Newsletter November 2018

From the President
2018 ALS Conference Update
News from UWA
News from University of Melbourne
News from James Cook University (Language and Culture Research Centre)
News from Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education
News from UNE
News from the ANU
News from University of Sydney
News from Wollongong
News from Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL)
News from Research Network for Linguistic Diversity (RNLD)
AGM Notice and Motions
About ALS

From the President

One of the pleasures of serving on the ALS executive is seeing how the society is able to use funds to support new linguistics research, especially research being undertaken by students and early career researchers. We recently awarded research grants for a highly diverse range of projects: 

  • Daniel Krause (Complex predicates in Australian and Oceanic Languages)
  • Yanping Li (Production and perception of regionally accented Mandarin tones)
  • Loy Lising (Understanding migrants’ multilingual practices: Evidene from Filipino families)
  • David Osgarby (Intergenerational documentation of vernacular Wik-Mungkan: Pilot corpus)
  • Josh Phillips (At the intersection of modal and temporal interpretation: a view from Arnhem Land)
  • Cara Penry Williams (/t/-realisations in Australian English: Gendered use and social meanings)
  • Zhengdao Ye (Documenting Shanghai Wu in Ashfield, Sydney)

Congratulations to all of these recipients. Congratulations also to Edith Kirlew (University of Queensland) on winning the ALS conference student bursary. I’ll look forward to her presentation.

I’ll also look forward to seeing many of you in Adelaide next month.  

Ilana Mushin

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2018 ALS Conference Update

The 2018 ALS Conference is fast approaching! We look forward to welcoming you to the conference from 10 - 12 December at the University of South Australia (UniSA) in Adelaide. The conference will start bright and early on Monday morning, 10 December, so we encourage you to arrive in Adelaide the day prior. This means you can also make the most of our pre-conference events. We will be hosting three pre-conference workshops on the Sunday afternoon, followed by a conference welcome reception at UniSA's Museum of Discovery (a.k.a. MOD.). 

Register online now


Key dates

  • Early bird registration: closed
  • Registration closes: Sunday 25 November 
  • Pre-conference workshops: Sunday 9 December
  • Conference Welcome Reception (drinks and light canapés provided): Sunday 9 December
  • Main conference: Monday 10 December – Wednesday 12 December
  • ALS AGM: Tuesday 11 December 5:30pm – 7:00pm
  • Conference Dinner (bookings essential): Tuesday 11 December

This year’s conference promises to deliver a range of engaging presentations and workshops from leading academics. There will be two outstanding keynote addresses, plus parallel paper sessions, a digital poster gala, and numerous workshops. In addition to hearing from world-class speakers, there will be plenty of opportunities to socialise, network and discuss the latest research developments. Check out the website for more information, including the abstracts of our keynote speakers: https://als.asn.au/Conference/Conference-2018/Conference-2018

Keynote Speakers

  • Prof. Dr. Walter Bisang, University of Mainz: 'Manifestations of complexity in grammar and discourse'
  • Prof. Dr. Petra Schumacher, University of Cologne: 'Referential functions and the construction of prominence profiles'


  • Training Pathways and Career Pathways for Teachers of Australian Indigenous Languages and Indigenous Language Workers. Organised by Dr Rob Amery, University of Adelaide
  • Romance linguistics in Australasia: Current models and new trends. Organised by Dr Joshua Brown and Dr Manuel Delicado Cantero, ANU
  • Multifaceted multilingualism: Language, cognition, and communication. Organised by Prof Kleanthes K.Grohmann, University of Cyprus
  • Language processing and language change. Organised by Dr Robert Mailhammer, Western Sydney University, and Elena Smirnova, Université de Neuchâtel
  • New challenges in Missionary Linguistics: An introduction. Presented by Prof Otto Zwartjes, Paris Diderot University Organised by Dr Clara Stockigt in partnership with the Society of History of Linguistics in the Pacific 2018 Conference

Pre-conference workshops

Sunday 9 December (places are limited - bookings are essential):

  • Building Bridges between Linguistics and Schools. Organised by Dr Jean Mulder, University of Melbourne.
  • How to speak EEG: An introduction to using EEG in linguistics research. Organised by Dr Alex Chatburn, University of South Australia.
  • #LingComm: A crash course in effective linguistics communication to non-linguists for grantwriting, interdisciplinary research, non-academic jobs, public outreach, and more Organised by Gretchen McCulloch, Internet Linguist, and co-creator of the popular podcast, Lingthusiasm

Register online now. We look forward to seeing you in December!


Angela Osborn

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News from UWA

After a hiatus of over a year, we’re back! Here’s what we’ve been up to…


Maïa Ponsonnet joined UWA as a Senior Lecturer in September 2017. She will be on her DECRA until January 2019 and will be an integral part of the Discipline Group’s teaching team after that.

Luisa Miceli has been hired initially on a three-year teaching/research contract.

Celeste Rodríguez Louro and her family welcomed second son Theodore Gwizdalski on 26 August 2017. Celeste is commencing her DECRA titled Aboriginal English in the global city: Minorities and language change on 12 November 2018, upon her return from maternity leave.

