Newsletter February 2013

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

Minutes of the 2012 Annual General Meeting of the Australian Linguistic Society

Thursday, December 6th, 2012, Perth


Donna Butorac, Tim Curnow, Pam Peters, Anna Margetts, John Hajek, Dorothea Hademan, Heather Buchan, Celeste Roderiguez Louro, Michael Walsh, Peter Collins, William Forshaw, Brighde Collins, Penny Lee, Ian Malcolm, Ilana Mushin, Patrick Caudal, Jessica Mathie, Jill Vaughan, Margaret Sharpe, Helen Arnot, Anneli Strutt, Mahesh Radhakrishnan, Yunita Bani Bili, Marie Fellbaum Korpi, Catherine Travis, Doug Marmion, Joe Blythe, Sarah Rathjen, Lochlan Morrissey, Stephanie Jenkins, David Osgarby, Jackie Van Den Box, Lauren Gawne, Lesley Stirling, Marie-Eve Ritz, Jane Simpson, Mary Laughren, David Moore, Rachel Nordlinger, Kate Burridge, Jill Vaughan, Cliff Goddard, Trevor Johnston, Adam Schembri, John Henderson, David Nash, Mark Harvey, Nick Thieberger, Andrea Schalley, Alan Dench.

1. Apologies

Barbara Kelly, Simon Musgrave, Keith Allan, Helen Tebble, David Bradley, Maya Bradley, Jeff Siegel, Diana Eades, Janet Fletcher, Brett Baker, Caroline Jones, Nick Evans, Piers Kelly, Alan Libert

2. Minutes of the 2011 AGM

The President moved that the minutes be accepted. Seconded by Rachel Nordlinger. Carried.

3. Matters arising

Report on the ALS sub-committee on collections. Nick Thieberger reported that the committee had been formed early in 2012 and had met several times to formulate criteria for assessing a collection of primary data as scholarly output. Anna Margetts had presented these criteria in a session at the conference. A blog entry at outlines the proposed criteria and allows for members to post comments. It is planned that the committee forumlates its proposal for dissemination to members in early-mid 2013, and then sends the revised version to the ARC.

Lesley Stirling reported on the role of the ALS in making submissions to the House of Representatives Inquiry into Language Learning in Aboriginal Communities. She noted that, following the suggestion by Trevor Stockley at the 2011 AGM, 20 ALS members made submissions to the Inquiry.

4. Reports

4.1 President

Lesley Stirling thanked Andrea Schalley, Keith Allan, and Mark Harvey for their work on renegotiating the contract with Taylor and Francis (T&F). She also thanked Doug Absalom for his long years of service to the ALS as coordinator of memberships and moved a motion of thanks on behalf of the ALS, seconded by Cliff Goddard and carried unanimously.

4.2 Secretary

Nothing to report.

4.3 Treasurer

See Financial Statement in this newsletter.

Mark Harvey noted that T&F will take over managing the ALS membership from 2013.

Motion: That the ALS authorises the Treasurer to establish a finance sub-committee of the Exec with co-opted members as needed to draft a financial strategy for the ALS and to review the ALS's compliance requirements given its changed financial circumstances.
Moved: Mark Harvey. Seconded: Lesley Stirling. Carried unanimously.

4.4 Journal Editor

I apologize for being unable to attend the ALS Conference this year because I am moving house during the conference week.

Following ratification from the AGM in Canberra (December 2011), the ALS, represented by the President, signed a new contract with publishers Taylor & Francis (T&F) for the period 1/1/12 to 31/12/17. In recognition of the journal’s value, the publisher made a one-off grant of $10,000 at signing.

As a representative of ALS, the journal editor is responsible for all editorial expenses and in recognition of that, T&F make an annual grant of $10,000 to ALS. In 2012 this sum has been transferred to me as the editor of AJL.

T&F pay royalties of 30% to ALS on all receipts of sales of AJL and articles from the AJL. Each financial member of ALS receives a copy of AJL free of charge.

The page budget for each volume of AJL is now 544 pages, divided as equally as possible among four issues of 136 pages each. There are typically four or five articles per issue and a book review or two – ably managed by Alan Libert, whom I warmly thank.

T&F’s report on AJL during 2012 will not be available until April 2013, but T&F’s report on AJL during 2011 notes the following:

Full text of the journal was available in 4,047 institutions world-wide and accessible via EBSCOHost to more than 12,000 libraries. It is also available FOC to some disadvantage nations and there is a mobile phone app.

There were more than 13,000 full-text article downloads during 2011, a 23% increase over the previous year. We can expect a similar increase for 2012. Most downloads were sourced in Australia but there were almost as many from the USA.

The article most downloaded in 2011 was A conversational analysis view of communication as jointly accomplished social interaction by Maurice Nevile and Johanna Rendle-Short from AJL 29, 2009: 75-89. Congratulations to Maurice and Johanna.

The 2010 impact factor was 0.208. AJL’s impact factor improved during 2011 to 0.26 (see This is still not high enough and I once again encourage ALS members to submit their best papers to AJL.

In 2011 the official rejection rate was 73%, yet the acceptance rate was only 7.4%. The discrepancy results from papers undergoing revision.

Authors from 19 countries submitted work: most authors come from Australia, Iran second, followed – in roughly equal numbers – by China, Malaysia, and UK.

The first issue of 2012, AJL 32-1, was a special issue on Tense, Aspect, Modality and Evidentiality in Australian Languages. This issue consisted of five articles edited by Alan Dench and Lesley Stirling. An additional article intended for this special issue had already been published in AJL 31-4.

AJL 32-2 contained three articles on a variety of topics: 'Pragmaticising’ Kaplan; Subjective Motion Expressions in English; and Defining the third-person.

