ALS Newsletter May 2019

From the President
News from Macquarie University
News from UWA
News from Monash University
News from Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE)
News from the University of Melbourne
News from La Trobe
News from Western Sydney University
News from Wollongong
News from James Cook University (Language and Culture Research Centre)
News from Charles Darwin University
News from UNE
News from University of Sydney
News from the ANU
News from Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL)
News from Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring
News from Research Network for Linguistic Diversity (RNLD)
2019 Kaldor Scholarship grantees announced
About ALS

From the President

It is great to see photographs included in this quarter’s newsletter. I hope this will be a regular feature from now on. Preparations for our December conference are well underway – the call for panel proposals recently closed and the general call for papers will be announced soon.

The executive committee has begun a review process of our objectives and funding priorities. We will shortly be launching a short member survey to enable us to properly see who our members are and what they expect of ALS. In addition to the survey, we will be engaging a financial planner to assist us in organising our finances to ensure our spending plans are sustainable, and we are also reviewing the roles of executive members. The member survey is an important opportunity to have a say in ALS’s future priorities, and we hope you will all take the time to contribute your views. We will be presenting the results of the review at the AGM in December 2019.

Ilana Mushin

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News from Macquarie University

The Department of Linguistics at Macquarie University will be hosting the Australian Linguistic Society’s annual conference on 11th - 13th December. The overarching theme for ALS2019 will be Celebrating Diversity, in alignment with IY2019, the International Year of Indigenous Languages. We look forward to welcoming old and new ALS Members, Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants, female, male or otherwise, for what we hope will be an all-inclusive conference that celebrates both diversity of participation in linguistics, as well as linguistic diversity itself. Thus far, Lisa Matthewson (UBC) and James Stanford (Dartmouth College) have been confirmed as plenary speakers, and a third plenary event is being organised. The Call for Papers is very imminent! Further developments will be updated regularly on the conference website.

Joe Blythe

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News from UWA

PhD candidate update

Heartfelt congratulations to David Moore who has submitted his PhD thesis titled ‘German Lutheran Missionaries and the linguistic description of Central Australian languages 1890-1910’. David was supervised by Marie-Eve Ritz and John Henderson.

Amanda Hamilton-Hollaway, a PhD student at the University of Queensland, is continuing to spend much of her time working from the UWA campus. After completing work on the Mudburra-English Dictionary project and a collection of Mudburra-English storybooks, she has resumed studying changes to the Mudburra verb phrase.

New PhD students

Connor Brown will be examining tense and aspect in Kimberley Kriol upon commencement of his PhD in June 2019.


Hamilton-Hollaway, Amanda. (2018). Review of Lim, Lisa & Umberto Ansaldo (2016) Languages in contact. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, 33(2), 433–437. https://doi.org/10.1075/jpcl.00022.ham

Conference presentations

Amy Budrikis presented a paper titled ‘You gotta have a purpose: Complex motivations for reinstating the intergenerational transmission of Australian Aboriginal languages’ at the Australian Languages Workshop in Marysville, Victoria, 15-17March 2019. 


On 13 March, 2019 David Moore delivered a talk to the Top End Linguistic Circle meeting, Charles Darwin University. The title of the presentation was ‘Language at the Centre: The contribution of German Lutheran missionaries to linguistics in the Northern Territory’.

In early May Maïa Ponsonnet visited the University of Melbourne to give a talk titled ‘Revisiting the language and culture nexus. Difference and repetition in language shift to a creole’.

Impact and engagement

In April, Maïa Ponsonnet and Luisa Miceli were asked to introduce a group of Year 12 Indigenous students to the field of Linguistics while they were attending a camp at UWA. The group included students from across WA and there were definitely some budding linguists in the mix!

Luisa Miceli is hosting, with colleagues Bethwyn Evans (ANU) and Daniel Midgley (UWA, Talk the Talk), a public event aimed at High School students. Titled ‘Language Across Time’, this event will be held in conjunction with the 24th International Conference on Historical Linguistics, ANU on 1-5 July 2019.  Please spread the word to any Canberra-based high schools that may be keen to participate. http://www.dynamicsoflanguage.edu.au/ichl24/language-across-time/

Celeste Rodríguez Louro is one of the four panel members at the ‘Languages Across Time’ event to be held during the 24th International Conference on Historical Linguistics, ANU in 1-5 July 2019. Other featured speakers include Nick Evans, Mary Walworth and Henry Wu. Celeste will discuss real and apparent time methods in the study of language variation and change. http://www.dynamicsoflanguage.edu.au/ichl24/language-across-time/panelists/


Luisa Miceli is co-organising, with Mark Ellison, a workshop entitled ‘Reconciling Linguistic and Genetic Histories’ at the 24th International Conference on Historical Linguistics, ANU. Submitted papers explore the range of variation found within normal linguistic transmission and how this can contribute to our understanding of mismatches between human genetic and linguistic lineages in different parts of the world. The full workshop description can be found on https://cloudstor.aarnet.edu.au/plus/s/wu2axpv4j8XWOCW#pdfviewer. The workshop is scheduled for Friday 5 July (University House Common Room, ANU) and speakers include Claire Bowern (Yale), Umberto Ansaldo (Sydney), Lisa Lim (Sydney), Russell Gray (Max Planck) and Mary Walworth (Max Planck). The full schedule is available on http://www.dynamicsoflanguage.edu.au/ichl24/program/friday-5-july/.


Celeste Rodríguez Louro and Nyungar elder and language expert Glenys Collard are collecting Aboriginal English data in the metropolitan Perth area for Celeste’s DECRA project. They can be seen video-recording speakers across various locales in Nyungar country (see attached photos, taken and shared with participant permission).


Celeste Rodríguez Luoro

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News from Monash University

Yes, we still exist! After a long hiatus, we look forward to providing regular updates from now on. Here’s what we’ve been up to recently…


Benczes, Réka, Burridge, Kate, Allan, Keith & Sharifian, Farzad (2018). Old Age Revolution in Australian English: Rethinking a taboo concept. In Andrea Pizarro (Ed.), Linguistic taboo revisited: Novel insights from cognitive perspectives. Berlin: Mouton.

Benczes, Réka & Burridge, Kate (2019). Speaking of disease and death. In Keith Allan (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Taboo Words and Language (pp. 61-77). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Börjars, Kersti & Burridge, Kate (2019). Introducing English Grammar (Third substantially revised edition). London: Routledge.

Burridge, Kate & Benczes, Réka (2019). Taboo as a driver of language change and lexical obsolescence. In Keith Allan (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Taboo Words and Language (pp. 180-199). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Haugh, Michael & Musgrave, Simon (2018). Conversational lapses and laughter: Towards a combinatorial approach to building collections in conversation analysis. Journal of Pragmatics. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2018.09.005. https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0378216618300341 (20 November, 2018).

Gaby, Alice & Bradley, John. (2019). Wulaya ‘head’ in Yanyuwa. In Iwona Kraska-Szlenk (Ed.), Embodiment in cross-linguistic studies: the “head” (Brill’s Studies in Language, Cognition and Culture), pp. 263–272. Leiden/Boston: Brill. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004392410_015.