PhD completion

UWA Linguistics warmly congratulates Sophie Richard who has successfully passed her PhD thesis titled Tense/aspect variation and the Present Perfect in Australian English narratives: Sociolinguistic constraints and discourse-pragmatic functions, supervised by Marie-Eve Ritz and Celeste Rodríguez Louro. Sophie is currently teaching at the University of French Polynesia and will be returning to Perth for her graduation ceremony in December 2018.

PhD student update

PhD candidate David Moore continues to make progress on his thesis which examines the theoretical bases, language ideologies and translations underpinning the analysis and description of Central Australian languages by German Lutheran Missionaries from 1890 to 1910.

PhD candidate Amy Budrikis is entering the third year of her project titled Indigenous Perspectives on Reinstating Intergenerational Language Transmission as a Revitalization Strategy. She has also successfully completed a 2018 UWA Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education (FABLE) Teaching Fellowship.

Publications (2017 and 2018, in chronological order)

McConvell, Patrick and Maïa Ponsonnet. 2018. Generic terms for subsections (‘skins’) in Australia: Sources and semantic networks. In McConvell P., Kelly P. and Lacrampe S. eds., Skins, kin and clan. The dynamics of social categories in Indigenous Australia, 271-315. Canberra: ANU EPress. http://press-files.anu.edu.au/downloads/press/n4082/pdf/ch09.pdf

Moore, David (2018). The Mission Orthography in Carl Strehlow’s dictionary. In Kenny, A. (ed.) Carl Strehlow’s Aranda, German, Loritja and Dieri Heritage Dictionary. Canberra: ANU Press, 101-130.

Moore, David and Victoria Ríos Castaño (2018). Indigenous Cultures in Translation. In Sue-Ann Harding and Ovidi Cortés (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Culture; 327-346. London and New York: Routledge.

Ponsonnet, Maïa and Marine Vuillermet (Eds.). 2018. Morphology and emotions across the world’s languages. Special Issue of Studies in Language 42(1).

Ponsonnet, Maïa. 2018. Expressivity and performance. Expressing compassion and grief with a prosodic contour in languages of the Gunwinyguan region (northern Australia). Journal of Pragmatics 136(2018): 76-96.

Ponsonnet, Maïa. 2018. Lexical semantics in language shift. Comparing emotion lexica in Dalabon and Barunga Kriol (northern Australia). Journal of Pidgin and Kriol languages 33(1):92-135.

Ponsonnet, Maïa. 2018. A preliminary typology of emotional connotations in morphological diminutives and augmentatives. Studies in Language 42(1): 17-50.

Ponsonnet, Maïa. 2018. Expressive values of reduplication in Barunga Kriol (northern Australia). Studies in Language 42(1): 226-255.

Ponsonnet, Maïa. 2018. Diversité linguistique. In Brown, P and Faberon J.-Y., 101 mots pour comprendre l’Australie, p. 144-145. Nouméa: Centre de Documentation Pédagogique de Nouvelle-Calédonie.

Moore, David. 2017. Primitive Languages: linguistic determinism and the description of Aranda Eighty years on. History and Philosophy of the Language Sciences. https://hiphilangsci.net/2017/12/06/primitive-languages/

Ponsonnet, Maïa. 2017. Conceptual representations and figurative language in language shift. Metaphors and gestures for emotions in Kriol (Barunga, northern Australia). Cognitive Linguistics 28(4):631-671.

Ponsonnet, Maïa. 2017. Les métaphores de la colère en dalabon : universalité et particularités. In Tersis N. and Boyeldieu P. eds., Le langage de l’émotion : variations linguistiques et culturelles, 531-556. Paris: Peeters.

Fieldwork and documentation

In July 2018 Maïa Ponsonnet travelled to the Bulukadruh outstation, near Maningrida, to visit the Brian/Martin family and discuss future projects on Kune (Bininj Gun-wok dialect chain).

Following Maïa Ponsonnet’s documentation of the Rembarrnga djarrada ceremony in August 2017, recordings and transcripts have recently been archived with AIATSIS.

Ponsonnet, Maïa and Nellie Camfoo. 2017. The Yakkirrh Djarrarda: women ceremony from Mount Catt (Bulman, Northern Territory). AIATSIS audiovisual archive.


December 2018

Maïa Ponsonnet has been invited to present a seminar at Dynamique Du Langage, Description, Typologie, Terrain. The title of her presentation is What changes when language shifts? The expression of emotions in a creole language (Kriol, northern Australia). Lyon, France.

November 2018

Celeste Rodríguez Louro has been invited to launch Ian Malcolm’s latest book, Australian Aboriginal English: Change and continuity in an adopted language at Edith Cowan University, Perth.

October 2018

Maïa Ponsonnet presented The correlates of compassion among Arnhem Land Indigenous communities at the Empathy in Society Meeting, Institute of Advanced Studies and UWA Medical Humanities Symposium, UWA.

September 2018

Maïa Ponsonnet presented The politics of listening: Voice, feelings, and the colonial past at the Inaugural ARC Laureate Symposium, Understanding the Deep Past across Languages and Culture, Australian National University.

