Newsletter August 2000

ALS Newsletter August 2000

ALS 00/03, August 2000

From the Editor

At the AGM in July, Helen Fraser retired as Newsletter Editor, and I took over the job. On behalf of all ALS members, I would like to thank Helen for her wonderful work over the previous four years, on the newsletter, the website and ALS Online. I hope that I will be able to manage it all as well as she has done.

For the moment, the website and this newsletter are still on the UNE website. That should change some time in the next couple of months, once I get things sorted out fully.

Tim Curnow


Minutes of the 2000 AGM of the Australian Linguistic Society

The meeting opened at 5.05 pm in the Burge Lecture Theatre, Melbourne University, with 38 in attendance and Mary Laughren in the Chair.

  1. Apologies
  2. Minutes of the 1999 AGM
  3. Matters arising from the Minutes
  4. Reports
  5. Future conferences
  6. Election of officers
  7. Any other business

1. Apologies

Apologies were received from Diana Eades, Barbara Horvath, D. Lee, Alan Libert, Ian Malcolm, Graham McKay, Anna Pauwels, Peter Peterson, Verna Rieschild, Lynn Wales, Michael Walsh.

2. Minutes of the 1999 Annual General Meeting of the Society

The minutes of the 1999 meeting were accepted.

Proposed: Doug Absalom, seconded: Mary Laughren.

3. Matters arising

3.1 Linguistics in the Northern Territory

Robert Hoogenraad reported as follows. Linguistics, anthropology and English are no longer formally offered at NTU. The only linguist on staff is Paul Black in Education. The NT Dept of Education has reduced linguist positions from four to three and is probably renaming "Linguists" as "Language Resource Officers". He suggested that there was little point in writing to the Department of Education about the reduction in the number of positions, but that it might be worthwhile to write about their reduction in professional status.

The term "bilingual program" in schools has been replaced by "two-way program", but even this term is contentious in the NT, as there are schools that are not formally recognised as having a two-way program which would claim to have one. In any case, several schools which were formerly recognised as having a bilingual program are continuing to teach bilingually as before.

3.2 Pacific Rim Linguistics Institute, June-August 2001

At the 1999 meeting it was agreed to fund two ALS representatives up to US$5000 each who would offer courses at the Institute and nominations had been invited. Two nominations were received, Doug Absalom and Cliff Goddard, and these two members would be teaching courses at the Institute.

3.3 The Language in the School Curriculum Project

Jean Mulder tabled the Summary Report 1997-1999 of the The Language in the School Curriculum Project. The committee in Victoria had consisted of Peter Austin, Kate Burridge, Michael Clyne, Jean Mulder and Mark Newbrook. Jean Mulder did the final work on the English Language course, and this has been accredited for the VCE.

Doug Absalom reported that he has been co-writer of the English as a Second Language syllabus for NSW.

Jean Mulder asked where the project goes from here, as funding from the Australian Academy of the Humanities is now finished. She proposed an ALS committee on Language in the School Curriculum, working as a reference group to feed into State and Territory curricula.

3.4 Green Paper on Education

No follow-up had occurred on this matter. Peter Austin suggested that - in view of external pressures - it is time for the ALS again to review linguistics in Australia with a view to departments better supporting each other, recognising each other's particular strengths and, for example, using each other's web materials. It was agreed that a committee be formed to pursue this. Penny Lee expressed interest on serving on the committee, and it was agreed that Mary Laughren pursue the appointment of a committee, to include Penny Lee. Michael Clyne suggested that the AAH trend report would provide a useful template for the committee's work.

Michael Clyne also pointed out that Linguistics is now under the aegis of the ARC's Cognitive and Behavioural Sciences panel, along with Psychology, Education and Nursing. This is basically a good thing, but is currently problematic, as there is no linguist on the committee which considers applications at the first round. The rest of DETYA still treats Linguistics as a humanity, meaning that is funded at a lower rate in tertiary institutions. Mary Laughren has written to DETYA about this discrepancy.

4. Reports

4.1 President

Mary Laughren's report follows verbatim:

I first wish to thank all the members of the ALS Executive for their support and wise advice over the past year. Special thanks go to retiring executive members Michael Walsh (long time secretary), to Jane Simpson (vice-President) and to Helen Fraser (Assistant Secretary) who has produced the Society's newsletter and moved us into the electronic age with both the newsletter and our very informative and useful website. I also want to thank John Henderson who continued his stirling efforts on the Society's behalf following the very successful ALS99 conference at the University of Western Australia by editing the Conference Proceedings which are available via the ALS website.