AJL 32-3 held four articles: Making sense of English rhyming compounds; Warndarrang and Marra: a diffusional or genetic relationship?; The Ideological Construction of Iran in the NYT; and Cross-cultural and Situational Variation in Iranian and American Speech Communities.

AJL 32-4 was supposed to be a special issue on the public discourse surrounding Indigenous languages, but only two of the originally promised nine articles were submitted in publishable form, so 32-4 now contains four articles: The Old English prefix ge-: a panchronic reappraisal; First-person pronominal variation, stance and identity in Indonesia; Bilingual education and the language of news; Communication with Aboriginal speakers of English in the legal process.

It seems likely that the first issue of the 2013 volume 33 will be late because there is a shortfall in the number of papers accepted for publication. However I am promised copy for several special issues in 2013 into 2014. These include one on Hispanic Linguistics edited by Elisabeth Mayer and Manuel Delicado Cantero; one on Corpus Linguistics edited by Pam Peters and Michael Haugh; one on Non-verbal Communication edited by Adam Schembri, Jenny Green, Barbara Kelly and Trevor Johnston; one on Language and Social Cognition edited by Cliff Goddard; and one on English in Australia: Variation and change in diverse linguistic communities edited by Celeste Rodriguez Louro.

Thanks again to all those who spend time reviewing for AJL. Thanks to all of you who have submitted papers. Please submit good stuff to AJL to raise its impact factor.

4.5 Associate Secretary (Newsletter Editor)

Andrea Schalley demonstrated a prototype version of the new ALS website which will have a members' area to allow maintaining a personal profile as well as providing for each member to add content for the Newsletter.

4.6 CIPL Representative

The next Congres International des Linguistes will be held in Geneva in late July 2013. Their website is

4.7 Pacific Linguistics

Report from Paul Sidwell:

Pacific Linguistics received a $5,000 subsidy from ALS in 2012. This subsidy was applied to production costs, and specifically was used to pay for part of the printing bill for Bill McGreggor’s “The Nyulnyul language of Dampier Land” (PL632).

PL is extremely grateful for this contribution, and those received in previous years. This ALS support has made a significant contribution to helping PL get through a long and difficult period of transition, which is now complete.

The old publication model that we operated under was financially unsustainable, and as you are all aware, in recent years PL began to accrue losses which threatened its continued operations. To deal with this, the Editorial Board negotiated an arrangement with DeGruyterMouton (Berlin) to take on the production and marketing of PL grammars and dictionaries, while other works will be handled on an open-access electronic model. The agreement came into effect in 2012 and in July we produced our last print volume in the old series. We are pleased to announce that the Mouton series (continuing the original numbering scheme) is now up and running, and the first volume - Ilana Myushin’s “A Grammar of (Western) Garrwa” (PL-637) is now available. In fact, in the 18 months to July we completed and published some 21 volumes, a significant proportion of which relate to Australian Languages and/or represent the work of ALS members.

That peak in production and subsequent sales, followed by the cessation of further printing costs, has lifted PL out of the red, and accordingly we will no longer be requesting direct assistance from ALS, and we again express our gratitude for your assistance through our transition.

It is still a fact that academic publication is an expensive business, and more and more obligations and costs are falling upon authors. In particular there are increasing editorial expenses, such as obligation to provide camera-ready copy, and increasing requests to cover costs such as copy-editing and refereeing. In this context, we would like to suggest that the ALS might like to consider establishing a fund - similar in size to the subsidy previously paid to PL - to directly assist authors with getting their works published. In this fast evolving publishing environment this may be a better way to foster the publishing of Australian Linguistics output.

There was some discussion of this proposal and it was generally felt that publication subsidies were not the responsibility of the ALS, but that the issue could be considered as part of the work of the finance sub-committee.

4.8 ALS 2012 Organisers’ Report

The Organising Committee would firstly like to thank our esteemed invited guests – Keren Rice, Östen Dahl and Miriam Meyerhoff – and thank UWA for the financial support for their travel. We would like to thank Anneli Strutt and the student helpers for all the work they have done so well, leading up to and during the conference. We also thank the sponsors: the Co-op Bookshop and the publishers whose flyers appeared in the conference bags.

There were 130 registrations in total for the conference and ALI courses, with participants from 12 countries.

A hundred papers were presented in the general sessions and special interest workshops. We thank the workshop organisers for their significant contributions to the conference.

The ALI courses were very successful, and for this we thank our invited guests and the other colleagues who contributed courses. 70 people participated in the six courses offered, a mix of Honours and graduate students and academic and professional linguists. We think that this demonstrates that it is possible to offer valuable courses in a way that is workable given the prevailing restrictions on the time and resources of all concerned. Judging from the positive responses from all the course presenters, a three-hour course is not too great a burden but still provides an opportunity to get into a topic at reasonable depth. (We also invited 6-hour courses but received no offers for this option.) Given the number of people who registered for the ALI courses, it seems clear that there is strong interest within the linguistics community and that a one-day program in addition to the conference is generally affordable in terms of the additional accommodation costs and time. It is important to say from the organisers’ point of view that the organisational cost of the ALI day has been a relatively small addition to the organisation of the conference. We would recommend to future organisers that they consider something along the lines of this year’s model for ALI courses, even with only 1 or 2 courses if that is all that is possible.

At this stage, we believe that the conference will break even, or make a relatively small loss. For future conferences, we would recommend to the proposed finance sub-committee that, given the pressures on academic time and the restrictions on administrative support in universities, an allocation should be available to organising committees for additional administrative support.

After discussion with the Executive, we have agreed to develop an initial handbook or wiki for future ALS organisers.

It is unfortunate that there was a partial timing clash with the SST conference and that it was also not possible to co-ordinate with ALAA this year. Conference clashes can hopefully be minimised by co-ordination with other societies/associations but they are often unavoidable given the competition for venues and other local factors, especially in the popular conference periods.

