Newsletter February 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

ALS Annual General Meeting 2016 - Minutes

Held at 12.30 pm on the 8th December 2016, Monash University, Caulfield VIC

Present: Chris Vinning, Maia Ponsonnet, Nick Enfield, Anna Margetts, Rebecca Defina, Nicholas Evans, Keith Allan, Caroline Jones, Kate Burridge, Jean Mulder, David Bradley, Hoda Nawar, Rachel Nordlinger, Ian Green, Bill Forshaw, Carmel O’Shannessy, Jeff Siegel, Amanda Hamilton, David Osgarby, Jackie van den Bos, Rob Amery, John Giacon, Jane Simpson, Greville Corbett, Alice Gaby, Diana Eades, Cindy Schneider, John Newman, Simon Musgrave, Cara Penry Williams, Minna Korhonen, Rob Mailhammer, Celeste Rodriguez Louro, Barbara Kelly, Ksenia Gnevsheva, Catherine Travis, Loy Lising, Dam Peters, Amy Boraeter, Chloe Diskin, Terrence Szymanski, Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Tomohiro Sakai, I Wayan Arka, Cathy Bow, Sana Bharadwaj, Arvind Iyengar, Peter Kipka, Dan Jiao, Xuen Wang, Keyi Sun, Padraic Quinn, Sophie Richard, Mary Laughren, David Nash, Jonathan Schlossberg, Harriet Sheppard, Jess Birnie-Smith, Lee Murray, Lesley Stirling


1. Apologies

Keith Allen, Mark Harvey, Alan Libert, Katie Jepson, Bill Palmer, Andrea Schalley, Nick Thieberger, Ilana Mushin, Joe Blythe

2. Minutes of the 2015 AGM accepted (L Stirling/K Allan)

3. Matters arising

·       AJL and Open Access:

LS noted that the question was asked at the 2015 AGM as to what happens to back issues of the journal if a library stops subscribing. The Executive checked with Taylor and Francis after the AGM last year. Taylor and Francis confirmed that if a library cancels subscription to AJL they lose access to the archive, though they retain perpetual access for the year of subscription. (Ordinarily subscriptions allow access back to 1997 online).

·       ALS website improvements

LS reported that work is underway to add extra information about ALS to the website e.g. list of past office holders. Andrea Schalley has constructed a list of past office holders from old newsletters and this will be added to the website soon.

4. Reports

4.1 President

LS announced the 6 recipients of the new $5000 ALS research grant:

•       Amy Budrikis (UWA) Indigenous perspectives on intergenerational language transmission and language learning

•       Yishan Huang (ANU) Zhangzhou syllables and [nasal]: competition between harmony and the OCP

•       Jaime Hunt & Sacha Davis (Newcastle) German as a heritage language in Newcastle and the Hunter

•       Heather Kember & Marina Kalashnikova (Western Sydney) Come on kids, pay attention to your prosody!

•       Louise Kyriaki (UniSA) The role of the dorsal stream in sequence-dependent language processing

•       Gabrielle McGinnis (Newcastle) Wagiman spatial heritage

This scheme will continue next year and LS encouraged applications.

LS reported that the Jalwang Scholarship started this year, funded by a generous donation from an anonymous donor. LS expressed that ALS is very grateful to the donor. One scholarship will be awarded each year, up to $5000 for a student or recent graduate (up to 2 years out of research degree) to make community oriented resources. The scholarship is intended to fund less established researchers that have less access to funding.

ALS is about to sign a new contract (2017-2022) with Taylor and Francis (T&F). The ALS Exec has approved a new contract which involves the same arrangements as the current one but with:

·       increased editorial expenses (increases from $10561 to $15000);

·       an annual author award of $1000; and

·       provision of admin support for the Editor at no cost to ALS.

LS presented Alan Dench and Tim Pittman’s (Curtin) analysis of recent ARC grant funding (analysis of 2004 code as first FOR code only). The main message is that linguistics looks robust, around 9 grants per year. Nick Evans says that ARC assured CoEDL that ARC DP funds were from a different pool of funds; the dip in 2016 may relate to CIs in CoEDL not applying for grants. Limitations to this analysis (e.g. other primary FOR codes) were discussed and the possibility of ALS doing this analysis more broadly for next AGM.

LS thanked the members of the Exec for their work during the year.

4.2 Secretary

Nothing to report

4.3 Treasurer

The Treasurer's report was presented by the President on behalf of the Treasurer. The report is attached.

The overall position is good: at end June 2016 the ALS had total assets of $436,508. The total income for the year to end June is $78,502 (membership fees, publications revenue and 2015 conference surplus), plus other income (interest and managed funds income) of $5200. Operating expenses were $29,273, the main expenses being linguistics discipline support, publication expenses and scholarships paid. There is a net profit of $54,521 for the year.

LS invited questions for the Treasurer, Mark Harvey, but no one had questions.