I am also delighted to announce that Linguistics at Macquarie University has offered to host the 2002 ALI. Their offer has been set in stone by the gushing letter of thanks they received from the President of ALS. The 2002 ALS Conference will also be held at Macquarie University, organised by UNSW Linguistics. Organising committees are already in place. I'd like to acknowledge the part played by ALS vice-president Jane Simpson in liaising with Sydney-based linguists to assure early preparations for 2002. The 2001 ALS meeting will be hosted by ANU.

On behalf of all ALS members, I congratulate and thank our Melbourne-based members, Peter Austin and his committee, who have worked so tirelessly to provide an excellent ALI program this year, and Keith Allan and his committee, who have organized a most successful ALS conference. It is particularly encouraging to see so many students taking advantage of the ALI courses and presenting excellent papers at our conference.

During the year I received a request from Jeff Siegel and Cliff Goddard at UNE to write to DETYA about the level of funding provided to Universities for students enrolled in linguistics courses, since the funding formula seems to be disadvantagous to linguistics by comparison with other behavioural and social science disciplines. A drop in the UNE internal funding for linguistics students at UNE had led to a reduction in staff positions. I have written to the secretary of DETYA requesting relevant information, also pointing to a seeming discrepancy between the way in which linguistics is classified as a discipline by DETYA as opposed to the ARC.

During the coming year I will try to find ways of increasing student membership in the ALS and in making ALS more open to student input. To this end I have proposed a change to the ALS constitution to expand the Executive to include a postgraduate student representative. I will also be putting together a submission to go to DETYA (and perhaps to some other bodies such as vocational training) to try to secure some level of funding for post-graduate students to attend ALIs. I would ask that members with suggestions as to the sort of proposals I should put to DETYA please send them to me.

Concerns about the way in which the ARC Large Grant and Research Fellowships are assessed for the discipline of Linguistics have been raised with me. As the ARC is in the process of restructing, I will take this opportunity to write to the Chair, Vicky Sara, to argue that there should be a recognized linguist on the relevant committee, and also to reiterate our preference for linguistics to be classified as at present, and not to be reclassified within Humanities or Arts.

4.2 Secretary

In the absence of the Secretary there was no report.

4.3 Treasurer

ALS (Inc) Financial Statement. 25/9/99-4/7/2000.

Income:         Expenditure:
Membership $5,435:00 ALI 2000 $25,000:00
ALS 99 $5,645:32 ALS 2K $1,900:00
AJL $3,400:00 Newsletter $329:03
Royalties $3,190:53 Bank costs $521:63
Interest $3,564:41 GIO $330:71
Treas. Ex's $209:57
AJL v.19 $6,732:00
Total $21,235:26 Total $35,022:94

Operating loss: $13,787:68.


Accumulated funds 24/9/99 $107,633:92
Operating loss to 4/7/2000 $13,787:68
Current funds $93,846:24


Represented by:
Fixed deposit 1. $12,324:31 (matures 26/3/2001)
Fixed deposit 2. $31,422:00 (matures 7/11/2000)
Money Managers $49,303:94
Cheque acct. $185:99
Deposit 4/7/2000 $610:00
Total $93,846:24

Doug Absalom's report follows verbatim:

As seems to be usual every second year, the operating loss shown on the balance sheet is nothing to worry about, considering that the major expenditure is $25,000 to the current Institute. In fact there is $31,900 invested in this operation and a substantial return will appear on next year's sheet.

The only figure of concern in the income column is the membership one. Only 131 members (apart from those who have paid with their conference fees) are financial for 2000. Many of those who have not paid since 1997 are long term members who, when reminded, are only too willing to pay. Unfortunately, like most academics in this current economic climate, I simply don't have the time to send out reminders. One possible remedy would be for members to supply me with their credit card details which would be kept on a secure file on my home computer (which is not attached to the web), and each January I would "automatically" deduct their membership fees until otherwise instructed. This process would, of course, be voluntary. (Moved Doug Absalom, seconded Mary Laughren, carried with one vote against.)

In the expenditure column, the payout figure on AJL Vol. 19 was much less than I expected, newsletter costs were considerably lower than previous years and Treasurer's expenses involved only a new supply of labels and an ink cartridge for the printer. The GIO payment is our regular public liability insurance payment which gives us about $11,000,000 worth of coverage.

I have applied for an ABN, and filled out the form indicating that our Society is not liable for GST since we do not have a turnover anywhere near $100,000 per annum. The fact that I have not yet received a reply may indicate that the Treasury has a different view but for now we will proceed under the belief that we do not have to pay GST on membership. If this turns out to be wrong, the only difference to fees will be the removal of the 'earlybird' discount.

