2022 Research Grants awarded

2022 Research Grants announced

ALS is pleased to announce the award of three grants under the Research Grant Scheme. We congratulate the following grantees, with a summary of the funded projects:

Domestic uses of fire in past and present Australia: what language can tell us.

Maïa Ponsonnet (UWA/Laboratoire Dynamique Du Language, Lyon) and Luisa Miceli (UWA)

Bringing together Australian linguists, First Nations language experts, and archaeologists, this project will innovate a style of collaboration where language knowledge and lexicography play a pivotal role in understanding Australian cultures past and present. The team will explore an under-researched aspect of Australian Indigenous life: domestic uses of fire. In spite of their cultural centrality, everyday practices and techniques around fire in ‘camps’ (i.e. hearths) have not been systematically documented so far (but see Evans 1992), perhaps because they typically pertain to traditionally ‘female’ knowledge.

Building on a pilot study that involved 10 Australian languages (Ward et al. 2021), this project will systematically investigate an additional 30 languages across the continent. From this data we will extract frequent lexical categories for functions and techniques related to fires, including potential regional contrasts and historical developments. This will feed linguistic analyses of semantic extension networks within this rich and significant field (article to be submitted to the Australian Journal of Linguistics). These linguistic results will in turn inform archaeological enquiries based on hearth excavations (article to be submitted to Australian Archaeology).

The project also includes a fieldwork component, allowing the academic linguists and archaeologists on the project to undertake consultation with Noongar First Nations experts. Their contribution will bring a contemporary emic perspective onto the lexical data, and will serve as a springboard to develop extensive collaborations with Indigenous communities around this project in the future.

German as a Heritage Language and Culture in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley Australia Phase 2

Jaime Hunt (UON) and Sacha Davis (UON)

This project forms part of a multigenerational study investigating socio-historical factors shaping the maintenance, evolution and/or loss of cultural and linguistic practices of German-speaking migrants and their descendants living in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley. This also includes an analysis of the ethnolinguistic vitality of German as a heritage language in the area. The experiences and language use of German-speaking migrants to regional centres and their descendants have been largely overlooked in previous studies, which have focused on either migration to capital cities or relatively concentrated and isolated rural communities. Conversely, regional urban centres, with their distinct cultural-linguistic environments, have previously been neglected in the literature.

Phase 1 of this project (German as a Heritage Language in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley,) involved interviewing 29 second and third generation descendants of German-speaking migrants. Phase 2 investigates participants who migrated to the region from a German-speaking land in the period from the 1930s to the early 1970s. They will be asked to attend one interview to discuss their lived experiences before and after migration, German cultural practices, language use before and after arrival, and (possible) cultural and linguistic transmission to subsequent generations. These interviews will be analysed in the context of changing language policy in Australia, both at the national and state-levels, as well as fluctuating language education policy. Where possible, these interviews will be held in German, thereby providing both sociolinguistic and historical evidence and detailed samples for corpus linguistic analysis of phenomena such as code-switching and anglicism use. Few previous studies of German-speakers in Australia have focused on large samplings from three generations; by extending our study to first generation migrants, we are able to draw broader conclusions about cultural-linguistic maintenance, shift, and loss across multiple generations. In addition to academic publications, this study will inform an exhibition at Newcastle Museum, opening in August 2023. If participants grant permission, edited audio data from the interviews will also be made publicly available as an enduring research asset via the Living Histories website (https://livinghistories.newcastle.edu.au), the digital home of the University of Newcastle's Special Collections. This grant will fund the transcribing of interviews with first-generation German-speaking migrants. It is important that the transcriber be a native speaker of German who also has knowledge of the local area and is familiar with Australian English. This will allow for a more accurate textual record of local references and instances of potential code-switching.

To the side of, or just nearby? An eye-tracking study of an undifferentiated egocentric transverse axis in Australian English.

Bill Palmer (UON) and Kiwako Ito (UON)

This study tests the spontaneous interpretation of spatial terms by native speakers of Australian English. Specifically, the experiment tests differences in the degree to which speakers apply a transverse interpretation to terms such as to the side of, at the side of, beside, next to, by, and near. We aim to test a hypothesis that these terms sit in that order on a cline from strongest to weakest effect in prompting an undifferentiated transverse interpretation, rather than merely encoding proximity. In other words, we hypothesize that speakers are most likely to interpret to the side of as a substitute for to the left of and to the right of (the transverse axis), but not as a substitute for in front of or behind (the sagittal axis), whereas they are most likely to interpret near as encoding locations on both axes – i.e. simply encoding proximity, with terms in between on the cline displaying a increasingly weak transverse effect. The study also aims to test the hypothesis that a language may encode an undifferentiated transverse axis (treating left and right alike) in the egocentric (“relative”) frame of reference, even a language that makes heavy use of egocentric left and right like English.