4.4 Journal Editors

Keith Allan reported that in the past 12 months there have been 114 submissions from 21 countries. 28% from China, 27% from Australia, 22% from Iran, and 5% from Malaysia. There are about 20 manuscripts undergoing review and several awaiting resubmission. 68.5% of papers are rejected initially as inappropriate for one reason or another. Following review, 13.5% have been accepted, 8% rejected but asked to resubmit, 10% are rejected. The 2016 volume 36 includes 24 articles. And already the first two issues of the 2017 volume 37 are online, and all but one paper in the third issue is prepared to go to T&F for a total of 12 articles. There are also many book reviews. Keith expressed thanks again to all those who spend time reviewing for AJL, and to those who have submitted papers. Keith asked those present to submit good material to AJL and cite it frequently to help raise its impact factor further.

LS commented that although the AJL impact factor has been varying a lot, the advice from T&F is that this is normal for an impact factor that is below a certain level.

4.5 Associate Secretary

Andrea Schalley is stepping down. AS has served in this role since 2010 and is happy to pass the baton on to someone else. AS said she really enjoyed reading all the news that passed through her hands during this time and she hopes to stay involved with the ALS in the future.

Andrea has been inducted as a full Professor in Karlstad University in Sweden. Motion for an expression of appreciation to Andrea Schalley from ALS (L Stirling / K Allan & N Evans).

4.6 CIPL (UNESCO Comité International Permanent des Linguistes) Representative

David Bradley advised that the next CIPL event is in Cape Town, South Africa, July 2-8 2018. One of the keynotes will be Nick Evans. The organisers are inviting proposals for workshops, due 13 Jan 2017. The call for abstracts will also be put in ALS newsletter. David Bradley has recently become President of CIPL and looks forward to representing ALS in this capacity.

4.7 ALS2016 Organisers (Monash)

Kate Burridge and Simon Musgrave gave a brief report on the ALS conference 2016 held at Monash. Kate says they owe a huge thanks to Mel Burns, Kathy Sell, Allie Severin and an army of volunteers and thanked all for coming. Simon reported that the budget figures look under control so far.

Motion for a vote of thanks to Monash organisers (L Stirling / K Allan).

4.8 ALS2017 Organisers (University of Sydney)

Nick Enfield, Maia Ponsonnet. Maia noted that this will be the 50th anniversary for ALS. The ALS 2017 conference will start on Mon 4 Dec in late afternoon with plenary and reception for 50th anniversary. The ALS Exec has agreed to give financial support for this reception. Then the ALS conference runs Tues 5, Wed 6, Thurs 7. The venue will be at the Holme Building at the main Camperdown campus. The organisers plan four parallel sessions. Proposal for fees: full standard $310, full early bird $250; concession standard $220 and concession earlybird $180. This will allow ALS2017 to break even with 190 paying participants.

Nick noted that ALS 2017 will be back to back with ALT, and hopes that an international audience will come to ALS. Nick invited suggestions for ways of facilitating that. The plenary speakers will be Mary Laughren, Alice Gaby, Balthasar Bickel and Bill Foley. Jacky Troy will also participate in the events.

5. Future ALI and ALS conferences

LS reported that Ina and Matthias Bornkessel-Schlesewsky at UniSA have offered to host ALS 2018 in Adelaide. The ALS had been trying to keep the conference in same location as CoEDL Summer School but it is a great opportunity to have it in Adelaide.

LS called for bids to host ALS 2019. Celeste Rodriguez Louro offered potentially that UWA might host in 2020.

Jane Simpson suggests that we look into colocating with the Linguistic Society of New Zealand. JS said that the applied linguists run in tandem and it might be worth ALS doing something similar. There was general interest in colocating and a discussion ensued concerning times of year, travel costs, juggling with SST. Nick Evans suggested possibly colocating with the LSNZ every third year. LS said that the ALS Executive should speak to the LSNZ. NE suggested asking them about 2019 since ALS has as yet no host. Kate Burridge suggested liaising also with ALAA who liaise with NZ.

6. Australian Computational and Linguistics Olympiad (OzCLO)

Elisabeth Mayer, Chair of National Steering committee, OzCLO, provided a report: In the name of OzCLO, she would like to thank the Australian Linguistic Society for their generous support of $5,000 per year until 2018.

The 2016 competition saw a new growth record with an unprecedented increase in the number of participants in relation to the previous year. Schools competed with 545 teams made up of 2136 students from across seven states and territories – ACT, NSW (with 2 regions), NT, QLD, SA, VIC, and WA. Two regions offered an offline Round 1: ACT (32 teams and 123 participants) and NSW (36 teams and 140 participants). In the online Round 1, 1873 students from 477 teams participated simultaneously across the country, beating any previous years’ numbers.

This year, the two teams representing Australia at the IOL in Mysore, India, were two senior teams, one from a private school from Victoria (national gold finalist) and one from a public school from NSW (national silver finalist), both of which brought home some of the best results ever achieved in OzCLO's history by an Australian team. The two teams broke all previous records and brought home several medals: Silver in the team contest, one Gold and one Silver in the individual contests, and a mention for best problem solution.

