Newsletter November 2000

ALS Newsletter November 2000

ALS 00/04, November 2000

From the Editor

Welcome to another ALS Newsletter. Before you do anything else, read the section in this Newsletter on Membership renewals which contains some important information!!

As you may have noticed, the ALS Website has a new address and a different appearance. Thank you to the University of New England for having hosted the website for several years now; and thanks to La Trobe University where it is now hosted. The new address is

Why not go there now and bookmark it?

The ALS website has undergone some changes, and will soon undergo some more, to make it less effort to navigate through (so don't bookmark anything except that front page for the moment!). I have had various suggestions about making the website look better, and would like to ask people's advice. I can certainly make it more interesting to look at, but this will involve various things, such as the use of coloured backgrounds, different fonts, pictures, clickable icons, and image maps. These have some advantages, and would definitely make the site look better; on the other hand, an almost entirely text-based site also has other advantages, in that it is faster to download, and will work on any web browser no matter how old. So, if you have an opinion one way or the other on making the website look better or leaving it as text-only, or any other comments about it, let me know!

Tim Curnow (


Current issues

Membership renewals!

It's that time of year again when we need to think of renewing memberships to our various societies. ALS members are fairly reliable, with well over half of our members being currently financial. However, of our 425 members, only 25 are paid in advance, so that means that most of us will have to renew in the near future.

Your AJL Vol. 20, No. 2, will be arriving in the next couple of weeks and the label on that will indicate the year of your financial status. If your label says 2001, then you have no need to worry. If your label says 2000, then you are up-to-date but will need to renew before March 1st, 2001 in order to take advantage of the $5 discount. If your label says 1999, you are in a little trouble because you forgot to renew this year. Don't worry too much; you have just over 100 friends who have done the same thing. Payment for this year and next will solve the problem. If, however, your label says 1998, you are in real trouble, and this journal will be the last one that you receive before being dropped from the membership list. To assist in alleviating this problem, I would like to offer a small discount to those who need to catch up. Instead of having to pay $145 in one whack ($55 for students), I suggest that $125 and $45 would be appropriate 'catch-up' fees.

Normal fees are $50 full membership, $60 joint membership and $20 for student members. All of these are subject to a $5 discount if paid before March 1st, 2001. Fees can be paid through cheque (to "ALS") or credit card (Visa, Mastercard or Bankcard only) to Doug Absalom, Faculty of Education, University of Newcastle, NSW 2308, or card details can be e-mailed to me at If paying by card, let me know: the type of card; the name on the card; the card number; the expiry date; how much you're paying.

At the AGM in Melbourne, a motion was passed offering an 'automatic' service to members. If you would like to supply your credit card details to the treasurer, your membership fee will be deducted each January and you will be informed by e-mail that the transaction has taken place. If you would like to take advantage of this service, please contact me ( with the relevant information.

Speaking of e-mail, there remain just over 100 members who have not supplied the ALS website with their e-mail addresses. Since the newsletter is now distributed principally in electronic form, it is probable that these members will be missing out on the newsletter information. They will also probably not be reading this piece of news (It's a little like the man who writes 'I'd have sent $10 in this letter but I sealed the envelope before I thought of it'). However, if you know of people in this plight, please help them to register their e-mail addresses or send the information to either the treasurer ( or the newsletter editor (

May the end of the year be kind to all of you.
Doug Absalom

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Aboriginal names for white people

Kevin Murray ( is putting together a database of words in Aboriginal languages that refer to white people, as part of a reconciliation exercise. The database can be found on the site of Art Monthly Online, at Kevin would love to have input from as many people as possible, so why not go to the site and contribute a word.

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ARCLING II postponed

ARCLING II, the Archaeology and Linguistics Conference has been postponed. It was to be held in Canberra in September 2001, but will now take place in 2002. Full details will be available in December 2000.

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Subgrouping in Australian languages

As part of the 15th International Conference on Historical Linguistics to be held in Melbourne in August 2001 (click here for Conference details) there will be a Workshop on subgrouping in Australian languages. The convenors are Claire Bowern ( and Harold Koch ( Please contact convenors for expressions of interest and further information.

