ALS Newsletter November 2019

From the President
Celebrating Diversity at ALS2019
Conference travel support
News from UWA
News from Western Sydney University
News from Griffith University
News from Monash University
News from Wollongong University
News from University of Sydney
News from the ANU
News from Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL)
News from UNE
News from Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE) and CDU
News from Macquarie University
News from James Cook University (Language and Culture Research Centre)
News from La Trobe
News from Living Languages
News from the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Melbourne, 5-9 August 2019
About ALS

From the President

I felt a bit dizzy going through all of the activity that linguists around the country have been engaged in – and these are just those that reported to this current newsletter! A special welcome to Drs Sam Rarrick (Griffith) and Sally Dixon (UNE) as they start their new positions, and congratulations to Dr Carmel O’Shannessy on her ARC Future Fellowship. The amount of linguistic activity and achievement is too much really to contain in a quarterly newsletter so to this end…

The ALS is on Twitter! The newly formed ALS social media team comprised of Connor Brown and Celeste Rodríguez Louro launched Twitter on 20 September 2019. If you still haven’t done so, please follow us. We are @AusLingSoc. As we get better at this, we hope to be able to more effectively disseminate what is happening in Linguistics in Australia to an audience far wider than our membership. So please use us to promote your events, achievements, and issues.

Our annual conference is coming up next month and I look forward to seeing many of you there. The ALS AGM will be held at 16.30 on Thursday 11th December. Please plan to attend if you are at the conference as there will be much to discuss, especially around the results of our member survey, revision of our Statement of Objectives and future plans. Nominations are currently open for President, Vice President (x2) and Student Representative. Please send your nominations to Rob Mailhammer through info@als.asn.au 

Recently, Celeste Rodríguez Louro circulated a ‘Sustainable Linguistics: a working proposal' paper which was developed by UWA linguists to move us towards more environmentally and socially sustainable ways of conducting our work as linguists. ALS believes this is an important discussion to have and will arrange a time during the conference for further consideration of the UWA initiative. Please stay tuned for more on this. You can access the working paper through our website (and make sure you follow our twitter feed for more).

Ilana Mushin

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Celebrating Diversity at ALS2019

Macquarie University’s Department of Linguistics is proud to be hosting ALS2019, the 52nd conference of the Australian Linguistic Society. In recognition of the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL2019), we have chosen the overarching theme Celebrating Diversity for this event. Linguistic diversity and variation are central to human diversity, which, for better or for worse, has bestowed Homo sapiens with the extraordinary evolutionary fitness that has allowed us to shape our own destinies and the destiny of our planet. We will thus celebrate our languages and their speakers, as well as celebrate the diverse range of peoples who are engaged in linguistic research or engaged in programs aimed at safeguarding our linguistic diversity.  

Our conference program is certainly worth celebrating! On Tuesday the 10th of December we have a very exciting pre-conference program, followed by an official welcome reception and welcome to country. In the main conference (11th to 13th December), we have three exciting plenary presentations. On the Wednesday, James N. Stanford will speak about efforts to blend variationist sociolinguistics with language documentation, while on the Thursday, Lisa Matthewson will present on semantic variation, with reference to her work on St’át’imcets (Lillooet Salish), Gitksan (Tsimshianic) and Niuean (Polynesian). Finally, on the Friday we will conclude the conference with a public showcase event: Two way Linguistics: Working together for Indigenous Languages. (Seats are limited, so register here for this free event.) This plenary panel will examine linguistic partnerships between academic researchers and community-based language workers, with a mind to developing better career pathways for Indigenous people working to document and protect their linguistic heritage. Presenters include representatives from Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Cultural Co-op (Sharon Edgar-Jones), First Languages Australia (Melinda Holden), the Indigenous Alliance for Linguistic Research (Denise Smith-Ali) and the Mudburra Language Project (Eleanor Dixon and Felicity Meakins). Furthermore, the range of panels, workshops, posters and presentations in the general sessions attest to both the diversity of Linguistics in our region of the world, and to the enormous diversity of languages being researched. Well over 50 different languages will be discussed at the conference, including presentations on at least 26 different Australian Aboriginal languages, on more than a dozen varieties of English, on creoles, on mixed languages, signed languages, and on gesture. We are looking forward to welcoming delegates and to speaking and hearing more about the amazing work that we are all engaged in, and to developing our ideas for even more amazing work in the future.      

Joe Blythe

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Conference travel support

The 2019 Indigenous and student conference travel support schemes have been granted.

Funding has been provided from the Indigenous conference travel scheme to assist Jeremiah Tunmuck to present his paper with Joe Blythe ‘Murrinhpatha speaking children's acquisition of sibling-inflected verbal morphology’; and to Glenys Collard to present her paper with Celeste Rodriguez Louro ‘Yarnin' the blackfella way: Quotatives in urban Aboriginal English’. The ALS is pleased to be able to support the attendance of Indigenous presenters at the ALS conference. 

Funding has been provided from the student conference travel support scheme to assist the following students to present their papers: Connor Brown (PhD, UWA) ‘A description of reciprocity and reflexivity in Light Warlpiri’; Daniel Cokis (Honours, UWA) ‘Differential monitoring in bilingual speech processing’; and Catalina Torres (PhD, Melbourne) ‘Challenges in the study of stress - The case of Drehu’.

Bill Palmer

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News from UWA


We are thrilled to welcome Glenys Collard as an Honorary Research Fellow. Glenys is a Nyungar woman who has been working for and with the Nyungar people for over 35 years. Glenys was the first to record the Nyungar language with elders Mr Humphries and Mr Bennell and has chaired multiple state-level and national committees. Glenys is a published author and has taught workshops to thousands of teachers and university students in WA. She is currently working with Dr Celeste Rodríguez Louro on various projects examining variation, change, ideologies and identity in Aboriginal English.

New book

Congratulations to Maïa Ponsonnet on the publication of her newest book, ‘Difference and repetition in language shift to a creole: The expression of emotions’ (Routledge). The book will be launched by Carmel O’Shannessy at the 2019 Conference of the Australian Linguistic Society (ALS), 10-13 December, Macquarie University.


PhD candidate update

Connor Brown is five months into his PhD thesis. His work is titled ‘Diachronic perspectives on the temporal semantics of Kununurra Kriol’. The thesis aims to provide a formal analysis of temporal categories in Kununurra Kriol, along with a consideration of how these forms have changed over time. He is supervised by Marie-Eve Ritz, Maïa Ponsonnet and Celeste Rodríguez Louro. Connor had a successful first trip to Kununurra in September with data collection commencing early next year.