The Australian delegation of eight students was accompanied by two teachers and a parent. Congratulations to all team members on their excellent performance and to their helpers for their support in preparing the teams.

OzCLO is indebted to Griffith University for hosting the online competition and particularly to Andrea Schalley and her fantastic team for supervising the online competition from Germany and the Netherlands at the wee hours of the night. Regarding sponsorship, each of the OzCLO locations has maintained good links with their local prize sponsors, and the Macquarie Dictionary has extended its support for OzCLO, contributing prizes to the National winners – 16 prizes in all, plus a prize for the winners’ schools. And finally, the goodwill and contributions of all the regional organisers and many student helpers who generously dedicated their time and efforts to this very worthy cause is duly acknowledged.

Mary Laughren remarked that if anyone has problems to contribute she is happy to receive them, and Rachel Nordlinger encouraged attendees to come up with a problem. There is a lot of support for OzCLO and Australia frankly could be doing more to support the international cause in this practical way. Mary adds that OzCLO is hugely important because of the impact on enthusiasm of teachers who start up OzCLO even after they move schools. LS added that the language and the law symposium held at this year’s conference had made it clear that there are myths and negative views about linguistics amongst the general public and OzCLO goes some way towards redressing this.

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

The Clyne Prize for this year was awarded to Fiona O’Neill for her thesis Multilingual francophone professionals’ experience of moving between languages and cultures: A narrative study. Fiona gave a talk at ALAA and the prize was awarded to her there.

LS awarded certificates for the Laves, Jalwang, and Kaldor awards:

Kaldor: awarded to Sophie Richard – to attend the HiSoN (Historical Sociolinguistics Network) Summer School at Leiden University and the CoEDL summer school.

Laves: awarded to Harriet Shepherd, to conduct fieldwork on Sudest, an Oceanic language of Papua New Guinea.

Jalwang: awarded to Anna Crane – to add genres to the corpus of texts used in school based maintenance programs for Gija, a Non-Pama-Nyungan language of East Kimberley. (Anna was not at the AGM to receive the certificate which will be mailed to her.)

Talkley Award: Katie Jepson’s report was that the Talkley Award was awarded this year to the Linguistics Roadshow, closely followed in votes by the team behind Languages on the Move.

8. Report on Fully (Sic).

Allie Severin called for attendees to encourage keen students who want to write publicly to contact Allie. Fully (Sic) will also be looking for a new editor soon, so many opportunities here for students to get involved.

9. Election of Officers

Thanks to retiring officers: Nick Thieberger (Secretary), Andrea Schalley (Associate Secretary), Caroline Jones (VP)

Associate Secretary: LS explained that Andrea Schalley had listed the jobs involved in Associate Secretary and the Exec’s view is that there is a potential to split this into two roles and perhaps give some to one VP (currently one VP handles membership lists, one handles prizes, and the 3rd one has no nominated role). The meeting agreed with LS’ suggestion to split the role and recruit some additional help if necessary.

Nominations were called for the following positions
One Vice-President – Andrea Schalley, Ilana Mushin were nominated; Ilana Mushin elected by secret ballot

Secretary – Caroline Jones was nominated and elected

Associate Secretary (2) – Joe Blythe, Robert Mailhammer were nominated and elected

Treasurer – Mark Harvey was nominated and elected

Motion that nominations be accepted (L Stirling / D Bradley)

LS thanked the people in new roles and outgoing people.

10. ALS turns 50: update

LS advised that it will shortly be announced that the ALS will offer 5 grants of $500 each for students and others to interview senior members of ALS to record oral histories of the society and linguistics in Australasia more generally. LS says the Exec has a tentative list of names which will be published in the call, but asked for further suggestions to be sent to her. It is hoped that there may be a way to showcase these interviews at ALS in 2017.

Celeste Rodriguez Louro reported that an interview has already been done with Göran Hammarström and that she will interview Ian Malcolm. Celeste suggests a WordPress site where you can play audio/video clips etc. as a way of showcasing the local history for newcomers especially. LS agrees and said ALS will employ a web developer to make that so it is not another job for Associate Secretary.

LS says the Exec also have copies of old newsletters which were posted to Nick in Melbourne. These could potentially be scanned and made available. Nick Evans asked if ALS can find a copy of the program of the first meeting. It was suggested that Hammarström might be someone to ask. Celeste asks if Michael Clyne’s materials have gone to an archive. Grev Corbett suggests crowdsourcing the contribution of old programs and filling in gaps by starting off with an incomplete list on a website. LS called for volunteers or people already doing things on this.

Nick Evans commented positively on the growing capacity of ALS to support young scholars and asked if ALS could extend this by holding a fundraiser at the 50th anniversary dinner. LS agreed that this is a good idea.