We propose to test these hypotheses by employing an experimental eye-tracking protocol that can capture the granularity of spatial term interpretation necessary to observe degrees of strength in transverse interpretation. The project will generate data from monolingual adult English speakers that can serve as the baseline data for future research in various directions, such as spatial language processing, child spatial language acquisition, and cognitive processing of spatial terms in aging adults. The findings will be applicable to understanding languages other than English, including Indigenous Australian languages, that may appear not to encode an egocentric transverse axis at all due to an absence of projective left-right terms, but may in fact encode a transverse axis, just one that is undifferentiated.

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2022 Michael Clyne Prize awarded

2022 Michael Clyne Prize awarded

The ALS and ALAA are delighted to announce that the 2022 Michael Clyne Prize has been awarded to Chloe Castle of the University of Adelaide for her thesis The co-option of grammatical resources between languages: A focus on English and Czech. We congratulate Dr Castle. A summary of the thesis is below.

This thesis analyses the ways that bilinguals utilise grammatical resources across two languages – English and Czech. It focuses on language contact centring the bilingual individual as the “ultimate locus of contact”. Use of grammatical resources is considered through the lens of grammatical borrowing and replication, or matter (MAT) and pattern (PAT) borrowing, as well as shift and attrition. The research investigates whether grammatical borrowing and replication occur between English and Czech in the South Australian Czech community and for L1 English speakers in the Czech Republic. It provides an understanding as to why contact-induced borrowing occurs between these languages. It also addresses consciousness of borrowing, other contact and non-contact related processes in bilingual speech, and compares the two parallel linguistic situations.

The thesis consists of four papers. The first paper examines grammatical replication and shift in South Australian Czech. Qualitative analysis of grammatical features drawn from authentic speech, supported by steps for identifying contact-induced structural change and the dynamic model of multilingualism, reveals that non- Czech natural word order, overt subject usage, and tentative article formation are partially attributable to grammatical replication. Attrition and divergent attainment are also causes of grammatical features identified. The second paper identifies several reasons for South Australian Czech community members’ engagement in borrowing, including sociocultural pressures (such as community pressures, partner attitudes, etc.), cognitive pressures and prestige value. All of the factors are encompassed by need, which is the primary motive for borrowing in South Australian Czech. The third paper studies the opposite situation: the speech of L1 English L2 Czech speakers in the Czech Republic. It posits that non-use of articles, adjective placement, functional suffix borrowing, and diminutive suffix borrowing are partially attributable to language contact. The types of borrowing that occur here are different to those in South Australian Czech; there is not only syntactic borrowing but also morphological form borrowing present. Attrition processes and accommodation are also factors here. The fourth paper analyses motivators in language use amongst L1 English L2 Czech speakers in the Czech Republic. It is identified that social pressure, cognitive pressures, gap filling, and conscious creative decisions are drivers of grammatical borrowing, and social pressure and self-pressure are inhibiting forces. To show how bilingual speakers engage consciously with borrowing and innovations between their two languages, the author present a new model that addresses conscious and subconscious borrowing whilst also considering effects such as prescriptivism, self-pressure, language maintenance effort and societal pressure.

Language contact and links to language transfer have been of increasing interest to linguists for the past few decades. Ongoing research on the borrowing of grammatical resources in different communities can provide a more thorough insight into the phenomenon. Studies of language combinations with differing typologies in different sociolinguistic situations can provide a deeper understanding of the interrelationship between language contact and the co-option of grammatical resources.

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2022 Jalwang Scholarship awarded

2022 Jalwang Scholarship awarded

We're delighted to announce that the 2022 Jalwang Scholarship has been awarded to Annie Cameron (CDU) for the project Exploring sustainable collection management of community language archives to support language continuation.