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Correspondence with the ARC

Letter from Mary Laughren to Professor Vicki Sara, Chair, Australian Research Council, on the 1st August 2000

Dear Professor Sara,

I am writing to you on behalf of the members of The Australian Linguistic Society which has over 400 members involved in linguistic research and teaching in Australia and overseas to express some concern about the structure of ARC committees and panels which are involved in the assessment of various research grant proposals, particularly Large ARC Grants and Research Fellowships (all categories).

Linguistics, as a research discipline, is classified by the ARC within the Behavioural and Cognitive Science area with which we concur. However, for many years there has been no linguist on any of the committee or panels which deal with funding applications in the discipline of linguistics. Jonathon Harrington (Macquarie University) was the last ARC panel member with recognized linguistics expertise, although his area of research is at one end of the broad spectrum of subfields which constitute the discipline of linguistics.

Members of The Australian Linguistic Society fear that grant and fellowship applications for linguistics research funding may be receiving rather arbitrary or ill-informed judgements at both the initial 'cull' and again in the assessment of referees' reports and applicants' replies. Members would have much greater confidence in ARC procedures if a recognized linguist or linguists were involved in both the initial cull and final decision process - either as members of the relevant committee or panel or co-opted by it, possibly in consultation with Professional Societies or Associations such as own own, and/or the Australian Academy of the Humanities which has many eminent linguists among its members who are also members of our Society.

The Australian Linguistic Society would like to emphasize members' faith in genuine peer assessment as it has been practiced by the ARC; we believe this method of project evaluation to be the fairest and most comprehensive one and that it should be maintained under the reorganization of ARC structure and processes which you are now undertaking.

Yours sincerely,
Mary Laughren

Response from Vicki Sara to Mary Laughren, 16 August 2000

Dear Dr Laughren

Thank you for your letter of the 1 August. I appreciate your comments concerning the ARC. They are most timely as we begin to reorganise the programme advisory committees and their readership bases. The new structure should ensure that Linguistics is treated in accordance with the concerns you have raised.

Under the present system, applications are read across panels, particularly where specialist expertise is required. In 1999 both Professor Diane Austin-Broos (anthropology) and Professor Peter Bellwood (archaeology) read the Linguistics applications at the panel level. Although both have considerable knowledge of linguistics, they strongly advocated that Linguistics applications be sent to external assessment and their primary role was therefore the selection of external assessors for each proposal. Professor Bellwood provided continuity of this practice in 2000.

The new ARC organisational structure will improve the peer review system and will address many of the issues which you have raised. Please be assured that the ARC is committed to a fair and comprehensive assessment process.

Yours sincerely
Vicki Sara

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Correspondence with DETYA

Letter from Mary Laughren to Mr Michael Gallagher, First Assistant Secretary Higher Education Division, Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs, on the 1st August 2000

Dear Mr Gallagher,

I am writing to you on behalf of the members of The Australian Linguistic Society which has over 400 members most of whom are involved in teaching linguistics in the Australian Tertiary Education sector, in order to gain some accurate information about how Universities are funded through your Department to provide undergraduate and postgraduate education to students in subjects which fall within the discipline of linguistics.

For some time it has become apparent to members that there is a wide range of variation across the Australian Universities in the formula that is applied within the Universities to support the teaching of Linguistics as a function of students enrolled. In order to support members who are attempting to secure a level of funding which is comparable with that received by colleagues in other institutions or indeed by colleagues teaching subjects within comparable disciplines within the Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences and Humanities within their own institutions, I would be most grateful if you could supply the following information. (Linguistics, as a research discipline, is classified within the Behavioural and Cognitive Science area by the Australian Research Council.)

What is the current funding formula to Universities for

  1. a full time undergraduate student enrolled in a linguistics subject?
  2. a full time honours student in linguistics?
  3. a full time postgraduate (research degree) student in linguistics enrolled in a MA or PhD?