Moore, David. (2019). The Wanderings of Altjira, Christianity and the Translation of Sacred Words. In Sabine Dedenbach-Salazar Sáenz [ed.] 2019. Translating Wor(l)ds: Christianity Across Cultural Boundaries. Anthropos Collecteana, 127–156.

Ponsonnet, Maïa. (2019). Difference and repetition in language shift to a creole. The expression of emotions. London: Routledge.

Rodríguez Louro, Celeste. (2019). Reimagining discourse-pragmatic features of Australian English. In Louisa Willoughby and Howard Manns (eds.). Australian English Reimagined: Structure, Features and Developments. London: Routledge. 66–83.

Grants and scholarships

Honours student in Linguistics Dan Cokis has been awarded a $500 ALS2019 travel grant. He will be presenting a poster titled ‘Differential monitoring in bilingual language processing’.

PhD student Connor Brown has been awarded a $500 ALS2019 travel grant. He will be presenting a paper titled ‘A description of reciprocity and reflexivity in Light Warlpiri’ (with Carmel O’Shannessy, ANU).

Third year undergraduate student Alexander Stephenson has been awarded a travel scholarship to attend the Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language Summer School.

Glenys Collard has been awarded an ALS Indigenous Conference Support scholarship ($750) to support her attendance at ALS2019.

Celeste Rodríguez Louro and Glenys Collard have secured seed funding for their newest collaborative project titled ‘Prisons, schools and fire: Yarning and language change’. The project is funded through a 2019 Australian Linguistic Society Research Grant valued at $4,935.

Conferences and workshops

Michael Ashby, Patricia Ashby and David Moore. Australia’s First Phonetics Laboratory, 1913: Its Founder and Its Context. Presented at the International Congress of the Phonetic Sciences, Melbourne, 5-9 August 2019.

David Moore, A brief history of the language sciences at Western Australia’s first university. Presented at the Henry Sweet Society Colloquium, Edinburgh, 5–7 September 2019.                                              

Maïa Ponsonnet co-presented a paper with Isabel O’Keeffe and James Bednall at the 15th International Cognitive Linguistics Conference. The talk, titled The respective roles of culture and grammar in shaping emotion metaphors, was a contribution to the theme session Minority Languages & Cognitive Linguistics convened by Simon Devylder and Alice Gaby. The conference took place in Nishinomiya, Japan and clashed with Maïa’s early-semester duties at UWA. Yet, she was able to take part in the presentation and some of the theme session remotely thanks to Isabel O’Keeffe’s technical support.

Maïa Ponsonnet co-convened a workshop entitled Putting Emotions and Wellbeing into your own Words with Steven Bird, as part of the PULiiMA Conference in Darwin. This was an opportunity for speakers and language workers from all over Australia to learn and share about emotion metaphors, emotion words, emotional interjections and intonations. Rob Amery also gave a presentation on emotion metaphors in the context of Kaurna revitalization activities.


On 9 September, Celeste Rodríguez Louro was invited to attend the first meeting of the Language Data Commons of Australia (LDaCA) in Canberra. At the meeting, she joined the Policy and Impact Working Group led by Michael Haugh (University of Queensland). Work on the project is ongoing.


  • Gwendolyn Hyslop, University of Sydney.
  • Carmel O’Shannessy, Australian National University.
  • James Walker, La Trobe University.

ANU Summer Scholars Program

Callan Bindon (3rd year student) was accepted into the ANU Summer Scholars Program and will be working on a project supervised by Dineke Schokkin. 

Language Variation and Change, Australia 4 (LVC-A 4)

Celeste Rodríguez Louro is organising, with Catherine Travis and James Walker, the fourth meeting of Language Variation and Change, Australia. This year, we received a record high number of submissions. As such, LVC-A4 will take place over two days. 

Tuesday 10 December will include nine papers on socio-phonetics. It will examine variation and change across varieties of English (including from Anglo-Celtic, Chinese, Irish, Italian and Russian background speakers of Australian English), showcasing diverse methodologies, from elicitation to naturally occurring interaction.

Guided by the ALS conference theme of ‘Celebrating diversity’, the Wednesday 11 December session will follow James Stanford’s ALS2019 plenary. It will feature a keynote by Nicholas Evans (ANU) on the Wellsprings of Linguistic Diversity project, as well as eight papers on variation and change in Anglo-Celtic Australian and New Zealand English, Bininj Kunwok, NT Kriol, Walpiri, and urban and regional Aboriginal Englishes. 

The full LVC-A4 program is available on http://www.dynamicsoflanguage.edu.au/news-and-media/events/article/?id=workshop-language-variation-and-change-lvc-a4

We look forward to seeing you there!

Outreach, impact and engagement

Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre (South Hedland, WA), under the leadership of linguist Logan Simpson, will be launching a new project to examine both language vitality and language attitudes and ideologies in the Pilbara. Wangka Maya works with 31 different languages and, through this study, hopes to gain new insights into the present-day sociolinguistic situation throughout the Pilbara. UWA Linguistics has been providing mentoring and support, particularly in the development of the framework for the study. Selected UWA students will be recruited by Wangka Maya to help with data collection. The project is funded through an Australian Executive Trustee Grant and the Gumala Aboriginal Corporation, and will commence in April 2020.

UWA Linguistics has joined forces with the WA Department of Education to offer an original professional development for teachers. Titled ‘Understanding language’, this one-day workshop held on 28 September 2019 sought to debunk myths such as:

  • People tend to think that language exists in dictionaries and grammars, but language thrives in orality. It has since our ancestors’ first grunts and gestures and it constitutes the heart and soul of traditional culture.
  • We all have accents, but some are more marked than others. A student’s ‘accent’ does not constitute a problem.
  • Beliefs in the existence of ‘good English’ and ‘broken English’ can seriously undermine student confidence and self-esteem with significant consequences for the development of their intellectual ability and subsequent life pathways.

The September meeting was a success so the second iteration is planned for 21 March 2020.

Photo from Sept Meeting

From left to right: Luisa Miceli, Celeste Rodriguez Louro, Rubi Mabrouk, Patsy Konigsberg, Ian Malcolm, Glenys Collard.


