Newsletter 2018 May

From the President
ALS Conference 
News from Charles Darwin University
News from Western Sydney University
News from James Cook University (Language and Culture Research Centre)
News from the ANU 
News from UNE
News from Macquarie University
News from University of Sydney
News from RNLD
News from the Research Unit for Indigenous Languages (University of Melbourne)
News from AIATSIS
About ALS

From the President

This is my first chance to reach out to the ALS membership since my election at the 2017 Annual Meeting at the University of Sydney. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m an alumnus of the University of Melbourne back in the days when Linguistics was in the Department of Russian and Language Studies. I first joined ALS in 1992, which was also the first year I presented at the ALS conference (coincidentally also at University of Sydney that year). After completing an MA(research), supervised by our immediate past president, Professor Lesley Stirling, I moved to the USA for my PhD at the State University of New York at Buffalo. My dissertation combined my passions for typology, pragmatics and discourse analysis, exploring the pragmatics of evidentiality across three typologically distinct languages. I returned to Australia in 1998, and began in earnest to pursue work on Australian Aboriginal languages, first by volunteering at the Katherine Language Centre and then by working with the Garrwa community in Borroloola on language documentation and description, which I continue to do today. A postdoc at University of Sydney was followed by my appointment as a lecturer at University of Queensland in 2006.

Since the AGM in December we have contracted a business management company (iCAN) to assist us in membership management, conference registration and website development and maintenance. In making this step we hope to free up an executive time to work on a number of initiatives, including community outreach, engagement of HDR students and ECR members, and support for Indigenous linguists. This should also mean more continuity for conference organization. You will see some significant changes to our web presence in the coming months. I’d like to thank our Treasurer Mark Harvey and Secretary Caroline Jones especially for handling the negotiations with iCAN.

I would like to finish this first ‘From the President’ brief, which I hope will be a regular newsletter feature, by acknowledging the recent passing of two giants of Australian linguistics: Luise Hercus and Michael Halliday. Both lived long and distinguished lives and reflect the real strengths of Linguistics in Australia. Luise worked at the ‘coalface’ of documenting and describing Australia’s Indigenous linguistic heritage, while Michael challenged the dominant paradigm of 20th Century linguistics, pioneering a new theoretical approach. Both inspired many to make their careers in linguistics. Vale!

Ilana Mushin

ALS Conference

ALS 2018 will take place from December 10 to 12 at the University of South Australia, Adelaide. More information and a website will be available soon. Follow @ALS2018_ADL on Twitter for updates.

Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky

News from Charles Darwin University

The Teaching Australian Indigenous Languages at University working group of ALS is developing an Australian Indigenous Languages Institute (AILI). Current plans include another Summer School in January 2019 in Sydney, offering courses in Yolngu Matha, Gamilaraay and Linguistics for Indigenous Languages – see http://www.cdu.edu.au/sikpp/aili for further information

The Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages (www.livingarchive.cdu.edu.au) is looking for feedback – please complete and share a quick survey available at https://tinyurl.com/LAAL-survey

Yolngu Studies are offering two short courses in July as an introduction to Yolngu Language and Culture – see http://www.cdu.edu.au/sikpp/aili-garma - ideal for anyone heading north to the Garma Festival

Cathy Bow

News from Western Sydney University

Recent media highlights


Pelle Söderström (Lund University)

Chi Yuan (Hefei University of Technology)


Foreign Accented Australian English Detection (DST 2018), Dr Dominique Estival

Conference papers

  • Cassidy, St. & D. Estival. 2018. Annotation Contributionng derived research data. 4REAL Workshop, Language Resource and Evaluation Conference (LREC), Miyazaki, Japan
  • Harvey, M. & R. Mailhammer. 2018. A preliminary reconstruction of Proto-Australian, Australian Languages Workshop, University of Melbourne, Marysville, 2-4 March 201
  • Mailhammer, R., St. Hackert, C. Laliberté & R. Zeidan. 2018. A multivariate analysis of past tense marking in Aboriginal English on Croker Island, NT, NWAV-AP, University of Queensland, 1-3 February 2018


