62
Total profit/loss treasurer's accounts $7,019.64
Membership accounts detail:
Income Expenditure
Membership $23,540.00 Paid to ALS $15,000.00
CAL $949.46 Bank charges $1,055.43
Total $24,489.46 $16,055.43
Total profit/loss memberships $8,434.03
Profit/Loss for the year $23,047.85
Brett Baker

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

In December 2012, The Language and Culture Research Group at the Cairns Institute, James Cook University, has been officially transformed into a Language And Culture Research Centre, within The Cairns Institute, with Prof A Y Aikhenvald as the Director and Professor R. M. W. Dixon as Deputy Director.

The Language and Culture Research Centre (LCRC) brings together linguists, anthropologists, other social scientists and those working in the humanities. The primary intent of the Centre is to investigate the relationship between language and the cultural behaviour of those who speak it. It also studies the relations between archaeology, prehistory, human biology, cognition studies and linguistics, based on in-depth empirical investigations of languages and cultures in the tropical areas, including those of the Pacific (especially the Papuan languages of New Guinea), the languages of Amazonia, and of Indigenous Australia.

Membership (cross-faculty and international)

  • Dist.Prof Alexandra Aikhenvald (SASS/CI) - Director
  • Prof R. M. W. Dixon (SASS/CI) – Deputy Director
  • Prof Ton Otto (SASS/CI)
  • Assoc.Prof Rosita Henry (SASS/CI)
  • Dr Anne Schwarz (SASS/CI)
  • Dr Mark Post (SASS/CI)
  • Dr Elena Mihas (SASS/CI, starting June 2012)
  • Dr Michael Wood (SASS)
  • Dr Sean Ulm (SASS)
  • Dr Reesa Sorin (School of Education)
  • Dr Robin Rodd (SASS)
  • Dr Pauline Taylor (School of Education/TL)
  • Prof Kenneth M. Sumbuk (Adjunct Professor of CI, PVC of UPNG)
  • Dr Wendy Pearce (Speech Pathology, Tropical Medicine)
  • Dr William Steed (Speech Pathology, Tropical Medicine)
  • Ms Brigitta Flick (CI)
  • Ms Sonya Jeffrey (member of Dyirbal tribe, NQ, Research Worker within CI)

Associate members of the Centre

  • Dr Tianqiao Lu (formerly SASS/CI, Chinese University, Beijing)
  • Dr Knut Olawsky (Mirrima Language Centre, SA)
  • Mr Cacio Silva (Yuhupde Education Programm, Amazonas, Brazil)
  • Ms Elisangela Silva (Yuhupde Education Programm, Amazonas, Brazil)
  • Mr Rafael da Silva Brito (Association of the Tariana of the Upper Rio Negro and the Tariana Indigenous School, Amazonas, Brazil)
  • Mr Jose Luis Brito (Association of the Tariana of the Upper Rio Negro and the Tariana Indigenous School, Amazonas, Brazil)

PhD students within the Centre

  • Chia-jung Pan (due to submit his thesis in late February 2012)
  • Dineke Schokkin
  • Sihong Zhang
  • Mikko Salminen
  • Hannah Sarvasy
  • Juliane Boettger
  • Grant Aiton (starting June 2012)
  • John Kerby (starting 2012)

International Consultative Board

  • Professor Carol Genetti (UCSB)
  • Professor Lourens De Vries (Free University of Amsterdam)
  • Professor Dr Anne Storch (University of Cologne)
  • Dr René van den Berg (SIL, Ukarumpa, PNG)

An official opening of the Centre will take place on 5 March, 3-3.10 pm, by Professor Hurriyet Babacan, the Director of the Cairns Institute.


Hannah Sarvasy, a PhD student within LCRC and CI, has been awarded a grant for the Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research to work on 'The Nungon Oral literature collection'.

In addition, members of LCRC have been successful in securing internal funding from JCU for conference travel, PhD research and PhD completion.

