Newsletter November 2017


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.


Joe Blythe

Annual General Meeting of the Australian Linguistic Society

The Annual General Meeting of the Australian Linguistic Society will be held at 5 pm on Wednesday December 6th at the ALS Conference, in the Footbridge Theatre, University of Sydney, Camperdown. Please send agenda items to the ALS Secretary (caroline.jones@westernsydney.edu.au) by November 24th.

Please also consider nominating for one of the vacant positions, by email to ALS Secretary. All positions are for a 2-year term.

  • President;
  • Vice President (2 positions open);
  • Postgraduate Student Representative.

Also advance notice that the AGM will discuss a motion - if you have comments before the meeting e.g. suggestions for rewording please email Mark Harvey (mark.harvey@newcastle.edu.au):

"That the ALS Executive be authorized to establish a Standing Program Committee to support the local conference host each year, to ensure consistency from year to year in aspects of conference organisation such as the abstract submission and review process."

Caroline Jones, ALS Secretary


News from the University of Adelaide

Dr Rob Amery has been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor, effective 1 January 2018. 

Professor Ghil‘ad Zuckermann (with Professor Alex Brown, SAHMRI) has been awarded more than $1.1 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for a project examining quantitatively the correlation between language reclamation and social and emotional wellbeing, focusing on the Barngarla Aboriginal people of Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.

Professor Zuckermann has been elected President of the Australian Association for Jewish Studies.

Professor Zuckermann is convening the Adelaide Language Festival on Wednesday 29 November 2017 to celebrate cultural and intellectual diversity. Among sessions on Mandarin Chinese, French, Kaurna, Pitjantjatjara, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Latin, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Israeli (Hebrew), Hungarian, Udmurt (Russia), Russian, Kalasha (Pakistan), German and English as a Foreign Language, there will also be sessions on the artistically-constructed Klingon and Vulcan languages from the Star Trek movies and TV series, the international auxiliary constructed language Esperanto, and Auslan (Australian Sign Language). A full programme is available at 

https://www.facebook.com/events/126398257993114   https://www.hss.adelaide.edu.au/linguistics/alf/  https://www.lcnau2017.org/adelaide-languages-festival    https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/adelaide-language-festival-tickets-38068614250

Ghil'ad Zuckermann

News from University of Queensland


Vivien Dunn has just completed her Honours thesis ‘Spatial language at Kalkaringi: Gurindji children’s expression of spatial relations’, supervised by Felicity Meakins

Samantha Kelly as just completed her Honours thesis ‘How blending lets you ‘be’ your character: Player/Character blending behind the success of the Dark Souls video games’, supervised by Kari Sullivan


  • Ennever, T., Meakins, F., & Round, E. (2017). A replicable acoustic measure of lenition and the nature of variability in Gurindji stops. Laboratory Phonology, 8(1), 1-32. doi:https://doi.org/10.5334/labphon.18
  • Fraser, H., Mushin, I., Meakins, F., & Gardner, R. (2017). Dis, that and da other: Variation in Aboriginal children's article and demonstrative use at school In G. Wigglesworth, J. Simpson, & J. Vaughan (Eds.), Language Practices of Indigenous Children: The Transition from Home to School (pp. 237-269). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Sinkeviciute, Valeria (2017). Variability in group identity construction: A case study of the Australian and British Big Brother houses. Discourse, Context and Media, 20: 70-82.
  • Watts, Janet, Gardner, Rod & Ilana Mushin (2017) Da symbol dat under da stuffs: Teaching the language of maths to Aboriginal Learners of Standard Australian English as a second dialect. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education. doi10.1017/jie2017.29


Rob Pensalfini and Amanda Hamilton-Holloway of the ARC-funded “Trilingual Language Contact” project have just spent some time in the Barkly Tableland doing field-work and undertaking several language maintenance projects with the Mudburra community. Rob produced a picture book Marlangayi (Freshwater Mussels) for the local school. The third such book produced by the project, each page includes a QR code which allows mobile devices to play the Mudburra sentence describing the picture. Rob also collaborated with Raymond Dixon (from the band Rayella) to write and record two children’s songs about bush tucker in Mudburra, and began to teach the songs to pre-school students in Elliott.

Felicity Meakins

News from James Cook University (Language and Culture Research Centre)

Current Events

The secret and the sacred: working with such knowledge, Wednesday 15.11.2017

The Third Special Workshop of the Language and Culture Research Centre (Cairns) and the Institute of African Studies (Cologne).