11. Linguistics in Schools (Jean Mulder)

Jean Mulder suggested that, like the US and Great Britain societies, it would be helpful if ALS had a subcommittee on linguistics in schools. The functions of this would be to promote linguistics in the educational context. Jean noted the opportunities presented by the presence of linguistics in the new National Curriculum’s English stream, the NSW and Victorian curricula needing to be derived from this. Another useful focus would be developing teacher educational and support materials. A number of people have successfully been involved in the VCE English language subject, now in its 16th year with 5-6,000 students coming out of a 2 year sequence but it takes continuous input and engagement.

Kate Burridge agreed with the suggestion, saying it would be good to try to work across state borders and Jean Mulder commented on the local within-state commitment and support required for this to be successful.

Motion that a subcommittee of the ALS be established on linguistics in school and that the people on the committee come up with the terms of reference (L Stirling / K Burridge).

The following people self-nominated to be on the Linguistics in Schools Committee: Jean Mulder, Kate Burridge, Lee Murray, Chloe Diskin.

12. Motions

John Giacon advised that a group of people working on teaching Indigenous languages in schools are meeting the day after ALS 2016, and looking for support from linguists and universities to support the teaching of Aboriginal languages in school.

Jane Simpson commented that there are few Indigenous languages taught at university and the status of most such courses is fragile, so any support would be good.

Motion to establish an ALS subcommittee on teaching Indigenous languages at university (J Giacon / R Amery)

13. Social Media

Celeste Rodriguez Louro raised the question of whether ALS could do more in social media. LS agreed that this has been discussed at Exec and there is a lot of scope e.g. to employ a student. Rob Mailhammer said that an increased media presence for ALS in general would be good. It was discussed that social media requires commitment to updating. Jean Mulder suggested that perhaps this effort could be integrated with Fully (Sic). Celeste Rodriguez Louro suggested that Twitter / Facebook could also be used for conferences and archivally. LS said that Exec would cost this out and discuss with Treasurer and the meeting agreed to leave the decision to Exec.

14. Any Other Business

Diana Eades spoke on behalf of Helen Fraser. Helen wanted to bring to the attention of ALS membership that injustice is being caused by legal practices that allow detectives’ transcripts to be provided to ‘assist’ the court in hearing indistinct covert recordings used as evidence in criminal trials. Such covert recordings are legal and they provide powerful evidence but the audio is often very poor quality. Helen has done research in relation to this issue following up on priming research which has shown that if you read a transcript before listening to it, it biases your perception. Additional related issues are that nonexperts (e.g. police, jurors, lawyers) do not understand that transcription is an abstraction from the signal. Helen is keen to get official support from ALS at some point, and plans to move ahead with work in this area in the new year. Meanwhile her website is forensicphonetics.com.au

Nick Evans advised that the next CoEDL Summer School will be held the week before the ALS 2017 conference. The Summer School will be held in Canberra and will have a typology focus. There will be scholarships to attend the CoEDL Summer School and it will be open to all, not just those affiliated with CoEDL.

Jonathan Schlossberg reported that while Ruth Singer is in Europe, he and Stefan Schnell have been organising Linguistics in the Pub. Jonathan would like to invite any interstate visitors to get in touch; any staff or students who want to lead the discussion are welcome and announcements go out through the RNLD mailing list.

The meeting closed at 2:05pm.

Caroline Jones

ALS 50th Anniversary: Grants to collect ALS oral history

The ALS is offering 5 grants of $500 each for students and interested others to interview senior members of the Australian Linguistic community to record oral histories of the Society and linguistics in Australasia more generally. The intention is to showcase these for the 50th anniversary celebrations at the ALS conference in December 2017.  Some interviews have already been done. The ALS executive have some suggestions as to who might be approached for interview, and we are happy to discuss this with prospective interviewees.


To apply: Please email lesleyfs@unimelb.edu.au by 15th May 2017 with a brief outline of who you propose to interview and how the funding will be used to assist this.

Lesley Stirling

News from UNE

Stephen Morey and Mark W. Post co-organized the 3rd Workshop of the International Consortium for Eastern Himalayan Ethnolinguistic Prehistory from Feb. 8-10 at LaTrobe University, with funding from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. Yankee Modi also presented a paper.

Arvind Iyengar presented a paper at the ALS Conference at Monash University (7-9 Dec 2016) entitled "Biscriptality: A typology of written forms of language."

Mark W. Post has a new book The Tangam Language, published 2017 by Brill.

Liz Ellis is presenting a paper at the American Association of Applied Linguistics in Portland Oregon 18 – 21 March, and is an invited panel member at a symposium at the international TESOL Conference in Seattle 21 – 24 March.

Mark Post

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

PhD completions

Congratulations to Mikko Salminen on successful completion of his PhD thesis 'A Grammar of Umbeyajts as spoken by the Ikojts people of San Dionisio del Mar, Oaxaca, Mexico'

Congratulations to Grant Aiton on successful completion of his PhD thesis 'A grammar of Eibela'

Congratulations to Emma Scott on successful completion of her PhD 'Decolonisation, Interculturality, and Multiple Epistemologies: Hiwi People in Bolivarian Venezuela'

Special congratulations

to Professor Anne Storch, member of Consultative Committee of the LCRC, on receiving a highly prestigious Leibnitz award, the highest honour for an academic in Germany, for her contribution to scholarship!