New PhD students

Grant Aiton, of the University of Alberta, will start his PhD at LCRC in June 2012. He is planning to work on Aimele, a previously undescribed language from Western Province.

John Kerby, of Oxford Univesity, will start his PhD at LCRC in the first half of 2012, working on Sedeq, a Formosan language from Taiwan.

Cairns Institute Visiting Fellows

Professor Andrew Butcher (Flinders University), an internationally recognised expert on phonetics, has been awarded a Cairns Institute Distinguished Visiting Fellowship (February-April 2012). He will be working on various issues in phonetics of Australian languages. On 5 March 2012 (3.10-4.50), he will be presenting an inaugural seminar of the LCRC, on Australian phonologies and Aboriginal hearing.

Professor Dr Dany Adone (Anglistik, University of Cologne, Germany) will be visiting LCRC in March, and presenting a seminar. This will be advertised on our website.

New books published and accepted for publication

  • Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. 2012. Languages of the Amazon. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (to appear May 2012).
  • Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. 2012. Dicionário preliminar da língua warekena do Rio Xié. Community Project (jointly with the Warekena people) (c.150pp).
  • Hyslop, Gwendolyn, S. Morey, and Mark W. Post, (eds.). 2012. North East Indian Linguistics, Volume 4. New Delhi: Foundation books.
  • Salminen, Mikko. Forthcoming. Díztè. O zapoteco de San Agustín Loxicha, Oaxaca, México. Munich: Lincom Europa.

Round table meetings

The Language and Culture Research Centre has regular round table meetings, focussing on various issues in linguistics and anthropology. Currently, we are preparing a local workshop on 'Kinship terms in lexicon and grammar'.


Juliane Boettger, PhD student at LCRC, is preparing for a preliminary fieldtrip to the Manus Province of PNG.

Annual Bulletin

The annual Bulletin of the LCRC will be available shortly.

Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

News from the Australian National University

From Linguistics, College of Asia and the Pacific (CAP)

The linguistics department within the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University produces a monthly or bi-monthly newsletter which details all our latest news and info.

Follow the link to find out what we're up to (in full colour!):

Stories in the latest issue include:

  • Launch of Andrew Pawley's Kalam Dictionary (48 years in the making!)
  • ANU Tone Workshop
  • Langfest roundup
  • Inaugural Talkley award
  • plus news on publications, fieldwork, awards, seminars, visitors and presentations.

Keep an eye for the next issue which will be out soon!

Greg Dickson

News from Griffith University

Cliff Goddard has taken over as Head of the School of Languages and Linguistics at Griffith University (he was previously Deputy Head, Research). Prof. Andy Kirkpatrick continues as a Professor in the School but on a half-time basis. Dr Carol Priestley (from ANU) has taken up a one-year Research Fellow post at Griffith. Dr Diana Guillemin will be taking a lecturing post for this year to help compensate for other staff absences.

"Griffith Working Papers in Pragmatics and Intercultural Communication" features select work by undergraduate and honours students enrolled in courses on pragmatics and and intercultural communication in the School of Languages and Linguistics. The most recent volume features work on the "The ethnopragmatics of English in Australia", including short papers on "Swearing in the tradie environment as a tool for solidarity" and "Who the bloody hell are you?: What does it mean to be (un)Australian?"

Find the latest issues at:

Cliff Goddard, Michael Haugh

From the School of Language Studies, College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS)

We welcome two new staff members: Catherine Travis, who has taken up the Chair of Modern European Languages at ANU and Sarah Ogilvie who is the new Director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre (ANDC). We also welcome several visitors: Professor Ulrich Ammon, who comes as a DAAD-sponsored visitor from the Universität Duisburg-Essen, and Professor Leanne Hinton (U C Berkeley), who will visit the ANDC and give a public lecture on the work she is doing in Australia on language revival training (28 March).

Jane Simpson

News from the University of Melbourne

The Handbook of Linguistic Fieldwork (Oxford: Oxford University Press) edited by Nick Thieberger was launched at the ALS conference in December.