Coordinators: Anne Storch, Alexandra Aikhenvald

  • 13:15  Opening and Introduction           
  • 13:30  Felicity Meakins:  In full view yet hidden: Working on youth language varieties in Australia
  • 14:30  Anne Storch:  Poisoned food and hidden words
  • 15:15  Nico Nassenstein:  Virtual secrets of youth language: The challenges of digital fieldwork
  • 16:30  Angelika Mietzner:  Secret initiation rituals and language in Cherang’any: “We are not allowed to tell you, but we agreed to tell you a little”
  • 17:15  Helma Pasch:  Talking about cannibalism is tabu - sometimes

Thursday 16.11.2017

  • 09:30  Michael Wood:  The Baining, the Snake Dance and Secrecy
  • 10:15  Alexandra Aikhenvald:  All in the family: my Tariana life, and knowledge
  • 11:30  Kasia Wojtylak:  Understanding the Origin Myth - the unknowns of the linguistic fieldwork among the 'Witoto' peoples from Northwest Amazonia
  • 12:15  Elena Mihas:  Documenting ritual songs: Best practices for preserving the ambiguity of Northern Kampa ritual speech
  • 14:30  Rosita Henry:  Secret Relations: Adoption as a Strategy for Later Life Care in PNG
  • 15:15 Luca Ciucci:  Language secrecy in Chamacoco (Zamucoan)
  • 16:30  Discussion                

Everyone is most welcome

LCRC members news

Dr Katarzyna (Kasia) Wojtylak was awarded the PhD degree for her thesis 'A grammar of Murui (Bue): A Witotoan Language of Northwest Amazonia', with summa cum laude, the highest honour within the University. She has commenced her Research Fellowship at the LCRC.

Dr Neil Alexander Walker (PhD University of California, Santa Barbara) has been appointed to the LCRC Five Year Research Fellowship. he will start on 15 January 2018.

Dr Luca Ciucci (PhD Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy) has been appointed to a three-year PostDoctoral Research Fellowship on the ARC Discovery Grant 'The integration of language and society', CIs Aikhenvald and Dixon.

Firew Girma Worku (MA University of Addis Ababa), a PhD student within Distinguished Professor Alexandra Aikhenvald's Australian Laureate Fellowship, has successfully completed a period of extensive fieldwork on Mursi, a little-known Nilo-Saharan language from Ethiopia.

Dr Elena Mihas has been appointed as Adjunct Research Fellow at the LCRC.

David Ellis has been appointed as the LCRC's new Administrative Officer starting from January 2018.

Distinguished Professor Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald and Professor Dr Péter Maitz (University of Augsburg) were awarded a joint grant from DAAD and Universities Australia within the the Australia-Germany Joint Research Co-operation Scheme to work on 'The language emergence in multilingual contexts' (2018-2019).

New books

  • Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. 2018. Editor of The Oxford handbook of evidentiality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Dixon, R. M. W. 2018. Unmasking English dictionaries. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Mihas, Elena (with the assistance of Gregorio Santos Perez). 2017. Trilingual Alto Perené-Castellano-English thematic dictionary. Munich: Lincom Europa.


Roundtable meetings and Workshop

  • Workshop, Wednesday 25 October, Bob Dixon: Reflexive (and reciprocal) constructions in Yidiñ
  • Seminar, Wednesday 1 November, Christian Reepmeyer: When worlds collide: Holocene maritime interaction, language dispersal hypothesis, and the prehistory of Island Southeast Asia and the Pacific
  • Seminar, Wednesday 8 November, Luca Ciucci: On the reconstruction of proto-Zamucoan verb inflection
  • Seminar, Wednesday 22 November, Chrystopher Spicer: The Cyclone Written Into Our Landscape: translating the language of the tropical storm in Queensland literature
  • Seminar, Friday 24 November, Elena Mihas: Interrogative intonation in Satipo Ashaninka (Arawak)
Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