How does funding for a student taking subjects in linguistics compare with one taking subjects in similar degree courses in the following subject areas:

  1. foreign languages?
  2. psychology?
  3. anthropology and sociology?
  4. cognitive science?
  5. computer science?
  6. speech pathology?

How are these funding formulae arrived at?

Is there any agreement between DETYA and the Universities about how the funding received from DETYA is to be distributed within Universities, so that there can be some direct and equitable link between Government funding received and support to those teaching programs which have earned it?

I would be very appreciative of any relevant information which you could supply and for the trouble taken by your Department.

Yours sincerely,
Mary Laughren

Response from Michael Gallagher to Mary Laughren, 2 November 2000

Dear Dr Laughren

I thank you for your letter dated the 1 August 2000 on behalf of the Australian Linguistics Society about funding for linguistics in universities. I apologise for the delay in my response.

Universities receive Commonwealth operating grant funding primarily by way of a block grant for a specified number of student places consistent with their teaching and research activities. However, while the Commonwealth provides a substantial proportion of the funding to universities, it is not their only funding source. It is also important to note that as universities are autonomous institutions, generally established under State legislation, decisions regarding the allocation of funding between various disciplines and faculties is an internal matter for each university to determine based on its own assessment of needs and priorities.

By way of background I can advise you that the current block grant funding formula to universities is largely historically based. A review of the cost relativities by discipline cluster was conducted in 1990 to establish a relatively equitable funding base for universities following widespread amalgamations. Three costing studies were undertaken and there was external consultation with universities on the results of the studies and how equitable funding relativities should be established.

The relative teaching costs matrix, which was developed at that time, established the appropriate share of total operating grant funding for each institution based on the particular mix of disciplines and levels of study. A copy of this matrix is attached for reference.

However, I must stress that the model was designed for use at the system-wide level only for distribution of resources between universities. It was not intended as a mechanism for the internal allocation of institutional resources and its use in this way has been discouraged. Further the model was deliberately kept relatively simple and did not aim to determine precise funding rates for individual disciplines, given the managerial autonomy of universities. There are many local factors which would affect the rate at which an institution would resource students in particular disciplines. You would also realise that the funding rates within universities would vary at Faculty level according to how the university allocated funding for such things as administration and other overheads.

Thank you for bringing your concerns to my attention, I hope the information provided has helped with your enquiries.

Yours sincerely
Michael Gallagher

Relative Funding Model (adapted in form but not values by TJCurnow for HTML display requirements!!)

Level Discipline Relative weight
Undergraduate Accounting
Other humanities
Undergraduate Behavioural science
Other social studies
Undergraduate Computing
Other built env.
Other health
Other languages
Visual/perf. arts
Undergraduate Engineering
Undergraduate Agriculture
Other postgraduate Admin/Economics
Other humanities
Other postgraduate
Other social studies
Other postgraduate Computing
Other built env.
Other health
Other languages
Visual/Perf. arts
Other postgraduate Agriculture
Behavioural sci.
Vet. science
Research degree Accounting
Other built env.
Other health
Other humanities
Other languages
Other social studies
Visual/Perf. arts
Research degree Agriculture
Behavioural sci.
Vet. science

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ALI 2002 call for courses

The Sixth Biennial Australian Linguistics Institute, to be held 8th-12th and 15th-19th July 2002, at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, provides an outstanding opportunity for linguists, applied linguists and language teachers to expand and develop professionally and for undergraduate and postgraduate students to extend their skills training and their knowledge bases.

The Steering Committee ALI 2002 is now calling for expressions of interest in presenting courses (at introductory, intermediate or advanced level), either for one week (6 hours) or two weeks (12 hours), or a one day workshop or symposium. We welcome offers from academics and practitioners in Australia and overseas. Linguists outside Australia are encouraged to consider whether presenting at ALI2002 could be a rewarding part of an already planned sojourn in Australia around the time of ALI2002. We are not in the position to offer salaries, but are open to negotiation on assistance with expenses.