  • Cutler, A. & J. Farrel. 2018. Listening in first and second language. In Liontas, J. I. (ed.), The TESOL Encyclopedia of Language Teaching. N.Y: Wiley
  • Denić, M., E. Chemla, & L. Tieu. 2018. “Intervention effects in NPI licensing: A quantitative assessment of the scalar implicature explanation.” Glossa: A journal of general linguistics 3(1), 49. 
  • Fu, C. S. L., Seet, X. H., Tong, A. P. Y., Wang, J. L., Best, C. T. & Singh, L. (in press). Perceptual reorganization of lexical tone in monolingual and bilingual infants: An exception to the rule. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.
  • Liu, l, & R. W. J. Kager. 2018. Monolingual and bilingual infants’ ability to use non-native tone for word learning deteriorates by the second year after birth. Frontiers in Psychology 9, 117
  • Liu, L. Ong, J., Tunetti, A. & P. Escudero. 2018. One way or another: Evidence from perceptual asymmetry in pre-attentive learning of non-native contrasts. Frontiers in Psychology 9, 162
  • Mailhammer R. & M. Harvey. forthc. A reconstruction of the Proto-Iwaidjan phoneme system. Australian Journal of Linguistics 38(3), accepted 11/17
  • Pagliarini, E., C. Bill, J. Romoli, L. Tieu & S. Crain. “On children’s variable success with scalar inferences: Insights from disjunction in the scope of a universal quantifier.” To appear in Cognition
  • Renans, A., J. Romoli, M. Makri, L. Tieu, H. de Vries, R. Folli & G. Tsoulas. “The abundance inference of pluralised mass nouns is an implicature: Evidence from Greek.” To appear in Glossa: A journal of general linguistics.
  • Shaw, J. A., Best, C. T., Docherty, G., Evans, B., Foulkes, P. & Hay, J. (in press). Resilience of English vowel perception across regional accent variation. Laboratory Phonology.
  • Smirnova, E. & R. Mailhammer (eds.), in press. Themenheft Passiv, Sprachwissenschaft (special issue)
  • Smirnova, Elena & Robert Mailhammer. In press. Aktuelle Ansichten zur Synchronie und Diachronie von Passivkonstruktionen: Einleitung. Themenheft Passiv, Sprachwissenschaft special issue. a
  • Weiss, B., D. Estival & U. Stiefelhagen. 2018. Non-Experts’ Perceptual Dimensions of Voice Assessed by Using Direct Comparisons. Acta Acustica united with Acustica 104(1), 174-181
  • Tieu, L., J. Romoli, E. Poortman, Y. Winter & S. Crain. 2018. “Children’s comprehension of plural predicate conjunction.” Journal of Child Language 45(1), 242-259.  

Robert Mailhammer

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

LCRC members news

Christoph Holz (MA, University of Leipzig) will start his PhD at the LCRC in May 2018. He will be working on a comprehensive grammar of an Oceanic language in Papua New Guinea.

Daniel Aberra (MA, University of Addis-Abbaba, MSc, University of Alberta, Canada) will start his PhD at the LCRC in June 2018. He will be working on a comprehensive grammar of an Omotic language in Ethiopia.

Dr René van den Berg (Linguistic Consultant, SIL, Ukarumpa, PNG) was appointed Adjunct Research Fellow at the LCRC.

Dr Luca Ciucci will be presenting the following talks:

  • Lexicography in the Eighteenth-century Gran Chaco: the Old Zamuco Dictionary by Ignace Chomé. 18th Euralex International Congress. Lexicography in global contexts. Ljubljana, Slovenia, July 17-21, 2018.
  • Competition in a rare grammatical system: the case of Old Zamuco. Societas Linguistica Europaea, 51th Annual Meeting. Tallinn, August 29-September 1, 2018.
  • On the secret register of the Ebitoso dialect of Chamacoco (Zamucoan). Second International Conference on Sociolinguistics. Budapest, September 6-8, 2018.
  • Old Zamuco: the rediscovery of an extinct language from South America. Invited talk. Cologne: Institut für Linguistik, September 28, 2018.
  • Bertinetto, Pier Marco & Luca Ciucci. Non-prototypical derivation in the Zamucoan languages. Workshop on Derivational Morphology. Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Vienna, May 17-18, 2018.
  • Bertinetto, Pier Marco & Luca Ciucci. What irregularities can tell us about reconstruction: on verb inflection in Proto-Zamucoan. Societas Linguistica Europaea, 51th Annual Meeting. Tallinn, August 29-September 1, 2018.
  • Ross, Daniel, Jesús Olguín Martínez & Luca Ciucci. Para-hypotaxis in the world's languages: A cross-linguistic survey. Syntax of the World’s Languages 8. Paris, September 3-5, 2018

Dr Katarzyna Wojtylak will present the following talks:

  • ‘Counting practices in Northwest Amazonia as a result of language contact’, 6-8 September, International conference of sociolinguistics, Budapest
  • ‘How (not to) count in Murui (Witotoan, Northwest Amazonia)?’, 13–15 September 2018, The 48th Poznań Linguistic Meeting (PLM2018) will take place on
  • ‘Person systems in Northwest Amazonia - through the lens of the Caquetá-Putumayo languages’, 20 September 2018, talk at University of Stockholm

Junwei Bai (Abe) will present a paper on ‘Tones in Munya’ at the 28 SEALS conference, Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, Kaohsiung, Taiwan May 17-19, 2018.

Nathan White will present a paper on ‘Affixation in an isolating language? Wordhood and the case of Hmong’ at at the 28 SEALS conference, Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, Kaohsiung, Taiwan May 17-19, 2018.

Firew Girma Worku will present a talk on ‘Valency changing operations in Mursi’ at the 48th Colloquium on African Languages and Linguistics, Leiden, 30 August 2018- 1 September 2018.