Next year, Fixed Deposit 1 will be paid out as our commitment to the Pacific Rim Institute. Since we pledged US$10,000, the condition of the Australian dollar may mean that an extra $3,500 will need to be added to that account, despite the fact that there will be a further 6.2% of interest added in at maturity. Further expenditure will include approximately $7,000 for AJL Vol. 20, but this will be largely offset by royalties and editorial allowance from the publishers. I also look forward to increased membership payments from 'catch-ups' and from new members joining at this conference.

4.4 Journal Editor

Peter Collins reported that two regular issues (19/2 and 20/1) have appeared since the last meeting. Issue 21/1 will be a special edition on Anaphora, edited by Peter Austin and Lesley Stirling. The Editorial Board needs to be updated - some former members removed, new members added - and it was agreed that the Executive would call for suggestions through the newsletter and make the relevant decisions about membership.

4.5 Newsletter Editor


The November newsletter cost $210.83 for postage of paper copies; the February newsletter cost $118.20 for postage of paper copies. After the February issue, paper copies were no longer sent, so there were no postage costs for the May issue.


The changeover to electronic distribution was welcomed by most members though there are a few who cannot receive it this way. Doug Absalom kindly agreed to send out individual paper copies to those who request it, and also to the National Library.

The availability of the webpage and of the 'ALS ONLINE' service for between-newsletter announcements was also welcomed by most members.

Retirement of editor

I have been doing the Newsletter for four years now and am ready to pass on the baton to someone else, as it is an enjoyable but time consuming job. I have called for expressions of interest from potential newsletter editors at the last AGM and in several newsletters. Tim Curnow has expressed willingness to take over and subject to due election procedures at the AGM will probably do so as from mid July 2000. I am very pleased by this and am sure he will continue and improve the newsletter and web site in an excellent way.

In retiring, I would like to thank those who have contributed to the success of the newsletter over my years as editor, especially Doug Absalom, Jane Simpson and David Nash, and also to thank the membership as a whole for making the position of editor such a pleasant one.

Mary Laughren moved a vote of thanks to Helen Fraser for her work as Newsletter Editor.

4.6 ALS 2000

Keith Allan thanked all those who had read abstracts, especially Kate Burridge, who had read more than her fair share. Only one had been rejected.

Keith has requested the following addition to the Minutes:

As principal ALS2k organizer I'd like to thank many people for getting ALS2k up and running:

  • Those members of the ALS2k Committee and ring-ins who read the abstracts submitted. Special thanks to Kate Burridge who read more than her fair share.
  • Members of the ALI committee, in particular Peter Austin, Julie Bradshaw, Christine McKeown, Howard Nicholas and Tonya Stebbins.
  • Members of the ALS Committee, in particular Doug Absalom, Mary Laughren, Malcolm Ross and Jane Simpson.
  • Those members of ALS who were kind enough to chair sessions at the conference at very short notice.
  • The office manager at the Conference, Brigitte Lambert.
  • Last, but not least, all participants in the Conference.

Keith also explained the high registration fee: Trinity College was expensive, and because the conference coincided with the ALAA conference, both conferences had to have the same fee. This meant a compromise whereby the ALAA fee came down and the ALS fee went up. There was some discussion of this matter, but it was pointed out that the same conditions need not obtain in future years.

Mary Laughren moved a vote of thanks to Keith Allan and his committee for their work in organising the conference.

4.7 ALI 2000

Peter Austin reported that the ALI database listed about 380 participants, about eighty of whom were helpers and presenters. People were attending from all continents, and there were plenty of students. The committee had sought to create an ALI which would include Linguistics, Applied Linguistics and Language and the Law. Peter thanked presenters for their time and input and ALS for its support, as well as the Vice-Chancellor of Melbourne University for a $10,000 contribution and various other institutions for smaller sums in the form of scholarships. He also expressed his thanks to the staff of Trinity College and to the members of the ALI organising committee.

Mary Laughren moved a vote of thanks to Peter Austin and his committee for their work in organising ALI.

4.8 Committee on teaching linguistics

Jane Simpson reported that the Committee consists of Kate Burridge, Margaret Florey, Allan Dench and herself. The committee had met the previous day, when Nick Reid had given a presentation of his on-line course.

5. Future conferences

5.1 ALS 2001 in Canberra

Malcolm Ross reported that ALS 2001 would be held in Canberra from Thurs 27th to Sat 29th September, with the possibility of workshops on Sunday morning. These dates had been selected in order to fit differing mid-semester breaks at various institutions and to allow participants who were teaching on Monday 1st October to return home.

Patrick McConvell reported that ARCLING II would be held at the Australian Museum in Canberra on 24th and 25th September, allowing people to participate in both conferences.

It was reported at the meeting that the ALAA conference would occur mid-year in conjunction with the MLTA conference.

5.2 ALI and ALS 2002

Macquarie University has agreed to host ALI and ALS in 2002. Verna Rieschild is the contact person at Macquarie. Peter Collins (UNSW) will organise ALS 2002 at Macquarie.