Offers will include a brief course description and the names and contact details of two referees. Please send offers to Dr Verna Rieschild, Chair Steering Committee ALI2002 via the following e-mail address:

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Australians and ICHL

(From Harold Koch, ANU)

Elsewhere you will have seen publicity for the 15th International Conference on Historical Linguistics to be held in Melbourne in August 2001 (organiser Barry Blake; click here for Conference details). As a participant in four previous ICHL conferences and as member of the Nominating committee of the sponsoring organisation, I would like to make a special plea to members of the ALS to seriously consider participating in this unique opportunity. I have supported the La Trobe linguists in arguing to the executive of the International Society for Historical Linguistics, who have been predominantly from the northern hemisphere, that there are plenty of historical linguists in Australia and New Zealand and that many of us are working on historical issues in a wide variety of languages other than those which are usually featured at ICHL conferences. Can we down-under linguists make a strong showing and broaden the range of data considered by international historical linguists?

To illustrate what I mean by the too-narrow range of languages considered at ICHL conferences, note the following statistics that I compiled from the last conference, ICHL 14, held in Vancouver in 1999. The papers that I judged to have discussed data predominantly from a particular language (or language family/region) were distributed as follows (plus a few others not mentioned here):

English 23
Germanic (other than English) 28
Romance 28
Other Indo-European 12
Amerindian 10
African 1
Austronesian 2
Australian 2
Papuan 1
Austroasiatic 1
Sino-Tibetan 1
Tai 1
Korean-Japanese 5 (plus 8 in a workshop)

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2001 ARC grants and fellowships

Congratulations to all those successful in the latest ARC rounds. The following linguistics-related projects will receive ARC money for 2001. Apologies if I've overlooked anyone's project, but it's not always easy to find things on the ARC website!

2001 Research Fellowships

  • Dr M Tabain (Macquarie University), Australian Postdoctoral Research Fellowship: "The role of perception in speech production: A comparison between Australian Aboriginal languages and English"
  • Prof RMW Dixon (La Trobe University), Senior Research Fellowship: "Basic linguistic theory"

2001 Large Research Grants

  • University of New England: A/Prof J Siegel (The University of New England), A/Prof K Davis (University of Hawai'i), A/Prof DM Eades (University of Hawai'i), "External influences and internal variation in current Hawai'i Creole English"
  • La Trobe University: Prof A Aikhenvald (La Trobe University), Prof RMW Dixon (La Trobe University), Prof LS Seki (Universidade Estadual de Campinas), Mr VM Martins (Associação Lingüística Evangélica Missionária), Mr JB Brito (Centro da Cultura Tariana, Iauarete, Amazonas, Brazil), Dr GH Haig (Universität Kiel), "Language contact and the typology of borrowing: the case of Amazonia"
  • La Trobe University: Dr H Chappell (La Trobe University), Prof AP Peyraube (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Ecoles des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales), "Medieval Chinese and the diachronic syntax of Southern Min: 16th - 20th centuries"
  • La Trobe University: Prof RMW Dixon (La Trobe University), Prof A Aikhenvald (La Trobe University), Dr UA Zeshan (La Trobe University), "Basic Linguistic Theory"
  • University of Queensland: A/Prof N Gottlieb (The University of Queensland), "Discriminatory language in Japan: community protest and its effects"

2001 Strategic Partnerships with Industry, Research and Training (SPIRT)

  • Monash University: Prof Michael George Clyne (Monash University), Catholic Education Commission (VIC), Dept of Education (VIC), Victorian Multicultural Commission, "Community Language Programs in Secondary Schools"
  • University of Technology, Sydney: A/Prof Christian Matthiessen (Macquarie University), Dr Christopher Nesbitt (University of Technology, Sydney), Dr Diana Slade (University of Technology, Sydney), Dr Dominique Estival (Syrinx Speech Systems), Syrinx Speech Systems, "Modelling the melody of human speech: profiling intonation for automated telephone systems"

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News from the Australian National University

Jennifer Elliott, an MPhil student in Linguistics at ANU, has been awarded the "New Researcher Award" by the Australian Speech Science and Technology Association for her Speech Science and Techonology Conference 2000 paper "Auditory and f-pattern variation in Australian 'okay': a forensic phonetic investigation".