Margetts, Anna (with Kilu von Prince, Ana Krajinović, Nick Thieberger and Valérie Guérin) (2019). Habituals in four Oceanic languages of Melanesia. Special issue on Habituals, STUF - Language Typology and Universals (Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung)

Margetts, Anna (2018). Exophoric demonstratives in Saliba. In Stephen C. Levinson, Sarah Cutfield, Michael Dunn, N. J. Enfield, Sérgio Meira (Eds.), Demonstratives in cross-linguistic perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (Culture & Cognition Series).

Okano, Emi & Brown, Lucien (2018). Did Becky really need to apologise? Intercultural evaluations of politeness. East Asian Pragmatics, 3(2), 151–178.

von Prince, Kilu & Margetts, Anna (forthcoming). Expressing possibility in Daakaka and Saliba-Logea. Studies in Language.

Willoughby, Louisa, Iwasaki, Shimako, Bartlett, Meredith & Manns, Howard (2018). Tactile sign languages. In J-O Östman & J. Verschueren (Eds.), Handbook of Pragmatics: 21st Annual Installment (pp. 239-258). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Xu, Zhichang, Leung, Jennifer, Hall, Mahnaz, Jafari, Janin, & Pour, Marzieh Sadegh (2019). Linguistic diversity on Australian university campus: An ethnographic case study. In Jennifer Jenkins & Anna Mauranen (Eds.), Linguistic Diversity on the EMI Campus: Insider accounts of the use of English and other languages in universities within Asia, Australasia, and Europe. London: Routledge.

Xu, Zhichang (2019). Practices of Teaching Englishes: Pedagogical Reflections and Implications. In Gabriel Fan Fang & Handoyo Puji Widodo (Eds.), Critical Perspectives on Global Englishes in Asia (pp. 157-175). Bristol: Multilingual Matters

Xu, Zhichang (2018). Exploring English as an International Language - Curriculum, Materials and Pedagogical Strategies. RELC Journal, 49(1), 102-118.

Xu, Zhichang, & Sharifian, Farzad (2018). Cultural conceptualizations of Chinese zodiac animals in Chinese English. World Englishes, 37(4), 590-606.

Media publications


Kate Burridge gave a presentation to the Research Branch, Parliamentary Library (Nov 2018), titled What’s happening to Australian English grammar and punctuation.

Kate Burridge participated in the Australian English Forum at La Trobe University (Nov 2018), delivering a presentation titled Whingeing about words — the complaint tradition downunder.

Simon Musgrave gave a presentation at Digital Humanities Australia 2018, University of South Australia, September 25-28 [Digital Humanities and disciplinary frontiers]

Simon Musgrave delivered an invited presentation to 2nd UNNES International Conference on Research Innovation and Commercialization (UICRIC) for the Better Life 2018, Universitas Negeri Semarang, November 10, 2018 [Digital Humanities: new tools and new knowledge]. During his visit to UNNES, Simon also gave a workshop for PhD students and a guest lecture for MA students.

Zhichang Xu delivered an Invited presentation [funded by FASIC] to the 6th Foundation for Australian Studies in China (FASIC) Conference: Global Connections: Space, Place and Shared Destiny (1-4 November, 2018, Sichuan Normal University, Chengdu, China). Presentation title: Exploring ‘self’ as a migrant in Australia through self-translation.

Zhichang Xu delivered an Invited presentation [funded by Macau University for Short-term Visiting Scholarship: MYRG2018-00177-FAH] for the Project entitled: English in Asian Popular Culture. (13-15 December, 2018, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Macau University). Presentation title: Understanding Chinese English through the lenses of World Englishes and Cultural Linguistics.

Recent PhD completion

Gede Primahadi Wijaya Rajeg completed his PhD, supervised by Alice Gaby, Simon Musgrave and Howie Manns. His thesis ‘Metaphorical profiles and near-synonyms: A corpus-based study of Indonesian words for HAPPINESS’ is available open access here.

Melanie Burns

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News from Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE)

Future conferences and symposiums

Our Linguistics students have been accepted to present at Puliima. The title of their presentation is "Student Voices: Addressing the Challenges of Working with and Teaching Indigenous Australian Languages". Four students will talk about their experiences, journeys, challenges and how to overcome them.

Let's Talk Aboriginal Languages - A Symposium Celebrating the International Year of Indigenous Languages

In celebration of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages, Batchelor Institute, Charles Darwin University (CDU) and the Aboriginal Interpreter Service are holding a Symposium dedicated to Indigenous languages at CDU campus. Three presentations are given by Batchelor staff: Maree Klesch's presentation "Language revival: on the run" will look at case studies of how employees of Art Centres and ranger programs engage in language revival that strengthens their work practices and demonstrates the simplicity of moving both-ways philosophy to meaningful practices in creating common ground. Dr Nicoletta Romeo and Paola Fischer will give a presentation on "The importance of linguistic analysis for language workers" by introducing the linguistics programs at CDU/Batchelor designed to equip students with the necessary tools to allow them to work in the context of Australian Indigenous languages. Dr Janine Oldfield and Dr Michele Willsher's presentation "Resource allocation for Bilingual Education: From Cyclone to Drought!" outlines the cognitive as well as well-being advantages of bilingual education. It also tracks the resources required for successful bilingual education in the Territory context. If you would like to attend this free event, please register on https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/letstalk-aboriginal-languages-a-symposium-celebrating-international-year-of-indigenous-languages-tickets-59675524099 by Tuesday 28 May. Full program is also downloadable under this link.

Courses taught

From semester 2, 2019, Batchelor Institute staff will deliver for the first time the newly developed unit Language Centre Management. This is part of the CDU course Bachelor of Indigenous Languages and Linguistics.

Publications forthcoming

Oldfield, J., & Lo Bianco, J. (2019). A long unfinished struggle: literacy and Indigenous cultural and language rights, in J. Rennie & H. Harper (Eds.), Literacy education and Indigenous Australians: Theory, Research and Practice. Singapore: Springer.

Paola Fischer

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News from the University of Melbourne


We welcome Maria Karidakis as our new continuing member of staff. Maria will be convening the International Academic Program and contributing to ESL teaching in the department, as well as continuing her research on health communication in Indigenous contexts, having recently completed her PhD on this topic (supervisor: Barb Kelly). 

Jonathon Lum has also joined us from Monash on a 3 year contract to teach Semantics and other subjects, partly to replace Lesley Stirling, who is now our Head of School. 

Brett Baker was promoted to Associate Professor in the last round. 

PhD completions:

Maria Karidakis: Communicating in medical settings: strategies & challenges for effective cross-cultural interpreting

Lucy Davidson: Allies and adversaries: categories in Murrinhpatha speaking children's talk

Marco Espinoza: Intergenerational indigenous language transmission and family language policies: the case of three Pewenche families in south Chile

Forthcoming Events

The fifth international Discourse-Pragmatic Variation and Change conference (DiPVaC5)  will take place at the University of Melbourne (Parkville campus), Australia, from 3-5 June 2020. The call for papers is now open and will close on 16th September 2019: https://www.dipvac.org/conference-series.html. The conference has received generous sponsorship from the Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL) and the School of Languages and Linguistics, University of Melbourne.

Selected publications:

John Mansfield: Murrinhpatha morphology and phonology. 2019. Pacific Linguistics/De Gruyter Mouton. 