New PhD student starting

Nathan White (MA, Trinity Western University, Canada) has commenced his PhD course at JCU, working on a comprehensive grammar of White Hmong and associated sociolinguistic issues.

LCRC members news

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

Bai Junwei (Abe), a PhD student at the LCRC, is currently undertaking fieldwork on Munya, a Tibeto-Burman language of China.

Dr Elena Mihas, a PDRA within Distinguished Professor Alexandra Aikhenvald's Australian Laureate Fellowship, is currently undertaking extensive fieldwork on previously undescribed varities of Koryak, a Chukotko-Kamchatkan language from Russia.

Dr Simon Overall, a PostDoctoral Fellow within Distinguished Professor Alexandra Aikhenvald's Australian Laureate Fellowship, is currently undertaking extensive fieldwork on Kandozi, an isolate from Peru (financed by an ELDP Small grant under his name).

Dr Luca Ciucci, a PDRA within Distinguished Professor Alexandra Aikhenvald's Australian Laureate Fellowship, is preparing for a period of extensive fieldwork on Chiquitano, an isolate from Bolivia, and Zamucoan languages in Bolivia and Paraguay.

Inti Aedo Orozco, a PhD student within LCRC, has completed her preliminary trip to the Kamula-speaking areas (accompanied by Dr Michael Wood, a member of her advisory panel and an expert on Kamula culture). She is currently preparing for a period of extensive fieldwork on Kamula.

Nicola (Nick) Piper, a PhD student within LCRC, is undertaking fieldwork with speakers of Meriam Mir in MacKay and other locations.

Dr Grant Aiton, a former PhD student within LCRC, is currently undertaking extensive fieldwork on Eibela, a Papuan language from Western Province, PNG (financed by an ELDP Small grant under his name).

Dr Brigitta Flick, an expert in social psychology and Publication Officer at the LCRC, has been appointed Adjunct Fellow of the College of Arts, Society and Education.

Dr Juliane Böttger, an expert on Oceanic languages of the Manus Province (PNG), has been appointed Adjunct Fellow of the College of Arts, Society and Education.

New books published and accepted for publication

·    Alvanoudi, Angeliki. 2017. Language contact, borrowing and code switching: Greek in Australia. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

·    Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. and R. M. W. Dixon (eds.). 2017. The Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Typology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

·    Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y.  and R. M. W. Dixon (eds). 2017. Commands: a cross-linguistic typology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

·    Ciucci, Luca. 2017. Ignace Chomé: Vocabulario de la lengua zamuca - Edición crítica y comentario lingüístico. Iberoamericana Verfuert Verlag.

·    Mihas, Elena. 2017. Conversational Structures of Alto Perené (Arawak) of Peru. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

·    Simon Overall. 2017. A grammar of Aguaruna. Mouton Grammar Library. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

·    Simon Overall and K. I. Wojtylak (eds.). 2017. Nominalization: A view from Northwest Amazonia. Special issue of STUF - Language typology and universals).

·    Wojtylak, K. I. and Yvonne Treis (eds.). 2107. On the expression of Comparison: Contributions to the typology of comparative constructions from lesser-known languages. Special issue of Linguistic Discovery.

Job openings at the LCRC — watch this space!

Two positions for linguists at the LCRC will be advertised shortly:

• a two-year Post-Doctoral fellowship (B2), to work on the recent ARC DP 'The integration of language and society', under the leadership of CI1 A. Aikhenvald, R. M. W. Dixon and Nerida Jarkey;

• a five-year special Research Fellowship (B2) within the LCRC to enhance Linguistics as a research strength within the LCRC.

The adverts will soon be available at http://research.jcu.edu.au/lcrc

Events at the LCRC in 2017

Classifiers and genders in the languages of Amazonia

Special Workshop of the Language and Culture Research Centre cast within the framework of Aikhenvald's Australian Laureate Fellowship 'How gender shapes the world: a linguistic perspective' focussing on multiple classifier systems in focal families and areas of Amazonia and adjacent areas.

Convenors: Prof Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, Dr Elena Mihas

Cairns, 9-10 August 2017

Taboo in language and discourse

Second Special workshop of the Language and Culture Research Centre and the Institute of African Studies (University of Cologne) supported by a grant from Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD, or German Academic Exchange Service) and Universities Australia

Convenors: Prof Anne Storch, Prof Alexandra Aikhenvald

Köln, 29-30 September 2017

The secret and the sacred: working out hidden knowledge

Third Special workshop of the Language and Culture Research Centre and the Institute of African Studies (University of Cologne) supported by a grant from DAAD and Universities Australia

Convenors: Prof Alexandra Aikhenvald, Prof Anne Storch,

Cairns, 15-16 November 2017

Programs will be available on https://research.jcu.edu.au/lcrc

Everyone is welcome!