News from ANU


  • Arka, I Wayan. 2017. "The core-oblique distinction in some Austronesian languages of Indonesia and beyond." Linguistik Indonesia 35 (2):100-142.
  • Arka, I Wayan, and Mary Dalrymple. 2017. "Nominal, pronominal, and verbal number in Balinese." Linguistic Typology 21 (2):261–331.
  • Arka, I Wayan with Hisa, La , Agustinus Mahuze. 2017. "The ethnobotanical-linguistic documentation of Sago: a preliminary report from Merauke." Linguistik Indonesia 35 (2):187-200.
  • Daniels, Don. 2017. "A method for mitigating the problem of borrowing in syntactic reconstruction". Studies in Language.
  • Evans, Nicholas. 2017. Quantification in Nen. In Ed Keenan & Paperno, Denis. (eds.), Handbook of Quantifiers in Natural Language. Vol. 2. Springer Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy, vol 97. Pp. 573-609.
  • Evans, Nicholas. 2017. Polysynthesis in Dalabon. In M. Fortescue, M. Mithun & N. Evans (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Polysynthesis. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pp. 759-781.
  • Evans, Nicholas. 2017. Polysynthesis in Northern Australia. In M. Fortescue, M. Mithun & N. Evans (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Polysynthesis. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pp. 336-362.
  • Evans, Nicholas. 2017. Sprachensterben. In Corinna Caduff (ed.), Wozu Vergänglichkeit? 11 Gespräche über Atome, Tod und schwarze Löcher Berlin: Kadmos Verlag. Pp. 129-146.
  • Evans, Nicholas. 2017. Ngurrahmalkwonawoniyan. Listening here. Humanities Australia 8:34-44.
  • Riesberg, Sonja. 2017. Some Observations on Word Order in Western Austronesian Symmetrical Voice Languages. In I Nengah Sudipa et al. (eds), Proceedings of the 8th International Seminar on Austronesian and Non-Austronesian Languages and Literature in Indonesia (pp. 3-18). Denpasar: Udayana University Press.

Asia-Pacific Linguistics: recently published volumes

  • Åshild Næss - A short dictionary of Äiwoo. This is a short dictionary of the Äiwoo or Reefs language, which belongs to the Reefs-Santa Cruz group spoken in Solomon Islands’ Temotu Province. It includes around 3,500 words in the Äiwoo language with English translations and examples of use, as well as an English-Äiwoo reversal list. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/112469
  • Sonja Riesberg - A Yali (angguruk) - German Dictionary Yali is a Trans-New Guinea language, spoken in the highlands of Papua, Indonesia. This book comprises two parts: an introductory section (written in English) that presents a Yali grammar sketch, and the second part a Yali-German dictionary. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/127381
  • John Giacon: Yaluu. A recovery grammar of Yuwaalaraay and Gamilaraay: a description of two New South Wales languages based on 160 years of records. This volume builds on a wide range of sources, including materials from the 19th century and audio recordings from the 1970s to present a grammatical description of Yuwaalaraay and Gamilaraay, two closely related languages of northern New South Wales, Australia.  Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/132639

Conference presentations

The following presentations by the ANU linguists at NWAV-46 in Madison:

  • James Grama presented a paper co-authored with Catherine Travis and Simón Gonález, titled ‘Class, gender and ethnicity in Sydney: Revisiting social conditioning in 1970s Australia’.
  • Matthew Callaghan presented a poster on his PhD work, titled ‘Change takes time, ¿cachái? Testing the role of frequency as a driver of change in Chilean Spanish’

Carmel O’Shannessy gave a plenary address at the ATESOL NT Symposium at Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT on Oct 6. The title of the talk was: ‘Children, language learning, and new ways of speaking – what do they mean for children in NT schools?’  Audience members were located in Darwin and throughout the NT and joined the Symposium remotely. The symposium was organised by a team including Samantha Disbray (ANU).  

Carmel O’Shannessy (ANU), Michael Walsh (AIATSIS) and Doug Marmion (AIATSIS) were invited speakers at a meeting of the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies curriculum team, Canberra, Oct 11. The ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies is developing a course on Indigenous languages and cultures.

Book launches

On 31 October, CoEDL Deputy Director Jane Simpson and Emeritus Professor Cynthia Allen launched Elisabeth Mayer’s book Clitics on the Move, Variation in Time and Space.   


CAP-CASS collaborative Grant: Yanyin Zhang (CHL/CAP) and Elisabeth Mayer (SLLL/CASS) were successful in winning a grant within the Asia-Pacific Innovation Program for hosting jointly by ANU and the University of Sydney the 18th International Symposium on Processability Approaches to Language Acquisition (PALA 18) followed by a workshop and Masterclass at ANU.

Loan Dao (Applied Linguistics CASS) & School of Culture, History and Language (CAP)) has just been awarded a two-year grant from the Asia Pacific Innovation Program (APIP) for the project The acquisition of Vietnamese by Australian tertiary students and applicability of Processability Theory which aims to establish and test a new Vietnamese teaching curriculum based on Processability Theory (Pienemann 1998, 2005). Funding for this project is drawn from the University’s National Institutes Grant.