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News from the University of Sydney


The Department of Linguistics is now part of the School for Society, Cultural and Performance Studies. While fraught with the usual restructuring pain, it has an unexpected benefit. We have strengthened links with Anthropology, Music and Performance Studies, all of which have a strong fieldwork orientation, and all of which have better field equipment than we do. So, we should be able to offer better training and better resources for people wanting to undertake fieldwork in future.

News of departmental seminars and workshops

News of students

Adam Schembri has been offered, and has accepted, a Lectureship in Deaf Studies (Sign Linguistics) at the Centre for Deaf Studies at the University of Bristol, England.


  • Dr Debra Aarons, University of Stellenbosch, working on sign language (ASL and South African sign languages)
  • Dr David Britain, University of Essex, working on sociolinguistics

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News from the Research Centre for Linguistic Typology, La Trobe

Visiting Fellows

  • Our first Visiting Fellow and IREX Fellow, Prof Fritz Serzisko from the University of Cologne, completed his visit with us at the end of September. He spent a total of six months at the Centre and during this time he worked on a research project entitled 'The Typology of Tense and Time' together with Prof Sasha Aikhenvald and Prof Bob Dixon.
  • Prof Robert L. Rankin from the University of Kansas recently returned to the United States after spending six months at the Centre from May-November.
  • Prof DNS Bhat from the Central Institute of Indian Languages in Mysore completed a three-month visit with us in November under the sponsorship of the Institute for Advanced Study, La Trobe University.
  • Prof Jane Hill from the University of Arizona joined the Centre on a six month visit in mid-July accompanied by Dr Ken Hill (also from the University of Arizona).

Honorary Visiting Fellows

  • We are pleased that Dr John Hajek from the University of Melbourne will continue his Fellowship with us until the end of 2001.
  • Dr Tonya Stebbins, who has worked extensively on the Tsimshian language Sm'algyax, joined us recently and will be with us until the end of next year.

Research Fellows

  • Dr Knut Olawsky joined the Centre in July for a three year Research Fellowship. Dr Olawsky has written a grammar of Dagbani, a Gur language spoken in northern Ghana. Over the next three years, he will be working to provide full linguistic documentation of Urarina, a language isolate spoken in northeastern Peru.
  • Dr Ulrike Zeshan completes her Research Fellowship with us at the end of this year. She has been with the us since April 1999 and has contributed greatly to the intellectual advancement of the Centre.

PhD Scholar

  • Antoine Guillaume joined us in August on a scholarship from the Centre. Antoine is working on a PhD dissertation under the supervision of Prof Alexandra Aikhenvald, on a comprehensive grammar of Cavineña, an Amazonian language of the Takana family, spoken in northern Bolivia.

Visiting PhD Scholar

  • Marília Ferreira from the University of Campinas, Brazil joined us in September for twelve months. She is currently working on a grammar of Parkatejê, a Jê language from northern Brazil.


During the year, we were privileged to also have had several eminent visitors come for brief visits. Among them were:

  • Prof Walter Bisang from the University of Mainz in Germany who spent three weeks with us from 8th June to 2nd July. Prof Bisang's visit was sponsored by Dr Hilary Chappell from the Department of Linguistics at La Trobe University.
  • Dr Claudia Gerstner-Link from the University of Munich spent almost two weeks with us at the end of August.
  • A/Prof Marie-Odile Junker from Carleton University (Canada) will be visiting 12-16 November. She will be presenting a lunch-time seminar entitled 'Obviation and the Person Hierarchy in East Cree' on 15 November.

Grants for 2001

We are pleased to have successfully obtained several ARC grants for next year.