The Organising Committee. (Celeste Rodriguez Louro, Marie-Eve Ritz, Alan Dench, and John Henderson)

Lesley Stirling moved a motion of thanks to John and the organising committee. Seconded Ilana Mushin. Carried unanimously.

4.9 ALS 2013 Organisers

Rachel Nordlinger reported on organisation for the 2013 conference in Melbourne which will run from October 1st to 4th (see

5. Future ALI and ALS conferences

Newcastle has undertaken to organise the 2014 conference.>

6. Australian Computational and Linguistics Olympiad (OzCLO)

Andrea Schalley reported that OzCLO was run for the fifth time in 2012 and now with the benefit of an online entry system that helped increase the number of participants to 1100 (of which 696 were online). PLC (Victoria) won the national competition and went to the international finals in Slovenia. OzCLO develops students' interest in linguistics and is a great public relations exercise for linguistics and the ALS.

Both Andrea and Rachel asked the membership to get involved both in developing problem sets and in organising and running OzCLO.

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

Laves Prize: Tim Connell, Masters student at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, to support fieldwork on Matek, a Land Dayak language spoken in West Kalimantan, Indonesia

Clyne Award: Donna Butorac for her PhD thesis titled: “Imagined Identity, Remembered Self: Settlement Language Learning and the Negotiation of Gendered Subjectivity” Macquarie University, 2011

Kaldor Prize: Qandeel Hussain, PhD student, Macquarie University, to attend the LSA Institute in 2013.

Talkley Award: Ingrid Piller. Lauren Gawne (on behalf of Piers Kelly and the postgraduate students' committee) presented this award which was accepted by Donna Butorac for Ingrid Piller.

8. Election of Officers

The following positions were open for election in 2012 and in each case only one nomination had been received.

  • One Vice-President - Nomination: Trevor Johnston (Moved: Nick Thieberger, Seconded: Andrea Schalley)
  • Secretary - Nomination: Nick Thieberger (Moved: Rachel Nordlinger, Seconded: Lesley Stirling)
  • Associate Secretary- Nomination: Andrea Schalley (Moved: John Henderson, Seconded: Lesley Stirling)
  • Treasurer - Nomination: Mark Harvey (Moved: Brett Baker, Seconded: John Henderson)
  • Postgraduate Student Representative - Nomination: Jonathan Moodie (Moved: Rachel Nordlinger, Seconded: Lesley Stirling)

All elected by acclaim.

Lesley Stirling moved a motion of thanks to Piers Kelly for his work as postgrad rep. Seconded: Nick Thieberger. Carried by acclaim.

9. Any Other Business

  • ALS membership list – how public should it be? After some discussion it was resolved that the new ALS website will have a members only area in which it would be possible to find contact details for members but that the whole list would not be downloadable.
    Motion: That the Society work towards making a list of members and their contact details available to members via a password protected section of the website.
    Moved Lesley Stirling, Seconded: Margaret Sharpe. Carried.
  • Fully (sic) editor's report. Lauren Gawne reported on behalf of Aidan Wilson. Fully (sic) is a blog hosted by Crikey and focusses on language topics. All ALS members are encouraged to write items for this blog.
  • Call for nominations: Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority’s Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages Panel are seeking nominations from a range of organisations as well as learning area experts and the contribution of the ALS would be greatly valued. The first meeting will be held by teleconference on 18 December 2012.
    Ilana Mushin volunteered and was elected unanimously as the ALS rep.
    John Hajek reported on the Languages and Cultures Network for Australian Universities ( and called for abstracts for LCNAU’s second Biennial Colloquium, to be held at the ANU, 3-5 July, 2013.
  • COOL9
    Mark Harvey reported on the upcoming Conference On Oceanic Linguistics (COOL9) in Newcastle at the beginning of February.

The meeting closed at 6.45 pm. 

Nick Thieberger

ALS Financial Statement 01/12/2011 - 30/06/2012

TREASURER'S ACCOUNT 01/12/2011 - 02/02/2012        
Melbourne University Credit Union Ltd  Brought Forward 01/12/2011 Credit Debit Balance
  63,160.75 11,168.02 22,082.05 52,246.72
Melbourne University Credit Union Ltd Details Credit   Debit  
  ALS Membership Payments 11,000.00 Taylor & Francis  AJL Vol 31 21,973.60
  Interest 168.02 Dept of Fair Trading NSW 48.00
      Tax 60.45
  TOTAL 11,168.02 TOTAL 22,082.05
MEMBERSHIP ACCOUNT 01/12/2011 - 30/06/2012        
Westpac 13-1342 Brought Forward 01/12/2011 Credit Debit Balance
  14,735.75 900.00 14,553.17 1,082.58
Westpac 13-1342 Account Details Credit   Debit  
  Membership Fees 900.00 Payment to Treasurer's Account 11,000.00
      Administration Fees 3,300.00
      Account Fees  253.17
  TOTAL 900.00 TOTAL 14,553.17
INVESTMENTS Brought Forward  - 01/07/2011 6/30/12 Profit Loss
ANZ Scholarship 45,595.55 45,232.88   -362.67
ANZ Investment  86,975.25 85,863.37   -1,111.88
Newcastle Permanent  22,276.13 22,977.43 701.30  
Mark Harvey

ALS 2012 Handouts and Slides

Handouts and slides from presentations and courses at ALI are now available online at Thanks to those authors who have contributed them in this form.

John Henderson

News from Fully (sic)

2012 was a successful year for Crikey's language blog, Fully (sic). Our media profile has improved substantially with support from Crikey and social media, and many of our writers, predominantly postgraduate students or early-career researchers, were published in more widely read publications, such as the Conversation, New Matilda, ABC's The Drum, The Age, as well as ABC Radio's Lingua Franca program.