5.3 ALS 2003

Mary Laughren asked for offers. None were forthcoming from the floor.

6. Election of officers

The following were elected unopposed:

  • Vice-President (replacing Jane Simpson): Verna Rieschild (nominated by Jane Simpson, seconded by Mary Laughren).
  • Secretary: John Henderson (nominated by David Nash, seconded by Jane Simpson).
  • Treasurer: Doug Absalom (nominated by Mary Laughren, seconded by Malcolm Ross).
  • Newsletter Editor: Tim Curnow (nominated by Helen Fraser, seconded by Mary Laughren).

Mary Laughren called for nominations for Journal Editor to replace Peter Collins, who would be retiring in 2002. It would be useful if the replacement were named in 2001, so that there could be a useful hand-over period.

7. Any other business

7.1 Endangered Languages journal

David Bradley brought a proposal from Hans-Jürgen Sasse for the establishment of a twice yearly journal dealing with endangered languages and aimed at the professional linguist. Under the proposal, the journal would be funded by a grant for the first five years and sent to members of the LSA, LAGB, ALS and the German and Japanese linguistics societies for five years as a membership benefit. Each society would be asked to have the journal packaged and mailed with its own journal. The idea was approved in principle by a straw vote, but it was left to the executive to investigate the cost of distribution and labour, as it seemed unlikely that the commercial publishers of Journal of Australian Linguistics would be willing to undertake distribution of another company's journal.

7.2 Destruction of universities in eastern Indonesia

Cliff Goddard suggested that members should support colleagues in universities in eastern Indonesia that had suffered during the recent troubles there. People able to contribute materials should e-mail John Bowden (

7.3 ICHL 2001

Kate Burridge drew the meetings attention to the International Conference on Historical Linguistics, hosted by La Trobe University from 13th to 17th August 2001.

7.4 Possible constitutional amendment

Mary Laughren gave notice of her intention to propose a constitutional amendment to the effect that a graduate student member be added to the ALS Executive.

The meeting closed at 6.40 pm.

Current issues

Have you paid your ALS subscription for 2000? Check on the address label of the next Australian Journal of Linguistics you receive, or talk to Doug Absalom ( about it.

State of Indigenous Languages in Australia

Nick Thieberger and Patrick McConvell are about to produce the draft report of the SOIL (State of Indigenous Languages in Australia) report for the State of the Environment 2001 reporting for Environment Australia. Anyone who would be interested in receiving the draft for comment should contact Patrick McConvell (

Proposed change to the ALS Constitution

Background to these proposed changes

As part of the Society's drive to encourage active participation by student members and to respond to their needs and concerns, we propose that the Executive of the ALS be expanded from the AGM 2001 to include a postgraduate student representative nominated and elected in the normal way (para 2 of the Constitution).

In formulating this change to the Constitution we have become aware that the timetable for the election of officers set out in Paragraph 3, in fact conflicts with current practice which is compatible with paragraph 3 which states that the term of office for all Executive members apart from the Journal Editor is for two AGMs. To make all parts of Paragraph 3 compatible with each other, and in line with previous and current practice, the proposed amendments to Paragraph 3 are required.

The Constitution can only be amended at an Annual General Meeting of the Society, so the following proposed changes will be voted on at the next AGM, in September 2001.

Changes to paragraphs 1 and 3 of the Constitution

Proposed by Mary Laughren
Seconded by Jane Simpson


1. The Officers of the Society shall be a President, three Vice-Presidents, a Treasurer, a Secretary, an Associate Secretary, and the Editor of the Journal.


The Officers of the Society shall be a President, three Vice-Presidents, a Treasurer, a Secretary, an Associate Secretary, a postgraduate student representative, and the Editor of the Journal.

3. The terms of office for officers other than the Editor of the Journal shall run for two Annual General Meetings. The President, two Vice-Presidents and Secretary shall be elected in even numbered years, beginning 1980. One Vice-President, Treasurer and Associate Secretary shall be elected in odd numbered years, beginning 1979. The Editor shall be elected in 1979 for six years and thereafter for a term of five years.


The terms of office for officers other than the Editor of the Journal shall run for two Annual General Meetings. The President, one Vice-President, Secretary, Associate Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected in even numbered years. One Vice-President and one postgraduate student representative shall be elected in odd numbered years. The Editor shall be elected in 1979 for six years and thereafter for a term of five years.


Linguistics Teaching

ALS's Linguistics Teaching subcommittee is a group of people who discuss issues and swap news about teaching, and who arrange a session at each ALS to workshop matters of interest. ALS has largely had a focus on research in the past, as the coverage of the journal attests. However we believe that it is highly appropriate for our society to have an organised forum for the sharing of teaching interests.