August 2018

David Moore presented A history of Dreamtime as an etymological illusion at the Henry Sweet Society Annual Colloquium 2018 in Maynooth, Ireland.

July 2018

Amy Budrikis gave a presentation titled Revitalizing Languages at Home at the 13th Annual Limina Conference, Perth.

March 2018

David Moore presented The contribution of German Lutheran missionaries to linguistics and translation in Australia 1890-1910. Missionary Linguistics X, Rome, Italy.

January 2018

David Moore presented The circulation of linguistic and philological knowledge between Germany and the world (16th to 20th centuries) at the CGLP Conference, Paris, France.

December 2017

Amy Budrikis gave a presentation titled the Role of Elders in Intergenerational Language Transmission in Australian Aboriginal Language Communities at the Third UC Integenerational Transmission of Minority Languages Symposium, online.

Workshops and special issues

In December 2017, Maïa Ponsonnet convened a workshop titled Emotion metaphors in Australian languages: the role of the body at the 2017 Meeting of the Australian Linguistic Society. The papers from this session will be compiled in a volume co-edited with Isabel O’Keeffe and Dorothy Hoffman (accepted as a special issue of Pragmatics & Cognition).

Research visits

Luisa Miceli will be visiting Leiden University in January 2019 and has been invited to present to the Language and Cognition Group.

Niels Schiller (Leiden University), Paola Escudero (Western Sydney), Alba Tuninetti (Western Sydney) and T. Mark Ellison (Australian National University [ANU]) spent a week in Perth in early October working on the project Picture-Naming, Synonymy and Language Divergence in Bilinguals, led by Luisa Miceli and funded through a UWA Research Collaboration Award. Niels Schiller gave a seminar in the Linguistics series on Morphological Encoding in Language Processing, reporting on a number of studies completed by his research group. 

Maïa Ponsonnet visited her former CNRS lab in Lyon from 1 to 16 February 2018. She also visited the ANU node of the Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language in May and September 2018.

Prof. Peter Austin (Marit Rausing Chair, SOAS, London) visited the Department in August and gave a seminar reporting on the Carnarvon language projects he has recently been involved with. 

2018 Conference of the Australian Linguistic Society

Luisa Miceli and her colleagues Niels Schiller, Paola Escudero, Alba Tuninetti and T. Mark Ellison will be presenting their preliminary results at the Language Processing and Language Change workshop at the upcoming ALS conference, with a paper titled The Price of Ease.  

Sad news

Maggie Tukumba, who has been a driving force in Dalabon studies for more than twenty years, passed away on 13 August after a period of illness. Along with fellow linguists Nick Evans and Sarah Cutfield, Maïa had been able to farewell Maggie during a brief visit in April. Maggie Tukumba was buried on 29 October 2018 in the community of Weemol, where she lived.

Celeste Rodríguez Luoro

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News from University of Melbourne

Helen Zhao has joined the School of Languages and Linguistics. Her specialty is computer-assisted language learning.

Nick Thieberger and Janet Fletcher visited the University of French Polynesia from 8 – 12 October to teach workshops and to present at the conference of the Pacific Islands Universities Research Network (PIURN).

Rachel Nordlinger is on sabbatical until the end of 2018.

Postdoc Rebecca Defina is on fieldwork in APY Lands until 2 November.

PhD student Catalina Torres is in California visiting UCSB, UCLA, and UC Berkeley from 01.10-02.11. She gave a talk at UCSB titled "In quest of prominence in the South Pacific. Drehu, an Oceanic language from New Caledonia." Her talk at UCLA was titled: Bilingual French: Prosodic constituents and their boundaries in Lifou (New Caledonia). 

Jill Wigglesworth presented to the Ministerial Advisory Multicultural Education and Languages Committee. She is giving a seminar to the Research Centre for Languages and Cultures, University of South Australia and giving a public lecture (22 – 23 October).

Nick Thieberger presented on PARADISEC at the ICOMOS conference in Fiji from 2 – 6 October.

Nick Thieberger

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

LCRC members news

Dr Carola Emkow (PhD 2004, RCLT, La Trobe University) starts her Research Fellowship at the LCRC on 3 November 2018. Carola is an expert on Araona, a Tacana language from Bolivia, and Bena Bena, from PNG.

Dr Katarzyna Wojtylak (PhD summa cum laude, JCU 2017) started her 12-months appointment at the University of Regensburg, Germany. She has been appointed adjunct Research Fellow at the LCRC, JCU.

Dr Timothy Henry (California State University, Fullerton) was appointed Adjunct Research Fellow at the LCRC, JCU

Dr Luca Ciucci will be presenting the following talks:

  • Bertinetto, Pier Marco & Luca Ciucci. Derivational morphology in Zamucoan. Australian Society of Linguistics. Adelaide, University of South Australia. 10-12 December 2018.
  • Ciucci, Luca. Morphological borrowing in the Chaco. Australian Society of Linguistics. Adelaide, University of South Australia. 10-12 December 2018.
  • Ciucci, Luca. Language endangerment and revitalization in the Ignaciano dialect of Chiquitano. Annual conference of the Australian Anthropological Society. Cairns, James Cook University. 4-7 December 2018.