Social Media

The ALS is on Twitter! The newly formed ALS social media team comprised of Connor Brown and Celeste Rodríguez Louro launched Twitter on 20 September 2019. If you still haven’t done so, please follow us. We are @AusLingSoc


After a hectic semester of teaching, mentoring and collaborative writing, Dr Sophie Richard is bidding us farewell. All the best, Sophie. We will miss you.

Celeste Rodríguez Luoro

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News from Western Sydney University


Pelle Söderström, Postdoctoral Fellow at The MARCS Institute received a prestigious grant of to investigate the neurophysiology of prediction in word recognition ($AUD446,000 over three years), awarded by The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences of the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation.

Rob Mailhammer was awarded a Western Sydney Partnership grant and a Theme Champion seed grant: “Iwaidja ethnomedicince and oral history” (combined value: $29,000) for a co-funded collaborative project with ARDS Aboriginal Corporation, Minjilang Clinic, Mamaruni School and the University of Paris. The project will collect data on Iwaidja ethnomedicine and oral history. These data will then be used to for cultural training workshops in the clinic and the school.  


Carne, Michael, Chen, Juqiang, Luk, Ellison, Strangways, Sydney, Stockigt, Clara, Mailhammer, Robert & Mark Harvey. Rhotic contrasts in Arabana. In: Calhoun, Sasha, Escudero, Paola, Tabain, Marija & Paul Warren (eds.), Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of the Phonetic Sciences, Melbourne, Australia 2019, 1278-1282. Canberra: Australiasian Speech Science and Technology Association Inc

Mailhammer, Robert & Theo Vennemann. 2019. The Carthaginian North. Semitic Influence on Early Germanic. A Linguistic and Cultural Study. NOWELE Supplement Series 32. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins

Mailhammer, Robert & Ronia Zeidan. 2019. Cross-linguistic influence in bilingual productions of the English past tense in Arabic heritage speakers of Australian English Linguistic Vanguard 5(1), 1-11

Sarvasy, Hannah. (n.d). The root nominal stage: a case study of early Nungon verbs. Journal of Child Language. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0305000919000357

Smirnova, Elena, Robert Mailhammer & Susanne Flach. 2019. The role of atypical constellations in the grammaticalization of German and English passives. Diachronica 36(3), 384-416


Registrations are open for the Digital Humanities Summer Institute, DH Downunder 2019, University of Newcastle, 9-13 December. Classes of particular interest to linguists include working with spreadsheets (e.g. writing macros), Data Wrangling and Exploratory Data Analysis with R, data visualisation, building research databases, open tools for open data, introduction to Python, web maps, project management, building android/iOS apps in React.

An exhibition about Australian languages, Nandiri'ba'nya: Language and Country was held in Sydney during the month of August. This was organised by Rachel Hendery and sponsored by COEDL. It showcased a number of projects by linguists and communities from around Australia. It received fantastic feedback, and was visited by a number of VIPs, including the Federal Minister of Education. 

Staff Movements:

Alba Tuninetti has accepted a new position as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey starting February 2020.

Rachel Hendery

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News from Griffith University

Due to oversight and overwork, we failed to contribute News in the August Newsletter so the following covers a longer-than-usual period. 

Big news from Griffith is that have a new continuing Level B lecturer: Sam (Samantha) RARRICK. Sam’s PhD is from University of Hawai’i. Her dissertation was ‘A Tonal Grammar of Kere (Papuan) in Typological Perspective’ (2017). Her current research focuses on signed and spoken language documentation and preservation. Her current work addresses two endangered languages of the highlands of Papua New Guinea: Kere and Sinasina Sign Language. Sam strives to approach linguistic research through a community-driven approach, ensuring that language users and stakeholders are also decision-makers. Apart from linguistics, she loves SCUBA diving, baking, and dogs.

Dr Sam Rarrick

Dr Sam (Samantha) RARRICK

Sam is presenting the closing keynote at "The 8th Meeting of Signed and Spoken Language Linguistics" (SSLL 2019) at the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka [http://www.sillr.jp/ssll2019/index.html]. Her talk is entitled "Aksen tasol: Identifying & documenting sign language use in Papua New Guinea". It addresses our current knowledge of sign languages in PNG and challenges for researchers & deaf people there, including the idea that sign language use is aksen tasol 'just gesture'.

from Helen BROMHEAD

Helen is about to commence a 2 year Postdoc with the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research. Her research area will be the discourse semantics of extreme weather events (floods, cyclones, bush fires, etc.) in Australia, and especially in Queensland.

from Gerry DOCHERTY

Having hosted the 1st and 2nd Workshops on 'Sociophonetic Variability in the English Varieties of Australia' in 2016 and 2018, plans are under way for the 3rd SocioPhonAus Workshop to take place in mid-July 2020 on our South Bank campus. Watch for details.


Dr. Rachel Thompson has been awarded her PhD. Her thesis title is “Ethnopragmatic Perspectives on Online Political Discourse in Ghana: Inventive and insults on Ghanaweb”. 

Dr. Mingyan Hu has been awarded her PhD. Her thesis title is "Implementing the One-Third Curriculum Policy in Transnational Higher Education Programs in China: A Multiple Case Study of Chinese Host Universities”.


Griffith linguists (staff and grad students) were heavily involved in organising “The Laughter Symposium” in September 2019. Speed talks and roundtable discussions from multiple disciplines.

In February 2020 Griffith is hosting the annual conference of the Australasian Humour Studies Network. Plenty of linguistic talks, including keynotes by Meredith Marra and Dániel Z. Kádár. 5-7 February. [https://slam-events.sydney.edu.au/calendar/26th-australasian-humour-studies-network-conference/]



Goddard, Cliff, Maite Taboada and Radoslava Trnavac. In press/2019. The semantics of evaluational adjectives: Perspectives from Natural Semantic Metalanguage and Appraisal. Functions of Language 26(3). 

Goddard, Cliff and Mullan, Kerry. 2019/2020. Explicating verbs for “laughing with other people” in French and English (and why it matters for humor studies). Humor: International Journal of Humor Research, 33. [Online Ahead of Print Sept 2019 https://doi.org/10.1515/humor-2017-0114]

Goddard, Cliff and Wierzbicka, Anna. 2019. Cognitive semantics, linguistic typology and grammatical polysemy: “Possession” and the English genitive. Cognitive Semantics 5, 224-247. [doi:10.1163/23526416-00502003]

Goddard, Cliff and Wierzbicka, Anna. 2019. Reported speech as a pivotal human phenomenon: Response to Spronck and Nikitina. Linguistic Typology, 23(1), 167–175.  [10.1515/lingty-2019-0006] 


Eisenchlas, S. A.  & R. B. Michael (2019) What’s in a face? The impact of nonlinguistic ‘ethnic’ facial features on accent perception. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. (Online first).