Junwei Bai (Abe) will undertake fieldwork on Munya, a Tibeto-Burman language from Sichuan Province in China, between June and August 2018.

Pema Wangdi will undertake fieldwork on Brokpa, a Tibeto-Burman language from Bhutan, from late May 2018 until December 2018.

Visiting Fellows at the LCRC in 2018

Professor Dr Péter Maitz, the Chair of German at the University of Augsburg, is a major expert in German linguistics and Creole studies, with special focus on Unserdeutsch, a recently discovered German-based Creole of the Bismark Archipelago in PNG. He is a Visiting Professor at the LCRC in January-March 2018. His Visiting Fellowship is supported by a successful DFG application, to work on Unserdeutsch. Prof Dr Maitz and his team from the University of Augsburg including Siegwalt Lindenfelser, Salome Lipfert, Katharina Neumeier, and Lena-Marie Schmidtkunz, will be visiting the LCRC between 8-20 July 2018.

Professor Kate Burridge, an expert on Pennsylvania German, and on numerous issues in English linguistics and history, will be at the LCRC in February 2018.

David Felipe Guerrero, an MA student of Linguistics at the National University of Colombia (UNAL), is an expert on a number of aspects in Karijona, a Carib language from Colombia. He will be working on semantics and morphosyntax of spatial expression in Karijona, Murui and Kubeo, endangered languages from Northwest Amazonia, in cooperation with Dr. Kasia Wojtylak, as a Visiting Fellow at the LCRC, between January and June 2018.

Professor Pier Marco Bertinetto (SNS, Pisa), is an expert in a number of fields within linguistics, including experimental phonology and morphology, the theory of tense and aspect, linguistic typology and the languages of South America, with special focus on the Zamucoan family. During his stay at the LCRC, he will focus, jointly with Dr Luca Ciucci, on the typological rarirties of Zamucoan languages, and a reconstruction of the Zamucoan nominal suffixes, expressing gender, number and "form", in addition to further work on Ayoreo. He will present a key-note address at the International Workshop ‘From fieldwork to reconstruction: language documentation and historical linguistics’. He will be Visiting Professor at the LCRC between 22 October and 20 December 2018.


  • Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. 2018. Serial verbs. Oxford: Oxford University Press (October 2018).
  • Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. 2018. How gender shapes the world. Paperback edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press (October 2018).
  • Anne Storch, Andrea Hollington, Nico Nassenstein and Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald (eds). 2019. Secret codes and special styles. A special issue of the International Journal of Language and Culture.
  • Overall, Simon and Katarzyna I. Wojtylak (eds.). 2018. Nominalization: A view from Northwest Amazonia. Special issue of STUF-Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung 71: Issue 1.

Events at the LCRC in 2018

Language contact and emerging languages

First Special workshop of the Language and Culture Research Centre and the University of Augsburg, supported by a grant from Deutscher Akademischer Austauchsdienst (DAAD, or German Academic Exchange Service) and Universities Australia

Convenors: Prof Dr Péter Maitz, Prof Alexandra Aikhenvald

Cairns, 11-12 July 2018

Invited participants include: Junwei Bai, Luca Ciucci, Alex Walker, KasiaWojtylak, Nathan White, Firew Girma Worku (all LCRC), Siegwalt Lindenfelser, Salome Lipfert, Katharina Neumeier, Lena-Marie Schmidtkunz (all from U Augsburg),

LCRC special International Workshop: 'Word': its manifestations and functions

Special Workshop of the Language and Culture Research Centre focussing on analytic problems associated with the notions of grammatical and phonological word and their interaction in a selection of languages and cross-linguistically; Cairns, 3-4 October 2018.

Convenors: Nathan White, Prof Alexandra Aikhenvald

Invited participants include: Sean Allison (Trinity Western University, Canada), Nerida Jarkey (Sydney University), Junwei Bai, Luca Ciucci, R. M. W. Dixon, AlexWalker, KasiaWojtylak, Firew Girma Worku (all from LCRC)

LCRC special International Workshop: From fieldwork to reconstruction: language documentation and historical linguistics

Special Workshop of the Language and Culture Research Centre focussing on issues in linguistic reconstruction, genetic inheritance and areal diffusion; Cairns, 7-8 November 2018.

Convenors: Luca Ciucci, Prof Alexandra Aikhenvald

Invited participants include: Pier-Marco Bertinetto (SNS, Pisa), Alejandra Vidal (Universidad Nacional de Formosa), Junwei Bai, Luca Ciucci, R. M. W. Dixon, AlexWalker, Nathan White, KasiaWojtylak (all from LCRC)

Exhibition: 'The South American Heritage of Walter E. Roth'

Foyer of the Cairns Institute building (D-3), The Cairns Campus, JCU.