Firew Girma Worku is currently undertaking fieldwork on Mursi, a Nilo-Saharan language (Ethiopia) until January 2019.

Pema Wangdi is currently undertaking fieldwork on Brokpa, a Tibeto-Burman language from Bhutan, from late May 2018 until December 2018.

Visiting Fellows at the LCRC: the second half of2018

Dr René van den Berg, Lingustics Consultant of SIL at Ukarumpa, PNG, and member of the International Consultative Board of LCRC is an expert on Austronesian languages. He will be visiting LCRC between 1-18 December.

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 rarities 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.

New books published and forthcoming

Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. 2018. Serial verbs. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. 2018. How gender shapes the world. Paperback edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. and Elena I. Mihas (eds). Forthcoming. Genders and classifiers: a cross-linguistic typology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Storch, Anne, 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.

Walker, Neil Alexander. Forthcoming. A Grammar of Southern Pomo. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Wojtylak, Katarzyna I. and Yvonne Treis (eds). 2018. On the expression of Comparison: Contributions to the typology of comparative constructions from lesser-known languages. Special issue of Linguistic Discovery. Issue 16:1.

Events at the LCRC in the second half of 2018

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

Cairns, 7-8 November 2018

Convenor: Luca Ciucci

Wednesday 7 November D3-150

1.30  Opening and launch of Serial verbs (Oxford: Oxford University Press) (Alexandra Aikhenvald) by Kate Wanchap, Manager, JCU library, Cairns Campus

1.45  Luca Ciucci:  Introduction to the Workshop          

14.00  Alexandra Aikhenvald: Removing the owner: non-specified possessor marking in Arawak languages

15.00  Luca Ciucci:  How historical data complement fieldwork: new diachronic perspectives on Zamucoan verb inflection

16.30. Alex Walker: Reconstructing the pertensive suffixes of inalienably possessed nouns in Panim

Thursday 8 November D3-150

9.30  Pier Marco Bertinetto: Zamucoan person marking as a perturbed system

11.15 Alejandra Vidal: From language documentation to historical and areal linguistics in the Argentine Chaco

14.00 Junwei Bai:  Northern and Southern Munya dialects

14.45  Nathan White: Prehistory of verbal modification in Hmong: what can we say?

16.15  Discussion: Moderated by Luca Ciucci

Everyone is welcome

Roundtable meetings and workshop

All roundtable meetings at 4 p.m. on Wednesdays in room D3-150 of the Cairns Institute building

Seminar, Wednesday 14 November, Stephen Torre: Illness, medicine, and writing

Seminar, Wednesday 21 November, Pier Marco Bertinetto, Clementine Talaato Pacmogda and Alessandro Lenci: The acquisition of tense and aspect in Moore (Gur) 

Workshop on Number Systems, Wednesday 28 November, Alexandra Aikhenvald:  Number systems: what can we  conclude?    

Seminar, Wednesday 5 December, Nick Osbaldiston: Migration in the middle: Lifestyles in transition, accents, power, and languages           

everyone is most welcome

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.

The LCRC 2018 Bulletin is now available at http://research.jcu.edu.au/lcrc

Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

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News from Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education

Professional Development for Teacher Linguists

From the 15th – 17th of October, Batchelor Institute and Charles Darwin University provided a 3-day Introduction to Bilingual Education for NT Department of Education teacher linguists.  This collaborative professional development venture between Charles Darwin University, the NT Department of Education and Batchelor Institute aimed to support quality bilingual education throughout the Northern Territory. 

Higher Education Courses

Batchelor Institute is offering Higher Education language and linguistics courses in face-to-face workshop mode for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. The workshops take place in Batchelor, NT and travel is provided. For more information please go to https://www.batchelor.edu.au/languages-and-linguistics/

WANALA Language Forum 2018 - The Language of Art and the Art of Language

‘Languages are the cornerstone of our culture’

A broad range of language-related programs and issues kept around 100 delegates from around the country busy and engaged during the 2018 WANALA (Western and Northern Aboriginal Languages Alliance) Language Forum. The third of its kind, this year’s WANALA Forum adopted the theme The Language of Art & The Art of Language and took place from the 15th to the 19th October at the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE), Batchelor Campus and the Wadeye Community. The Forum was hosted by BIITE’s Centre for Australian Languages and Linguistics and Wadeye Community.

After a jam-packed four days with a lot of talking, listening, learning, doing and travel, WANALA delegates chose Papulu Apparr-kari Aboriginal Corporation in Tennant Creek as host for the next Forum in 2020 and put forward the following collaborative statement:

Languages are the cornerstone of our culture. They are at the heart of our storytelling, history and lore. They are our identity as First Nations people. We demand a national language legislation that protects our rights as language keepers and educators. This legislation will ensure sustainable funding and resources for all aspects of our language including sign language, for present and future generations. The only way we can truly care for our country is to speak to it in its own language. We call on all levels of government to provide adequate and ongoing support to save our languages.