Global Workshop on Reflexives and Reciprocals

will commence on 5 April and run for several months. R. M. W. Dixon and Alexandra Aikhenvald will present an Initial Orientation.

Seminars and workshops

(4 p.m. on Wednesdays in room D3-150 of the Cairns Institute building)

·    Seminar, Wednesday 15 March, Bob Dixon, Phrasal verbs in English: The bare bones

·    Seminar, Wednesday 22 March, Alexandra Aikhenvald, Remarkable imperatives in Yalaku

·    Seminar, Wednesday 29 March, Luca Ciucci, Morphosyntax of nominal suffixation in Chamacoco

·    Workshop, Wednesday 5 April, Bob Dixon and Alexandra Aikhenvald, Reflexive and reciprocal constructions: An introduction to the 2017 Workshop

·    Seminar, Wednesday 12 April, Richard Lansdown, Berlioz’ Memoirs and Delacroix’s Journal: Context, Personality, Ethos

·    Workshop Wednesday 19 April, Alexandra Aikhenvald, Reflexive and reciprocal constructions in Manambu

·    Seminar, Wednesday 26 April, Nathan White, Non-spatial setting in White Hmong

·    Workshop, Wednesday 3 May, Bob Dixon, Reflexive and reciprocal constructions in Jarawara

·    Workshop Wednesday 10 May, Hiroko Sato, Reflexive and reciprocal constructions in Kove

·    Workshop Wednesday 17 May, Kasia Wojtylak, Reflexive and reciprocal constructions in Murui

Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

News from ANU


·     Malcolm Ross, Andrew Pawley and Meredith Osmond have published their The lexicon of Proto Oceanic: The culture and environment of ancestral Oceanic society (2016,  Vol.5  “People: body and mind”. Canberra: Asia-Pacific Linguistics. http://hdl.handle.net/1885/106908)

·     Wayan Arka and Mary Dalrymple have published a chapter titled Number and plural semantics: Empirical evidence from Marori in Studies in language typology and change (Yanti and T. McKinnon (eds.).

·     Hannah Sarvasy’s A Grammar of Nungon: A Papuan Language of Northeast New Guinea has just been published by Brill, and she was also published Warblish: verbal mimicry of birdsong in the Journal of Ethnobiology in February (but dated 2016).

Fellowships and Awards

Wayan Arka is now at TUFS (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies) for 4 months (March-June 2016) on a fellowship. He will work on his project on Austronesian and Papuan languages of Indonesia, in collaboration with A/Prof. Asako Shiohara as part of the research strand on “Constructing a research network for documenting minority languages in and around Indonesia” of the Linguistic Dynamics Science Project at TUFS.

ANU masters student Lauren Reed was awarded a  LSA fellowship to attend the Linguistic Institute at the University of Kentucky in July.

Conference Attendance and Presentations

The annual Wellsprings Forum Dialogue, hosted by the Wellsprings of Linguistic Diversity Laureate, was held at the ANU in February. This year the topic for the forum was: Beyond the monolingual speech community: new approaches to investigating bilingualism-induced change. The invited linguists were Shana Poplack and Pattie Epps. Pattie is a professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Texas and Shana is Distinguished University Professor and Canada Research Chair in Linguistics at the University of Ottawa. The afternoon responses were given by Wellsprings and CoEDL researchers.The format of the Dialogue is designed to generate robust discussion on an issue relevant to linguistic diversity. http://www.dynamicsoflanguage.edu.au/news-and-media/latest-headlines/article/?id=wellsprings-forum-dialogue

This year’s four-day CoEDLFest event included a public lecture by Associate Professor Evan Kidd at the University of Queensland focussing on the earliest stages of the language acquisition process – from the womb through to early childhood. Audience members included representatives of childhood organisations, students and researchers interested in language acquisition.

A large ANU contingency attended and presented at the WLP4 (Workshop on the languages of Papua), Manokwari Indonesia, 23-26 January 2017. In alphabetical order of surname:


Kayardild recordings returned: Kaiadilt are from Bentinck and Sweers islands in the Gulf of Carpentaria but today most community members live on Mornington Island. In January, Nick Evans distributed a series of recordings to the community on USB sticks and micro SD cards. These recordings are forming part of a language revival project being run by the Kaiadilt community and Mirndiyan Gununa Aboriginal Corporation and funded by the Department of Communications and the Arts through the Indigenous Languages and Arts Project. http://www.dynamicsoflanguage.edu.au/news-and-media/latest-headlines/article/?id=kayardild-recordings-returned

PhD Passes

Congratulations to Matt Carroll and Yusuf Sawaki whose PhD theses have been passed with minor corrections.