Sydney Speaks online app: The exhibit on variation in Sydney English at the Powerhouse Museum is now also available online via: http://www.dynamicsoflanguage.edu.au/sydney-speaks/sydney-speaks-app/. This online app comes out of the Sydney Speaks project, on variation in Australian English funded by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language. The online app is an interactive tool that involves hearing clips of speakers and matching them with social characteristics (occupation, region, ethnicity and age), in an effort to make the public more aware of variation in Australian English and assumptions we make on the basis of the way people speak. It is part of an exhibition titled “This is a Voice”, running at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney from 11 August 2017 to 28 Jan 2018.

Conferences and workshops

Language variation and change (LVC-A3) - Pre-ALS workshop, Monday 4 December. Catherine Travis (in collaboration with James Walker (LTU) and Celeste Rodríguez Louro (UWA)) is organising the third meeting of Language Variation and Change, Australia. LVC-A 3 will take place on Monday 4 December as a pre-ALS2017 conference workshop, running from 9am to 3.30. Please register on the ALS conference page. (See: http://www.dynamicsoflanguage.edu.au/news-and-media/events/article/?id=language-variation-and-change-lvc-a3-pre-als-workshop-monday-4-december).

ALT2017 in Canberra in December is fast approaching! Please check the conference website http://www.dynamicsoflanguage.edu.au/alt-conference-2017/ for the full information of our upcoming exciting and engaging meeting!  Please note that registration closes on 18 November. Please register by then.


Carlo Dalle Ceste has won the second prize for the best conference paper given by doctoral researchers at the 50th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea in Zurich, September 2017. The title of his conference paper was "Reconstructing Early Western Oceanic: What do Preverbal Subject Markers Tell Us?'"

Christian Döhler has won the 2017 Stephen Wurm Graduate Prize for Pacific Linguistics for his PhD thesis, titled ‘Komnzo: a languge of Southern New Guinea’. The examiners and the Wurm Prize Committee commented on his thesis with the following praises: 'one of the most impressive dissertiations in the field of diversity linguistics', 'a major achievement', 'truly exceptional',  'exceptionally detailed and thorough', ' exceptionally good', and 'offer important contributions to linguistics'.

Wayan Arka

News from Macquarie University

Publications - Books

  • Nakayama, Mineharu, Yi-ching Su and Aijun Huang (eds) (2017). Studies in Chinese and Japanese Language Acquisition: In Honour of Stephen Crain. John Benjamins.
  • Buzo, Adrian (2018). Politics and Leadership in North Korea: The Guerilla Dynasty, 2nd edition. Routledge.  
  • Cho, Jinhyun (2017) English Language Ideologies in Korea. Cham, Springer. 

News and Features

Open day 2017 and the new Master of Accessible Communication

The new Master of Accessible Communication will be a unique program in Australia and will be at the forefront of programs in accessibility internationally. It was developed to meet the very real need for training and research in the facilitation of communication in complex settings. The program will train students to provide or optimise access to communication for any individual or group who is excluded fully or in part from a communication context. This could be for physical reasons (due to the loss of sight or hearing or conditions like aphasia or other language impairments), as a result of particular circumstances that compromise access to communication temporarily, for linguistic or cultural reasons (communicating across languages or cultures), or for other reasons. The program, to be convened by Dr Loy Lising and Associate Professor Jan-Louis Kruger, will start out as an interdisciplinary program across the areas of Translation and Interpreting, Applied Linguistics, and Publishing and Editing in the Department of Linguistics, as well as involving Disability Studies. Over the coming years the program will be further refined to provide training in step with national and international needs.

Ingrid Piller wins BAAL Book Prize

Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice: An Introduction to Applied Sociolinguistics by Professor Ingrid Piller has won the 2017 Book Prize of the British Association of Applied Linguistics. 