Paola Fischer

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News from UNE


Joshua Nash has co-authored the following book chapter:

Nash, J. & Gibbs, M. (2018). ‘Diachronic fetishisation: Ruin porn and Pitcairn Island language, archaeology, and architecture’, In S. Lyon (ed.) Ruin Porn and the Obsession with Decay, pp. 137-153. New York, NY: Palgrave.

Conference presentations

Padraic Michael Quinn, PhD student supervised by A/Prof. Liz Ellis and Prof. Jeff Siegel, has been awarded a Keith and Dorothy Mackay Travelling Scholarship to present a paper at the Hispanic Linguistics Symposium, October 25 – 27, 2018, at the University of Texas at Austin, USA. His paper is titled¡Nosotros no hablamos así! Language ideologies through the eyes of Colombian actors.

Thesis completions

Andrew Lynch, Master of Applied Linguistics student, passed his MA thesis with High Distinction. The thesis is entitled: Teacher Plurilingualism and Identity in the Japanese TESOL Context: A Student Focused Study. Congratulations, Andrew!

Arvind Iyengar

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News from the ANU

Lexcial-Functional Grammar (LFG) 2019 Conference

Date: 8th to 10th July 2019

Location: The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

Conference organisers: Wayan Arka, Elisabeth Mayer, Jane Simpson and Avery Andrews.  Conference email: lfg19anu@gmail.com

LFG2019 welcomes work within the formal architecture of Lexical-Functional Grammar as well as typological, formal, and computational work within the 'spirit of LFG' as a lexicalist approach to language employing a parallel, constraint-based framework. The conference aims to promote interaction and collaboration among researchers interested in non-derivational approaches to grammar, where grammar is seen as the interaction of (perhaps violable) constraints from multiple levels of structuring, including those of syntactic categories, grammatical relations, semantics and discourse. As Australia and the region are home to many of the world’s languages, we welcome papers applying LFG approaches to describing lesser studied languages.

It will follow the ICHL2019 (the  International Conference on Historical Linguistics , 1st July – 5th July 2019, also organised in Canberra < http://www.dynamicsoflanguage.edu.au/ichl24/ >.  There will be a workshop on ‘the Syntax and Morphology Interface in LFG’ on 10th July 2019.

There will be a Teach-in on LFG for Historical Linguistics on 6th July 2019, organised in conjunction with ICHL2019.

Abstracts are invited for papers in the general session and workshop to be submitted by 15 February 2019. Refer to the conference website for more details.

< http://www.dynamicsoflanguage.edu.au/lfg-2019/>.


Bromhead, Helen. 2018. Landscape and Culture: Cross-linguistic perspectives. Cognitive Linguistic Studies in Cultural Contexts. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Inceoglu, S. 2018. Exploring the effects of instruction on L2 French learner pronunciation, accentedness, comprehensibility, and fluency: An online classroom study. Journal of Second Language Pronunciation. Available online at https://doi.org/10.1075/jslp.18004.inc

Goddard, Cliff and Anna Wierzbicka. 2018. Direct and indirect speech revisited: Semantic universals and semantic diversity. In Alessandro Capone, Manuel Garcia-Carpintero and Alessandra Falzone (eds.), Indirect Reports and Pragmatics in the World Languages, pp. 173-199. Springer.

Massov, A., M. Pollard, K. Windle. 2018.  A New Rival State? Australia in Tsarist Diplomatic Communications. Canberra: ANU Press

Wierzbicka, Anna. 2018. I KNOW: a human universal. In Masaharu Mizumoto, Stephen Stich and Eric McCready (eds.), Epistemology for the Rest of the World, pp. 215-250. Oxford University Press.

Wierzbicka, Anna. 2018. How much longer can the Berlin and Kay paradigm dominate visual semantics: English, Russian and Warlpiri seen from the native’s point of view. In Diana Young (ed.), Rematerializing Colour: From concept to substance, pp. 67-89. Sean Kingston Publishing.

Festschrifts in honor of Professor Anna Wierzbicka

Two Festschrifts in honor of Professor Anna Wierzbicka have published in Russia and Poland:

  • The Russian Journal of Linguistics has published a special issue (2018 volume 22 No. 3) Studies in Semantics for Anna Wierzbicka’s Anniversary. Guest editor: Anna Gladkova.
  • Etnolingwistyka/Ethnolinguistics, 2018 (no. 30), Lublin: Maria Curie-SkÅ‚odowska University Press. “Etnolingwistyka na Jubileusz Profesor Anny Wierzbickiej” (Ethnolinguistics in honour of Professor Anna Wierzbicka).


An article about Carmel O’Shannessy’s work on Light Warlpiri entitled “Millennial Aboriginal Australians Have Developed Their Own Language” came out on 11 2018  (https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/light-warlpiri)

Carmel O’Shannessy was also interviewed about Light Warlpiri by Jess Ong on ABC radio Darwin on 21 October 2018 (https://www.abc.net.au/radio/darwin/programs/sundaymorning/sunday-morning/10375626 ).