At the ALS 2000 session in Melbourne, Nick Reid and Avery Andrews gave presentations about online teaching. Nick has agreed to co-ordinate the activities of this group for the coming year. If you would like to be involved, contact Nick on

News from the Australian National University

After restructuring in the Faculty of Arts at ANU, the Linguistics Department is now part of the new School of Language Studies. The School is made up of the former departments of Linguistics and Classical and Modern European Languages. Tony Liddicoat is Head of School and Harold Koch is the Convener of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics.

News from the University of Sydney

The Department welcomes Dr Ingrid Piller (, who is teaching sociolinguistics and discourse analysis. Her publications include American Automobile Names (1996, Essen, Germany: Blaue Eule). Her research interests include: bilingualism, cross-cultural communication, gender, and discourses of identity, consumer discourse, brand names and the language of advertising. Check out her web page for more information:

Postdoctoral Fellowships, Closing date: 1 September 2000

The University will be offering up to fifteen new U2000 Postdoctoral Fellowships to attract outstanding postdoctoral scholars to conduct full time research at the University in any of its disciplines. The Fellowships will be available from January 2001 for a period of three years and should be commenced within six months of an offer being made. Applicants should download the forms and information from


Melissa Crowther and Lila San Roque, honours students at the University of Sydney, returned from a successful four-month trip to Papua New Guinea, where they were collecting material for their honours theses, and working with the local Department of Education implementing vernacular language literacy policies. While in New Guinea they surveyed several coastal areas that had not previously been described, spent time working in depth in two different areas, Krisa and Molmo, and produced literacy materials in conjunction with local villagers. Melissa is working on comparative linguistics and perceptions of linguistic similarity, and Lila is writing about the function of diacritics in orthographies of tone languages. In addition, both are working on sketch grammars of the two languages that they studied in detail.

Recent PhD theses

Hiromi Muranaka <>
Some aspects of Japanese-English childhood bilingualism: do parental input and the stronger language affect the child's language acquisition patterns?
Supervisor: John Gibbons

News from Monash University

Among recent international visiting scholars in Linguistics at Monash have been Professor Joshua Fishman (Yeshiva/Stanford) and Professor Rudolf Muhr (Graz). Dr Margaret Florey has been appointed to a Lectureship in Linguistics, starting October 2000. So far this year three graduate research students have had their theses accepted: Jim Hlavac (PhD, Croatian-English language contact in Melbourne), Anya Woods (PhD, The role of language in ethnic congregations), and Kylie Martin (MA, Convergence between bahasa indonesia and bahasa malaysia). Another PhD student is currently completing minor amendments.

News from the University of Melbourne

1. Working Papers in Sasak Vol 2 has been published and is now available. This volume contains papers arising from research under Peter Austin's Lombok and Sumbawa Research Project, with contributions from authors in Melbourne, Lombok, Germany and Japan, plus samples of glossed and translated texts in three genres. Contact Peter Austin ( if you would like to obtain a copy.

2. The web site Jiwarli: an Aboriginal language of Western Australia produced by Peter Austin and students in his Structure of Aboriginal Languages course in 1998 has been archived by the National Library of Australia. The National Library has a policy of "preserving selected electronic publications of lasting cultural value for access by the Australian community now and in the future". They state: "Our assessment of electronic resources for the preservation project is stringent and only a small number are being identified as having national significance". You can view the site via the Departmental home page (under Research Projects) or at:

3. Brian Paltridge has been offered a Chair in Applied Linguistics at Auckland University of Technology and will be leaving the Department in January next year.

4. Robert Schmittat, our Technical Officer, recently received the award of Best Paper in a Refereed Journal for the National Institute of Forensic Science Best Paper Award 2000. The award was presented by the Chief Justice of Victoria. Robert's collaborative piece with Doug Rogers and Brian Found from Human Biosciences at La Trobe University was also awarded. Robert has written a Macintosh native application that assists in forensic investigation of signature fraud.

5. The Language Testing Research Centre has just negotiated a long term arrangement for service provision with the Educational Testing Service at Princeton University that will include a number of major new research contracts. Tim McNamara has recently returned from Korea where he discussed possible research on the teaching of English in Korean schools.

6. The Victorian Board of Studies has reactivated the role of area of studies convenors and as English Convenor for the state Peter Austin will be involved in several new projects on the teaching of VCE English, including English Language.