  • Prof R.M.W. (Bob) Dixon was awarded a 5-year Research Fellowship and a Large Grant to work on 'Basic Linguistic Theory' in collaboration with Prof Alexandra Aikhenvald and Dr Ulrike Zeshan.
  • Prof Alexandra (Sasha) Y. Aikhenvald was awarded a Large Grant to work on 'Language Contact and the Typology of Borrowing: The Case of Amazonia' in collaboration with Prof R.M.W. Dixon (RCLT), Prof L Seki (Universidade Estadual de Campinas), Mr VM Martins (Associação Lingüística Evangélica Missionária), Mr JB Brito (Centro da Cultura Tariana, Iauarete, Amazonas, Brazil), Dr GH Haig (Universität Kiel).

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Proposed book

Global English and primary schools (provisional title), edited by Penny Lee and Hazita Azman

Expressions of interest are sought from educators interested in contributing chapters to a book on the teaching of English in primary (elementary) schools in regions or countries where English is not the primary language of the majority of people.

The book will address the issue of how national policies relating to the role of English in particular countries is being translated into policy and practice at the level of English language teaching (ELT) in primary schools. Chapters reporting research in Malaysia, Korea and Indonesia are anticipated. It is expected that the book will have a total of 8-12 chapters.

All submissions of potential chapters of the book will be subject to peer review. The book will be edited by Dr Penny Lee of the Graduate School of Education, The University of Western Australia, and Dr Hazita Azman, The Faculty of Language Studies, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University of Malaysia). Initial inquiries regarding a publisher are being made and will be followed up in earnest when more offers of chapters have been received. One possibility is that the book may be published in Malaysia where quality paperbacks are currently being produced at affordable prices, an issue of concern for the editors who want to provide a genuine opportunity for educators in widely different situations to access information about the impact English as a global language is having on young learners, their teachers, and educational systems around the world.

In order to provide a consistent approach throughout the book a suggested framework for each chapter will be provided. While neither the topics nor the suggested order is obligatory, some consistency between chapters will make it easier for themes to be extracted across the book as a whole, and for comparisons and contrasts to be made by readers.

Inquiries about the project, including expressions of interest in writing a chapter, may be sent to Dr Hazita at: or Dr Lee at:

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Book announcement

The lexicon-encyclopedia interface
Edited by B. Peeters, University of Tasmania
Volume 5 in the Current Research in the Semantics/Pragmatics Interface Book Series
ISBN: 0-08-043591-2 (Hardbound) 508 pages
NLG 201.00 (euro 91.21), USD 102.00

Questions about the exact nature of linguistic as opposed to non-linguistic knowledge have been asked for as long as humans have studied language, be it as linguists, philosophers, psychologists, language teachers, semioticians or cognitive scientists. This distinction has been maintained and defended by some, attacked and abandoned by others. Through specially commissioned papers for this, the fifth volume in the CRiSPI series, contributors argue both for and against the distinction between lexical knowledge and encyclopedic knowledge and debate how it should be drawn.

AUDIENCE: Interdisciplinary, but particularly recommended for linguists involved in lexical semantics.

CONTENTS (Section headings only): Assessments; Understanding Understanding; Words, Words, Words; Grammar; Further Afield

REVIEW: 'A trenchant discussion of what is now felt as one of the most exciting problems of natural language semantics and pragmatics, namely the possibility of separating questions of meaning from questions of factual knowledge.' Jaroslav Peregrin, Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic

For further information and full contents listings for all volumes in the series visit the website at:

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Book announcement

Can threatened languages be saved? Reversing Language Shift, Revisited: A 21st Century Perspective
Edited by Joshua A. Fishman (Emeritus Professor at the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University)
Multilingual Matters 116
November 2000, Format: 210x148mm, xi+ 492pp
Hbk ISBN 1-85359-493-8 £59.95/ US$89.95/ CAN$119.95
Pbk ISBN 1-85359-492-X £24.95/ US$39.95/ CAN$49.95

KEY FEATURES: Latest in a long line of influential publications by this famous sociolinguist; Impressive collection of expert contributors, covering all areas of the world; Revisits and develops many of the issues discussed in Fishman's ground-breaking 1991 book Reversing Language Shift

DESCRIPTION: Defenders of threatened languages all over the world, from advocates of biodiversity to dedicated defenders of their own cultural authenticity, are often humbled by the dimensity of the task that they are faced with when the weak and the few seek to find a safe-harbour against the ravages of the strong and the many. This book provides both practical case studies and theoretical directions from all five continents and advances thereby the collective pursuit of "reversing language shift" for the greater benefit of cultural democracy everywhere.