2018 Wurm Prize

Owen Edwards has won the 2018 Stephen Wurm Graduate Prize for Pacific Linguistics for his PhD thesis, "Metathesis and Unmetathesis: Parallelism and Complementarity in Amarasi".  Examiners and the Wurm Prize Committee commented on his thesis with praises: ‘beautiful… both in its presentation and in the depth and scope of its content’, ‘high quality … rare in our field’, ‘an excellent description of a complex and fascinating phenomenon…’ ,  ‘a masterfully written dissertation that tackles an extremely complex linguistic phenomenon on the interface of phonology, morphology, syntax and pragmatics’, ‘innovative and significant in its theoretical findings’.

Speaking Gamilaraay

The ANU and CDU are running the second AILI in January 2019, working to have more Australian Indigenous languages taught at University and to develop qualifications for teachers of those languages. The course,  

Speaking Gamilaraay will be available on-line and face-to-face. Contact the Convener

Dr John Giacon (jgiacon@ozemail.com.au; john.giacon@anu.edu.au 0421177932) for further information.

Wayan Arka

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News from University of Sydney

Recent conferences and workshops

In August, Yaegan Doran delivered an invited workshop on Legitimation Code Theory at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, before traveling to Odense, Denmark with doctoral student Yufei He for the 9th International Conference on Multimodality at the University of Southern Denmark. In October, he delivered a plenary at the XIV Latin American Systemic Functional Linguistics Association congress in Puebla, Mexico, focusing on the rhetorical strategies used to deliver uncommon-sense values systems in the humanities, as well as a two-day pre-conference course on Legitimation Code Theory.

Mark Post and Yankee Modi presented three papers at the 51st International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics at the University of Kyoto.

In late September, a number of us attended the 30th Australian Systemic Functional Linguistics Association conference at the University of South Australia in Adelaide. Jim Martin and Yaegan Doran gave talks and workshops, as well as current HDR student Anna Crane and former Honours student Georgia Carr.

Also in late September, Monika Bednarek presented two co-authored talks at the Digital Humanities Australia 2018 conference in Adelaide, on corpus linguistics and on visualisation.

PhD student Kelvin Lee presented his research on language use in Japanese anime at the Fourth Asia Pacific Corpus Linguistics Conference in Japan in September.

Future conferences and symposia

This November 23-25, 2018, the department will be hosting a three-day forum Functional linguistics: descriptive and typological perspectives. The aim of the forum is to present ongoing work on language description informed by functional linguistics, asking in particular what the term ‘functional’ can mean as linguists develop the field of functional language typology.

In addition, our Department won a bid to host the 25th Himalayan Languages Symposium and 52st International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics in June 2019. The co-ordinated conferences, which will be co-organized by Mark Post, Gwendolyn Hyslop and Yankee Modi and co-sponsored by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre and the China Studies Centre, will have the common theme Linguistic Diversity in the Asian Century, and will profile Asia’s many Indigenous languages.

HDR completions

Penelope Thomas, MA/Research

Thesis Title: Facebook in the Australian News: a corpus linguistic approach

Available online at http://hdl.handle.net/2123/18747

New book publications

Monika Bednarek’s new monograph Language and Television Series has just been published with Cambridge University Press. www.cambridge.org/9781108459150

The book brings together linguistic analysis of the new Sydney Corpus of Television Dialogue with analysis of scriptwriting manuals, interviews with Hollywood scriptwriters, and a survey undertaken with university students about their consumption of TV series. The book will be of interest to researchers in corpus linguistics, sociolinguistics, media linguistics, applied linguistics, stylistics, and discourse analysis.

A 20% discount is available when ordering at the CUP site and entering the code BEDNAREK2018 at the checkout.

Companion website: www.syd-tv.com (with access to frequency lists for download)

Nick Enfield’s book Mainland Southeast Asian Languages: A Concise Typological Introduction will be published this month, with Cambridge University Press: https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/mainland-southeast-asian-languages/2FF1FC5B6B0DACB6B052285E94887017

Other news

Nick Enfield has been elected a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.

Gwen Hyslop has been awarded a University of Sydney Brown Fellowship, which will permit her to enhance her documentary and descriptive research in 2019.

Mark Post and Yankee Modi have been awarded a grant by the Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research (USA) to continue their program TRICL - Training and Resources for Indigenous Community Linguists - in the Northeast states of India. They will host a team of international researchers and Indigenous community member researchers over one week in Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh to foster skills development and enhance bilateral research engagement in relation to the region’s many under-resourced Indigenous languages.

Mark Post and Monika Bednarek have both been named 2019 SOAR Fellows at the University of Sydney. Mark’s Fellowship will enable him to expand his current projects partnering with Indigenous researchers and community organisations to document and conserve Indigenous languages of mainland Asia. Monika’s fellowship will enable her to establish a new Sydney Corpus Lab, a virtual platform for connecting computer-based linguists across the university and promote the method in other disciplines.