Hu, M., S. A. Eisenchlas, & S. Trevaskes (2019) Factors affecting the quality of transnational higher education in China: A qualitative content analysis of Chinese host universities’ self-appraisal reports. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management. (Online first).

Eisenchlas, S. A., A. C. Schalley, G. Qi, & P. S. Tsai (2019) Home and away – Implications of short-term sojourning of young Australian bilinguals. Lingua. (Online first).

Eisenchlas, S. A., & A. C. Schalley (2019) Reaching out to migrant and refugee communities to support home language maintenance. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 22(5), 564–575.

Eisenchlas, S.A. (2019). Los consejos en los foros digitales. In M. E. Placencia & X. Padilla (Eds.) Guía práctica de pragmática del español [Handbook of Spanish Pragmatics]. London: Routledge, pp. 40-48.


– Goddard, Cliff. (ed.) Minimal Languages in Action (Palgrave). 12 chapters exploring how minimal languages are being put to work across diverse fields: cultural dictionaries, language learning, "easy-to-read" projects, agricultural development training, pediatric assessment, migrant education, talking about cancer, and international affairs. Locations include Australia, USA, Finland, Poland, the Pacific, South Korea and China.

– Schalley, A.C. & Eisenchlas, S.A. (eds.) (in press) Handbook of Home Language Maintenance and Development: Social and Affective Factors. New York / Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. https://www.degruyter.com/view/product/505575 [To appear June 2020.]

– We are pleased to announce the launch of a fully open access book series, titled Current Issues on Bilingualism (Language Science Press). 

    Susana Eisenchlas and Andrea Schalley are among the Editors. This book series will be free for both authors and readers, and publish cutting-edge research on individual and societal bilingualism. The series aims to be inclusive, bringing together the many different strands of bilingualism research. [http://langsci-press.org/catalog/series/cib]

Cliff Goddard

Cliff Goddard's Festschrift launch

Cliff Goddard's academic life and achievements were celebrated at Griffith University on November 13th, 2019. The ceremony was the handover event for a three-volume festschrift which had been prepared by Cliff's colleagues and students in his honour. The editors of the festschrift are Kerry Mullan (RMIT), Bert Peeters (ANU) and Lauren Sadow (ANU). It is published by Springer and the titles are as follows:

  1. Studies in Ethnopragmatics, Cultural Semantics, and Intercultural Communication: Ethnopragmatics and Semantic Analysis
  2. Studies in Ethnopragmatics, Cultural Semantics, and Intercultural Communication: Meaning and Culture
  3. Studies in Ethnopragmatics, Cultural Semantics, and Intercultural Communication: Minimal English (and Beyond)

During the ceremony, which was a surprise to Cliff, the editors, Gerry Docherty, other attendees talked about Cliff's contribution to the Australian linguistics. Other contributors to the festschrift also had sent their messages to Cliff which were read to him during the event.

The link to the festschrift on Springer website:


Resa Arab

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News from Monash University

Best wishes to all for the busy end-of-year period! Here’s what we’ve been up to recently…

Simon Musgrave and Michael Haugh (UQ) received funding under the Australian Research Data Commons Discovery Activities program (Data and Services stream). The sub-project at Monash involved piloting the development of a multilingual parallel corpus based on translated government documents and also enabled Simon to attend the CLARIN conference in Leipzig (September 30 - October 2).

Monash Linguistics and Applied Linguistics had a presence at the International Cognitive Linguistics Conference (Nishinomiya, Japan) in August. Several of our researchers gave presentations, including:

  • John Newman: ‘Questioning the lemma in usage-based linguistics’
  • Alice Gaby & Lesley Woods: "Ethics and collaboration between cognitive linguists and speakers of minority languages"
  • Bill Palmer, Jonathon Lum, Jonathan Schlossberg & Alice Gaby: “Demographic diversity and variation in spatial behaviour within language communities”
  • Gede Primahadi Wijaya Rajeg, Poppy Siahaan & Alice Gaby: "Linguistic and co-speech gestural patterns of spatiotemporal metaphors in Indonesian"

Melanie Burns

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News from Wollongong University


Herrero de Haro, Alfredo. (2019). Catorce vocales del andaluz oriental: Producción y percepción de /i/, /e/, /a/, /o/ y /u/ en posición final y ante /-s/, /-r/ y /-θ/ subyacentes en Almería. Nueva Revista de Filología Hispánica, 67 (2): 411-446. DOI: 10.24201/nrfh.v67i2.3525.

Other news

Shoshana Dreyfus (Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics) has won a UOW Community Engagement Grant Scheme for her project “Giving voice to the voiceless: obtaining the opinions of people with severe intellectual disability who are functionally non-verbal”.

Alfie Herrero de Haro

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News from University of Sydney


The Australian’s 2019 Research Magazine identified Ahmar Mahboob as Australia's leading researcher in the field of English Language and Literature.


The Multilingual Citizen, co-edited by Lisa Lim, together with Chirstopher Stroud (University of the Western Cape) and Lionel Wee (National University of Singapore) (Multilingual Matters 2018), was shortlisted for the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL) 2019 Book Prize. http://www.multilingual-matters.com/display.asp

Recent events

The 13th Free Linguistics Conference was held on 3-4 October 2019 at the Federal University of Paraiba, Joao Pessoa, Brazil (http://www.flcgroup.net/current-conference-2/). The Free Linguistics Conference was established in 2007 at the University of Sydney by Ahmar Mahboob (and Naomi K. Knight, who returned to Canada after her PhD), who continues to coordinate FLC. FLC’s mission is to provide an accessible forum for people working in the area of language sciences to come together and share their diverse perspectives, practices and research. Presentations and workshops at Free Linguistics Conference range across various subjects in language studies, including (but not limited to) language education, applied linguistics, and linguistics, breaking down borders between disciplines and sub-fields.

Over the Semester 2 midterm break, the University of Sydney hosted two major events that drew close to 200 people.