Organizers: Dr Maria Wronska-Friend, Prof Alexandra Aikhenvald, Prof Rosita Henry

Walter Edmund Roth (1861-1933) was born in London and came to Australia in 1887. From 1894 he was Surgeon to the Boulia, Cloncurry, and Normanton Hospitals in north-west Queensland. In 1898 he was appointed the first Northern Protector of Aborigines. Based in Cooktown he travelled extensively through the north. Part of his responsibilities was to record Aboriginal cultures. His main brief was to curb the exploitation of Aborigines, and especially Aboriginal women, by white settlers. Possessed of a strong personality and administrative drive, Roth was effective as a protector, but inevitably came in conflict with politicians, settlers and the press in North Queensland. In 1904-6 he was Chief Protector (based in Brisbane). In 1904 he headed the Royal Commission into the conditions of the Aborigines in the North-West. Having come under political attack, he resigned in 1906 and left Australia for British Guyana where he was employed by the Imperial Government as stipendiary magistrate, medical magistrate, and district commissioner. He continued his anthropological work with the indigenous peoples of British Guiana, especially the Wai Wai. On his retirement in 1928 he became curator of the Georgetown museum and died on 5 April 1933. The museum is now named after him.

His distinguished monograph of 1897, Ethnological studies among North-West Central Queensland Aborigines, established his international reputation. He then published eighteen Bulletins of North Queensland Ethnography. It is impossible to overestimate how important they are. They constitute a major source on the Aboriginal cultures and rituals of this region (many of them forgotten and no longer practiced). In 1924 his valuable An Introductory Study of the Arts, Crafts, and Customs of the Guiana Indians was published at the government printing office at Washington, U.S.A. Another volume, Additional Studies of the Arts, Crafts, and Customs of the Guiana Indians was published as Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin No. 91 (1929). His contribution to our knowledge of the indigenous peoples of Guyana — speakers of Carib and Arawak languages — is exemplary.

The exhibition is centered on the culture of the Wai Wai people who live in several villages scattered across northern Brazil, Guiana and southern Surinam. They number no more than about 1000 people. The Wai Wai are an amalgamation of a number of groups who came to live together in the early twentieth century, under pressure from European invaders. Their language belongs to the Carib family (where the English word cannibal came from). The name Wai Wai, meaning 'the tapioca people', originated with their northern neighbours, the Arawak-speaking Wapishana. It was given to them since quite a few of the people are quite light-skinned. The Wai Wai are proficient hunters and also agriculturalists. Their traditional method of farming has always been the 'slash and burn' method. The Wai Wai are known for their weaving, pottery, woven combs, bone flutes, feather adornments, and other crafts.

The artefacts on display come from the material collection at the College of Arts, Society, and Education at JCU organized in 1988 by the Walter Roth museum in Georgetown (Guyana), and from Alexandra Aikhenvald's personal collection.

Roundtable meetings and workshops

  • The fortnightly Workshop of the LCRC, 'Number systems in grammar', commenced on 7 March 2018. Alexandra Aikhenvald presented an Initial Orientation. The materials for the Workshop are available at https://research.jcu.edu.au/lcrc/News-and-Events/lcrc-2018-workshop-number-systems-in-grammar-1
  • Workshop on Number Systems, Wednesday 2 May, Alex Walker: Number systems in Southern Pomo
  • Workshop on Number Systems, Wednesday 9 May, Felipe Guerrero: Number systems in Karijona
  • Seminar, Wednesday 16 May, Firew Girma Worku: Possession in Mursi
  • Workshop, Wednesday 23 May, Carola Emkow: Number words and the grammatical number system in Bena Bena
  • Workshop on Number Systems, Wednesday 30 May, Nathan White: Number systems in Hmong
  • Roundtable discussion, Wednesday 6 June, on 'The grammar of disease' (Part one), led off by Alexandra Aikhenvald and Bob Dixon
  • Workshop on Number Systems, Wednesday 13 June, Bai Junwei (Abe) Number systems in Munya
  • Workshop on Number Systems, Wednesday 20 June, Alexandra Aikhenvald: Number systems in Tariana
  • Seminar, Wednesday  27 June, Bob Dixon: English prepositions: their meanings and uses: introduction
  • Roundtable discussion, Wednesday 4 July, on 'The grammar of disease' (Part two), Volunteers sought
  • Linguistic fieldwork adventure series, Friday 11th May, 4:30, RMW Dixon on fieldwork in southern Amazonia, 5:00          Luca Ciucci on fieldwork in Bolivia
  • The June and July Linguistic fieldwork adventure meetings will include, among others, Alexandra Aikhenvald

Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

News from the ANU

International Conference on Historical Linguistics 24 (ICHL24)

Date: 1st July – 5th July 2018

Location: The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

Conference organisers: Bethwyn Evans, Jennifer Hendriks, Simon Greenhill

Conference Email: ichl24anu@gmail.com

Website: http://www.dynamicsoflanguage.edu.au/ichl24/

The Australian National University (ANU) is hosting the 24th International Conference on Historical Linguistics (ICHL24), from 1st July – 5th July 2019. This biennial conference brings together historical linguists and specialists in related fields to explore advances in areas including methods and practices of linguistic reconstruction, formal approaches to language change, historical sociolinguistics, computational approaches to historical linguistics, contact and areal linguistics, and interfaces between historical linguistics and other disciplines, and many other related areas. Abstracts are invited for workshop proposals to be submitted by 29th July 2018 and for papers in the general session to be submitted by 14th September 2018. Refer to the conference website for more details.