The University now hosts the new Sydney Centre for Language Research! The Centre, directed by Nick Enfield, brings together around 70 language researchers across Sydney University working in many domains of language research, including computational linguistics, psycholinguistics, educational linguistics, indigenous languages, language and identity, field linguistics, grammar writing, and much more. The centre’s website has information about the Centre and its ten nodes: http://sydneylanguageresearch.org/.  Plans for next year’s UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages are under way.

Monika Bednarek

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News from Wollongong

From Shoshana Dreyfus (University of Wollongong)

A number of Australians SFL scholars were invited as keynotes to The International forum of Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), held at Peking University 20-21stOctober 2018.

From Sydney, Associate Professor David Butt (from Macquarie University) kicked off the conference with a talk about the intersections between SFL and psychiatry, which he has been working on with a team ofSFLers.

Professor Karl Maton (from Sydney University) spoke about autonomy codes.

Professor Jim Martin (from Sydney University) spoke about both lexical and grammatical metaphor and whether they can be seen as two parts of the one phenomenon.

Professor Kay O’Halloran (from Curtin University) showcased new ways of conducted multimodal analysis on big data sets using computers, and

Dr Shoshana Dreyfus (from Wollongong University) spoke about a multi-stratal approach to circumstantial meaning.

Other keynotes included Professor Xuanwei (Alex) Peng, current President of the SFL association in China, Professor Yanmei Gao (conference convenor), Professor Jonathan Webster (City University Hong Kong), Professor Zhihui Fang (university of Florida), Professor Wendy Bowcher (Sun Yat-sen university), Professor Hu Zhuanglin (one of the elder statesmen of SFL in China – one of the first of Michael Halliday’s Chinese students), and Professor Huang Gwowen (previous past Presidant of China SFL). There were also parallel papers, including from our own Dr  Robert McMurtrie (UTS), who is working on space and ambience etc.

This is one of the many SFL conferences held in China each year and it was an honour to be invited.

Alfie Herrero de Haro

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News from Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL)

Forthcoming events


The Dynamics of Language Summer School will be held on 26-30 November at ANU. Hurry – registrations close on 19th November!


Two public lectures will also be presented during the Summer School:

Studying the Vernacular in the Vernacular by the Vernacular Speakers: The Case of the Kulu Language Institute in the Solomon Islands, with Dr Alpheaus Zobule, on 27 November

The Linguistics of the Internet: Why online language matters, with Gretchen McCulloch, on 29 November


CoEDLFest, the annual Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language member conference and research showcase, is being planned for the second of week of February in Sydney. Centre members, please mark this in your diaries!

CoEDL news item links


From red sands to iPads: The changing face of Indigenous storytelling


New book tells of 4000 kilometre Gurindji travelling songs

University of Melbourne

Exploring Indigenous multilingualism: New research shows how linguistic diversity persists and evolves

Centre researchers Tahiti-bound



Norikazu Kogura is visiting from the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies until March 2019

Sebastian Sauppe will be visiting 25-26 October from Department of Comparative Linguistics at The University of Zurich


Sebastian Sauppe will be visiting The University of Melbourne from 19 October – 4 November from Department of Comparative Linguistics at The University of Zurich.

Professor Rafael Núñez will be visiting from the University of California San Diego between 6 – 9 November.

Dr Roberto Daniel Zariquiey will be visiting from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú between 7 - 10 November.

Dr Evan Kidd will be visiting The University of Melbourne from 1 - 9 November from Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, The Netherlands.

Dr Yukinori Kimoto from the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies is a visiting scholar at The University of Melbourne from 9 April – 21 December 2018.

Martin Blaszczyk

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News from Research Network for Linguistic Diversity (RNLD)

The last few months have seen the usual flurry of DRIL workshops and other related activities at RNLD.


In mid-August trainers Amy Parncutt and Andrew Tanner went to Aurukun on Cape York to work with the assistant teachers at Aurukun State School. As of term 4 this year, the Wik Mungkan language is being taught in the school again and will be fully integrated into the curriculum over the coming years. It was an honour to be involved in this workshop to develop ideas for planning for Wik Mungkan’s future.

In September, Amy returned to the Cape this time with DRIL Trainer Ebony Joachim to run workshops with speakers of a range of different languages at the Umagico Indigenous Knowledge Centre, in collaboration with the State Library of Queensland. 

Andrew and Training Director Emma Murphy returned to Kununurra, WA, in October to work with Miriwoong language workers at Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring – the Miriwoong Language Centre – to work on language immersion teaching activities and public speaking skills.

In addition to these larger workshops, smaller workshops were held in Darwin, Brisbane, Broome and Melbourne, to assist language warriors working on Wakka Wakka, Yawuru, Jandai, and Pitta Pitta.

Learner’s Guide Project

Another big project RNLD staff and other participants have been involved with this year is an ILA-funded project to create a template that communities can customise to write learner’s guides for their own languages, with a focus on revitalising and reclaiming languages. RNLD has been working with an advisory group comprising representatives from language groups including Pitta Pitta, Boandik, and Wonnarua. In October RNLD hosted a workshop in Melbourne with this advisory group along with Dr Alice Gaby (Monash) to finalise some of the sections that will be in the finished product. We are aiming to have the template ready to go by the end of 2019.