Ngandi and Ngalakgan plants and animals: Biocultural knowledge of flora and fauna from the Rose, Wilton, Roper and Phelp rivers, north Australia. 2019. Daniels, C. W. et al., Brett Baker, Grant Mathumba Thompson and Glenn Wightman. NORTHERN TERRITORY BOTANICAL BULLETIN No. 50: DEPARTMENT of ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES and Ngukurr Language Centre.

Brett Baker

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News from La Trobe

As president of the Comité International Permanent des Lingustes, Prof David Bradley gave the opening plenary on the sociolinguistics of language endangerment at the 2019 Linguistic Forum on Indigenous Languages of Russia and the World at the Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow on 4 April.


David Bradley

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News from Western Sydney University

Staff Movements

WSU PhD candidate Martin Ip was appointed as postdoctoral fellow University of Pennsylvania working with Professor John Trueswell and Professor Charles Yang on a three year position commencing September 2019.


Hannah Sarvasy travelled to Cairns to give a plenary at the Multidisciplinary Symposium: The language of well-being LCRC, CASE (DTES) and CPHMVS (DTHM) (23-24 April).

Laurence Bruggeman presented a talk at EPC in Wellington on the 25 April. Bruggeman, L., Cutler, A. Rhyme competition in spoken word recognition depends on the availability of cognitive resources.

Liquan Liu presented a talk Rhythmic similarity and advantages on vowel perception: differences among 9-month-old Dutch bilinguals, and  Paola Escudero and Liquan Liu presented: Catherine Bredemann, Haley Vlach, Christopher Fennell, Clara Levelt, Liquan Liu & Paola Escudero. Children's Memory for Words and Speech Sounds Learned Via E-book Training. at the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting Baltimore  in Maryland, USA from the 21st March to the 23rd.

Josephine Lardy from the Jilkminggan community and Mark Richards co-presented at the International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC 6) in Hawaii from 27 February to 2 March. “Archival audio documentation can play an important role in language revitalisation contexts with few or no fluent speakers." Anjilkurri Radley, WSU Masters student also presented there on “Usefulness of gesture as a teaching modality to learn the gathang language.” 

Josephine, Mark and Anjilkurri also took part in a field study of language revitalisation projects on the island of Hilo from 4-5 March.

Rob Mailhammer co-organised the conference “English in Contact” at Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan, 28-29 March and gave a talk titled “A moving target: English on Croker Island”. The conference featured international specialists on varieties of English, such as Sali Tagliamonte (Toronto), Edgar Schneider (Regensburg) and Stephanie Hackert (Munich).

Rob Mailhammer gave a paper co-authored with Patrick Caudal, who is a Visiting Fellow at Western Sydney unitl July, titled „A comparative account of the Iwaidja and Anindilyakwa modal systems” at the Australian Languages Workshop at Camp Marysville, Victoria, 15-17 March

Grants and Projects

Caroline Jones began a project in collaboration with National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL) and Australian Hearing (AH)   – the ERLI project to produce training resources for a suite of 3 screening tools (parent checklists of hearing and home language). These tools will help Health workers and Early Childhood Educators to refer potential speech/language development issues or hearing loss in young children (0-5) for further investigation and support. 

Rachel Hendery will be based at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Powerhouse Museum) as a MAAS Research Fellow for the month of May (as well as another month in the second half of the year).  

Rob Mailhammer and Patrick Caudal are consulting partners in a project involving ARDS Aboriginal Corporation in Darwin. The project aims at language maintenance on Croker Island, specifically targeting Iwaidja, and employs a part-time community linguist (Dr Aung Si). The project has attracted additional funding from the CNRS (Paris) for the production of a community publication.

Other activities

Dominique Estival was interviewed by the magazine Flights Safety Australia, published by CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) about her work on Aviation Communication:


And also published the following article in the same magazine:

https://www.flightsafetyaustralia.com/2019/04/communication-its-what-we-do-all-the-time/ discusses the new edition of the Safety Behaviours for Pilots training kit (https://www.casa.gov.au/safety-management/publication/safety-behaviours-human-factors-pilots-2nd-edition) which includes videos of another interview with me.

Rachel Hendery gave an invited careers talk about careers in linguistics and how to study it at university to Sydney Girls' High School, which was attended by a packed room of enthusiastic young women who had been introduced to linguistics through OzClo, the Australian Computational and Linguistics Olympiad. 

Recent publications

Lyn Tieu had a study published in PNAS that reports on a couple of experiments testing people's interpretation of gestures and animations in linguistic contexts, and has implications for the source of linguistic meaning : https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/04/23/1821018116

See press release here: https://www.westernsydney.edu.au/newscentre/news_centre/more_news_stories/paint_me_a_picture_western_research_reveals_linguistic_meaning_in_gestures_and_animations

Sarvasy, Hannah. 2019. “Short, finite and one-sided bridges in Logoori.” In Valérie Guérin (ed.), Bridging Constructions. Berlin: Language Sciences Press. 35-52.

Sarvasy, Hannah and Eni Ögate. 2019. “Early writing in Nungon in Papua New Guinea.” In Arieh Sherris and Joy Kreeft Peyton (eds.), Teaching Writing to Children in Indigenous Languages. New York: Routledge. 185-201.

Hendery, Rachel and Jason Gibson. 2019. "Crowdsourcing Downunder". KULA: Knowledge Creation, Dissemination, and Preservation Studies  3 (1):22 https://kula.uvic.ca/

Best, C. T. (2019). The diversity of tone languages and the roles of pitch variation in non-tone languages: Considerations for tone perception research. Frontiers in Psychology: Language Sciences. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00364articles/10.5334/kula.52/

Mailhammer, Robert & Patrick Caudal. 2019. Linear Lengthening Intonation in Croker Island English: identifying substrate origins. JournaLIPP 6, 40-56.

Rachel Hendery

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News from Wollongong


Moore, A. (2019). Language and medicine. Cambridge Handbook of Systemic Functional Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 651-688. 

Evans, N and Moore, A. (2019). Is there a turtle in this text? Animals in the Internet of Robots and Things. Animal Studies Journal 8 (1), pp. 21-41.

Other news

Our two-year old guest speaker: The Connor challenge!

(From Alfie): My baby, Connor, was born in February 2017, just a few days before the academic year started. In my first lecture, before going on parental leave, I threw the Connor Challenge to my students. My baby had started learning Spanish at the same time as my students, so I told them that I would bring Connor into class in two years’ time to see who had learned more Spanish in that time.

Connor was our guest speaker in the tutorial of week 3 (2019). SPAN341 students learned about early bilingualism, Andalusian Spanish accent development in children, and animals. A series of activities compared vocabulary and accent between our two-year-old speaker and SPAN341 students (e.g. Praat). The two-year-old guest speaker had a more native-like accent in Spanish and had a bigger vocabulary in terms of animals; understandably, SPAN341 students showed slightly better reading and writing skills.

Master Connor Herrero de Haro during his inaugural lecture on bilingualism, Andalusian Spanish, and animals.

Alfie Herrero de Haro

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

ERA assessment

During the latest ERA assessment by the ARC, linguistics at JCU (represented exclusively by the LCRC) was evaluated at 4 ('Above the world level'), a significant achievement for a high-performing discipline with very few staff employed full time. JCU received ‘high’ ratings in 6 of the 14 submitted impact case studies. The high impact case studies and key research leaders included 'Documenting language in PNG', by Distinguished Professor Sasha Aikhenvald (which featured the impact of her research among the Manambu and the Yalaku people of the East Sepik Province, PNG).