Within Crikey, our posts are increasingly widely read, and we think we are making a real contribution to the national conversation when it comes to language-related topics.

Lauren Gawne will take over as editor, and both Aidan Wilson and James McElvenny will take up sub-editor roles. We intend to further diversify the blog with more contributions from linguists and other professionals involved in language-relate areas. If you or a student of yours would be interested in communicating your work to a broader audience, please contact us at 

Aidan Wilson

News from the University of Queensland


The end of the 2012 and the beginning of 2013 saw a number of books by UQ linguists published:

  • Mushin, Ilana. 2012. A Grammar of (Western) Garrwa. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter
  • Round, Erich. 2012. Kayardild Morphology and Syntax. Oxford: OUP
  • Hector, Ivy Kulngari, George Jungurra Kalabidi, Spider Banjo, Topsy Nangari Ngarnjal Dodd, Ronnie Jangala Wirrba Wavehill, Dandy Danbayarri, et al. 2012. Bilinarra, Gurindji and Malngin Plants and Animals. Darwin: Northern Territory Department of Land Resource Management.
  • Sullivan, Kari 2013. Frames and Constructions in Metaphoric Language. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Ilana's A Grammar of (Western) Garrwa was launched by Jane Simpson at the 2012 ALS meeting in Perth, and at the Waralungku Arts Centre in Borroloola in June 2012. Erich's Kayardild Morphology and Syntax will be launched by Nick Evans at ALW in March and Felicity's Bilinarra, Gurindji and Malngin Plants and Animals will be launched at Parliament House in Darwin in April.

The digital version of Kaytetye-English Dictionary with audio, image and video links is also now complete thanks to recent work done by Myf Turpin and James McElvenny. It follows the publication of dictionary earlier in 2012 which was compiled by Myf.

Visits, Visitors and Fieldwork

Jaakko Leino (University of Helsinki) visited the University of Queensland at the end of 2012 to work with Kari on idioms in English and Finnish and give a talk in the School seminar series.

In December and January, Erich visited UCLA, Yale, Oxford and the Surrey Morphology Group and gave invited talks on linguistic phylogenetic methods at the Yale Workshop on Linguistic Phylogenetics and on morphological theory at the Southeast Morphology Meeting.

In January, Myf has been on fieldwork in Central Australia finalising the book Antarrengeny Awely Women's Songs which is an annotated compilation of Alyawarr women's songs from Antarrengeny to be published shortly with Batchelor Press.

UQ Summer Research Program

Over the summer break, nine students from around Australia worked on three linguistics projects with Ilana, Kari and Felicity.

Ilana's students, Clair Gourlay (UQ), Robert Norrie (UQ) and Jayden Macklin-Cordes (Macquarie) have been busy in the lab transcribing Indigenous Primary School Classrooms from an ARC project and getting to grips with the local vernacular language.

James Hultgren (UQ) and Peta Mason (UQ) have been working with Kari. James is building on his Honours Thesis on the historical development of the senses of 'get', via a clustering technique that targets the relatedness of senses. Peta is using the same technique to compare the polysemy of three near-synonymous adjectives.

Jackie Van Den Bos (UQ), Jonathan Schlossberg (Monash), Katja Kahn-Manne (UQ) and Filip Budina (Sydney) worked with Felicity on the Gurindji and Bilinarra multimedia dictionaries as a part of an ILS project. They diligently created thousands of sound files and linked them to the headwords and sentences in the databases. The dictionaries will be hosted by AUSIL and published by Batchelor Press in the next couple of months. A great outcome for the language communities!

Project news

Rob will begin leading the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble's Shakespeare Prison Project on February 18th. The project is Australia's only Prison Shakespeare project, and one of only two ongoing Prison Theatre projects in Australia, and was initiated by Rob in 2006. This year the project moves to the new Southeast Queensland Correctional Complex in Gatton.

Felicity Meakins

News from the University of New England

Nick Reid is undertaking an ELDP funded video documentation project in the Daly River region during March-June 2013.

Liz Ellis came back from study leave in second half of 2012. She secured a book contract with Mouton de Gruyter, published 2 papers, gave an international conference paper, had 2 further papers accepted and had a proposal for a book chapter accepted.

Cindy Schneider went to Vanuatu in Jan-Feb 2013 to initiate a new study of the Suru Kavian variety of central/north Pentecost. She was also invited to participate in a public event at the State Library of Victoria on 14 Dec 2012: 'Linguistic Diversity in a Globalised World', sponsored by the Centre for Research on Language Diversity at La Trobe University. This was followed by a 2-day workshopt at CRLD.

Finex Ndhlovu has just published 2 papers, 3 chapters and co-edited a volume on African languages, continues with an Encyclopaedia project running till 2017.

Margaret Sharpe (Adjunct) has now completed the All Yugambeh-Bundjalung Dictionary on CD. This language, in various dialects, was spoken in the Northern Rivers area of NSW through to the gold Coast and hinterlands, and as far west as Warwick and Allora, Qld.It incorporates material published in three separate dictionaries of the three main areas where the language was spoken, with colour coding to help the reader find what words were used where; there is a grammar, and also a Tourist Guide to places of Aboriginal cultural interest, including websites maintained by Aboriginal people of the area.

Diana Eades (Adjunct) commenced a 3-year term as Head of Linguistics Section of the Australian Association of the Humanities in December. She was Convenor of the Roundtable on ‘Applying linguistics within the legal process’ at the Annual Symposium of Australian Academy of Humanities, University of Western Sydney in November, and was invited plenary speaker at the Annual Conference of Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia, in Perth, also in November.