MQ-Biotext partnership

A partnership between Macquarie University’s Department of Linguistics and the Canberra-based publishing company Biotext is being forged as a multifaceted initiative in commercial, research and training activities, focusing especially on style and accessible communication. The commercial component begins with the transfer to Macquarie University of a well-developed online style manual for scientific writers and editors, called the Australian Manual of Scientific Style (AMOSS). In association with AMOSS, a new multi-purpose platform will be designed by Access Macquarie for Macquarie University, to be called the Australian Style Hub. It will support multiple products relating to both general and specialist written styles, so as to become the first port-of-call for those nitty-gritty issues of language. The Australian Style newsletter will again be accessible through it, as a vehicle for exchanging research and observations on current usage, and conducting language surveys across Australia. The Australian Style Hub opens a fresh chapter in Macquarie University’s long involvement in references on Australian language and style - in dictionary-making with the Macquarie Dictionary, and contributions to the last three editions of the Australian Government Style Manual. The Australian Style Hub will also support the multilingual online termbanks (TermFinder™) developed by Macquarie Linguistics staff to provide accessible information on specialised terminology for the general public, including terms in family law (LawTermFinder) and in cancer medicine and health care (HealthTermFinder).

A series of experimental studies is being undertaken by Associate Professor Jan-Louis Kruger will establish the different levels of accessibility involved in accessing information in online websites, further developing existing standards of web accessibility. Media Access Australia will be a further partner in this, ensuring that those with disabilities are accommodated in empirically enhanced approaches to information design. The results of this research will be synthesised for publication as a further product of the Australian Style Hub. They will also inform Macquarie’s own training courses in accessible communication and external workshops, as well as webinars to be accessed through the Australian Style Hub.

Dr Anita Szakay wins award for Excellence in Teaching

Dr Anita Szakay received the Student Award for Excellence in Teaching. This  award is a great recognition of Anita’s sustained commitment to teaching excellence.

Varieties of English in the Indo-Pacific (VEIP) project at the World Humanities Conference, Liege, Belgium, 6 - 12 August 2017.

Two Macquarie members of the VEIP research network presented in a symposium titled Twenty-first century English in diaspora – reflecting social and cultural change in multilingual communities, co-chaired by Emeritus Professor Pam Peters and Dr Haidee Kruger (Macquarie University).

  • Dr Haidee Kruger (with Professor Bertus van Rooy, North-West University, South Africa). Hybrid Englishes in South African multilingual digital repertoires.
  • Dr Loy Lising (Macquarie University) presented her research on The role of English in multilingual Philippines: Institutional, social and personal motivations for multilingual practices.
Haidee Kruger

News from University of Wollongong



  • Dreyfus, Shoshana. (2017). “Mum, the pot broke”: taking responsibility (or not) in language. Discourse & Society, 28(4), 374-39.
  • Dreyfus, Shoshana. & Bennett, Isabelle. (2017). Circumstantiation: taking a broader look at circumstantial meaning. Functional Linguistics, 4(5). Springer Open.
  • Herrero de Haro, Alfredo. (2017). The phonetics and phonology of Eastern Andalusian Spanish: A review of literature from 1881 to 2016. Íkala, Revista de Lenguaje y Cultura, 22 (2), 313-357.
  • Herrero de Haro, Alfredo. (2017). Four mid back vowels in Eastern Andalusian Spanish. Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie, 133 (1), 82-114.
  • Shi, Leimin., Baker, Amanda., & Chen, Honglin. (2017). Chinese EFL teachers' cognition about the effectiveness of genre pedagogy: A case study. RELC Journal, 00 (0). doi:DOI:10.1177/0033688217716506

Book chapters

  • Gao, Xiaoping. (2017) ‘Development of pragmatic competence: Compliment responses by L2 learners of Chinese’. In Istvan Kecskes & Chaofen Sun (Eds). Key Issues in Chinese as a Second Language Research, 237-266. New York & London: Routledge.
  • Moore, Alison Rotha. (2017) Register analysis and message semantics. In Tom Bartlett and Gerard O'Grady (Eds). Routledge Handbook of Systemic Functional Linguistics. London: Routledge.

Recent Conferences

UOW hosted the 44th International Systemic Functional Linguistics Congress (ISFC), with over 230 participants, representing all continents. Highlights included plenaries on neurocognitive synergies between language and actions (Adolfo Garcia, U. Favaloro & U. Nacional de Cuyo, Argentina), discourse intonation (Gerard O'Grady, Cardiff), using big data in linguistics and multimodal analysis (Kay O'Halloran, Curtin) and a satellite event featuring views from linguistics, neurolinguistics, psychotherapy and education on the nature of the Therapeutic Conversation.

New Research Initiatives

Alison Moore (Languages and Linguistics) and Melisssa Boyde (English and Writing) co-convene the new Animal Studies Research Network (ASRN). Projects include close text analysis and corpus-assisted discourse analysis of the representation of animals. Links with other linguists working on animals welcome! Supervision in animal studies projects available. Contact amoore@uow.edu.au.