The first was the Australian Systemic Functional Linguistics Association conference, co-convened by Yaegan Doran, Alex García and Dorothy Economou (30th Sep-4th October). This involved a two-day pre-conference institute with six workshops, taught by Sue Hood (Body language and gesture), Brad Smith (Systemic phonology), Peter White (Appraisal), Karl Maton (Legitimation Code Theory), David Rose (Reading to Learn) and Alex García and Georgia Carr (Corpus Linguistics, supported by Monika Bednarek). This was followed by the 3-day conference itself, with around 100 presenters taking part and offering an incredibly wide-ranging set of plenaries, keynotes, colloquia and parallel papers. The conference was excellent, showcasing in particular a large number of up and coming young scholars pushing linguistics and semiotics forward, and the organisers would like to thank everyone who took part.

The second event, organised by Theo van Leeuwen and Yaegan Doran, on 5 October, was a Symposium in Honour of Gunther Kress, who sadly died earlier this year. Gunther was a key figure in sparking a number of major international movements in linguistics in the late 20th and early 21st century, including starting the field of critical linguistics and then critical discourse analysis, arising from his and colleagues work in the 70s at University of East Anglia; then genre pedagogy and the re-introduction of linguistics into education, which amongst other things, underpins much of the literacy components of Australian national curriculum as well as many others across the world; and then Social Semiotics and multimodality, the most expansive and rapidly growing field in semiotics and discourse analysis since the 80s and 90s, growing out of what was known as the ‘Newtown Semiotic Circle’ that involved an influential set of soon to be Professors across Sydney. The day itself included a series of warmly heartfelt talks about Gunther and the work he has influenced from Emilia Djonov, Louise Ravelli, Noel King, Peter Knapp and Anne-Cranny-Francis, Mary Kalantzis, Bill Cope, Theo van Leeuwen, Jim Martin and Bob Hodge. It was a wonderful heart-warming day. An obituary of Gunther in the Irish times can be found here: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/from-writing-to-image-how-gunter-kress-helped-change-the-way-we-think-1.3988599

Upcoming events

The Foundation for Endangered Languages (FEL)’s 2019 conference, organised by the Sydney Centre for Language Research, will be held at the University of Sydney, from 13-16 December 2019, with the theme ‘Causes of language endangerment: Looking for answers and finding solutions to the global decline in linguistic diversity’, with keynote speaker Umberto Ansaldo. http://www.ogmios.org/conferences/2019/

The 4th Documentary Linguistics – Asian Perspectives (DLAP4) conference, will be organised by Department of Linguistics and the Sydney Centre for Language Research, at the University of Sydney, from 3-5 June 2020, with the theme ‘Minorities of Asia: Centring Linguistic, Musical and Performative Practices of Marginalised Peoples’. Abstract deadline 30 November 2019.

Recent publications

Martin, J. R., Doran, Y. J. and Figueredo, G. (eds) Systemic Functional Language Description: Making Meaning Matter. London: Routledge. October 2019.

This volume showcases previously unpublished research on theoretical, descriptive, and methodological innovations for understanding language patterns grounded in a Systemic Functional Linguistic perspective. Featuring contributions from an international range of scholars, the book demonstrates how advances in SFL have developed to reflect the breadth of variation in language and how descriptive methodologies for language have evolved in turn. Taken together, the volume offers a comprehensive account of Systemic Functional Language description, providing a foundation for practice and further research for students and scholars in descriptive linguistics, SFL, and theoretical linguistics. 

Martin, J. R., Maton, K. and Doran, Y. J. (eds) Accessing Academic Discourse: Systemic Functional Linguistics and Legitimation Code Theory. London: Routledge. November 2019.

Academic discourse is the gateway not only to educational success but to worlds of imagination, discovery and accumulated wisdom. Understanding the nature of academic discourse and developing ways of helping everyone access, shape and change this knowledge is critical to supporting social justice. Yet education research often ignores the forms taken by knowledge and the language through which they are expressed. This volume comprises cutting-edge work that is bringing together sociological and linguistic approaches to access academic discourse. Systemic functional linguistics (SFL) is a long-established and widely known approach to understanding language. Legitimation Code Theory (LCT) is a younger and rapidly growing approach to exploring and shaping knowledge practices. Now evermore research and practice are using these approaches together. This volume presents new advances from this inter-disciplinary dialogue, focusing on state-of-the-art work in SFL provoked by its productive dialogue with LCT. It showcases work by the leading lights of both approaches, including the foremost scholar of SFL and the creator of LCT. Chapters introduce key ideas from LCT, new conceptual developments in SFL, studies using both approaches, and guidelines for shaping curriculum and pedagogy to support access to academic discourse in classrooms. The book is essential reading for all appliable and educational linguists, as well as scholars and practitioners of education and sociology.

Selected conference presentations

PhD student Georgia Carr and Monika Bednarek brought a linguistic perspective to the Australasian Diabetes Congress 2019, held in Sydney from 21-23 August, with a poster on “‘Waging war on diabetes’: Diabetes coverage in Australiannewspapers”.

New resource

Jarrak is a web-based timeline of milestones relating to advocacy and action for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages in Australia. It is available at www.jarrak.com.au and houses documentary and audio-visual evidence of many aspects of the journey. Users can click to browse through the items one by one, from the start to the end of the timeline, or use the search function. Jarrak was undertaken as part of the University of Sydney’s Sydney Policy Lab Community Fellowship program, connecting staff and committee members of First Languages Australia (an Indigenous not-for-profit organisation, a nation-wide peak voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language communities (https://www.firstlanguages.org.au) with the School of Education and Social Work researchers Susan Goodwin and Susan Poetsch. As the field of language revitalisation continues to grow in Australia, newcomers can be readily guided to the cache of materials on Jarrak, to assist them to become familiar with the history of the sector, whether they be Ministers, public servants, community members, volunteers, university students or researchers, for example. Many items on Jarrak are also useful for media agencies and journalists, teachers and students in schools, and interested members of the general public.

Jarrak has been under construction 2018-2019. It will be launched on 20 November 2019, in honour of the UN’s International Year of Indigenous Languages.

Visiting scholars

Guichao Zhang from Shanghai Jiao Tong University is a visiting researcher at the Department of Linguistics with the help of a USYD-CSC Postgaduate Research Visiting Scholarship.

Engagement and impact

Mark W. Post continues his work (since 2008) with the Galo Language Development Committee involving collaborative development and popularization of Galo orthography, dictionary development and publication, teacher training workshops, community publishing initiatives, mobile dictionary app. 2019 has seen work on a predictive text tool for mobile phones, and speeches delivered in Galo on importance of language and heritage conservation at large community gatherings e.g. Galo Grand Council, with more than 3,000 people in attendance.