  • Amaral, P & Delicado Cantero, M 2018, 'Subcategorization and change: A diachronic analysis of sin embargo (de que)', in Jonathan E MacDonald (ed.), Contemporary Trends in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, John Benjamins, pp. 31-47.
  • Evans, Nicholas. 2018. Did language evolve in multilingual settings? Biology and Philosophyhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s10539-018-9609-3
  • Evans, Nicholas. 2018. Sprachensterben. In Corina Caduff (ed.), Wozu  Vergänglichkeit? 11 Gespräche über Atome, Tod und schwarze Löcher Berlin: Kadmos Verlag. Pp. 129-146.  (Book review: http://www.kulturvision-aktuell.de/vergaenglichkeit-corinna-caduff-kadmosverlag-2018/)
  • Evans, Nicholas. 2018. Australia’s indigenous wordscape / El paisatge lingüístic de l’Austràlia indígena [English and Catalan versions] http://catedra-unesco.espais.iec.cat/en/2018/01/15/26-australias-indigenous-wordscape/ / http://catedra-unesco.espais.iec.cat/2018/01/15/26-el-paisatge-linguistic-de-laustralia-indigena/ Fox, J. 2018. Expressions of Austronesian thought and emotions.
  • Kalyan, Siva & Alexandre François (2018) Freeing the Comparative Method from the tree model: a framework for Historical Glottometry. In Ritsuko Kikusawa & Lawrence A. Reid (eds.), Let's Talk about Trees: Genetic Relationships of Languages and Their Phylogenic Representation. (Senri Ethnological Studies 98) Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology, pp. 59–90.
  • Mayer, E.et al., 2018. “Linguistic attitudes towards Shipibo in Cantagallo; reshaping indigenous language and identity in an urban setting” International Journal of Bilingualism. Special Issue: Heritage-language speakers: theoretical and empirical challenges on sociolinguistic attitudes and prestige. Online first 2 April https://doi.org/10.1177/1367006918762164.

Conference presentations

Paul Sidwell, Kristina Gallego and Jirat Hiranmas will be participating in the 28th annual SEALS meeting in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, May 17-19 (https://sealsxxviii.wixsite.com/seals28), with the following papers: “Austroasiatic deep chronology and the problem of cultural lexicon” (Paul), “Directional systems in Philippine languages” (Kristina), and “Reciprocal Parameters in Thai” (Jirat).

Elisabeth Mayer gave an invited presentation "Latin America, a view from Downunder” in the International Symposium of Directors of Latin American Centres - The Global Past and Future of Latin American Studies, Institute of Latin American Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, Senate House, 21 March 2018.

Elisabeth Mayer was also part of a plenary Roundtable “Latin American Studies Around The World” of Australia, Japan, India, with Cambridge as discussant at the Conference of the Society of Latin American Studies (SLAS 2018) at the University of Southampton in Winchester, 23 March 2018.

Event: OzCLO

This year OzCLO saw again record-breaking participation with 2001 participants from 79 schools sending 510 teams, with 418 teams participating in the online competition and 92 in the offline.  The competition at the top end was a tight race with two gold winning teams, one from ACT and another one from QLD, silver went to a team from NSW, and Bronze was shared by a team from WA and NSW respectively. Thanks to the generous support from ALS we are able to send the two gold winning teams to the IOL in Prague.

Wayan Arka

News from UNE


  • Ndhlovu, F. (2018). Language, Vernacular Discourse & Nationalisms: Uncovering the Myths of Transnational Worlds. Palgrave Macmillan. https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9783319761343. Offers trans-disciplinary insights for students and scholars of sociolinguistics, critical discourse analysis, African languages, refugee and migration studies, and the history and politics of southern Africa
  • Kamusella, T., & Ndhlovu, F. (2018). The Social and Political History of Southern Africa's Languages. Palgrave Macmillan. https://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9781137015921. Provides the first encyclopaedic volume of the languages of southern Africa 

Staff movements

Joshua Nash commences a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Aarhus in Denmark, and will work on his project Documenting the highly endangered Pitcairn Island language in New Zealand and Australia. He will return periodically to UNE to work on his ARC DECRA project, which also focuses on the Pitcairn Island language in the diaspora, albeit with a distinct theme.

Helen Fraser returns to UNE Linguistics as Adjunct Associate Professor. She previously taught phonetics at UNE for 18 years, following which she worked as an independent researcher with a focus on forensic transcription and its legal implications. Welcome back, Helen!