Master-Apprentice kit winners

After the huge success of the fundraiser quiz night held in Melbourne in December last year (organised by Rosey Billington and Katie Jepson from CoEDL and University of Melbourne), we managed to raise enough money to put together two substantial resource kits for use with the Master-Apprentice Language Learning method, including games, books, and educational toys. We then held a nationwide competition for our participants to win the kits, and have now shipped them off to the lucky winners in Ceduna (SA) and Halls Creek (WA).

Andrew Tanner

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PhD position, University of Queensland

Seeking a PhD student to work on Comparative Conversation Analysis in Australian Aboriginal Languages

Project: Conversational Interaction in Aboriginal and Remote Australia (CIARA)

The research project ‘Conversational Interaction in Aboriginal and Remote Australia’ (CIARA) is funded by the Australian Research Council and will run for four years from 2018-2022. The research team consists of Chief Investigators Dr Joe Blythe (Macquarie University; project leader), Professor Lesley Stirling (University of Melbourne), Associate Professor Ilana Mushin (University of Queensland) and Associate Professor Rod Gardner (University of Queensland), as well as Research Assistant Dr Francesco Possemato and Macquarie PhD student Josua Dahmen. The project’s methodology is Comparative Conversation Analysis, sometimes called Pragmatic Typology, and the overall aim of the project is to investigate possible variation within the interactional domain by comparing informal conversations conducted in four Australian Aboriginal languages (Jaru, Gija, Murrinhpatha and Garrwa) with conversations conducted in poorly documented varieties of non-Aboriginal English in rural and remote outback regions of Australia. The project is supported by a reference group of Aboriginal researchers.

We are seeking a student to undertake a PhD to be associated with but not funded by the project, to be based at the University of Queensland under the primary supervision of Associate Professor Ilana Mushin. We would expect the student to apply for a standard PhD scholarship and be accepted by the University through its standard application processes, where preference is given to students working within ARC-funded projects, and their applications can be considered outside of the usual deadlines for scholarship applications.

The student would work on a comparison of an aspect of conversation across at least two of the Aboriginal languages under study in this project using a Conversation Analysis/Interactional Linguistics approach. The student would work with the existing corpus being developed for this project and not be expect to undertake additional fieldwork to collect data. It is expected that the student would however be able to transcribe and annotate existing recordings as part of the PhD study. The specific topic of the PhD would be open for discussion but would probably align with one of the themes of the broader project: turn-taking and action sequences; conversational narrative; and knowledge representation. We would welcome students who would like to focus on practices of language mixing or shifts between languages in these multilingual communities, as well as students who would like to focus on the comparative use of grammar in conversation.

The student would be part of the project team and have the opportunity to receive mentoring and intellectual support from project members and to contribute to the larger project through taking part in workshops and publications. The student would also benefit from being part of the large and vibrant postgraduate student cohort within the Linguistics program in the School of Languages & Cultures at the University of Queensland.

Prospective students should be eligible to apply for a PhD in Linguistics at the University of Queensland, either as a domestic or an international applicant (for more information see https://languages-cultures.uq.edu.au/study/linguistics and https://graduate-school.uq.edu.au/node/69/2#2 ). Students with a background in Australian Aboriginal Languages, conversation analysis/interactional linguistics, discourse analysis or pragmatics, could be particularly suited to this PhD topic area, but anyone with an interest in this PhD is welcome to contact us for more information. The deadline for expressions of interest is 12th December 2018.

Contact: Associate Professor Ilana Mushin, i.mushin@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 6810.

Ilana Mushin

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AGM Notice and Motions

The ALS AGM will be held on Tuesday 11 December, 5:30pm-7:00pm at the City West Campus, University of South Australia, Adelaide.

Please send any motions or agenda items to the ALS secretary, Caroline Jones caroline.jones@westernsydney.edu.au.

The following positions are becoming vacant this year. If you are interested in nominating for any of the positions below, please email Caroline Jones caroline.jones@westernsydney.edu.au. All positions are for a 2-year term:

  • Vice President (1 position open)
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Associate Secretary (2 positions open)


1. From 1 January 2019, regular membership fees will be $100 for electronic-only delivery of AJL and $110 electronic and print delivery of AJL

Moved: Robert Mailhammer

2. That the ALS establish a new membership category with the title “Affiliate Member”. Dues for affiliate members will be fixed at 10% of the full membership rate. Affiliate members will receive the following membership benefits:

  • Free quarterly newsletter
  • Free online subscription to the Australian Journal of Linguistics, with four issues per year.
  • Membership rates for Annual Conference registration
  • The more intangible benefits of belonging to the network of Australian linguists

Associate membership does not include the following membership benefits:

  • Entitlement to present papers at the Annual Conference
  • Entitlement to apply for grants, prizes, and scholarships

Individuals who are enrolled at a university or who are members of staff at a university are not eligible to become affiliate members of the ALS.

Moved: Alice Gaby

Mark Harvey

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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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