7. Current visitors to the Department include:

  • Prof Bernd Nothofer, Frankfurt University, who is working with Peter Austin's project on Sasak speech levels.
  • Dr Anna Margetts who was last year awarded a PhD in Linguistics from the Max Plank Institute for Psycholinguistics and the Katholike Universiteit Nijmegen. Anna has received a Feodor Lynen Fellowship, a cooperative initiative that links German scholars and former Humboldt Fellowship recipients, in this case, Nick Evans. Anna will carry out postdoctoral research over fourteen months. Together with Peter Austin, John Bowden and Nick Evans, Anna will participate in an ARC funded project on three-place predicate constructions.
  • Professor Stephen Matthews, from Hong Kong University visits the Department as a Universitas 21 Fellow for the second semester. During his visit, Stephen will carry out collaborative research on linguistic typology and teach an Honours subject in the Department.
  • Professor Jeffrey Hubbell, a specialist in language testing at Husei University, Japan, who will visit the Department until February 2001. Jeffrey has extensive experience in EFL teaching and test development in Japan.

8. Johanna Barry, PhD student in Linguistics and Otolaryngology, has won a Victoria Science Prize, one of just six awarded to outstanding young researchers. The prize is in recognition of Johanna's work on extensions of cochlear implant research to tone languages such as Cantonese.

Book announcement

Linguistic Typology: Morphology and Syntax
By Jae Jung Song
Pearson Education: Harlow and London

August 2000, 406pp
ISBN 0-582-31220-5 (Hardback) £60.00
ISBN 0-582-31221-3 (Paperback) £19.99

There are generally estimated to be about 4,000 to 6,000 languages in the world. This number alone gives us an idea of the immense diversity of languages of the world, but despite their differences, there also has to be an underlying unity to human languages.

Linguistic typology is the study of the structural variation within human language with a view to establishing limits on this variation and seeking explanations for the limits. In this volume, Jae Jung Song uses data from a wide range of languages to provide an up-to-date critical introduction to linguistic typology. Focusing on major topics ranging from basic word order to causative constructions, the book demonstrates how systematic patterns can be uncovered, and limits on, and explanations for, these systematic patterns can be sought and formulated. Practical and methodological issues such as data collection and language sampling are also discussed, as well as the application of linguistic typology and a brief survey of major European approaches to linguistic typology.

Linguistic Typology will be essential reading for students involved in linguistic typology and language universals, comparative morphology and syntax, historical linguistics, first or second language acquisition, and language and cognition.

Jae Jung Song is a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Otago, New Zealand.

Pearson Education books are available from most booksellers, or can be ordered direct from (Postage: add £2.50 for all orders under £50):
Pearson Education
Customer Services (Orders)
PO Box 88, Harlow
Essex CM19 5SR
United Kingdom
Fax: +44 (0) 1279 623627

Book announcement

Warrabarna Kaurna! Reclaiming an Australian Language
By Rob Amery
Swets & Zeitlinger Publishers

August 2000, 289pp
ISBN 90-265-1633-9 (Bound) Dfl.120.00/US$63.00

Warrabarna Kaurna! Reclaiming an Australian Language is a longitudinal study of the reclamation of the Kaurna language, where Kaurna people are working in collaboration with linguists and educators. The book takes an ecological perspective to trace the history of Kaurna drawing on all known sources (mostly from the period 1836-1858) and all known emerging uses in the modern period (1989-1997).

Kaurna language revival began with the writing of six songs in 1990. Since then, the language has developed considerably; programs have been established for a range of learners; the range of language functions continues to expand; and the language is beginning to take root within Nunga households. Will it take the "great leap forward" and emerge as an everyday language?

This study is breaking new ground and challenges widely held beliefs as to what is possible in language revival and questions notions about the very nature of language and its development. Very little knowledge of Kaurna remained, yet the language is becoming a marker of identity and a means by which Kaurna people can further the struggle for recognition, reconciliation and liberation. In the eyes of the community and within the education sector, the programs have already been a success.

Dr Rob Amery is a Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Adelaide. This book is a reduced version of his PhD completed in June 1998.

Available from (please add postage US$4.00 for one copy + US$2.00 for each additional copy):
PO Box 825
2160 SZ Lisse
The Netherlands
Tel (+31) 252-435111
Fax (+31) 252-415888
PO Box 582
Downington, PA 19335-9998

Overheard ...

At the Melbourne conference were several linguists discussing "old times". One mentioned the 1966 American Linguistics Society conference where Chomsky had given a paper which was, predictably, challenged by Lakoff. The argument in front of a packed hall of linguists grew quite heated, culminating in Chomsky referring to Lakoff as an 'asshole', and Lakoff responding with 'No, you're the asshole'. The linguistic world was a little stunned to hear two of its major gurus resorting to such mundane terms. An American linguist at the Melbourne conference, overhearing this story, commented that this was quite remarkable, since it was probably the only time that they were both right!


Australian Linguistic Society Conference 2001

The 2001 Australian Linguistic Society Conference will be held 27-29 September 2001, at the Australian National University.