Nick Thieberger

News from the University of Sydney

The Rio Tinto/Mitchell Library Project: Re-discovering Australian Languages

From mid-2011 I have been engaged – off and on – on a project to locate and identify any resources relevant to Australian Languages. Allegedly there are 48 kms of manuscripts so this has been a challenge!

I will be reporting on progress, provided my abstracts, are accepted at the Society for the History of Linguistics in the Pacific conference in Adelaide in July and also at the International Council on Archives Congress in Brisbane in August. Perhaps I will have something to say about the project at ALS in Perth in December?

In the meantime I am keen to seek assistance from anyone who has delved into the Mitchell Library collections. This can be a two-way street in that I have sent some people scans of things I have found so that they get to know about them and I get to enrich the existing metadata. In this way I have already bothered Luise Hercus, Amanda Lissarrague, David Nash and Jim Wafer – just to mention a few. It’s only fair that more people be pestered! So if you know of anything remotely connected with Australian Languages in these collections, please let me ( know.

Michael Walsh

News from Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring Language and Culture Centre (MDWg), Kununurra (WA)


MDWg has started the year with a number of visitors:

  • Miriam Haehnle (University of Cologne) is doing an internship at Mirima from 16 January to 23 March 2012. She is currently concentrating on compounding in Miriwoong.
  • Caroline Pfeifer (University of Cologne) is on an internship from 6 February to 30 March 2012. Her current interest is in the phonetics of Miriwoong consonants.
  • Stephanie Woerde from the Macquarie University is undertaking an Honours research project at MDWg on Miriwoong naming systems.

Further interns will commence their work at MDWg in March and June.

Linguistic Forum

The Mirima Linguistic Forum is a new initiative by MDWg to bring together people with an academic interest in Indigenous studies. While our focus is on language and culture, ideally with a reference to local Indigenous matters, we welcome contributions on related topics. We leave plenty of time for discussions and presentations occur in an informal and relaxed atmosphere. The forum is open to all; if you happen to be in the Kununurra area and would like to present on a topic of interest - please let us know:

In December 2011, the first Linguistic Forum at Mirima took place, with presentations by Catherine Grant (Griffith University) on Strengthening the Vitality and Viability of Endangered Music Genres: The Potential of Language Maintenance to Inform Approaches to Music Sustainability and Knut J. Olawsky (MDWg) on Current outcomes of the Master-Apprentice Language Learning Program at MDWg.

Thanks to the good number of academic visitors, MDWg is hosting a second round of presentations on 16-17 February 2012:

  1. Stephanie Woerde, Macquarie University: What’s in a Name? Miriwoong naming systems and non-Miriwoong processes of identification
  2. Frances Kofod, MDWg: A plethora, form and reference in Miriwoong Pronouns
  3. Miriam Hähnle, University of Cologne: Nominal Compounding in Miriwoong
  4. Sonia Leonard, University of Melbourne: The language of Climate change adaptation: The importance of working with Indigenous languages as a capacity building tool

Master-Apprentice Program

The Master-Apprentice Language Learning Program (MALLP) at MDWg is taking a new turn as funding has been approved for a train-the-trainer workshop lead by RNLD and in partnership with MDWg, Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education and the Koori Centre in March 2012. In two workshops hosted by BIITE, Alice Springs and MDWg, Kununurra, a team from the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival (AICLS) will train about 30 Indigenous Australians as trainers for this model in their communities. The move follows recent evidence of success at Mirima, where the program has been trialled since 2010.


For an overview of MDWg’s recent activities in language revitalisation, we would like to refer you to our newsletter. To subscribe, please contact us at

Knut Olawsky

News from Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre

Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre has recently completed three new publications, including two children's resources and an interactive dictionary based on SIL's Lexique Pro.