Shooshi Dreyfus (Languages and Linguistics) and Pauline Jones (Education) co-convene the IDEAS (Interdisciplinary Discourse analysis in Education, Arts and Social Science) research network and fortnightly seminar series. Contact shooshi@uow.edu.au

New Grants 

Dreyfus, Shoshana. Labelling Appraisal States in Social Media Data. $75,000. Defence Science and Technology Group

PhD Scholarship available

A PhD stipend as part of a funded project is available starting March 2018 in the English Language and Linguistics Program/Languages and Linguistics Discipline at Wollongong. A good Honours degree or equivalent in functional linguistics is required plus high-level highly proficiency in English and either Chinese or Indonesian. The project involves using SFL's appraisal framework to conduct sentiment analysis of social media and will test the extent to which the appraisal system (devised for English) is applicable for describing the south-east Asian language under study. Contact shooshi@uow.edu.au.

Alfredo Herrero de Haro

News from University of Sydney


Nick Enfield's book How We Talk is published by Basic Books in November 2017: http://www.basicbooks.com/full-details?isbn=9780201066319

An excerpt was published in the Wall Street Journal:


His co-authored book The Concept of Action (with Jack Sidnell) has just been published by Cambridge University Press in the series New Departures in Anthropology. The book, which offers a new analysis of speech acts, is featured in a book symposium in the open access journal HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory: https://www.haujournal.org/index.php/hau/article/view/hau7.2.036

On 8 November the Department held a ‘Linguistics book launch’, where linguists from the department and beyond launched several recent publications: 

Other publications:

  • Mahboob, A. & Lin, A. (2017). Local languages as a resource in (language) education. In A. F. Selvi & Rudolph, N. (Eds) Contextualizing Education for Glocal Interaction: Issues and Implications. New York: Springer.


Several visiting scholars have recently presented their research in our seminar series, including Prof Catherine Travis (ANU) on "Language, variation, change, ’n that: General Extenders in Sydney English" and Dr Tania Fahey Palma (University of Aberdeen) on “‘Shall we start?’: Examining Shared Repertoire in Cancer Multidisciplinary Team meetings”. We were also delighted to hear from guest speakers Prof Katherine Demuth (Macquarie University), Professor Daniel Dor (Tel Aviv U), and Dr Mark Post (UNE).

Conference reminder

Don’t forget: The Department of Linguistics at the University of Sydney is hosting the 48th annual meeting of the Australian Linguistics Society, corresponding with the 50th anniversary of the Society. The conference will run from 4-7 December.

Other news

Assoc Prof Ahmar Mahboob was a plenary speaker at the Free Linguistics Conference, Lagos, Nigeria, Sep 29-30, 2017 and a plenary speaker at the International Conference of the Linguistics Association of Pakistan, Karachi, Pakistan, Oct 12-14, 2017.

Monika Bednarek

News from Charles Darwin University

Charles Darwin University is working in collaboration with the Australian National University to offer the inaugural Indigenous Languages Summer School in Sydney in January 2018. This Summer School is the first event in a planned series in establishing an Australian Indigenous Languages Institute.

Units of study available in 2018:

Introduction to YolÅ‹u Languages and Culture  

Gamilaraay 1  

Linguistics for Indigenous Languages

Please note: students can do only one unit at the Summer School as all classes will happen simultaneously. All units are fully accredited and can be credited towards study. 

When:      A two-week intensive block   8 - 19th January 2018

Where:    CDU Sydney Campus: Level 10, 815 George Street, HAYMARKET.

Cost:        $2259 per unit (or via HECS - HELP if you are a university student)

For more information and to register your interest, go to http://www.cdu.edu.au/sikpp/aili

Cathy Bow

News from UNE

Anne Reath Warren graduated in September in Stockholm with her PhD entitled “Developing Multilingual Literacies in Sweden and Australia: Opportunities and challenges in mother tongue instruction and multilingual study guidance in Sweden and community language education in Australia”. Her thesis was jointly supervised by the University of Stockholm (Monica Axelsson and Païvi Juvonen), and by the University of New England’s Liz Ellis. Liz Ellis attended the defence of the thesis in Stockholm on 8th September, with the opponent being Prof. Angela Creese from the University of Birmingham.