Cindy Schneider

News from the University of Melbourne

New Arrivals

We are very excited to welcome Dr. Aung Si as a new postdoctoral fellow. Aung Si has been awarded a prestigious McKenzie Fellowship from the University of Melbourne for his three-year project 'A cross-linguistic investigation of honeybee knowledge in Indigenous northern Australian communities'.

New Promotions

Congratulations to Janet Fletcher for her new appointment as Associate Dean (Research), and to Rachel Nordlinger for her promotion to Associate Professor and Reader.

PhD completions

Congratulations to Simone Graetzer for successful completion of her PhD dissertation 'An accoustic study of coarticulation: consonant-vowel and vowel-vowel coarticulation in four Australian languages'.

PhD animation

And more congratulations to PhD student Sara Ciesielski (recently a 3 minute thesis finalist) for winning the PhD comics two minute thesis competition, which has resulted in a two-minute animation of her PhD thesis project on Language Development and Culture among Sherpa and Nepal.  To see the wonderful animation go to:

New Research Unit in Indigenous Language

2013 sees the launch of our new Research Unit in Indigenous Language, directed by Jill Wigglesworth (Director) and Rachel Nordlinger (Deputy Director), with newly appointed Project Officer Joanna Mason.  Announcements of exciting activities to be coming shortly...

Rachel Nordlinger

News from AIATSIS

While retaining his Honorary Associateship with Linguistics at Sydney University, Michael Walsh has taken up a position at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), effective December 1 2012.

Michael Walsh

News from James Cook University

New Appointments

PostDoctoral Research Fellows

[Employed on ARC Discovery Projects: Aikhenvald/Dixon 'The world through the prism of language: a cross-linguistic view of genders, noun classes and classifiers', 'The grammar of knowledge: a cross-linguistic view of evidentials and epistemics'; and 'How languages differ and why']

Angeliki Alvanoudi is completing her PhD 'The social and cognitive dimensions of grammatical genders' at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. In May 2013, she will take up a two-year PostDoctoral Fellowship within within the ARC DPs 'The world through the prism of language: a cross-linguistic view of genders, noun classes and classifiers', and 'The grammar of knowledge: a cross-linguistic view of evidentials and epistemics'; focussing on the expression of gender and other grammatical categories in the Greek spoken by immigrant communities in Queensland.

Dr Simon E. Overall received his PhD in 2008 from RCLT, then at La Trobe University, with a thesis on the grammar of Aguaruna. He has taught linguistics at La Trobe University and Otago University, and has published on aspects of the syntax and phonology of Aguaruna. His research focusses on the diachrony of nominalizations and their involvement in discourse and switch-reference, as well as the linguistic situation in the eastern foothills of the Andes. On taking up a three-year Research Fellowship within the ARC DP 'How languages differ and why' in July 2013, he will be working on Candoshi, an isolate of Peru.

Postdoctoral Research Associates

[Employed on ARC ALF Project 'How gender shapes the world: a linguistic perspective', Aikhenvald]

Dr Elena Mihas has a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2010), 'Essentials of Ashéninka Perené grammar'. Her most recent publications include 'Ideophones in Alto Perené' (Studies in Language) and 'Subordination strategies in Ashéninka Perené (Arawak) from Central-Eastern Peru' (Rivista di Linguistica/Italian Journal of Linguistics, and a monograph History, landscape and ritual in narratives of Upper Perené Arawaks from Eastern Peru. Nebraska University Press. She started a five-year Postdoctoral Research Associate Fellowship within the framework of the ARC ALF Project in December 2012, working on a comprehensive grammar of Ashéninca Perené and the conceptualization of gender, focussing on Amazonia.

Dr Valérie Guérin obtained a PhD from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa (2008) for her work on Mav̏ea, an endangered language of Vanuatu. She has published the monograph A grammar of Mav̏ea: An Oceanic language of Vanuatu. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, in addition to a Mav̏ea Alphabet Book and a Mav̏ea-English-Bislama dictionary, and a number of papers dealing with Oceanic languages and problems of fieldwork and language documentation. She will start a five-year Postdoctoral Research Associate Fellowship within the framework of the ARC ALF Project in July 2013, working on a comprehensive grammar of a Papuan language from the Sepik area in PNG, with a focus on the conceptualization of gender.

Cairns Institute Visiting Fellow

Dr Gwendolyn Hyslop has been awarded a Cairns Institute Visiting Fellowship (June-August 2013). She received her PhD in Linguistics from the University of Oregon in 2011. She is currently a Research Fellow in Linguistics at the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University. She has worked on several Tibeto-Burman languages and is an expert on the East Bodish languages of Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh. Publications include articles on tonogenesis, ergativity, historical linguistics, and a forthcoming grammar of Kurtöp with Brill. She is also Co-Director of the Bhutan Oral Literature and Language Documentation Projects. She will be working on the revision of her grammar of Kurtöp for publication, and on preparing for fieldwork in the New Ireland Province of PNG.

LCRC Visiting Fellows

  • Dr Azeb Amha, of the University of Leiden, an expert on Omotic and Afroasiatic languages, will be visiting LCRC in April-July 2013. She will be working on various aspects of noun classification systems in Omotic languages, within the framework of the ARC DP 'The world through the prism of language: a cross-linguistic view of genders, noun classes and classifiers'.
  • Dr Nerida Jarkey, of the University of Sydney, an expert on Japanese and languages of South-east Asia, will be visiting LCRC in April-June 2013. She will be investigating various aspects of noun categorization devices and other aspects of the grammar of Hmong languages, within the framework of the ARC DP 'The world through the prism of language: a cross-linguistic view of genders, noun classes and classifiers'.
  • Professor Dr Lourens de Vries is Professor of General Linguistics at the Free University of Amsterdam, and an expert in description, typology and history of Papuan languages of New Guinea, with special focus on the province of Papua. He is a member of the International Consultative Boars of LCRC and a Partner Investigator on the ARC DP 'How languages difer, and why' (CIs Dixon and Aikhenvald). He will be visiting LCRC in June-August 2013, working on various aspects of grammar of Papuan languages.
  • Dr René van den Berg, Lingustics Consultant of SIL at Ukarumpa, PNG, and member of the International Consultative Board of LCRC is an expert on Austronesian languages He will be visiting LCRC in July 2013, presenting a lecture and interacting with other members of the Centre.