LCRC members news


Dr Carola Emkow (PhD 2007, La Trobe Uni) has been appointed Adjunct Research Fellow at the LCRC. She is an expert on Araona, a Tacana language from Bolivia, and on Bena Bena, a Papuan language from the Gorokan family in the Eastern Highlands of PNG.

Dr Chia-jung Pan (PhD 2012, JCU), Nankai University, China, has been appointed Adjunct Research Fellow at the LCRC. He is an expert on Saaroa, an endangered Formosan language, and various issues in the grammar of Formosan languages.

Betsy Bradshaw, educator and librarian (SIL International), has been appointed Adjunct Fellow at the LCRC. She is an expert in editing and linguistic archiving.


Christoph Holz is currently undertaking fieldwork on Tjang, an Oceanic language of New Ireland, PNG, until October 2019. On 8 May, he will be presenting a talk on Number and number words in Tjang, at SIL, PNG, Ukarumpa.

Luca Ciucci is currently undertaking fieldwork on Chiquitano, an isolate from Bolivia, and Chamacoco, a Zamucoan language from Bolivia and Paraguay, until July 2019.

Special activities by LCRC-ers

Dr Neil Alexander Walker, Research Fellow at the LCRC, will be teaching a course on Pomoan languages at the 2019 LSA Linguistic Institute, University of California, Davis, June 24-July 19, 2019. For more information, see https://lsa2019.ucdavis.edu/get-to-know-your-instructors-neil-alexander-walker/; https://www.linguisticsociety.org/2019-linguistic-institute-UCdavis

Visiting Fellows at the LCRC in 2019

Professor Silvia Luraghi, University of Pavia, Pavia (Italy) is an expert in pragmatics, philology, and historical linguistics, with a special focus on Indo- European languages, including Hittite. She will be visiting LCRC in early July 2019.

Professor Maarten Mous, Leiden University, is one of the leading experts in African linguistics, and African studies in general, with a focus on Cushitic languages, Bantu languages, language and identity, and also derivation and valency-changing devices. In his capacity as a Partner Investigator of the ARC DP 'The integration of language and society' (CI Aikhenvald and Dixon), he will spend July-August at LCRC working within the framework of the project.

Dr Timothy Henry-Rodriguez, a major expert on Ventureño and other Chumashan languages, will be visiting LCRC in August, working on various grammatical topics.

Dr Dineke Schokkin is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific. She is an expert on Paluai, an Oceanic language of Baluan (Manus Province, PNG) and also Idi, a language from the Pahoturi River Family spoken in the Morehead District of Southern New Guinea. She is planning to be at the LCRC in July-August 2019, working on various issues in these languages.

Felix K. Ameka lectures in African Languages and Cultures at the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics and is an Associate Researcher, Language and Cognition Group at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen. He is interested in language documentation and description, typology, cross-cultural semantics, pragmatics, the socio-cultural, and cognitive motivations of grammar, anthropological and contact linguistics. His empirical specialisation is West African languages, mainly Kwa languages and other languages of wider communication, namely, Hausa and Fulfulde, with a focus is on Gbe, i.e. Ewe, Gen Aja and Fon; Ghana-Togo-Mountain languages, especially Likpe; Guang and Akanic languages. He will be visiting the LCRC in August 2019.

Professor Anne Storch is among the half-a-dozen top experts in African Linguistics, and African Studies in general, spanning the study of languages and the contexts within which they are spoken, the anthropology and history of the African continent within an ethnographic and sociological perspective. She is recipient of the prestigious Leibnitz award. Her expertise and achievements encompass in-depth studies of numerous languages and societies in East and West Africa (with a special focus on Benue-Congo, Nilotic and Atlantic language areas), in addition to her recent engagement with the language of tourism and the African and German diaspora communities in Jamaica. In her capacity as a Partner Investigator of the ARC DP 'The integration of language and society' (CI Aikhenvald and Dixon), she will be at the LCRC in August 2019 working within the framework of the project.

Dr Knut Olawsky has been conducting linguistic research in the tropics for more than two decades (Ghana, 1993-1999; Peru, 2000-2005; Australia, 2005 ongoing) and has written grammars of the Dagbani and Urarina languages. Since  2005 he manages the Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring Language and Culture Centre in Kununurra (East Kimberley), where he works with the Miriwoong people to document and revitalise their language. He will be a Visiting Fellow at LCRC from 13 September to 13 December 2019, working on discourse organization of Miriwoong.

Dr Steve Watters (PhD 2018, Rice University), a lecturer at Baylor University, is an expert on Dzongha, a Tibeto-Burman language of Bhutan, and numerous other languages of the family. He will be a Visiting Fellow at the LCRC from 15 August to 20 December 2019, preparing his grammar of Dzongkha for publication.

Professor Heronides Moura (PhD 1996, Unicamp, Brazil), Professor of linguistics at the Universidade Fedeal de Santa Catarinba, an expert on Portuguese and Romance linguistics will be visiting rhe LCRC from 1 December to 22 December 2019, working on various issues in the grammatical structure of Roamnce languages in typological perspective.

New books published and forthcoming

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald and Elena Mihas (eds). Genders and classifiers. A cross-linguistic typology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. August 2019.

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

Alexander Walker. A grammar of southern Pomo. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press (scheduled for 2020).

R. M. W. Dixon. Australia’s original languages: an introduction. Sydney: Allen and Unwin. 2019.

LCRC Events in 2019

LCRC International Workshop: 'The integration of language and society'

Cairns, 21-23 August 2019

Convenors: Professor Alexandra Aikhenvald, Professor R. M. W. Dixon

Invited participants include Nerida Jarkey (University of Sydney), Anne Storch (University of Cologne), Maarten Mous (Leiden University) Luca Ciucci, and Alex Walker (LCRC)

The Language and Culture Research Centre has a high international reputation, based in part on a series of international workshops conducted by the Director (Distinguished Professor A Y Aikhenvald) and Deputy Director (Professor R.M.W. Dixon, Honorary DLitt honoris causa JCU), over the past 20 years (six of these were conducted at JCU, since 2010). The topic of our International Workshop for 2019 is 'The Integration of Language and Society', based on the ARC DP under the same title (CI Profs Aikhenvald and Dixon, and Dr Nerida Jarkey, U of Sydney). The Workshop will bring together linguists and anthropologists, including international Partner Investigators on the ARC DP, Prof Dr Maarten Mous (U of Leiden) and Prof Dr Anne Storch (U of Cologne), and other scholars).

Celebrating 10 years of linguistics at JCU (Cairns)

The year 2019 marks ten years since the establishment of the Language and Culture Research Group, transformed in 2011 into the Language and Culture Research Centre. Linguistics at JCU (CASE, Cairns) has acquired a high international profile, marked with numerous acclaimed publications, competitive grants (including an Australian Laureate Fellowship), and graduate students' successes. We envisage a celebratory panel for this event planned for July 2019.