  • Pilurnpaya Ngurrinu: They Found a Bird; a bilingual illustrated children's story in Martu Wangka and English, with audio. Told by Janelle Booth, compiled by Nick Piper.
  • Wiyanma Wanggama: See It Say It; a Banyjima wordlist with sounds and pictures. Compiled by Peter Hill, spoken by Nyabaru Stevens.
  • Warnman Interactive Dictionary; compiled by Albert Burgman, language specialists Jakayu Biljabu Jakayu Biljabu, John Cadigan, Topsy Cadigan, Nancy Chapman, Frank and Mrs French, Barbara Hale, Pijuka Itiwanu, Jessie Jeffries, Toby Jones, Milly Jutamaya, Kanu, May Larry, Stella Long, Michael Martin, Minyawu Miller, Richard Oderson (Yilirti), Ngayiji Sampson, Desmond Taylor, Muuki Taylor, Nancy Taylor, Waka Taylor, Bruce Thomas, George Toby, Kitty Ward, Delores Williams, Rosie Williams and Mabel Wogada.

Major current projects include fieldwork on Nyiyaparli and Yinhawangka, both critically endangered languages, descriptive work on Martu Wangka, and a phrasebook in Nyangumarta.

Wangka Maya staff and Board of Directors are also very sad to farewell outgoing manager Nadine Hicks. Nadine has been with the centre full-time since early 2009. During this time she has helped the organisation recover from an arson attack, addressed major copyright issues, improved governance structures and award conditions and developed strategic relationships with funding bodies and other organisations. She has fought tirelessly to improve our extreme housing crisis (average rent for an old 3x1 house being around $1300/week). Her commitment to empowering Aboriginal people has led to a great team of language workers and cultural awareness facilitators. We wish her all the best in her future endeavours.

Jessica Mathie

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


New Books Received, February 2012

The following is a list of publications relating to the study of language, received by the Reviews Editor of the Australian Journal of Linguistics. Note that it is not possible to return books to the publisher, and that acceptance of a book implies no promise that it will be reviewed in the Australian Journal of Linguistics. Reviews are printed as circumstances permit, and copies are sent to the publishers of the works reviewed. If you wish to review a book, please contact the Reviews Editor, Alan Libert ( Note that many books from previous lists of publications received are still available, so you may want to look at them also. If there is a book you are interested in reviewing but it is not on the list, please contact Alan as it is possible that ALS could then obtain a review copy from the publisher.

  • Aarons, D. (2012) Jokes and the Linguistic Mind. Routledge, New York.
  • Campbell, G. L. and C. Moseley (2012) The Routledge Handbook of Scripts and Alphabets (2nd edition). Abingdon, Oxfordshire.
  • Norrby, C. and J. Hajek , eds. (2011) Uniformity and Diversity in Language Policy. Multilingual Matters, Bristol.
  • Fromkin, V., et al. (2012) An Introduction to Language (Australia and New Zealand 7th edition). Cengage Learning, South Melbourne, VIC.
  • Thieberger, N., ed. (2012) The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Fieldwork. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Trudgill, P. (2011) Sociolinguistic Typology. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Alan Libert

Upcoming Conferences

Summer/Winter School in Applied Linguistics

University of Birmingham, UK, and University of Melbourne, Australia
2nd-13th July 2012

The first Birmingham/Melbourne Summer/Winter School in Applied Linguistics will be held at the University of Birmingham in July 2012. The programme consists of four themes:

  • Language Testing
  • Academic Writing
  • Multilingualism
  • Corpus Linguistics

This series of short courses is designed for early-career researchers, PhD students, and individuals interested in studying for a PhD. The series is a collaboration between the Universities of Birmingham and Melbourne and features teaching by world-leading scholars from both institutions. Academic staff teaching the programme will include Professor Adrian Blackledge, Professor Angela Creese, Professor Susan Hunston, and Dr Paul Thompson (University of Birmingham), and Professor Tim McNamara and Dr Neomy Storch (University of Melbourne).

Fees: £550 (standard rate); £500 University of Melbourne and University of Birmingham students.

Application forms and further information about the School can be found at: [short version of URL:].

The deadline for applications is 30th March 2012.