Eri Kashima

News from Macquarie University

Workshop and conference reports

Workshop on the Relationship between Indigenous Children’s Hearing and Phonological Awareness in Remote Communities in the Northern Territory, Macquarie University, 8 March 2017

Many of the current interventions to address conductive hearing loss in Aboriginal children living remotely focus on sound amplification. While this is important, a better understanding of the influence of a child’s native language and auditory listening skills is also critical for improving children’s language and literacy outcomes. To do this, studies with larger sample sizes from different types of Aboriginal communities are needed. The workshop outlined a program of research aimed at exploring the relationship between children’s phonological awareness and hearing/listening status from communities in East and West Arnhem Land and Central Australia. It described 6-8-year-olds’ levels of hearing loss, auditory processing, phonological awareness and other risk factors (for language acquisition and literacy) across communities. The findings will provide evidence-based advice for teachers and parents to enhance the language and literacy skills of Aboriginal children with conductive hearing loss. It is hoped that the results will be used as a translational guide for the iHearing Program  (NT Department of Health), facilitating the development of more appropriate resources and programs to enhance Aboriginal children's learning of English as a second language. 

Workshop Speakers: Distinguished Professor Katherine Demuth (Macquarie University), Professor Gillian Wigglesworth (University of Melbourne), Dr Anna Stephen (University of Melbourne), Associate Professor Mridula Sharma (Macquarie University)

Speech Science and Technology Conference (SST) (Western Sydney University, Sydney, 7-9 December 2016)

From December 7-9th, 2016, members of the Child Language Lab attended the 16th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology (SST) hosted by Western Sydney University. This conference showcased recent research across the fields of language acquisition, speech perception and production, language variation, bilingualism and more!

CLL members presented five talks and a further six posters, making a significant contribution to the research presented at the conference. It was also a great opportunity for CLL researchers to receive feedback on their work and build partnerships with researchers at other universities. Many CLL members also took advantage of a one-day tutorial lead by Professor Harald Baayen. The tutorial focused on Generalised Additive Mixed Models, a statistical technique for modelling data. Overall, SST provided an engaging opportunity to learn and network.

VEIP3: Third international workshop on Varieties of English in the Indo-Pacific (Macquarie University, Sydney, 16-17 February 2017)

The third workshop on varieties of English in the Indo-Pacific showcased fresh research on distinctive aspects of new Englishes and their individual habitats. Professor Edgar Schneider (Regensburg University, Germany) launched the event with a wide-ranging paper on the reflections of culture to be found in corpus texts, and in different layers of language and discourse:

·       Culture-as-content, local terms for food, folklore, etc., as in hawker centre

·       characteristic dimensions of culture/values, as in kiasuism

·       preferences for particular linguistic constructions that might be motivated by different cultural perspectives, e.g. impersonal constructions in Asian Englishes

Papers by other workshop participants provided lively illustration of these various kinds of link between culture/society and regional Englishes from research on individual postcolonial habitats.


The informal characteristic of Australian culture was underscored in the increasing colloquialisation found by Professor Peter Collins (UNSW) in three genres of Australian writing during the twentieth centiry (fiction, academic and news reporting). Dr Haidee Kruger (Macquarie) and Dr Adam Smith (Macquarie) also found some colloquialisation of style in Australian Hansard records through the same period, counterbalanced in some decades with the conventional nominalisation of institutional style.

Democracy and autocracy

Dr Kathleen Ahrens (Hong Kong Polytechnic) showed how the construction of democracy differed in political speeches by the Governors of Hong Kong before the handover and those of the chief executives who came after – with the Governors typically projecting via the metaphor of building, and the Chief Executives via that of an open-ended journey.  In a second paper on newspaper texts from Greater China (Hong Kong, PRC and Taiwan), Emeritus Professor Pam Peters (Macquarie), Dr Tobias Bernaisch (Giessen University, Germany) and Dr Ahrens found remarkable contrasts in the usage of modal verbs between the PRC, which made strong use of will and little of the more tentative would, while the two were used almost equally in newspapers from Hong Kong and Taiwan. These findings are suggestive of the more authoritarian voice of the People’s Daily in the PRC, and the more exploratory journalism to be found in the other two Chinese states.

Multilingualism and code-switching

Singapore’s multilingual culture was reflected in the somewhat mixed language used by children, in research by Dr Sarah Buschfeld (Regensburg University, Germany). Though English is increasingly their first language, their Chinese or Indian family background emerges in the absence of some features of English syntax, e.g. marking of the subject.  More extended code-mixing was found in the Philippine student English discussed by Dr Loy Lising, Emeritus Professor Pam Peters and Dr Adam Smith. Many students code-switched freely between Filipino and English in their online academic discussion, using it for referential and interpersonal purposes, especially to manage disagreement with the previous speaker. Codeswitching in online discussions was also the focus of research by Professor Bertus van Rooy (North West University, South Africa) and Dr Haidee Kruger on South African discussions of popular TV soap operas (mostly by young women). Their code-switching involved elements from other languages within South Africa (Sotho and Nguni), as well as Nigeria, Jamaica and other “outer circle” Englishes, reflecting the range of popular culture media to which they have access.