International Workshop: The challenges of linguistic diversity: its social, anthropological, and structural aspects

24-25 September, Bern

Supported by the Universities Australia/DAAD project 'Language emergence in multilingual contexts', CASE (JCU) and the University of Bern

Convenors: Prof. Dr. Péter Maitz (Institut für Germanistik, Universität Bern) Distinguished Professor Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald (LCRC, JCU)

Invited participants include Professor Peter Trudgill, Professor Susan Gal, Dr Luca Ciucci, Dr Alex Walker, Nathan White, Dr Kasia Wojtylak

Masterclass in Tok Pisin

organized through the Cairns Institute, and taught by Professor Craig Volker, Adjunct Professor at the CI and the LCRC (to take place in the second half of 2019, supported by the CI). The Masterclass, of c. 30 hours, will involve approximately 30 students (fee-paying), and will attract a wide participation of the community across JCU and Cairns at large.

The fortnightly Workshop of the LCRC, 'Adjective classes'

Workshop on Adjective Classes, Wednesday 8 May

Firew Worku: The adjective class in Mursi

Workshop on Adjective Classes, Wednesday 15 May

Alex Walker: The adjective class in North-Eastern Pomo

Seminar, Wednesday 22 May

Junwei Bai (Abe): Egophoricity in Munya?

Seminar, Wednesday 19 June

George van Driem: The phonology of Drenjongke

Seminar. Wednesday 10 July

Silvia Luraghi: The rise of ergativity and the origin of ergative markers in Hittite.

Everyone is most welcome

Recent events

Multidisciplinary Symposium: The language of well-being


23-24 April 2019, Cairns

Convenors: Prof Maxine Whittaker (Dean of CPHMVS, DTHM, JCU), Distinguished Prof Alexandra Aikhenvald, Professor R M W Dixon, Dr Luca Ciucci, Dr Kris McBain-Rigg, Dr Alex Walker

Language of well being Group photo 2

Group picture (24 April 2019)

The Tropical Languages and Cultures Documentation Laboratory is located within the Language and Culture Research Centre (LCRC)

The Tropical Languages and Cultures Documentation Laboratory offers recording facilities, and opportunities for creating orthographies, reading and other materials, and developing web-based resources, in endangered and poorly documented languages of the tropics. Services provided include research consultancy and online services. For further details please consult:

Carola Emkow, Carola.Emkow@jcu.edu.au, Coordinator, 61-7-42321881, and Distinguished Professor Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald Alexandra.Aikhenvald@jcu.edu.au, Director of the LCRC, 61-7-42321117

The LCRC 2019 Bulletin will soon be available at http://research.jcu.edu.au/lcrc

Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

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News from CDU

Charles Darwin University in association with Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education and the Aboriginal Interpreter Service presents: LET'S TALK Aboriginal Languages Symposium - An event in celebration of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages. 9am - 4:30pm Friday 31 May, at Charles Darwin University, Casuarina Campus – details athttps://www.cdu.edu.au/northern-institute/events/lets-talk-aboriginal-languages-symposium2019

The Australian Indigenous Languages Institute is pleased to announce the Top End Indigenous Languages Intensive to be held at CDU in Darwin from 8-19 July, 2019. Choose from 3 courses: Introduction to Yolŋu Languages & Culture (1 week only), Linguistics for Indigenous Languages, Language in Society (both 2 weeks). Scholarships are available for Indigenous language workers. See details at https://aili.cdu.edu.au/

Cathy Bow

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News from UNE

Finex Ndhlovu will be on SSP in South Africa from 1 July 2019 to 8 February 2020. He will be working on a book project that he is co-authoring with Professor Leketi Makalela (Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg). The book is titledDecolonising Multilingualism in Africa: Recentering Silent Voices from the Global South and is in contract with Multilingual Matters, Critical Language and Literacy Series.

Nick Reid, now an Adjunct, is working with the Nganambala and Nauiyu community schools on the development of primary-level curriculum plans and resources, with the aim of introducing a Ngan’gi Language revival program, beginning with years 1-2 and 3-4 across 2019.

Helen Fraser continues to collaborate with the ALS/ALAA working party (formed at the 2017 AGM) to progress our Call to Action, seeking reform of problematic legal procedures for the handling of indistinct covert recordings used as evidence in criminal trials (for more background, please visit forensictranscription.com.au). 

The Call to Action has now been endorsed by ASSTA (speech science and technology) and by AusIT (interpreters and translators). The latter is particularly important, as many covert recordings feature conversations in languages other than English - and it turns out legal procedures for translation are at least as problematic as transcription of English material.

Another important development is that a working party of judges has been formed to consider our issues. We have begun discussion with them, and with their help, we are expecting to convene a workshop for senior figures in law, law enforcement and linguistics to discuss the problems and consider solutions - hopefully in October.

Helen will be delivering a keynote at IAFL Melbourne in July, recounting the story of the Call to Action - and hopes to see plenty of ALS members there (loads of other great keynotes, workshops and talks to enjoy!).

She will also provide a workshop for linguists, explaining the problems of forensic transcription and translation, exploring their implications for linguistic theory, and discussing how providing a better way of handling covert recordings requires developments in linguists’, as well as lawyers’, ideas about what transcription is and how it works (see AJL paper below).


Fraser, H. 2019. Don't believe your ears: ‘enhancing’ forensic audio can mislead juries in criminal trials. The Conversationhttps://theconversation.com/dont-believe-your-ears-enhancing-forensic-audio-can-mislead-juries-in-criminal-trials-113844

Fraser, H. 2019. ‘Enhancing’ forensic audio: What if all that really gets enhanced is the credibility of a misleading transcript? Australian Journal of Forensic Scienceshttps://doi.org/10.1080/00450618.2018.1561948

Fraser, H. 2019. The role of native speakers in LADO: Are we missing a more important question. In Patrick et al. (Eds), Language Analysis for the Determination of Origin. Springer. 

Fraser, H. 2018. Forensic transcription: How confident false beliefs about language and speech threaten the right to a fair trial in Australia. Australian Journal of Linguistics. 50(2):129-139 https://doi.org/10.1080/07268602.2018.1510760

French, P., & Fraser, H. 2018. Why ‘ad hoc experts’ should not provide transcripts of indistinct forensic audio, and a proposal for a better approach. Criminal Law Journal 42(5): 298-302 http://sites.thomsonreuters.com.au/journals/2018/11/30/criminal-law-journal-update-vol-42-pt-5/

Fraser, H. 2018. Covert recordings used as evidence in criminal trials: concerns of Australian linguists. Judicial Officers Bulletin, 30(6), 53–56. 

Fraser, H. 2018. Review of ‘Forensic Communication in Theory and Practice: A study of discourse analysis and transcription’. Language and Law/Linguagem E Direito, 5(1), 103–108.

Fraser, H. 2018. Legal precedent based on false beliefs proves hard to overturn. The Conversationhttps://theconversation.com/legal-precedent-based-on-false-beliefs-proves-hard-to-overturn-94410 

Fraser, H. 2018. ‘Enhancing’ forensic audio: False beliefs and their effect in criminal trials. Australian Journal of Forensic Scienceshttps://doi.org/10.1080/00450618.2018.1491115  

Fraser, H. 2018. Thirty years is long enough: It’s time to create a process that ensures covert recordings used as evidence in court are interpreted reliably and fairly. Journal of Judicial Administration, 27(3), 95–104. http://sites.thomsonreuters.com.au/journals/2018/06/15/journal-of-judicial-administration-update-vol-27-pt-3/

Fraser, H. 2018. Real forensic experts should pay more attention to the dangers posed by “ad hoc experts” (Guest Editorial). Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, 50(2), 125–128 https://doi.org/10.1080/00450618.2017.1340523

Fraser, H. 2018. ‘Assisting’ listeners to hear words that aren’t there: Dangers in using police transcripts of indistinct covert recordings. Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, 50(2), 129-139 https://doi.org/10.1080/00450618.2017.1340522


ASM Rafi, PhD Candidate, has recently completed his fieldwork in Bangladesh. He is exploring the promises of translanguaging pedagogies in the context of Bangladeshi higher education. As a part of his fieldwork, he has collected translingual data from two public and two private universities in Bangladesh.