Rachel Nordlinger

2012 International Workshop 'The grammar of knowledge'

Language and Culture Research Centre at the Cairns Institute, James Cook University, Australia
16-21 July 2012
Visitors and auditors are welcome.

Monday 16 July 2012 Building A4, Room 202
9.00 Opening
9.10 Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald (LCRC, JCU) The grammar of knowledge: A cross-linguistic view of evidentials and the expression of information source
10.40 Coffee
11.10 Diana Forker (University of Bamberg) Hinuq (Northeast Caucasian)
12.40 Lunch
2.00 Elena Skribnik (Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich) Kalmyk (Mongolic)
3.30 Coffee
4.00 Teija Greed (University of Helsinki and SIL) Tatar (Turkic)
5.30 Finish
Tuesday 17 July 2012 Building A4, Room 202
9.00 Anne Storch and Jules Jacques Coly (University of Cologne) Maaka (Chadic, branch of Afroasiatic)
10.30 Coffee
11.00 Gerrit Dimmendaal (University of Cologne) Tima (Katla group, Sudan)
12.30 Lunch
2.00 Borut Telban (Academy of Sciences of Slovenia) Karawari (Lower Sepik family, Papua New Guinea)
3.30 Coffee
4.00 Mike Wood (LCRC, JCU) Kamula (Papuan area)
5.30 Finish
Wednesday 18 July 2012 Free day
Thursday 19 July 2012 Building A4, Room 222a (Note: different room)
9.00 R. M. W. Dixon (LCRC, JCU) Dyirbal (Australian region)
10.30 Coffee
11.00 Elena Mihas (LCRC, JCU) Ashéninka Perené (Arawak, Peru)
12.30 Lunch
2.00 Simon Overall (La Trobe University) Aguaruna (Jivaroan, Peru)
3.30 Coffee
4.00 Yongxian Luo (University of Melbourne) Zhuang (Tai-Kadai, China)
5.30 Finish
Friday 21 July 2012 Building A4, Room 202 (Note: revert to original room)
9.00 Gwen Hyslop (ANU) Kurtöp (Tibeto-Burman, Bhutan)
10.30 Coffee
11.00 Sihong Zhang (LCRC, JCU) Ersu (Tibeto-Burman, China)
12.30 Lunch
2.00 Mark Post (LCRC, JCU) Galo (Tibeto-Burman, India)
3.30 Coffee
4.00 Group discussion
5.00 Finish
Saturday 21 July 2012 Building A4, Room 202 (Note: 9.30 start)
9.30 Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald (LCRC, JCU) What can we conclude?
11.00 Coffee
11.30 Group discussion and publication plans
1.00 Lunch
Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

Jobs, grants, and scholarships

Senior Project Manager - Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring Language and Culture Centre (MDWg)

MDWg is currently looking for a full-time, dedicated staff member to join our team no later than mid 2012, for a period of 2 years, with possible extension. A probation period applies.

The Senior Project Manager will work under the direction of traditional elders and senior staff. Duties include the preparation and submission of funding applications; working to build the organisation’s financial capacity; financial management; support with corporate governance and staff supervision. Please note that the key selection criteria for this position require demonstrated experience in regard to the above tasks rather than a background in linguistics.

The overall salary package for this position, including all benefits, is valued at up to $104,113, depending on qualification and experience.

For further information including a detailed job description and selection criteria contact MDWg by e-mail to or call (08) 9169 1029.

Closing date: 2 March 2012

Knut Olawsky

About ALS

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

The ALS Newsletter is issued four times per year, in the middle of February, May, August and November. Information for the Newsletter should be sent to the Editor, Andrea Schalley ( by the end of the first week of February, May, August and November. There is a list of people who are automatically advised that it's time to contribute material; if you wish to be added to that list, send Andrea an email.

Unless you paid for several years at a time, or have given the Treasurer your credit card details and permission to use it, subscriptions for ALS are due at the beginning of each calendar year; the year you are paid up to is shown on the address label on the envelope your copy of the Australian Journal of Linguistics comes in. A subscription form is available by clicking here.

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