Gender expression

In a contribution to gender studies, Dr Tobias Bernaisch used corpus data on 16 linguistic hedges (e.g. maybe, I think) from four varieties of English (Singaporean, Hong Kong, Philippine and British) to challenge the commonplace that women use more hedges than men. It proved true in Hong Kong and the Philippines, but not in the other two varieties. Factors other than gender (e.g. region) conditioned the preferred hedges in the different varieties, as did the participants’ job type – associated with the humanities or technology.   

Staff news

Dr Titia Benders has now taken up the role as Deputy Director of the Child Language Lab. Congratulations Titia!

Dr Haidee Kruger and Dr Jessica Monaghan have both been successful in the recent Macquarie University Research Development Grant (MQRDG) round. Congratulations to both!


Professor Ingrid Piller’s Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice (Oxford University Press, 2016) has won the 2017 Prose Award in the “Language and Linguistics” category. The Prose Awards are presented by the American Association of Publishers and have been recognizing “the very best in professional and scholarly publishing by bringing attention to distinguished books, journals, and electronic content” since 1976. Well done, Ingrid!

New books

Congratulations to Dr Nick Wilson on the recent publication of a new edition of the bestselling textbook An introduction to sociolinguistics, co-authored with Janet Holmes. Click here for more information.

Routledge have just published the third edition of Dr Adrian Buzo’s The Making of Modern Korea. From the blurb:

This fully updated third edition of The Making of Modern Korea provides a thorough, balanced and engaging history of Korea from 1876 to the present day. The text is unique in analysing domestic developments in the two Koreas in the wider context of regional and international affairs. The Making of Modern Korea is a valuable one-volume resource for students of modern Korean history, international politics and Asian Studies.

Upcoming events

Developing Minds Series - The Developing Lexicon: Representations and Processing (Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, 26-27 April 2017)

The lexicon forms the backbone for successful language development. However, despite its importance, little is known about how learners store and process phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic aspects of lexical representations, and the role this plays in both language processing and speech planning.

This workshop brings together researchers working on the lexicon in language acquisition and development – using various methodologies and paradigms – to gain a better understanding of the architecture of the mental lexicon and its development. Submissions are welcome on all research exploring this issue in monolingual and multilingual children and adults, and in both typically developing and special populations (such as those with hearing impairments and language delays). The workshop will include keynote addresses and invited talks by experts in the fields of linguistics, computational modelling, cognitive science, and developmental psychology.

Keynote Speakers

·      Professor Paul Boersma (University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

·      Professor Paula Fikkert (Radboud University, the Netherlands)

·      Associate Professor Bob McMurray (University of Iowa, USA)

Abstract Submissions

We invite submissions of anonymous abstracts for posters. Submissions should be in PDF or Word format on one page (12pt, single-spaced), plus an additional page of figures, tables, and references as needed. Please send your abstracts to langdev@mq.edu.au by the deadline listed below.

Important Dates

·      29 January 2017 deadline for abstract submission

·      27 February 2017 notification of acceptance

·      16 April 2017 registration deadline

·      26-27 April 2017 workshop

·      Click here to register

Organising Committee

Katherine Demuth, Titia Benders, Laurence Bruggeman, Carmen Kung, Nan Xu Rattanasone, Ivan Yuen 

To find out more information about this workshop please visit this link: https://www.ccd.edu.au/events/conferences/2017/developinglexicon/index.php

For more news about what's been happening recently in linguistics at Macquarie Uni, visit our newsletter Lingline.

Haidee Kruger

News from Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language

Two corpus events on May 2nd and 3rd at the University of Melbourne node of the Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language

Creating corpora from early language sources (tapes, manuscripts, published works)

What we can only learn from corpora? 


We will be capping numbers due to the venue size so it is first-come first-served. Register at http://alumni.online.unimelb.edu.au/CoEDLcorpus

Nick Thieberger

The Australian PhD Prize for Innovations in Linguistics

This prize is a continuing prize in Australian linguistics which started in 2013. It is open for PhDs completed and examined since January 1 2016. An amount of $500 will be awarded to the best PhD (judged by the assessor - email below) demonstrating methodological and theoretical innovations in Australian linguistics, particularly those not focusing on grammar writing and those not using well-established theories in Australia. Of particular interest are studies in toponymy, language and ethnography, language and musicology, linguistic ecology, language identity and self, kinship relationships, island languages, spatial descriptions in language, Australian creoles, and language contact. Creative and excitingly written PhDs which push the boundaries of the discipline are particularly welcomed. The PhD should have been awarded by an Australian university or other institution but not necessarily be about Australian languages and cultures.

Email a pdf copy of the full PhD to <jahewangi@hotmail.com> by 30 April 2017 (PhDs still under examination may also be considered). The prize winner will be announced within one month of the deadline and all applicants will be contacted about the decision.


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 Andrea an email.

Subscriptions for ALS are due at the beginning of each calendar year; the year you are paid up to is shown on the address label on the envelope of your copy of the Australian Journal of Linguistics. Membership matters are 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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