Arvind Iyengar

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News from University of Sydney

Launch of the Sydney Corpus Lab

The Sydney Corpus Lab has officially been launched! This is a virtual, rather than a physical lab, and is an online platform for connecting computer-based linguists across the University of Sydney and beyond. Its mission is to build research capacity in corpus linguistics at the University of Sydney, to connect Australian corpus linguists, and to promote the method in Australia. From 18-19 March, the Sydney Corpus Lab hosted its first event – a series of talks which highlighted some of the great work going on in corpus linguistics in Australia and overseas. The program included speakers from Lancaster University (UK), Waseda University (Japan), the University of Melbourne, and the University of Sydney, presented over two days. More information about this event can be found here:


Contact info@sydneycorpuslab if you’d like to become an Australian/NZ affiliate of the lab. You will then be added to our mailing list and will receive relevant news and invitations to Sydney-based events.

Other recent events

Ahmar Mahboob gave a plenary address at 54 RELC conference in Singapore: ‘Does Language Standardisation Lead to Discrimination and Marginalisation?’ on March 10.  

Mark Post and Yankee Modi co-organized Training and Resources for Indigenous Community Linguists (TRICL) 2 at Napit Village in Arunachal Pradesh, India, from April 15-19. Sponsored by a grant from the Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research, the week-long event was attended by 20 Indigenous Community Linguists representing 13 ethnolinguistic communities from northeast India and Bhutan, and included intensive training and practice in recording and transcription techniques, orthography development, and the use of ELAN and FLEx software for community-focused language documentation. In addition to Post and Modi, resource persons at TRICL2 included Kellen Parker van Dam and Mijke Mulder (both LaTrobe University), Prafulla Basumatery (Gauhati University and Bodo Community), and Mosyel Khaling (Firebird Foundation and Uipo Community).

Upcoming events

Ancestry and Language

A HKU-USydney Priority Partnership Symposium 

The University of Sydney, 16-17 May 2019

A symposium on ‘Ancestry and Language’ will be held on 16-17 May 2019, an event of ‘The ebb and flow of heritage: Investigating urban multilingual diaspora’, a HKU-USydney Priority Partnership Collaboration Award (Umberto Ansaldo and Nick Enfield, PIs; Lisa Lim, Co-I). It brings into conversation scholars from Hong Kong and various Sydney institutions -- including the University of Sydney, Macquarie University, and University of New South Wales -- on the topic of heritage/ migrant/ community/ indigenous languages, drawing on the research and expertise on situations and experiences in both Greater China and Australia. It explores dimensions of, inter alia, migration, migrant languages, minority languages, indigenous languages, language acquisition, education, and language policy, with a central question of how our cultural ancestries are managed through our linguistic practices, with particular interest in situations where ancestry is multiple, and where multilingual ecologies are involved. More details and registration at: https://sydneylanguageresearch.org/events/ancestry-and-language/ and https://slam-events.sydney.edu.au/calendar/ancestry-and-language-hku-usyd-partnership-symposium/

Linguistic Diversity in the Asian Century

The University of Sydney, 24-29 June 2019

The USyd Department of Linguistics will host a week-long event Linguistic Diversity in the Asian Century, comprising the 52nd International Conference on Sino-Tibetan Languages and Linguistics (ICSTLL52, June 24-26), the 25th Himalayan Languages
Symposium (HLS25, June 28-29), a day of associated workshops (June 27) and a panel on Language Endangerment in the Himalayan Region, co-organized by Gerald Roche (LaTrobe University) and sponsored by the Australian Himalayan Foundation (June 27).  

Contact:  icstll52hls25@gmail.com

Website: https://sites.google.com/view/icstll52hls25/home

Language, Genes and Prehistory

The USyd Department of Linguistics, the Molecular Ecology, Evolution, and Phylogenetics laboratory and the China Studies Centre will co-host a one-day workshop on ‘Language, Genes and Prehistory.’ Confirmed presenters include Lindell Bromham and Xia Hua (both ANU), George van Driem (Universitaet Bern) and Paul Sidwell (USyd). The event will focus on theoretical and methodological issues associated with the adaptation of phylogenetic techniques to various types of language data, with a particular focus on the Asia-Pacific region, and will also include a hands-on software clinic organized by Simon Ho (USyd) and colleagues.

Contact: mark.post@sydney.edu.au  

Visiting scholars

The Department will be hosting a number of visiting scholars during the month of June, including George van Driem (Universitaet Bern), James A. Matisoff (UC Berkeley), Tian-Shin Jackson Sun (Academia Sinica) and Jade d’Alpiom Guedes (UC San Diego). 

Selected publications

The Language Ecology journal, co-edited by Umberto Ansaldo and Lisa Lim, published a special issue (at the end of 2018) on Language of Empire, Language of Power, guest edited by Kees Versteegh. https://benjamins.com/catalog/le.2.1-2

Bednarek, M. (2019) ‘Don’t say crap. Don’t use swear words.’ – Negotiating the use of swear/taboo words in the narrative mass media. Discourse, Context & Media Online First 14 March 2019

Bednarek, M. (2019) The multifunctionality of swear/taboo words in television series. In J. L. Mackenzie & L. Alba-Juez (eds), Emotion in Discourse. Amsterdam/ Philadelphia: John Benjamins: 29-54.

Enfield, N., Stivers, T., Brown, P., Englert, C., Harjunpaa, K., Hayashi, M., Heinemann, T., Hoymann, G., Keisanen, T., Rauniomaa, M., et al (2019). Polar Answers. Journal of Linguistics, 55(2), 277-304.

Martin, J., Zappavigna, M. (2019). Discourse semantics. In G. Thompson, W.L. Bowcher, L. Fontaine, D. Schonthal, (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Systemic Functional Linguistics, (pp. 358-381). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

Martin, J., Zappavigna, M. (2019). Embodied meaning: a systemic functional perspective on paralanguage. Functional Linguistics, 6(1), 1-33.

Martin, J., Zappavigna, M. (2019). The Rites of passion: Remorse, apology and forgiveness in Youth Justice Conferencing. Linguistics and the Human Sciences, 12(2-3), 101-121.