Joshua Nash received an ARC DECRA in the latest funding round for his project titled "Keeping Connected with Home: the Pitcairn Island Language in the Diaspora"

Liz Ellis

Obituary Emeritus Professor Ray Cattell

(26 November 1928 – 9 August 2017)

Norman Raymond Cattell – Ray to everyone “except car salesmen” – was born in Sydney in November 1928. It was a matter of delight to Ray that his birthday was so close (just eleven days prior) to that of his great mentor Noam Chomsky. Ray’s early career was as a school teacher, including stints in remote parts of the Hunter Valley, but in 1962 his University career began with his appointment as a lecturer in the English Department of the University of New South Wales. In 1965 he moved to the University of Newcastle as Senior Lecturer in the English Department. Although originally employed to teach Old and Middle English, he soon persuaded his Professor Gus Cross that students would benefit greatly from a knowledge of the ‘new’ discipline of Linguistics. Ray pursued his love of Linguistics through postgraduate study under the influence of Noam Chomsky at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1970 Ray was promoted to Associate Professor, and in 1973 he was appointed as the foundation head of the autonomous “Sub-Department of Linguistics” (titled “sub” because it had less than four members of staff). His colleagues were Geraldine MacNeill, first appointed to the Faculty of Arts in 1970, and Peter Peterson (originally appointed to the English Department in 1971), later to be joined by George Horn.

Ray was not a prolific writer, but the articles and books that he produced during the 1970s and 1980s were always of top quality. His first book, published in 1966, was The Design of English, an introductory text book introducing Chomsky’s “new” grammatical theory. This was later republished in 1970 by MIT Press, with strong endorsement from Chomsky. (It was also reportedly published in translation in Japanese (or Korean?) without permission.) Ray had a series of major articles published in Language and Linguistic Inquiry, the two leading Linguistics journals of the time, as well as a book in the Syntax and Semantics series from Academic Press. Ray was a strong admirer of Chomsky’s work, both in his linguistics and his political philosophy. This made for interesting lunch time discussions with colleague George Horn, who came from an entrenched American Republican background! But Ray was always interested in searching for balance and consensus, as shown in the books he published after his retirement.

Although his first love was the study of syntax, Ray’s interest in Linguistics was not confined to a narrow theoretical base. He was instrumental in setting up lectures for HSC students in English language, especially on the language techniques of set authors. At the time of his retirement in 1987, he was involved in discussions with the local Speech Pathology profession about the desirability of establishing a Speech Pathology course within the Department. (This came to pass a few years later.)

 In February 1987, Ray retired from the University, seeking “uninterrupted time to research and write”. In the University of Newcastle newsletter at that time, Rosemary O’Shaughnessy states:

“As an administrator and lecturer, his style is unmistakably stamped by the absence of autocratic gestures or self-aggrandisement. On power, he fondly quotes Noam Chomsky’s adage, “No man is good enough to be another man’s boss.” ... His particular mix of extraordinary patience and gentleness, wry down-to-earth humour and, above all, his sheer energy and enthusiasm, which can only reflect an insatiable appetite for knowledge, make Professor Ray Cattell’s retirement a bonus for his family and the publishing world, but, for this University, an event which constitutes an irreplaceable loss.”

However, the financial crisis later that year soon forced Ray out of retirement. He spent some time teaching at the International School in Surrey Hills, Sydney, before taking up an appointment as Senior Lecturer in his ‘old’ Department of Linguistics at Newcastle.

In 1997, Ray retired (again) and eventually moved to Queensland, where he was finally able to devote himself to the writing he had promised himself for so long. The resulting works Children’s Language: Consensus and Controversy (2000, 2007) and An Introduction to Mind, Consciousness and Language (Bloomsbury 2006) reveal the breadth of Ray’s explorations into the intriguing and much debated questions of how language, mind and learning are inter-related.

In 2015, Ray suffered the loss of his middle son Gavin. After a bout of illness, Ray moved to an aged care facility in Newcastle, where he died in August 2017. Ray is survived by his wife Jan, his former wife Jill, and his two sons, Simon and Rohan. He was an inspiration and mentor to his colleagues at the University of Newcastle, in both of his periods of employment there. Linguistics at the University of Newcastle has continued to thrive, in no small measure because of the strong foundations provided by Ray, and the genuine love of language that he shared with his colleagues.

Peter Peterson

Jobs, grants, and scholarships

Lecturer in Linguistics, UNE

School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences

  • Continuing, full-time
  • $ 93,336 to $ 110,619 per annum (Level B)
  • Plus 17% employer superannuation.  Salary packaging options are available.
  • Relocation assistance provided

The University of New England in Armidale, Australia is a unique university, in the enviable position of boasting an excellent international reputation as well as being a leader in research and academic innovation.  We aim to foster a constructive and engaged culture where creative ideas and innovation thrive.