Arvind Iyengar joins UNE Linguistics as Lecturer (Level B). His research and teaching interests include phonetics & phonology, morphology & syntax, sociolinguistics, and writing systems. He is a product of UNE Linguistics, having completed his PhD here under Finex Ndhlovu and Cindy Schneider.

UNE Linguistics Seminar Series & visiting scholars

Associate Professor Aya Inoue of the Aichi University of the Arts (Japan) visited UNE from 26 Feb to 2 March. She is working with Emeritus Prof Jeff Siegel on variation in Hawai’i Creole. During her visit, she also held a seminar under the UNE Linguistics Seminar Series entitled Variable past tense marking in current Hawai’i Creole speech: The function of ‘wen’ marking.

Helen Fraser held a seminar on 26 April entitled What do problems of forensic transcription reveal about theory and practice of transcription in linguistics? She demonstrated how her research reveals serious problems in the way transcripts are used to assist in the interpretation of indistinct covert recordings admitted as evidence in criminal trials, and how linguists need to be involved in solving these problems (forensictranscription.com.au/news).

PhD completions

Sura Adnan Al-Alani was awarded her PhD for her thesis entitled Portrayal of terrorism and Corruption in Iraqi Non-Commercial Advertisements: Gender, Images and metaphors. Her study focused on how non-commercial advertising in Iraq is employing gender, children and symbols to provide graphic and vivid portrayal of the struggles of the Iraqis and how political taboos have become freedom of language. Her primary supervisor was Finex Ndhlovu. Congratulations, Sura!

PhD commencements

Rafi Saleh commences his PhD with Finex Ndhlovu as his primary supervisor. The working title of his study is Disrupting Power Positions through Translanguaging Pedagogies: The Case of Bangladeshi Higher Education. His research investigates translanguaging pedagogies in higher education in Bangladesh, and seeks to develop an integrated model for a balanced approach to ensure both language and content learning in the country’s universities. Welcome, Rafi!

Arvind Iyengar

News from Macquarie University

Public hearing health workshop with Professor Andrew Smith

To mark World Hearing Day on 3 March 2018, the Centre for Implementation of Hearing Research (CIHR) and the Australian Hearing Hub hosted key Australian stakeholders in hearing healthcare for a four-day workshop led by Professor Andrew Smith. Professor Smith is a world-renowned public health expert at the International Centre for Evidence in Disability (ICED), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and was responsible for the Prevention of Deafness and Hearing Impairment at the World Health Organisation from 1996 to 2008.

The workshop brought together hearing health professionals, researchers, advocates, educators and public health officials from around Australia. It included presentations from experts in indigenous hearing health, screening, the WHO global programme, health economics and implementation. It familiarised participants with the principles of global public health approaches to ear and hearing care, raised awareness and advocacy for hearing loss, assessed local and global need, gaps within health programmes and actions required for successful implementation.

Keynote speakers included:

  • Professor Andrew Smith, Co-coordinator for Training in Public Health in Hearing Impairment, International Centre for Evidence in Disability (ICED), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Dr Shelly Chadha, Technical Officer, Prevention of Deafness and Hearing Loss, World Health Organisation
  • Professor Sakkie Pretorius, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Macquarie University
  • Professor Catherine McMahon, Head of Audiology and Director of Centre for Implementation of Hearing Research (CIHR), Macquarie University
  • Samantha Harkus, Principal Audiologist, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services, Australian Hearing
  • Professor Frances Rapport, Professor of Implementation Science, Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science, Macquarie University
  • Dr Henry Cutler, Director, Centre for the Health Economy, Macquarie University
  • Dr John Newall, Master of Clinical Audiology Program Co-ordinator, Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University

The CIHR will be holding further events in 2018 and 2019. Keep an eye on our website for more details coming soon.

Australia-Germany Joint Research Cooperation Scheme: first exchange visit

Towards the end of 2017, a research team at the Department of Linguistics composed of Dr Haidee Kruger, Dr Adam Smith, Dr Deanna Wong and Dr Loy Lising, and headed by Emeritus Professor Pam Peters, was awarded a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) grant for their joint research with colleagues from Justus Liebig University in Giessen. Both teams will be collaborating on various projects guided by the overarching theme of Linguistic Epicentres and Supervarieties: Empirical Perspectives on World English over the next two years (2018-2019).

This collaboration officially began this February with the visit of Dr Tobias Bernaisch from Justus Liebig University who presented to the Macquarie research team their team’s planned projects over the next two years. This April, Pam Peters returns the favour with her visit to Giessen to present to their research team our planned projects in the next two years.

Visit the new Lingline Live page for more stories, events listings, and publications – updated every week.