His meetings with political leaders in Arunachal Pradesh and Delhi around language recognition and funding for language documentation, which resulted in state recognition of Galo language in 2009, has in 2019 seen a sanction of Rs 30,000,000 fund for language documentation by Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister.

Lisa Lim writes a fortnightly “Language Matters” column for Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post’s Sunday Post Magazine, at https://www.scmp.com/author/lisa-lim; some recent column topics include:

- Kongish, Hong Kong’s mixed Cantonese-English code, which has also been used by protestors in HK’s recent protests:


- the etymology of ‘police’ and the evolution of various slang terms for ‘police’ in Hong Kong:


Lisa Lim

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News from the ANU

Congratulations to Dr Carmel O'Shannessy, on being awarded an ARC Future Fellowship for her project on ‘Tracking language development of Indigenous children in Central Australia’. This project aims to identify language development paths of Indigenous children in Central Australia by examining the spoken language, gesture and sign of children’s early interactions. ($773,900 over four years).

Podcast: Interactional Foundations of Language: The Interaction Engine Hypothesis, by Professor Stephen Levinson. This is the first episode in the new SYNAPSE Trans-Disciplinary Approaches to the Past seminar audio series from the ANU School of Culture, History and Language.


Gnevsheva, K. (2019). Is it a ‘cooler’ or is it an ‘esky’? Australian Mosaic, 52, 34-35.

Inceoglu, S. (2019). Exploring the effects of instruction on L2 French learner pronunciation, accentedness, comprehensibility, and fluency: An online classroom study. Journal of Second Language Pronunciation, 5, 224–247.

Inceoglu, S. (2019). Exploring the perception and production of L2 French vowels: The role of phonological memory. In J. Levis, C. Nagle, & E. Todey (Eds.), Proceedings of the 10th Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference (pp. 147–157). Ames, IA: Iowa State University.

Inceoglu, S. (2019). Individual differences in L2 speech perception: The role of phonological memory and lip-reading ability. The Modern Language Journal. Online preview https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/modl.12591

O’Shannessy, Carmel. Why do children lead contact-induced language change in some contexts but not others? Language Contact, Continuity and Change in the Genesis of Modern Hebrew 256 (2019): 321.

O’Shannessy, Carmel, Samantha Disbray, Barbara Martin, & Gretel Macdonald (2019), (Re)turning research into pedagogical practice: A case study of translational language research in Warlpiri In Linda Barwick, Jennifer Green, and Petronella Vaarzon-Morel (Eds), Archival Returns: Central Australia and Beyond, Special Issue of Language Documentation and Conservation.

Ross, Malcolm, 2019. A fragment of Papua New Guinea philology. Language & Linguistics in Melanesia 37:42–60.

Sheard, Elena. 2019. Variation, language ideologies and stereotypes: Orientations towards like and youse in Western and Northern Sydney. Australian Journal of Linguistics 39 (4):485-510. doi: 10.1080/07268602.2019.1641066.


Kingstone, Sydney M. 2019. Mapping Australian English: An exploration of perceived and reported regional variation. Canberra: Australian National University PhD.

Zhong, Xueqing Yarjis [Norah]. 2019. Rescuing a Language from Extinction: Documentation and Practical Steps for the Revitalisation of (Western) Yugur Canberra: Australian National University PhD.

Zhang, J. (2019). Crosslinguistic influence on adult L2 learners’ acquisition of Chinese classifiers. (Unpublished honours thesis). Australian National University, Australia.

Conferences and Workshops

  • Gnevsheva, K., Szakay, A., & Jansen, S. presented a paper at Convergence across dialects in monolingual and bilingual speakers. NWAV, Eugene, OR, USA. October 2019.
  • Wayan Arka gave a keynote paper On the competition dynamics and eco-linguistic equilibrium of minority languages: case studies from Indonesia at the ICAPaW (International Conference on Austronesian and Papuan Languages), Bali, Indonesia, 6-8 September 2019.
  • Wayan Arka and Sonja Riesberg gave a master class on Austronesian Morphosyntax at Udayana University after the ICAPaW conference in Bali, 9-14 September 2019.
  • Zhang, J. presented a paper on Mandarin-Speaking Children’s Acquisition of Numeral Classifiers: Nature, Strategies and Problems at The 11th China Cognitive Linguistics Symposium, November 2-3, 2019, Beijing, China.

Wayan Arka

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

Upcoming events

In celebration of the UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages, PARADISEC, The Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Verge Gallery present the podcast launch of ‘Toksave: Culture Talks’. 6pm, Thursday 14 November 2019. You are invited!

Public lecture: Re-Awakening Kaurna, the Language of the Adelaide Plains - Strategies and Methods, presented by Jack Kanya Buckskin and Rob Amery at the CoEDL Summer School. Thursday, 5 December 2019.

Workshop: Language variation and change (LVC-A4) is a biennial meeting of scholars interested in the study of linguistic variability situated in its social context, presenting the latest language variation and change research currently being conducted in Australia and the region. LVC-A4 will take place over two days, with a focus on sociophonetics on the first day, and papers most closely aligned with the ALS Conference theme of ‘Celebrating Diversity’ on the second. 10-11 December 2019, Macquarie University.

Members note that CoEDLFest 2019 will take place on 3-6 February 2020 at The University of Queensland.

The Australian Languages Workshop (ALW) is the annual meeting of linguists and language practitioners researching, revitalising and advocating for First Nations languages. Nest year, ALW will be held on Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island, Queensland), which is the lands of the Quandamooka Peoples, from 28 February to 1 March 2020. The call for papers is now out. Please email Felicity Meakins your presentation title (not abstract!) by 29 November.

CoEDL news items

Centre members take centre stage at ICPhS2019. By any measure, the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS2019) in Melbourne – held for the first time in the southern hemisphere – was a big enterprise. Almost 1000 attendees had the opportunity to take in 787 oral and poster presentations by authors from 63 different countries.

Video: The Linguistics of the Internet. At last year’s Summer School, blogger, podcaster and prominent linguistic communicator Gretchen McCulloch gave a public lecture and a foretaste of her upcoming book, Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language.

Reviving the spirit of vernacular languages in Solomon Islands. In August, a group of Australian linguists joined 100 Solomon Islanders in Honiara for a week of workshops to understand, preserve and reinvigorate their languages. Debra McDougall reflects on a community's grass roots reawakening to the value of its languages.