The Linguistics program within the School of Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences at UNE has 6 full-time equivalent Academic staff members, several Adjunct Professors and a vibrant cohort of higher degree research students. It holds an ERA research rating of 3 (world standard) by the Australian Research Council. We offer both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Linguistics.

About the role

The discipline of Linguistics is seeking an enthusiastic and suitably qualified Academic to strengthen and expand the University’s research and teaching capacity. The area of expertise is General Linguistics, and the incumbent will be expected to teach in the applied linguistics program. The successful candidate will be expected to pursue an active research program in linguistics, supervise student research projects, fulfil relevant administrative requirements and work as part of the linguistics team in providing instruction to undergraduate and postgraduate units that are delivered in both online and face-to-face formats.

Skills & Experience

The successful applicant will have:

A PhD in General Linguistics

A strong research profile in linguistics

Demonstrated teaching ability

The ability to teach into core descriptive subject areas like Phonetics, Phonology, Morphology and Syntax, as well as more Applied Linguistics subjects.

The ability to supervise linguistics honours and higher degree research students

Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including the ability to collaborate and perform effectively within a team

Willingness to perform administrative tasks within the discipline and the University.

Additional information

To discuss this opportunity, please contact Dr Nick Reid phone +61 401807035 or email nreid@une.edu.au.  To find out more about the discipline, visit http://www.une.edu.au/about-une/academic-schools/bcss/study-areas/linguistics.

About Armidale

Living in Armidale you will experience the best of both city and rural living. Enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle with access to shopping, gourmet food, top sporting facilities and cultural delights. You might live in the heart of Armidale or experience the tranquillity of the New England on a rural property.

To find out more, visit: www.armidaleregion.com.au/ and/or www.experiencethehighs.com.au/

Closing Date:            8 December 2017

Reference No:           217217

To demonstrate your suitability for this role, please respond to the selection criteria, contained in the position statement, in your application.


Equity principles underpin all UNE policies and procedures. As a University committed to engaging a diverse workforce, UNE encourages Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to apply.

Nick Reid


Early Career Researcher Fellowships (DECRA)

Department of Linguistics, School of Humanities, University of Adelaide

The Australian Research Council (ARC) annually awards three-year Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards (DECRAs) to create opportunities for early career researchers to develop their research careers. 

The University of Adelaide, a member of the Go8, seeks to support outstanding ECR applicants to apply for DECRAs to be housed in the School of Humanities, in conjunction with efforts to build research strengths. 

Early career researchers who wish to apply have an excellent research track record to date, and have expertise and a prospective project in one of the following focal areas:

1: ANZSRC Field of Research (FoR) 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing or FoR 2005 Literary Studies, potentially in conjunction with the J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice

2: FoR 2004 Linguistics, particularly in relation to the Revivalistics: language reclamation, revitalization and reinvigoration, and their correlation with empowered wellbeing and improved mental health (see current NHMRC and ARC grants at the Department, and the activities of the Mobile Language Team).

3: FoR 2001 Communication and Media Studies

4: FoR 2103 Historical Studies

The School will commit resources to developing its research strengths in these areas and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor & Vice-President (Research) will support successful DECRA applicants through provision of AUD$25,000 establishment, conference travel and professional development funds.

If you are interested in exploring the possibility of applying for an award in one of these areas, please e-mail your research CV to the Faculty Research Development Manager, Simon Ladd at simon.ladd@adelaide.edu.au by 27th of October 2017, making sure to identify the focus area relevant to you in the subject bar (e.g. “Focus 1”). The University reserves the right in our absolute discretion not to support any expressions of interest, having considered any and all CVs.

Terms and conditions

To be eligible for a DECRA a candidate must at the closing time of submission of proposals have been awarded a PhD on or after 1 March 2013 (or longer if combined with periods of significant career interruption). It is important to refer to the ARC Funding Rules and FAQs for detailed information regarding the DECRA program. The ARC DECRA program is highly competitive and support from our institution provides no guarantee of application success. The University is under no obligation under this initiative to employ an individual if the DECRA is unsuccessful.

Professor Ghil‘ad Zuckermann




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, Joe Blythe (alsonline-at-als.asn.au) 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 Joe 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 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 enquiries-at-tandf.com.au.


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