  • PREFACE: Reversing Language Shift
  • Why is it so hard to save a threatened language? Joshua A. Fishman
  • Reversing Navajo Language Shift, Revisited, Tiffany Lee (Stanford Univ) & Daniel McLaughlin (Dine College)
  • How Threatened is the Spanish of New York Puerto Ricans? Ofelia Garcia (Long Island Univ), Jose Luis Morin (City Univ of New York) & Klaudia Rivera (Long Island Univ)
  • A Decade in the Life of a Two-in-One Language - Yiddish in New York City, Joshua A. Fishman
  • Reversing Language Shift in Quebec, Richard Y. Bourhis (Universite du Quebec a Montreal)
  • Otomi language shift and some recent efforts to reverse it, Yolanda Lastra (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico)
  • Reversing Quechua language shift in South America, Nancy H. Hornberger (Univ of Pennsylvania) & Kendall A. King (New York Univ)
  • Irish Language Production and Reproduction 1981-1996, Pádraig Ó Riagáin (Institiuid Teangeolaiochta Eireann)
  • A Frisian Update of Reversing Language Shift, Durk Gorter (Fryske Academy)
  • Reversing Language Shift: The Case of Basque, Maria-Jose Azurmendi (Univ of the Basque Country), Erramun Bachoc (Basque Cultural Institute) & Francisca Zabeleta (Public University of Navarre)
  • Catalan A Decade Later, Miquel Strubell (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)
  • Saving Threatened Languages in Africa: A Case Study of Oko, Efurosibina Adegbija (Univ of Ilorin, Nigeria)
  • Andamanese: Biological Challenge for Language Reversal, E. Annamalai & V. Gnanasundaram (C.I.I.L, Mysore)
  • "Akor Itak" Our Language, Your Language - Ainu in Japan, John C. Maher (International Christian Univ, Tokyo)
  • Hebrew After a Century of RLS Efforts, Bernard Spolsky (Bar-Illan Univy) & Elana Shohamy (Tel Aviv Univ)
  • Can the Shift from Immigrant Languages be Reversed in Australia? Michael Clyne (Monash Univ)
  • Is the Extinction of Australia's Indigenous Languages Inevitable? Joseph Lo Bianco & Mari Rhydwen (National Language and Literacy Institute of Australia)
  • RLS in Aotearoa/New Zealand 1989-1999, Richard & Nena Benton (Waikato University)
  • CONCLUSIONS: From Theory to Practice (and Vice Versa): Review, Reconsideration and Reiteration, Joshua A. Fishman

This book (and all Multilingual Matters books) can be ordered via our secure, fully searchable website This offers free shipping to any address in the world, airmail where appropriate. Alternatively, it can be ordered through any bookshop, or in case of difficulty contact the publisher for further details of how to order.

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Conferences and workshops

Australian Linguistic Society Conference 2001

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

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Laves workshop

A workshop on G Laves' contribution to the study of Australia languages is planned for Fri 8 December 2000 at the University of Sydney.

Contributions are welcome.

Details at

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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.

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

The XVth International Conference on Historical Linguistics will be held in Melbourne, August 13-17, 2001.

The Department of Linguistics at La Trobe University will host the conference, and it will be held at the Hotel Ibis, 15 Therry St, Melbourne. This is on the northern edge of the Central Business District, close to the University of Melbourne and the restaurants of Lygon Street.

Plenary speakers: Alexandra Aikhenvald, Cynthia Allen, Lyle Campbell, R.M.W.Dixon, Susan Herring, Nigel Vincent.

Workshops: Offers of workshops, which will be held on Friday 17 August, are welcome immediately.