Centre celebrates International Day of Sign Languages with the Mudburra to English Dictionary. In celebration of the UN International Day of Sign Languages, CoEDL is highlighting the first dictionary of an Australian Indigenous language to include an extensive section dedicated to handsigns.

New book surveys complexities of Archival Returns. Centre members feature heavily as co-authors in a new volume capturing the breadth and complexity of returning records of Indigenous knowledge to their home communities. Archival Returns: Central Australia and Beyond is the 18th Special Publication of Language Documentation and Conservation.

Nen Dictionary available online. A dictionary of the Nen language of Papua New Guinea, compiled by Nicholas Evans, is now available as an online publication.

PNG ‘culture sign’ can’t be pidgin-holed. Papua New Guinea is one of the world’s most linguistically diverse nations, but until now the sign language situation in PNG has been almost completely unknown outside the country.

Mildura’s languages shine in rainbow of colour. The ‘Strengthening Language, Strengthening Community’ project showcases the Latji Latji and Barkindji languages of the region.

Birds-of-Paradise, eye trackers and EEGs: Doing psycholinguistics in the cloud rainforest of PNG. In June, Centre researchers Hannah Sarvasy and Alba Tuninetti arrived in the village of Towet, in the Saruwaged Mountains of PNG, carrying more than the usual field kit – theirs included two mobile electroencephalograph headsets (EEG) and an eye-tracker.


Research assistant Udzel affixes EEG nodes to participant Boas Girip as Alba Tuninetti confirms the EEG system is functioning correctly.


Indigenous language and perception. Nick Evans features on an episode of the ABC’s All in the Mind about how Indigenous languages influence perceptions of self, kinship and the natural world.

How are we preserving the hundreds of Indigenous languages from around Australia? Professor Jane Simpson joins Dr Doug Marmion and Ngunnawal elder Caroline Hughes on ABC Radio Canberra.

Gurindji portal of ICTV In Language is now available! Congratulations to the Gurindji community, Felicity Meakins, Jenny Green and our partner Karungkarni Arts

Video: The many roads to becoming multilingual – Lessons from small-scale speech communities. Nick Evans delivers the 7th Annual Einar Haugen Lecture at The University of Oslo.

Videos: Languages Across Time was a special event where four linguists guided students through some of the ways in which historical linguistics can be a window onto the human past. Held during the 24th International Conference of Historical Linguistics, it featured Daniel Midgley, Nick Evans, Celeste Rodriguez Louro, Mary Walworth and Henry Wu. To watch this and associated videos, and to obtain other classroom resources, visit the web page.

Selected publications

The Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences 2019, held in Melbourne on 5-9 August, feature the work of many Centre members and are now available.

Stephen Levinson is a section co-editor of 'Communication with the and before language', and Caroline Rowland and AI Evan Kidd are section co-editors of 'The development of language', in Human Language: From genes and brains to behaviour from MIT Press.

Linda Barwick, Jennifer Green, and Petronella Vaarzon-Morel (Eds), Archival Returns: Central Australia and Beyond, Special Issue of Language Documentation and Conservation

Francesca Di Garbo, Bruno Olsson & Bernhard Wälchli (eds.), Grammatical gender and linguistic complexity I: General issues and specific studies. Berlin: Language Science Press.

Francesca Di Garbo, Bruno Olsson & Bernhard Wälchli (eds.), Grammatical gender and linguistic complexity II: World-wide comparative studies. Berlin: Language Science Press.

Elvin, J., and Escudero, P. (2019). ‘Cross-Linguistic Influence in Second Language Speech: Implications for Learning and Teaching’, in M. Juncal Gutierrez-Mangado et al. (eds), Cross-Linguistic Influence: From Empirical Evidence to Classroom Practice (pp. 1-20). Springer: Cham.

Evans, Nicholas. 2019. ‘Coevolutionary approaches to the science of language’. In Evolution, Origin of Life, Concepts and Methods, 195-213. Springer International.

Bruno Olsson. 2019. The gender system of Coastal Marind. In Francesca Di Garbo, Bruno Olsson & Bernhard Wälchli (eds.), Grammatical gender and linguistic complexity: Volume I: General issues and specific studies, 197–223. Berlin: Language Science Press.

Sonja Riesberg, Kurt Malcher and Nikolaus P. Himmelmann. 2019. How universal is agent-first? Evidence from symmetrical voice languages. Language 95.3: 523-561. https://muse.jhu.edu/

Simpson, Jane, Samantha Disbray & Carmel O'Shannessy (eds) 2019. Teaching and Learning Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages. (Special Issue of Babel: Journal of the Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers’ Associations), Vol. 54, Issues 1-2.  Contains articles by Denise Angelo, Cathy Bow, Emma Browne, Samantha Disbray, Henry Fraser, John Giacon, Josephine Lardy, Kevin Lowe, Jannette McCormack, Susan Poetsch, Hilary A. Smith, Bernardine Yeatman. 

Simpson, Jane, McConvell, Patrick, and Thieberger, Nick. (2019) ‘Languages past and present’, in Macquarie Atlas of Indigenous Australia, 76-85. Sydney: Pan Macmillan.

Martin Blaszczyk

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News from UNE

Staff movements

Dr Sally Dixon joins UNE Linguistics as full-time staff. She arrives in Armidale from Germany, having previously taught linguistics there at Friedrich Schiller University (Jena) and Erfurt University (Erfurt). Her research and applied work is focused at the intersection of descriptive linguistics, sociolinguistics and education. Sally has a PhD from ANU, and has been involved with the Aboriginal Language Child Acquisition Project, as well as the Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre. At UNE, she will be coordinating Bachelor’s and Master’s units on Aboriginal languages and semantics, among others. Welcome on board, Sally!

Thesis completions

Callum Clayton-Dixon completed his Master’s thesis under the supervision of A/Prof Liz Ellis. His thesis title was An Archival Investigation into the Names and Geographical Distribution of Aboriginal Languages and Tribes Belonging to the Southern Half of the New England Tableland.

Victoria Norford completed her Master’s thesis under the supervision of Dr Mark Conroy and A/Prof Liz Ellis. Her thesis title was Parental expectations on educational options and pathways for heritage speakers of French.

Congratulations to Callum and Victoria!

Talks and presentations

During his Visiting Scholarship at the University of Toronto, Arvind Iyengar was invited to give talks at the Department of Linguistics’ research groups on Language Variation and Change, and Phonology. The talks drew on Arvind’s research on the Sindhi language of South Asia, focusing on intergenerational changes in the language’s phonology and the orthographic and pedagogical implications thereof.