Sign Language Typology lecture series

Ulrike Zeshan <>
Research Centre for Linguistic Typology, La Trobe University

Sign Language Typology is a newly emerging sub-discipline in linguistics whose results have great potential significance for linguistic typology and general linguistics. This series of five lectures provides a comprehensive introduction into this promising new field of research. Lectures will be held on Thursdays from 4-5.30 pm, beginning on August 31, in the seminar room of the Research Centre for Linguistic Typology, La Trobe University. The lectures are free, and all are welcome. No particular background in either sign language research or language typology is presupposed.

31 August 2000 Sign language research: Basic concepts
7 September 2000 Sign language typology: Aims and methods
14 September 2000 Negative constructions
21 September 2000 Interrogative constructions
28 September 2000 Discussion session: Signed and spoken languages

For full details, and information on individual sessions, see

Multimodal Discourse Analysis 2000 (MDA 2000): featuring sound and music (summer school)

11-15 December 2000, University of Sydney

Teaching staff:

  • Theo van Leeuwen (Cardiff University)
  • Peter White (University of Birmingham)

The Summer School introduces and exemplifies a systemic functional approach to the semiotics of sound. It is characteristic of this approach that it explores the common ground between speech, music and other sounds.

There are two lectures and two workshops each day, with the exception of the Wednesday when there will be one lecture and one workshop only. The lectures introduce five key sound systems (perspective, time, interaction, melody and modality) and their role in a range of different kinds of music, in the speech of actors, news readers, disc jockeys and others, in film and television sound tracks, in radio plays, and in CD-ROMs and websites There is specific emphasis on the way sound analysis may be combined with visual and linguistic analysis.

In the workshops the theory is applied to a variety of examples, either provided by the workshop tutor or by the participants, insofar as they have an already developed interest in exploring specific types of sound. The workshops also serve to discuss the value of the approach in addressing concrete research questions and design problems.

Suggestions for further reading will be presented during the course. Prior knowledge of systemic-functional linguistics or music is not required. The key reference is: Van Leeuwen, T. (1999) Speech, Music, Sound, London, Macmillan.

Places will be limited to 30 participants, on a 'first paid, first served' basis.

For full program details, see

Registration details (for Summer School):

  • Name
  • Name for name tag
  • Mail address
  • E-mail address


  • Received by November 1, $250
  • After November 1, $300
  • daily rate $100, by special arrangement, if places available

Please pay by cheque or money order, made out to: The Australian Systemic Functional Linguistics Association

Send payment and registration details to: Jim Martin, Department of Linguistics, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

Multimodal Discourse Analysis 2000 (MDA 2000): featuring sound and music (workshop)

18-20 December 2000, University of Sydney

This year's workshop follows up our successful 1997 meetings on discourse analysis across modalities. Taking its cue from this year's Summer School (December 11-15), MDA 2000 will feature work on the modalities of sound and music.

The purpose of the workshop is to foster dialogue among researchers and practitioners who are focussing on the co-articulation of meaning across modalities, including verbiage, image, music, sound and action.

The program will consist of 7 invited plenary presentations, a panel discussion and papers (see Call for papers below).

Plenary addresses:

  • Anne Cranny-Francis (Macquarie University) & Mary Macken-Horarik (University of Technology Sydney) 'Hearing narrative: the aural semiotics of film and television'
  • Lowell Lewis (University of Sydney) 'Language and embodiment: some theoretical observations on the semiotics of movement and sound'
  • Edward McDonald (National University Singapore) '"Tonos", tonality, and prosodic representations'
  • Cate Poynton (University of Western Sydney) 'Writing the (speaking) self: voice and cultural inscription'
  • Theo van Leeuwen (Cardiff University) 'The World According to Playmobil'
  • Peter White (University of Birmingham) 'James Bond and the minor 9th: the semanticisation of musical resources in film and advertising'
  • Theo van Leeuwen & Peter White 'Musical Dialogue'

Call for papers:

Papers are welcome focussing on any aspect of multimodal discourse analysis, including descriptive, theoretical and applied orientations from a range sites.

Since our workshop and summer school are focussing this year on the analysis of speech, music and sound, participants are encouraged where possible to attend to these modalities as part of their presentations. This is not however a requirement.

Papers will be presented in 40 minute sessions. Send abstracts by November 1 to Jim Martin, Department of Linguistics, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia (

Recommended Reading:

  • Van Leeuwen, T & G Kress 1996 Reading Images. London: Routledge.
  • Van Leeuwen, T 1999 Speech, Music, Sound. London. Macmillan.