New PhD student

Katarzyna Wojtylak, from Free University of Amsterdam, will be working on a comprehensive grammar of a Witoto language from Peru/Colombia (starting in February 2013).

New Books

  • Classifiers in Kam-Tai languages. A cognitive and cultural perspective; by Tian-Qiao Lu. Boca-Raton: Universal publishers, 2012, xvi, 259pp[Dr Tian-Qiao (Mike) Lu is Professor, School of Language Sciences, Jiangsu Normal University, China and Associate Fellow, LCRC, James Cook University, Australia.]
  • Possession And Ownership: A Cross-Linguistic Typology, edited by Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald and R. M. W. Dixon. Oxford: Oxford University Press, xii, 319 pages, 2013
  • Perception and Cognition in Language and Culture, edited by Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald and Anne Storch. Brill's Studies in Language, Cogntion and Culture, volume 3. Leiden: Brill, xx, 278pp.

Current fieldwork

  • Juliane Boettger (PhD student) is working on Lele and Nali, Oceanic languages from the Manus Province.
  • Sihong Zhang (PhD student) is working on Ersu, a Tibeto-Burman language from south-west China
  • Mikko Salminen (PhD student) is working on San Dionísio Huave, an isolate from Mexico.
  • Grant Aiton (PhD student) is working on the grammar of Aimele, a previously undescribed Papuan language from Western Province, Papua New Guinea.
  • John Kerby (PhD student) is currently working on Sedeq, a Formosan language from Taiwan.
  • Dr Elena Mihas (PDRA) is currently undertaking fieldwork on Ashéninca Perené, an Arawak language from Peru.


Round-table meeting

Professor Nicholas Evans of the ANU, 13 February: 'Positional verbs in Nen'

Local Workshop of LCRC on demonstratives, deictics and shifters

This workshop will start in May 2013. Everyone is welcome.

For further information on the LCRC, visit our website at The LCRC Annual Bulletin will be available in late February 2013.

Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

News from Macquarie University

New MQ Undergraduate degree: Bachelor of Speech, Hearing and Language Sciences. 

Our case to change the name of the Bachelor of Speech and Hearing Sciences has gone to Academic Senate and will shortly go to Council. 

The new name, Bachelor of Speech, Hearing and Language Sciences, reflects our wish to promote this degree beyond its so far primary interest as a pathway into clinical Masters of Speech Pathology and Audiology. An increasing number of students either change their mind about their postgraduate area of interest along the way or start off wanting something broader in the way of linguistics and language sciences. The name change follows on and complements the degree study pattern changes put forward 12 months ago and now in place for 2013 enrolling students. Our Speech and Hearing undergraduate programme is attracting large numbers to Macquarie, with over 150 enrolled already this year. 

Post Graduate Macquarie Prize winner of International Dissertation award

The TOEFL Program at ETS recently announced the 2013 recipient of the Jacqueline Ross TOEFL Dissertation Award , Robert Charles Johnson from Macquarie University.

Dr Johnson’s dissertation, Assessing the assessments: Using an argument-based validity framework to assess the validity and use of an English placement system in a foreign language context, was supervised by Dr. Mehdi Riazi of Macquarie University.

As the Ross Award recipient, Dr Johnson will receive $2,500 and will be the guest of the TOEFL Program at the upcoming LTRC conference in Korea where the award will be presented.

ETS congratulates the award recipient, finalists and their dissertation supervisors for their accomplishments. We also wish to thank the panel of external judges for their careful review of all applications and their selection of the finalists and award recipient.

SST2012 conference held successfully in December 2012

The 14th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology was held at Macquarie University, December 3-6, 2012.

The conference attracted over 150 delegates from 14 different countries. The keynote addresses, student prizes and the indigenous dance performance by Descendance were particular highlights along with excellent presentations, posters, exhibitions and social functions. Keynote speakers included Professor Jim Patrick from Cochlear, Professor James Scobbie of the Queen Margaret University and Associate Professor Janet Fletcher from the University of Melbourne.

Professor Jim Patrick, is one of the original pioneers of the cochlear implant. He is a member of Cochlear’s senior management team with worldwide responsibility for Cochlear’s global research program. Professor Patrick spoke about the past, present and future of the cochlear implant.

Professor Scobbie’s research involves work on the use of ultrasound tongue imaging and other articulatory measurement techniques to explore aspects of child language development and disorders as well as variations in accent and dialect. Professor Scobbie spoke about ultrasound tongue imaging and important revelations in recent research.

Associate Professor Janet Fletcher, from the University of Melbourne, who is currently working on documenting and exploring aspects of Australian Aboriginal languages and interesting features of Australian English prosody, spoke about the nuances of intonation in a range of Northern Australian languages.

Other eminent scientists presenting at the initial day of workshops at the conference were Professor Anne Cutler from MARCS Insitute/Max Plank Institute, renowned for her research in the field of speech perception, and Principle Research Scientist Stefanie Shattuck-Hufnagel from MIT, one of the world leaders in the field of speech production.

Student prizes were awarded to Kiri Mealings, Macquarie University (Appen Butler Hill Award), David Vandyke, University of Canberra (Oticon Award) and Janice Wong,  The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Hearing CRC Award). 