Haidee Kruger

News from University of Sydney

Vale M.A.K. Halliday

It is with great sadness that the Department has learnt that Emeritus Professor and founder of the Department of Linguistics, M.A.K. Halliday, passed away in Sydney on 15 April 2018, aged 93. The departmental obituary can be found here:


Welcome to our new Affiliated and Honorary staff

The Department is very pleased that Prof. Jaky Troy (Director, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research) is joining the Department as an Affiliate. We also welcome our new Honorary Associates Prof. Trevor Johnston, A/Prof Sue Hood, and Dr. Yankee Modi.

Conferences and other research events

Conference announcement: Next year the Linguistics Department will host the 52nd International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics and the 25th Himalayan Languages Symposium (in tandem) from 1-5 July 2019. Stay tuned for updates.

Ahmar Mahboob gave a keynote address at the 49th Linguistics Association of the Philippines conference on: Language in Education: More than just medium of instruction (http://www.lsphil.net/2018-speakers). Ahmar was also awarded Lifetime Honorary Membership in recognition of his work on language/linguistics in the Philippines.

Over the Easter break, Jim Martin returned to the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile in Santiago (where he had spent his sabbatical in the second half of 2017) to continue work with Beatriz Quiroz on the monograph they are preparing with Chinese colleagues on the lexicogrammar of English, Spanish and Chinese. On Thursday April 5 they presented on the nominal group section of this work at the 2018 Coloquio Permanente in the School of Letters at PUC.

Selected Publications

  • Bednarek, M. (2018). ‘Epilogue: Analyzing pop culture’. In Valentin Werner (ed). The Language of Pop Culture. London/New York: Routledge: 253-264.
  • Cruz, P. and Mahboob, A. (2018). Critiquing Mother-tongue-based Language in Education Policies: A focus on the Philippines. In I. Martin (Ed) Re-conceptualizing English Education in a Multilingual Society. New York: Springer.
  • Cruz, P. and Mahboob, A. (2018). Mother-tongue based multilingual education in the Philippines: Perceptions, problems and possibilities. In J. Choi and S. Ollerhead (Eds) Plurilingualism in Learning and Teaching: Complexities across Contexts. London: Routledge.

Monika Bednarek

News from RNLD

The [Southern] summer months can often be a bit more relaxed at RNLD, but the end of the Northern wet season has seen a big increase in activity here.

RNLD presented at two important events – the National Indigenous Languages Convention on the Gold Coast (Feb) and the Australian Languages Workshop in Marysville (March) and it was wonderful to catch up with our colleagues around the country to find out what’s going on in the sphere of Indigenous Languages.

Besides workshops and conventions, we also found time to run a few workshops. Trainer Amy Parncutt ran workshops in Brisbane (Feb) – working on the Jandai and Pitta Pitta languages – and at the Groote Eylandt Language Centre in the NT (March) with Anindilyakwa speakers. The first of our interns from RUIL, Marcella Maloney, accompanied Amy to Groote Eylandt.

April was very busy with workshops. Firstly, training Director Emma Murphy travelled all the way to Halls Creek in the East Kimberley with another RUIL intern, Elsha O’Reilly, to deliver a workshop at the Kimberley Language Resource Centre – Australia’s oldest Aboriginal Language Centre – with participants representing Bardi, Kija, Jaru, Kukatja, Kwini and Bunuba languages. A very exciting aspect of this workshop was that Emma was joined by co-trainer Hiroko “Roko” Shioji, Yawuru teacher and former RNLD participant who is currently running the groundbreaking 2-year Yawuru language immersion program at Nyamba Buru Yawuru (NBY) in Broome. It was fantastic to have Roko – with her wealth of experience as a language teacher in the Kimberley – as a trainer on a workshop for the first time and we look forward to future workshops with her.

After the workshop in Halls Creek, Emma met up with trainer Andrew Tanner and the third RUIL intern, Conor Clements, to deliver a workshop at Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring, the Miriwoong language centre in Kununurra.

Meanwhile trainers Ebony Joachim and Amy Parncutt were on their way to deliver workshops in Hopevale and Mossman in Far North Queensland, in collaboration with the State Library of Queensland, the Pama Language Centre and Northern Queensland Regional Aboriginal Corporation Language Centre. 

The next few months will see workshops in Ceduna (SA), Geraldton (WA), Adelaide, and we are also looking forward to returning to the Pilbara to work with Martu Wangka speakers again.

Andrew Tanner

News from the Research Unit for Indigenous Languages (University of Melbourne)

Goodbye Brighde

It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Brighde Collins, who has been our Project Officer for the last few years.  Brighde has been a much valued member of our team and has done such fabulous work for RUIL so we are really sorry to see her go and wish her all the best in her new role as community linguist on Groote Eylandt!  We look forward to keeping in touch.

Project Officer advertisement

Given Brighde’s departure, RUIL is now advertising for a new Project Officer, seeking Indigenous applicants only. Details can be found here: https://jobs.theconversation.com/jobs/19820-research-unit-project-officer-indigenous-applicants-only. Applications close on May 10.  Please forward to anyone suitable that you think may be interested.