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2022 Research Grants, Scholarships and Clyne Prize now open

2022 Research Grants, Scholarships and Clyne Prize now open

ALS is delighted to announce that the 2022 Research Grants scheme, Gerhardt Laves Scholarship, Susan Kaldor Scholarship, Jalwang Scholarship, and Michael Clyne Prize are now open to applications. Applications for all schemes close on 22 May 2022.

The Research Grants scheme offers grants of up to $5,000 for research in any area of linguistics, and funds approximately six projects per year. The Michael Clyne Prize (awarded jointly with the Applied Linguistics Association of Australia) is awarded for the best postgraduate research thesis in immigrant bilingualism and language contact. The Jalwang Scholarship supports linguists to give back to the community by converting some of their research into materials of benefit to the language community. The Gerhardt Laves Scholarship contributes to fieldwork expenses for postgraduate student researchers in Indigenous languages of Australia or its immediate region. The Susan Kaldor Scholarship supports ALS student members to participate in an international summer school or institute.

Further details and application process are under the funding and support tab.

(Please note the Kaldor Scholarship form may not appear immediately. If you do not see it, check again soon.)

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ALS Mentoring Scheme

The Australian Linguistic Society Mentoring Scheme is a new initiative for members. The aim of this scheme is to connect linguists who are seeking professional mentoring with experienced linguists who can provide advice and a sounding board for career development. 

The Mentoring Scheme is open to all ALS members regardless of career stage or current employment status. It is our hope to provide our members with a platform where members can work collaboratively beyond traditional academic relationships, and to foster community between linguists and language workers throughout Australia and the Pacific. 

Click here to know more about the Mentoring Scheme. 

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2021 Rodney Huddleston Award announced

The 2021 Rodney Huddleston Award has been announced. The winner is: 

  • James Grama, Catherine E. Travis & Simon Gonzalez for their article ‘Ethnolectal and community change ov(er) time: Word-final (er) in Australian English’ AJL 40(3), 346-368.

The annual Rodney Huddleston Prize is awarded to the best paper published in the previous year of the Australian Journal of Linguistics as judged by the members of the Australian Linguistics Society. The $1000 cash prize is generously funded by Taylor and Francis, the publishers of AJL, and is named after the journal’s first editor, Rodney Huddleston. The winner is announced at the ALS Annual General Meeting. 

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Voting is now open for the Rodney Huddleston Prize

Rodney Huddleston Prize

In its fourth year of being presented, the annual Rodney Huddleston Prize is awarded to the best paper published in the previous year of the Australian Journal of Linguistics as judged by the members of the Australian Linguistics Society. 

The $1,000 cash prize is generously funded by Taylor and Francis, the publishers of AJL, and is named after AJL’s first editor, Rodney Huddleston, who edited the journal from 1979-1985. 

The winner will be announced at the ALS Annual General Meeting on Thursday, 9 December 2021.

To cast your vote 

1.     Click on the link https://als.asn.au/MemberGateway 

2.     Use your login name and password to access the online member portal. If you have forgotten either, please click on "Forgotten your username or password?". 

3.     After login, click on the "Votes" tab.  

4.     The papers in Vol 40, 2020 of the Australian Journal of Linguistics are listed here; to access the abstract for a paper click on the paper title.

5.     To cast your vote for the best paper please click the button in the column to the left of your selected paper and then submit your vote using the button at the bottom of the page.

Voting close at 14.00 on Thursday, 9 December 2021. (Australian Eastern Standard Time)

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2021 Research Grant awardees and scholarship winners announced

2021 Research Grant awardees and scholarship winners announced

The 2021 scholarship winners and ALS research grant scheme awardees have now been announced.

The Gerhardt Laves Scholarship to support linguistic fieldwork in Australia and the region by a research student has been awarded to Caroline de Dear (Macquarie) for her project Questions and responses in Gija conversations.

The Jalwang Scholarship for supporting linguists to give back to the community by converting research into materials of benefit to the language speakers has been awarded to Alex Anderson (University of Sydney) for The Gudjal Project.

This years' Susan Kaldor Scholarship to assist students to attend an institute, summer school or similar intensive course has been jointly won by Agnieszka Faron (University of Queensland) to attend the International Summer School on Multilingualism at The University of Greenwich and Eleanor Yacopetti (University of Western Australia) to participate in the Bininj Kunwok Language Course.

This years' Research Grants scheme has funded four projects:

Yanping Li (Western Sydney University) has been awarded a grant for the project Native English Speakers’ Learning of Mandarin Tones in Regionally-accented Mandarin Words.