Conferences such as this would not be possible without the generosity of many individuals and organisations.  The organisers would like to thank ASSTA, Macquarie University, invited speakers, the scientific committee and reviewers, student helpers, the organising committee and our delegates for supporting SST in 2012.

We also acknowledge the support of the following additional sponsors: Cochlear, HCSNet, Phonak, Advanced Bionics, MARCS Institute, The Hearing CRC, Oticon, ARC Centre for Cognition and its Disorders, Centre for Language Sciences, Macquarie University Equity and Diversity Unit.

(Conference co-chairs Felicity Cox and Katherine Demuth)

Vacancy / Job

A vacancy exists at Maquarie Linguistics for a Lecturer in Speech and Hearing Sciences (with a focus on Phonology/Phonetics) that will be advertised very shortly.

Verna Rieschild

News from the University of Adelaide

New Book published: Burning Issues in Afro-Asiatic Linguistics (Cambridge Scholars, 2012), 396 pages, edited by Ghil'ad Zuckermann. The book comprises chapters by Ghil'ad Zuckermann, Yvonne Treis, Abdelaziz Allati, Sarah Ouwayda, Uri Zur, Abdullah A. Bin Towairesh, Sandy Habib, Gábor Takácz, Bruria Bergman RIP and Ephraim Nissan.

Three scholars from leading Chinese institutions have been appointed postdoctoral fellows at the University of Adelaide. They will work with Professor Ghil'ad Zuckermann on Revivalistics (Revival Linguistics) throughout 2013:

  • Dr Yao Chunlin (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing)
  • Dr Xu Jia (Shanghai International Studies University, Shanghai)
  • Dr Li Ya (Sichuan Normal University, Chengdu), who has been awarded a 2013 Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Research Fellowship.

Professor Ghil'ad Zuckermann has been organizing an interdisciplinary cross-fertlization workshop with Professor Yitzhak (Tzachi) Pilpel (Department of Molecular Genetics, Weizmann Institute of Science), which was held on 21 January 2013 at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The theme is Miqadmat DNA: Evolution, Genesis, Cross-Fertilization and Hybridization in Nature and Language.

Professor Zuckermann has delivered the keynote address at the international conference Hybridity Here and Now: Israeli Language, Culture and Identity, to be held at Beit Leyvik, Tel Aviv, on 29 January 2013. 

Joshua Nash has submitted his book manuscript Insular Toponymies: Place-naming on Norfolk Island, South Pacific and Dudley Peninsula, Kangaroo Island to John Benjamins. The book is expected to be published later this year. Joshua has also secured several small research grants to enable him to undertake more fieldwork on Kangaroo Island. He plans to work with fishermen on the project Obtuse Anglers: Interpreting Kangaroo Island fishing culture ethnographically. The project expands linguistic and ethnographic research on Kangaroo Island conducted during his PhD. 

Ghil'ad Zuckermann, Joshua Nash

News from Griffith University

Andrea Schalley's edited volume Practical Theories and Empirical Practice - A linguistic perspective was published by John Benjamins in December 2012. Contributors are Patric Bach, Claudia Thoermer, Beate Sodian, Annina Neumann, Gunter Senft, Jürgen Bohnemeyer, Andrea C. Schalley, Nicholas Evans, Leila Behrens, Hans-Martin Gärtner, Thomas Becker, Anton Benz, and James Pustejovsky.

And another edited book appeared: Kirkpatrick, Andy & Sussex, Roland (eds.) (2012) English as an International Language in Asia. Dordrecht: Springer.

Carol Priestley had a short, intense fieldwork visit in Koromu, Papua New Guinea (late Oct - early Nov.) preparing for The Saem Majnep Memorial Symposium on Traditional Environmental Knowledge. 

Cliff Goddard has spent three weeks as a visiting researcher at Stockholm University, collaborating mainly with Prof. Maria Koptjevskaya-Tamm and teaching into a graduate class on semantics.

Griffith U. welcomes a visiting scholar from Nanjing, China - Prof. Li Jiongying. He has a special interest in interpreting the NSM approach to Chinese linguists and language scholars.

Griffith University is expanding its Languages and Linguistics degree (BA LAL) to its large and growing Gold Coast Campus. This semester will the first time that Linguistics has been taught on the Gold Coast.

Cliff Goddard, Andrea Schalley


New books: "Features" and "Canonical Morphology and Syntax"

Features, by Greville G. Corbett, published by Cambridge University Press - brings together typological research on how features vary between languages with formal perspectives on how they work

Details at:

Canonical Morphology and Syntax, edited by Dunstan Brown, Marina Chumakina and Greville G. Corbett, and published by Oxford University Press - gives details of a new approach to typology, with contributions from: Dik Bakker, Oliver Bond, Dunstan Brown, Maina Chumakina, Greville G. Corbett, Nicholas Evans, Martin Everaert, Scott Farrar, Ana Luís, Irina Nikolaeva, Anna Siewierska, and Andrew Spencer.

Details at:

Greville Corbett

New Books Received February 2013

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.

  • Aikhenwald, A. Y. and R. M. W. Dixon, eds. (2013) Possession and Ownership. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Baker, B., I. Mushin, M. Harvey, and R. Gardner, eds. (2010) Indigenous Languages and Social Identity: Papers in Honour of Michael Walsh. Pacific Linguistics, Canberra.

  • Blake, B. J., L. Hercus, and S. Morey, with E. Ryan (2011) The Mathi Group of Languages. Pacific Linguistics, Canberra.
  • Boas, H. C. and I. A. Sag, eds. (2012) Sign-Based Construction Grammar. CSLI publications, Stanford, CA.

  • Bowcher, W. L., ed. (2012) Multimodal Texts from Around the World. Palgrave MacMillan, Basingstoke, Hampshire.