Recent newsletter

Our latest newsletter is available here: https://arts.unimelb.edu.au/indiglang/about/newsletter. Scroll to the bottom of the webpage and click the link to see it in full colourful glory.

Upcoming public lecture

For those of you in Melbourne on May 30, RUIL Director Rachel Nordlinger will be giving a public lecture on ‘The genius of Australian Indigenous languages, and why they are important for all of us’.  Details and registration here:http://alumni.online.unimelb.edu.au/nordlinger.

Rachel Nordlinger

News from AIATSIS

The AIATSIS Foundation has launched a program to support Australian Indigenous language dictionaries that need funding to be published. If you are involved in developing a dictionary which is expected to be ready for publication within the next 12 months, and are seeking funding for it, please apply at http://aiatsis.gov.au/eform/submit/dic-eoi. If you have any questions regarding the application, please do not hesitate to contact dictionaries@aiatsis.gov.au.

Jacqui Battin


PhD position, WSU

A fully funded PhD position is available at Western Sydney University on the ARC project 'Waves of Words' (with scholarship and fee-waiver). The PhD project could have a linguistic, anthropological and/or digital humanities focus depending on the student's background and interests. Deadline for applications 11 May! More info here: https://www.westernsydney.edu.au/dhrg/digital_humanities/featured/waves_of_words 

Robert Mailhammer

Postdoc position, WSU

Ref 798/18 Postdoctoral Fellow in Spoken-Language Processing

The MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development is an interdisciplinary research institute of Western Sydney University. Our programs of research investigate human communication through the themes: sensing and perceiving, interacting with each other and technologies for humans. Researchers in MARCS come from many disciplines including developmental psychology, language science, music science, cognitive neuroscience, and biomedical, electrical, electronic and software engineering. Further information is available from our website -http://www.westernsydney.edu.au/marcs.

Robert Mailhammer

Phd scholarships at the Language and Culture Research Centre, JCU

Come and work in an exotic location, investigating a language which has never previously been described!

Applications are invited, from suitably qualified students, to enter the PhD program of the Language and Culture Research Centre at James Cook University Australia. Supervision will be provided by Professors Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, R. M. W. Dixon and Rosita Henry, and Dr Michael Wood, Dr Alexander Walker and Dr Luca Ciucci.

Our PhD candidates generally undertake extensive fieldwork on a previously undescribed (or scarcely described) language and write a comprehensive grammar of it for their dissertation. They are expected to work on a language which is still actively spoken, and to establish a field situation within a community in which it is the first language. Their first fieldtrip lasts for six to nine months. After completing a first draft of the grammar, back in Cairns, they undertake a second fieldtrip of two to three months. Fieldwork methodology centres on the collection, transcription and analysis of texts, together with participant observation, and — at a later stage — judicious grammatical elicitation in the language under description (not through the lingua franca of the country). Our main priority areas are the Papuan and Austronesian languages of New Guinea and surrounding areas and the languages of tropical Amazonia. However, we do not exclude applicants who have an established interest in languages from other areas (which need not necessarily lie within the tropics).

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

Distinguished Professor Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald is Australian Laureate Fellow and Research Leader for People and Societies of the Tropics. Together with Professor R. M. W. Dixon, she heads the Language and Culture Research Centre, which includes Research Fellows and a growing number of doctoral students. In addition, senior scholars from across the world opt to spend their sabbatical at the Language and Culture Research Centre.

The LCRC has strong links with anthropologists, archaeologists and educationalists, with scholars working on environmental issues, all within James Cook University. Further information is available at http://www.jcu.edu.au/lcrc/

The scholarship will be at the standard James Cook University rate, Australian $26.682 pa. Students coming from overseas are liable for a tuition fee; but this may be waived in the case of a student of high merit. A small relocation allowance may be provided on taking up the scholarship. In addition, an adequate allowance will be made to cover fieldwork expenses and conference attendance. The scholarship is for three years (with the possibility of a six month extension). The deadline for application by international students (starting in 2019) is 31 August 2018; the deadline for students with Australian and New Zealand passports is 31 October 2018. Successful applicants would take up their PhD scholarships between January and June 2019. (The academic year in Australia runs from February to November.)

Application form and procedures for international students can be found at: https://www.jcu.edu.au/graduate-research-school/candidates/prospective-students. Applications will be open in early July.

Prospective applicants are invited, in the first place, to get in touch with Professor Aikhenvald at Alexandra.Aikhenvald@jcu.edu.au, providing details of their background, qualifications and interests (including a curriculum vitae). Applicants are advised to send samples of their written work in linguistics (at least some of this should be in English).

Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

About ALS

The Australian Linguistic Society is the national organization for linguists and linguistics in Australia. Its primary goal is to further interest in and support for linguistics research and teaching in Australia. Further information about the Society is available by clicking here.

The ALS Newsletter is issued four times per year, in the middle of February, May, August and November. Information for the Newsletter should be sent to the Editor, 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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