Haoyi Li (ANU) was funded for the project Multimodal Metaphors: the semantics and syntax of tropes in the language and art of Ganalbingu (Djinba).

Thomas Saunders and Sarah Laborde (Griffith) received a grant for the Big Nyikina repatriation of audio and video recordings.

Hanna Torsh (Macquarie) has been awarded a grant for the project Pride and shame ten years on: Revisiting linguistic identity and family language policy.

The ALS executive congratulates all the awardees and grantees.

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2021 Michael Clyne Prize winner announced

2021 Michael Clyne Prize winner announced

The winner of the 2021 Michael Clyne Prize has been announced. This year's Prize has been awarded to Levi Durbidge for the Monash University thesis Study abroad in multilingual contexts: The linguistic investment and development of Japanese adolescents in and beyond year-long exchange programs. Congratulations Dr Durbidge.

Thesis summary:

Growing populations of students migrating temporarily for academic purposes has led to an urgency in better understanding questions of language contact and learning faced by these populations. However, an ongoing focus on students departing from, or hosted at, higher education institutions in Anglophone countries limits this understanding. Additionally, there is now a recognised need for research which approaches these questions holistically, viewing the individual as a situated and agentive participant in wider transnational and sociocultural environments.

Drawing on Ecological Systems Theory and The Douglas Fir Group’s (2016) Transdisciplinary Framework for SLA in a Multilingual World, this thesis makes visible the complex interrelations between the individual, context and linguistic development as national, linguistic and cultural borders are crossed. The project examines the experiences of 100 Japanese high school students during and after a year embedded in families and schools abroad in countries across Europe, Asia and North and South America, investigating their language development and learning ecologies they encountered. Innovating a methodology that used quantitative survey data to map the representativeness of qualitative interview respondents, multiple cases were selected for intensive thematic and narrative analysis which explored the similarities and particularities of respondent experiences. Examining the complexities of language learning ecologies across a variety of multilingual and heteroglossic settings revealed a diverse and dynamic range of intertwined factors which affected informants’ linguistic development. Significantly, the thesis identified the importance of specific, ‘key individuals’, such as host mothers and peers at school, in providing affective, instrumental and embedded support in shaping informants’ investment in host language practices. Local migrant communities also emerged as pivotal in cases where informants experienced discrimination and marginalisation on account of their minority status. Digital communication technology was crucial in mediating participation in host peer communities, concomitantly facilitating the development of teenage linguistic repertoires and integration into these communities. Technology also offered affordances for strategic language learning that allowed informants to negotiate participation and belonging in environments where multilingual competencies were required to move between communities. The results also underscored the longer-term importance of home community and individual agency in the maintenance of these competencies after returning. Informants found their international experience could be a source of othering in the schools they returned to in Japan, while their multilingual competencies were often unvalued. Combined with exam performance pressures, desire to invest in host language practices often diminished significantly in the year after returning.

Overall, the thesis is noteworthy for its ecological treatment of host and home environments, accentuating the complex, intertwined individual and social factors which affect the experiences of short-term academic migrants. Understanding the entanglement of these factors is crucial to promoting belonging and investment among those entering new communities and highlighting the need for multilingual and transcultural competence to be valued if that investment is to be maintained.

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2021 Research Grants, Scholarships and Clyne Prize now open

2021 Research Grants, Scholarships and Clyne Prize now open

ALS is delighted to announce that the 2021 Research Grants scheme, Gerhardt Laves Scholarship, Susan Kaldor Scholarship, Jalwang Scholarship, and Michael Clyne Prize are now open to applications. Applications for all schemes close on 5 May 2021.

The Research Grants scheme offers grants of up to $5,000 for research in any area of linguistics, and funds approximately six projects per year. The Michael Clyne Prize (awarded jointly with the Applied Linguistics Association of Australia) is awarded for the best postgraduate research thesis in immigrant bilingualism and language contact. The Jalwang Scholarship supports linguists to give back to the community by converting some of their research into materials of benefit to the language community. The Gerhardt Laves Scholarship contributes to fieldwork expenses for postgraduate student researchers in Indigenous languages of Australia or its immediate region. The Susan Kaldor Scholarship supports ALS student members to participate in an international summer school or institute.

Further details and application process are under the funding and support tab.

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