  • Carine, A. (2013) The Syntax Workbook. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.

  • Gargett, A. (2011) A Salvage Grammar of Malgana. Pacific Linguistics, Canberra.

  • Gick, B., I. Wilson, and D. Derrick (2013) Articulatory Phonetics. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.

  • Hendery, R. (2012) Relative Clauses in Time and Space. John Benjamins, Amsterdam.

  • Jones, B. (2011) A Grammar of Wangkajunga. Pacific Linguistics, Canberra.

  • McGregor, W. B. (2011) The Nyulnyul Language of Dampier Land, Western Australia. Pacific Linguistics, Canberra.

  • Murray, N. (2012) Writing Essays in English Language and Linguistics. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

  • Paltridge, B. (2012) Discourse Analysis. Bloomsbury, London.

  • Schalley, A. C., ed. (2012) Practical Theories and Empirical Practice. John Benjamins, Amsterdam.

  • 'Suihkonen, P., B. Comrie, and V. Solovyev, eds. (2012) Argument Structure and Grammatical Relations. John Benjamins, Amsterdam.

Alan Libert

Upcoming Conferences

ALS2013: Proposal deadline for Workshops March 1st 2013

The Program Committee of ALS2013 is accepting proposals for workshops at the annual meeting of the Australian Linguistic Society, October 2-4 2013. Guidelines are also available at the website:

We cannot guarantee that all workshop proposals will be successful. In your proposal, please provide the following information (by March 1st 2013) to enable us to make programming decisions.

  1. Whether the workshop should be full-day or half-day
  2. An overview (200 words or so) of the theme
  3. We strongly prefer you to nominate confirmed potential speakers and topics
  4. A named coordinator or contact person to liaise with the Program Committee

Papers for workshops will be peer reviewed, using the same abstract submission process as those for the general session (but will be noted as workshop papers). Authors submitting abstracts to the ALS will be able to submit papers for inclusion in a workshop as part of the abstract submission process.

Proposals should be submitted via email to


Brett Baker; Joe Blythe; Janet Fletcher; Jean Mulder; Ruth Singer; Lesley Stirling

ALS2013 Program Committee

Rachel Nordlinger

Jobs, grants, and scholarships

The Australian PhD Prize for Innovations in Linguistics

A new continuing prize in Australian linguistics starting in 2013 is open for PhDs completed and examined since January 1 2012. An amount of $500 will be awarded to the best PhD (judged by the assessor - email below) demonstrating methodological and theoretical innovations in Australian linguistics, particularly those NOT focussing on grammar writing and those NOT using well-established theories in Australia. Of particular interest are studies in toponymy, language and ethnography, language and musicology, linguistic ecology, language identity and self, kinship relationships, island languages, spatial descriptions in language, Australian creoles, and language contact. Creative and excitingly written PhDs which push the boundaries of the discipline are particularly welcomed. The PhD should have been awarded by an Australian university or other institution but not necessarily be about Australian languages and cultures.

Email a pdf copy of the full PhD to by 31 March 2013 (PhDs still under examination may also be considered). The prize winner will be announced within one month of the deadline and all applicants will contacted about the decision.

PhD Scholarship in Anthropological Linguistics

Applications are invited, from suitably qualified students, to work under the leadership of Professor Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald (Australian Laureate Fellow) and Professor R. M. W. Dixon. The project offers a PhD scholarship to produce a comprehensive grammar of a language from the Sepik or an adjacent area of Papua New Guinea, with special attention to the linguistic and social conceptualization of gender. Work will involve extensive immersion fieldwork in an exciting and challenging location.

Students will enter the PhD program of the Language and Culture Research Centre at James Cook University Australia. Supervision will be provided by Professors Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, and R. M. W. Dixon, and other members of the Centre.

This scholarship is embedded within the Australian Laureate Fellowship Project 'How gender shapes the world: a linguistic perspective'. PhDs in Australian universities generally involve no coursework, just a substantial dissertation. Good and comprehensive training in linguistics is essential. Candidates must thus have had a thorough coursework training before embarking on this PhD program. This should have included courses on morphology, syntax, semantics, and phonology/phonetics, taught from a non-formalist perspective. We place emphasis on work that has a sound empirical basis but also shows a firm theoretical orientation (in terms of general typological theory, or what has recently come to be called basic linguistic theory).

Distinguished Professor Alexandra Aikhenvald is Research Leader for People and Societies of the Tropics, and Australian Laureate Fellow. Together with Professor R. M. W. Dixon, she heads the Language and Culture Research Centre, which includes four Research Fellows and eight doctoral students. In addition, senior scholars from across the world opt to spend their sabbatical in the LCRC. This is the premier group in the world of linguistic scholars all working on theoretically informed language description.

The scholarship will be paid at a higher level than the standard James Cook University rate (AUD $27,652 pa). Students coming from overseas are liable for a tuition fee; but this is likely to be waived in the case of a student of high merit. An appropriate allowance will be made to cover fieldwork expenses and conference attendance.

The deadline for applications is 15 March 2013.

The successful applicant should take up their PhD scholarship between June and September 2013.

It is absolutely essential that interested applicants should first get in touch with Professor Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald (, providing details of their background, qualifications and interests (including a curriculum vitae). Applicants are advised to send samples of their written work in linguistics (at least some of this should be in English). Competitive applicants will then be provided with details concerning the application process.

Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

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 is time to contribute material; if you wish to be added to that list, send Andrea an email.

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 of your copy of the Australian Journal of Linguistics. Membership matters are from now on handled on behalf of the Society by Taylor & Francis, the publishers of the Australian Journal of Linguistics. If you wish to join the Society or make an alteration to your existing membership details please contact the Customer Service at Taylor & Francis on +61 (0)3 8842-2413 or at