Abstracts: The deadline for abstracts for papers (20 min) is Easter 2001, but if you require earlier acceptance, you can send your abstract at any time and we will review it within a few days. Abstracts (of no more than 250 words) should be submitted in the body of an email message to, alternatively in Word 6 or as an ASCII (text) or rtf attachment. Luddites can send a hard copy to:
Professor Barry J. Blake
Director ICHL 2001
Department of Linguistics
La Trobe University
Bundoora, VIC 3083

Fees: Conference registration is $264 ($240 + $24 GST) until 1 June 2001. Late registration is $286 ($260 + $26 GST). Student registration (full time student or unemployed) $132 ($120 + $12 GST) Note that these figures are in Australian dollars. $1 Australian is about 37 pence sterling and 52 cents US.

Accommodation: Accommodation has been reserved at the Hotel Ibis. Participants should book directly, Tel 61 (03) 9639 2399 Fax 61 (03) 9662 9263. Current room rates at the Ibis Hotel: Standard Twin (One double bed & one single bed) 1,2,3 pax using existing bedding -at- $105.00 nett, room only, incld. GST (no rollaways available in room); Standard Queen (One queen bed), 1-2 pax -at- $105.00 nett, room only, incld. GST (rollaway extra -at- $27.00); One Bedroom apartment (One queen bed), 1-2 pax -at- $135.00 nett, room only, incld. GST (sofa for 1 pax - extra -at- $27.00); Two Bedroom apartment (One queen bed & two single beds), 3-4 pax using existing bedding -at- $185.00 nett, room only, incld. GST (sofa for 1 pax - extra -at- $27.00); Buffet breakfast -at- $13.00pp. Above rates include GST; Above rates are Room Only.

Climate: August is the last month of winter, but don't be put off. The weather is mainly sunny and the maximum temperature is usually around 15 Celsius and occasionally higher.

Travel: The Skybus runs from Melbourne Airport (Tullamarine) every half hour to the bus station in Franklin St, which is just a few metres from the Hotel Ibis.

International: Qantas Airways has been appointed the Official Airline for the ICHL 2001. Under this arrangement Qantas offices in all parts of the world will be pleased to discuss with you or your travel agent any special travel requirements and itineraries, and will explain airfare structure for the most economical travel to suit your needs. Please quote the reference code CIC*461/199.

Domestic: Special discounted fares of up to 45% off the full normal economy class airfare, excluding taxes, have been negotiated for delegates (subject to class availability at time of booking and conditions apply) attending the ICHL 2001 in Melbourne. Please quote the following reference code and receive the applicable discount or any special fares at the time. Reference code: 1190521. Please call Qantas Association Sales on: 1800 684 880 (Australia-wide) and they will assist.

For further information, see our website

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Pacific Second Language Research Forum (PacSLRF) 2001

October 4-7, 2001

At the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawai'i, USA



This conference will focus on research in second language acquisition, particularly in Asian and Pacific languages.


  • Kevin Gregg (St. Andrew's University - Osaka, Japan)
  • William O'Grady (University of Hawai'i at Manoa)
  • Jeff Siegel (University of New England - New South Wales, Australia)
  • Noeau Warner (University of Hawai'i at Manoa)
  • Karen Watson-Gegeo (University of California, Davis)
  • Lydia White (McGill University - Montreal, Canada)

CALL FOR PAPERS: Proposals for papers, posters, and colloquia regarding any aspect of research in second language acquisition, particularly in Asian and Pacific languages, are invited. For submission guidelines, please visit our website at The submission deadline is April 2, 2001.

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About ALS

ALS Website

Note that the address of the ALS Website has changed. The new address is:


  • 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)
Faculty of Education
University of Newcastle, 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 fourth issue for 2000. The next issue (01/1) will come out in mid February 2001. Copy will be due on the first Monday in February. If you would like to be on the email list for a reminder that the date is approaching, contact the Newsletter Editor.

Please send copy, and any queries, comments or suggestions to 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 - very soon now! See Subscriptions section in Current News to find out how to pay.

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