Post, M. (2019). Topographical Deixis in Trans-Himalayan (Sino-Tibetan) Languages. Transactions of the Philological Society. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-968X.12155


Lisa Lim writes a fortnightly ‘Language Matters’ column for Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post’s Sunday Post Magazine (https://www.scmp.com/author/lisa-lim). Some recent topics include: 

Ahmar Mahboob published a series of articles introducing and developing subaltern linguistics. These can be found here:



Myfany Turpin has a piece in The Conversation about an Aboriginal song that was known widely across Australia: http://theconversation.com/aboriginal-australias-smash-hit-that-went-viral-112615

Monika Bednarek

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News from the ANU

Conferences and Workshops (Upcoming)

ICHL2019 (International Conference on Historical Linguistics)

Date: 1st July – 5th July 2019

Location: The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

Keynote speakers:

  • Anita Auer (University of Lausanne): Urbanisation, supralocalization and the emergence of Standard English
  • Chris Ballard (Australian National University): Historical contexts for language transformation in Melanesia 
  • Mattis List (MPI Science of Human History, Jena): Open problems in computational historical linguistics 
  • Felicity Meakins (University of Queensland): Language diversification through the lens of rapid intergenerational change 
  • Nigel Vincent (University of Manchester): The diachrony of control
  • As well as: Hirosi Nakagawa (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies), and Mary Walworth (MPI Science of Human History, Jena).

Conference website: < http://www.dynamicsoflanguage.edu.au/ichl24/  

Early bird registration closes on 31 May!

News: Introducing the ICHL24 conference, with Dr Bethwyn Evans

Lexcial-Functional Grammar (LFG) 2019 Conference

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

When: 8-10 July 2019

Where: Hedley Bull Lecture Room 1, Hedley Bull Building (130), Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

Registration: http://www.dynamicsoflanguage.edu.au/lfg-2019/registration/

Early bird registration closes on 1 June!

Program: http://www.dynamicsoflanguage.edu.au/lfg-2019/program/

Keynote Speakers: Kersti Börjars, University of Manchester; Louisa Sadler, University of Essex

TEACH-IN on Using Lexical-Functional Grammar (LFG) in diachronic linguistics (6 July): http://www.dynamicsoflanguage.edu.au/lfg-2019/teach-in/

Register separately for this workshop.

E-mail contact: lfg19anu@gmail.com

Local organisers: Wayan Arka, Elisabeth Mayer, Jane Simpson

Sociophonetics Workshop

When: 16-19 July 2019
Where: The Australian National University
Registration: The event is open to all, but please register here before Monday 24 June.

We are welcoming a team of experts on sociophonetics to ANU, to talk about their latest research and address key questions in the field. The sessions will go from 9.30 to 11.30am each day, and will consist of a one-hour talk followed by a 30-minute break and then 30 minutes for questions and discussion. The sessions are:

  • 16 July: Jen Hay (University of Canterbury): "What does it mean to know a word?"
  • 17 July: Paul Foulkes (University of York) and Gerry Docherty (Griffith University): "It all comes out in the wash? Striking a balance in the analysis of speech corpora"
  • 18 July: James Walker (La Trobe University): “Vowel Devoicing in São Paulo Portuguese”
  • 19 July: Katie Drager (University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa): “Sociolinguistic Variation and Social Meaning in Hawai’i”

Organised by: Ksenia Gnevsheva, James Grama, Catherine Travis
Sponsored by: Research School of the Humanities and the Arts, CASS, ANU; Sydney Speaks (ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language). If you have any questions please email Ksenia at ksenia.gnevsheva@anu.edu.au

Recent workshops

The annual Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) workshop

The annual Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) workshop was held at the ANU on 15-16 April, bringing together NSM researchers from Australia and overseas. Carsten Levisen (Roskilde University, Denmark) delivered a keynote on ‘Postcolonial Semantics’; and a special session was devoted to new developments in NSM, led by Cliff Goddard and Anna Wierzbicka.

The Workshop had two themes: lexical and grammatical semantics and using Minimal English in applied semantics projects. On the former, Helen Bromhead looked at the meaning of bushfire in Australian English, Jan Hein (Griffith) on lunfardo in Argentine Spanish, Goddard and Wierzbicka on “We semantics”, Lauren Sadow on a meta-analysis of semantic molecules in explications, Tine Junker (Griffith) on love and affection terms in English and German, Zuzanna Bulat-Silva (University of Wroclaw, Poland) on Spanish terms of endearment, Wendi Xue (ANU) on uncle-type terms in Sinitic languages, Teagan Collopy (Curtin) on Japanese bimyou, and Zhengdao Ye (ANU) on emotion terms in Shanghainese.

In the Minimal English (MinEngl) sessions, Anna Wierzbicka proposed a definition for ‘carer’, Elita Machin (Griffith) spoke about using MinEngl in language revitalisation; David Bullock (Washington) on developing an NSM checker; Deborah Hill (Canberra) on MinEngl in agricultural training in the Pacific; Lauren Sadow on developing a cultural dictionary of Australian English, and Anna Wierzbicka on teaching ‘cognitive virtues’ through MinEngl.

Four undergraduate students from Roskilde University presented a joint paper on Velfærd (‘Welfare’) as a cultural and political keyword in Danish, supported by a student mobility grant from their university. (Item from the organisers: Zhengdao Ye, Cliff Goddard and Anna Wierzbicka.)


Carmel O'Shannessy's research on Light Warlpiri was featured in the magazine, The Genetic Literacy Project (GLP) on April 9, 2019: https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2019/04/08/tracing-the-birth-of-new-languages-asolder-tongues-fade-away/

Carmel O’Shannessy was interviewed on “Constant wonder” on BYU Radio, Utah, USA on March 9 about Light Warlpiri and the emergence of new languages. http://www.byuradio.org

Carmel’s interview on ABC’s Awaye program in NAIDOC week, 2017, “Why Indigenous languages matter”, was repeated on the ABC March 1-8, 2019. https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/awaye/why-indigenous-languages-matter/10854724

Ozclo 2019

This year, OzCLO 2019 was marked by innovation and growth in every state and territory in terms of participating schools, teams and competitors. The online system was moved to our OzCLO webpage and integrated with the registration system allowing for incorporation of a fee as part of the registration process. 

In ACT, 10 schools participated with 65 teams and 248 participants in the first round, up by one school and 30 participants. We noticed an unprecedented move from offline to online participation this year with only two schools and eight teams competing at ANU. The four teams competing in the National Round came from two public and two private schools. The ACT OzCLO team provided the students with a smooth and enjoyable experience supported by our generous sponsors: the Australian National Dictionary Centre, with the very welcome and generous OUP book vouchers for the three senior teams; SLLL for provided the venue and ‘Monolingualism is curable’ T-Shirts for the two junior teams; and Prof Jane Simpson and CoEDL provided the catering.


Arka, I Wayan. 2019. "Grammatical relations in Balinese." In n Argument Selectors: A new perspective on grammatical relations, edited by Alena Witzlack-Makarevich and Balthasar Bickel, 257-299. John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Barth, D. (2019). Effects of average and specific context probability on reduction of function words BE and HAVE. Linguistics Vanguard, 5(1), pp. -. Retrieved 9 May. 2019, from doi:10.1515/lingvan-2018-0055 https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/lingvan.2019.5.issue-1/issue-files/lingvan.2019.5.issue-1.xml

Radhakrishnan, M (2019) Musicolinguistic approaches to the study of song, Performance Research, (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13528165.2019.1601943)

Pawley, Andrew. 2018.  'Memoirs of an anthropological linguist'.  Te Reo, Journal of the Linguistic Society of New Zealand 61(2). Special issue:  Linguistics in New Zealand: personal histories, pp. 95-113.