Registration details (for workshop):

  • Name
  • Name for name tag
  • Mail address
  • E-mail address
  • Received by November 1, $175
  • After November 1, $225
  • daily rate $100, by special arrangement, if places available

Please pay by cheque or money order, made out to: The Australian Systemic Functional Linguistics Association

Send payment and registration details to: Jim Martin, Department of Linguistics, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

For further details, see

2001 Pacific Rim Linguistic Institute

The 2001 Pacific Rim Linguistic Institute will be held at the University of California, Santa Barbara, 25 June-3 August 2001. This Institute is sponsored by the Linguistic Society of America and co-sponsored by a variety of other organizations, including the Australian Linguistic Society. See the website for more details.

The 15th International Conference on Historical Linguistics (ICHL 2001)

13-17 August 2001, Melbourne

ICHL 2001, convened by the Department of Linguistics, La Trobe University, will be held at the Hotel Ibis, 15 Therry Street, Melbourne.

Plenary speakers:

  • Sasha Aikhenvald
  • Cindy Allen
  • Lyle Campbell
  • R.M.W Dixon
  • Susan Herring
  • Nigel Vincent

For more information, see the conference website,, or contact the Conference Director:
Barry Blake (
Department of Linguistics
La Trobe University
Bundoora VIC 3083
telephone: 61 (0)3 9479 2338
fax: 61 (0)3 9479 1520


ARCLING II, the second conference on the archaeology and linguistics of Australia, will be held at the new National Museum of Australia, Canberra, September 22-25 2001. Conference details, a call for papers and a web-site will be announced later in August. For further details, contact Patrick McConvell (

Computing Arts: Digital Resources for Research in the Humanities Conference (DRRH2001)

26-28 September 2001, University of Sydney

Computing Arts: Digital Resources for Research in the Humanities Conference (DRRH 2001) will provide a major forum for the creators, users, distributors and custodians of electronic resources in the humanities to present and discuss their work, experiences and ideas.

The first major conference devoted to issues in humanities computing generally in the Australia-Pacific region, DRRH 2001 seeks to bring together scholars, academic researchers, publishers, librarians and archivists in the region and beyond, with key speakers in the field, to foster the exchange of ideas and to extend the use of digital resources, techniques and tools in humanities research and teaching.

DRRH 2001 intends to attract the reporting of relevant work in a broad range of fields, including archaeology, art history, history, languages and linguistics, literary studies, music, performing arts, as well as work detailing techniques and issues associated with the creation and use of digital texts, databases, images, sound, video and digital mapping.

Hosts at the University of Sydney: RIHSS Research Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences and SETIS the Scholarly Electronic Text and Image Service at the University of Sydney Library. DRRH 2001 is supported by The Australian Academy of the Humanities.

For more information, visit the web site, or contact Dr Creagh Cole, SETIS Coordinator ( or Ms Rowanne Couch, RIHSS Research Manager (


See earlier for details on University of Sydney postdoctoral positions.

About ALS

ALS Website


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

Benefits of membership

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

ALS office bearers

President Mary Laughren (UQ)
Vice-Presidents Robert Hoogenraad
Verna Rieschild (Macquarie)
Malcolm Ross (ANU)
Secretary John Henderson (UWA)
Treasurer Doug Absalom (Newcastle)
Box 8, Hunter Building,
Newcastle University, NSW 2308
Journal Editors Peter Collins (UNSW)
Peter Peterson (Newcastle) (Reviews)
Doug Absalom (Newcastle)
Newsletter Editor Tim Curnow (La Trobe)

Next newsletter

The ALS Newsletter is published four times per year. This is the third issue for 2000. The next issue (00/4) will come out in mid November. Copy will be due on the first Monday in November. If you would like to be on the email list for a reminder that the date is approaching, contact the Newsletter Editor.

Please send copy, and any queries, comments or suggestions to Tim Curnow (

The ALS journal

The ALS publishes a journal, the Australian Journal of Linguistics (AJL) twice a year. The latest issue is 20/1. The journal is published by Carfax (Taylor & Francis),

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

ALS membership and address changes

In general, subscriptions are due at the beginning of each calendar year, unless you pay for several years at a time. The year you are paid to is shown on the address label on the envelope your journal comes in. If you don't happen to have kept the last label framed on your wall, you can get in touch with the Treasurer, Doug Absalom, to find out your status, or wait till the next journal comes.

This may be a good time to remind you that apart from email addresses, there is only one membership list and that is maintained by the Treasurer, Doug Absalom. If you need to change your address or make other enquiries, pleasedo it through him.

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

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

ALS Subscription Form

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


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PAYMENT ENCLOSED (Please delete those not applicable):

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$60 Joint m'ship, one year (two people at same address)
$20 Concession membership (full-time student)
$5 discount on all fees if paid by 1st April 2000


Please enclose cheque payable to 'ALS'


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