Zhang, J. (2019). Cross-linguistic influence on Chinese-L2 learners’ acquisition of classifiers. ANU Undergraduate Research Journal9, 156-171. Retrieved from http://studentjournals.anu.edu.au/index.php/aurj/article/view/138


Mahesh Radhakrishnan has completed a 1.5 year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Centro de Linguística da Universidade de Lisboa in Portugal working as an ethnomusicologist on the Documentation of Sri Lanka Portuguese project, an ELDP funded language documentation project. Mahesh is now continuing as a Visiting Fellow in Anthropology at ANU (and CoEDL Affiliate) doing research at the intersections of language and music, particularly with Sri Lanka Portuguese-speaking communities. They were recently interviewed on SBS Tamil about Sri Lanka Portuguese language and music:  


Discussion groups

The 'Sung Poetry' group is an interdisciplinary discussion group founded by Alan Rumsey exploring the intersections of language, music and culture in various forms of sung performance. The group is based at ANU but participants include scholars from various universities in Linguistics, Anthropology, Ethnomusicology, Folklore and related fields. Please contact Mahesh Radhakrishnan on maheshwara@gmail.com if you are interested in research in this area and wish to be added to the mailing list to find out about Sung Poetry seminars and related events. 

Wayan Arka

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

Forthcoming events

CoEDL Summer School 2019

Save the date and start the preparations! The annual CoEDL summer school has been scheduled to take place at The University of Melbourne on 2 – 6 December. A taste of the classes that will be on offer is now available.

Panel discussion

Felicity Meakins, Myfany Turpin and photographer Brenda Croft will discuss Songs from the Stations (SUP, 2019) on 1 July 2019 at Avid Reader in West End (Brisbane).

CoEDL news items


University of Melbourne

  • PhD students Josh Clothier and Eleanor Lewis were awarded Student Awards from the International Phonetics Association to attend the International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2019) in Melbourne in August. This is a wonderful achievement since only a limited number of these are awarded internationally.



Researchers in Speech and Language at MARCS Institute have been awarded $256K for "A study into the delivery of e-mental health services to remote and rural farming communities". Congratulations to Dr Mark Antoniou, Dr Dominique Estival, Dr Anne Dwyer and Dr Weicong Li. Their specialist skills in language science and machine learning will be used to analyse SMS-based support for/interactions with farmers as a form of program evaluation (both quantitative and qualitative), over an 18 month period. 

Congratulations to PhD candidate in Speech and Language, Martin Ip, who will take up a postdoctoral fellow appointment at the University of Pennsylvania working with Professor John Trueswell and Professor Charles Yang, commencing in September 2019.

Martin Blaszczyk

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News from Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring

Mirima Language Nest, Kununurra

The Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring Language Centre’s Miriwoong Language Nest has continued to go from strength to strength in the past year.

Following the Miriwoong Language Nest being chosen as the language other than English taught at St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, MDWg is in negotiations to also fulfil the same requirement for Kununurra District High School. Whereas St. Joseph's has around 15 to 20 students per grade level, KDHS has closer to 100. This would mean a significant increase in the number of children being involved in Miriwoong lessons. This is a major step forward for the importance and legitimacy of the program and will lead to further expansion into Years 4 to 6 across Kununurra.

The Language Nest program regularly receives positive feedback from participants, staff at partnering early education services, and staff involved in the delivery of the program. Recently, a Save the Children Australia Youth Worker commented: “What you are doing is invaluable for these children, to teach them language is to connect them to country, spirit and themselves. I believe this is the way to healing for these little ones and it brings such pride and strength to the families”. The Language Nest program has been asked to participate in various assemblies at both Kununurra primary schools. The students have greeted everyone in Miriwoong, taught attendees about Miriwoong culture, danced traditional Miriwoong dances, and sung various Miriwoong songs in front of the entire school and many community member


The Miriwoong Language Nest program, as the teaching arm of the Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring Language and Culture Centre, was a finalist for the Curtin University Teaching Excellence Award for 2018. The program received further recognition as Jo-Beth Winton, one of our Miriwoong Language Engagement Officers, was nominated for and won the Third Sector Awards – Young Leader of the Year 2018 Award. Jo-Beth has been an integral part of the Language Nest teaching team and has helped raised the profile and public image of the Miriwoong Language Nest program. She is currently a finalist in the Seven News Young Achiever Flying Doctor Service Regional Service Awards, with the winner to be announced at the end of May 2019.

We look forward with anticipation to the seeing the Language Nest program continue to excel in its endeavours to promote and transmit the Miriwoong language to future generations.

Kirsty Wager

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News from Research Network for Linguistic Diversity (RNLD)

In February, Training Director Emma Murphy, trainer Amy Parncutt, and Volunteer coordinator & Admin Assistant Frey Scott attended the International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation in Honolulu, followed by the He ‘Olelo Ola Hilo field study on the Big Island of Hawai’i. This was an amazing opportunity to meet with language warriors from around the world, and to see the incredible work being done in Hawai’i and across the globe to revitalise Indigenous languages. The team also gave a presentation about RNLD’s work with trainer Ebony Joachim presenting via video, and we were proud to present the inaugural Margaret Florey scholarship to Gunggay man Nathan Schrieber. The scholarship helped support Nathan to attend the conference, and present about his own inspirational language journey.

In March, trainers Andrew Tanner and Ebony Joachim travelled to Port Augusta, SA, to run a workshop with Adnyamathanha language teachers and community members from across the region. The workshop had been organised in collaboration with the Mobile Language Team from the University of Adelaide, and was focused on language immersion techniques that might be used in Adnyamathanha language classes in primary school.

In May Ebony and guest trainer and former RNLD employee Jess Solla travelled to Kununurra in the Eastern Kimberley region of WA to work with staff at Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring, the Miriwoong language centre.

Andrew and Amy Parncutt made the long trek to the Great Sandy Desert in WA in May also for their third workshop with the Martu people, this time in the remote community of Parnngurr. The focus of the workshop was on using recording devices to capture the living oral storytelling traditions of the community’s elders, many of whom were born well before non-Indigenous people came to the region.

We are also pleased to announce our new relationship with Ripponlea Institute as our Registered Training Organisation (RTO) partner. We are getting ready to recommence our nationally accredited training in 2020, specifically our Certificate III in Aboriginal Languages for Communities and Workplaces.

We invite you to get in touch with us if you or people you work with are interested in organising some training with RNLD, or hearing more about our work. We deliver accredited and non-accredited, flexible training in communities, homes and workplaces all across Australia and are happy to discuss how we can support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working to reclaim, revitalise or maintain their languages.

Pictured: Melvyn Farmer records Martu elders (from L-R) Muuki Taylor, Waka Taylor, and Jimmy Williams telling stories of the old days. At Kunti-kunti on the Karlamilyi (Rudall River), WA.

Emma Murphy

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2019 Kaldor Scholarship grantees announced

Two joint winners of the 2019 Kaldor Scholarship have been selected. They are Sasha Wilmoth from the University of Melbourne and Susie Greenwood from the University of Adelaide. The field of applicants was very strong, and both successful applicants were deemed equally supportable. Congratulations to both grantees.

Bill Palmer

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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.

Membership of ALS includes free subscription to the Australian Journal of Linguistics, which publishes four issues per year. Members are entitled to present papers at the annual conference. ALS membership is handled through the ALS website https://als.asn.au/.

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