In May 2019, UNE Languages and Linguistics commenced a new discussion series entitled Language Talks! This occasional meetup is designed to bring together language teachers, language learners and linguists, and encourage the exchange of ideas on all topics related to languages and linguistics. Unlike a typical seminar series, this discussion series is intended to be less formal and uni-directional, and more conversational and interactive. The discussions scheduled so far have been:

  • 3 Oct 2019: What can forensic transcription teach us that is useful in other branches of linguistics? | led by Adjunct A/Prof Helen Fraser (UNE)
  • 17 Oct 2019: The Lost Ssons of Kansas: Swedish names in Macpherson County, Kansas | led by Nicholas Waters, independent researcher and language teacher, Sweden
  • 31 Oct 2019: 40 years of Heritage language education in Sweden | led by Birgitta Waters, Linnaeus University, Sweden

Progress on the Linguistics “Call to Action"

Last week Helen Fraser and the linguistics working party (Diana Eades, Lesley Stirling, Alex Bowen, Peter Gray, Georgina Heydon) discussed the ALS/ALAA/ASSTA/AusIT “Call to Action” with four judges of the Judicial Council for Cultural Diversity in an all-day meeting, also attended by representatives of police and public prosecutors from most Australian jurisdictions.

ALS members will recall the Call to Action, sent on 8 December 2017, asked the Australian judiciary to review and reform the legal procedures for the handling of covert recordings in four main areas: transcription of English, translation of languages other than English, attribution of utterances to speakers and ‘enhancing’ of indistinct audio.

We are delighted to inform the membership that the outcome of the workshop was very positive, with the judges accepting that there are indeed problems with the handling of covert recordings, and instigating a range of measures intended to bring about improvement in the relevant procedures. We’ll be able to give more detail after the official notes are released, hopefully in time for the AGM.

While there is still a very long way to go, this is a significant milestone. We are grateful to the judges and other participants - but especially to the many linguists who have supported this rather unusual initiative in a range of ways over a long period. Your contributions are greatly appreciated.

Arvind Iyengar

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News from Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE) and CDU

Recent conferences and workshops

Batchelor Institute was proud supporter of this year’s Puliima Indigenous Languages & Technology Conference, held in Darwin from 19th-23rd of August. Our Linguistics and Language education students presented their language and study journey in front of a full audience under the title "Student Voices: Addressing the Challenges of Working with and Teaching Indigenous Australian Languages". Other Linguistics students and Batchelor staff supported the conference by volunteering in different capacities, Media students held interviews with Puliima attendants, and Batchelor Press and Centre for Australian Languages and Linguistics (CALL) displayed their work at a stall throughout the conference.

From left to right: Anita Painter (Language teacher and Batchelor student Education), Dr Nicoletta Romeo (Batchelor lecturer - Linguistics), Dr Robyn Ober (Batchelor lecturer and Indigenous Research Fellow), Charmaine Councillor (Noongar Language Consultant/Musician and Batchelor student Linguistics), Bilawara Lee (CDU Larrakia Academic in Residence).


Let's Talk Aboriginal Languages’ - A Symposium Celebrating the International Year of Indigenous Languages, held at CDU on 31 May 2019, recordings are now live for viewing:

Sessions 1-6 https://youtu.be/7Tz7j6XRt6U (Session 4 - “Resource allocation for Bilingual Education: From Cyclone to Drought!” by Dr Janine Oldfield & Dr Michele Willsher)

Session 7-8 https://youtu.be/PBCfVqt6EL8 (Reverse Role play / Mock Courtroom Session by Aboriginal Interpreter Service (AIS))

Sessions 9-11 https://youtu.be/7WxHHud2Y68 (Session 9 - “The importance of linguistic analysis for language workers” by Dr Nicoletta Romeo & Paola Fischer, Session 10 – “Language revival: on the run” by Maree Klesch)

Charles Darwin University was represented in two presentations:

“Talking, singing and writing about it together” by Dr Waymamba Gaykamaŋu and Yasunori Hayashi and “Digital technologies for supporting Indigenous language work” by Cathy Bow.

Upcoming events

Launch of Arrernte Online Wordlist: the Eastern and Central Arrernte Online Learners’ List  12th November 2019 at the Apmere Angkentye-kenhe (Yellow Shed language space) at 5pm https://www.facebook.com/events/2442628289398198/ A link to the online resource will be shared following the launch.

Knowledge Intersections Symposium 2019: Red Dirt Knowledge from the Heart Symposium 12-13th November 2019 Program includes a wide range of papers including a number of short presentations relating to language and linguistics. https://www.dka.com.au/uploads/pdfs/191016-FINAL-Program-V3.1.pdf

Australian Indigenous Languages Institute will offer two intensive courses in Darwin in February 2020. See https://aili.cdu.edu.au/ for details about ‘Linguistics for Indigenous Languages’ or ‘Introduction to Yolŋu languages and culture’. Travel scholarships available for Indigenous language workers – applications close 30 November.

Indigenous Languages Intensive


And in case you missed it, check out the Thipe Arrernte Bird App. It’s available free at the app store. Beautifully illustrated by Therese Ryder, the app contains a wealth of information about Central Australian birds including significance for Arrernte people, bird calls, pronunciation of the bird names in Arrernte and audio of the written bird stories.

Courses taught

From Semester 1, 2020, as part of Charles Darwin University's course restructure, the Diploma of Indigenous Language Work, the Associate Degree of Indigenous Languages and Linguistics and the Bachelor of Indigenous Languages and Linguistics will be replaced by the following new courses:

Both the Bachelor of Arts and the Diploma of Arts will offer the same Linguistics subjects as the ones previously included in the courses above. New Linguistics students will need to enrol in either the Bachelor of Arts or the Diploma of Arts, while students currently enrolled in the Diploma of Indigenous Language Work, the Associate Degree of Indigenous Languages and Linguistics and the Bachelor of Indigenous Languages and Linguistics will not be affected by the changes in question and will be able to continue their studies until their completion.

For information on the courses please contact:

Dr Nicoletta Romeo (Lecturer)
Phone:           08 8946 7123
Email: nicoletta.romeo@batchelor.edu.au

For information regarding the SATAC application or course enrolment process please contact:

Dr Michele Willsher (Academic Support Advisor)
Phone:           08 8946 7402
Email: michele.willsher@batchelor.edu.au

Paola Fischer & Cathy Bow

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News from Macquarie University

H:EAR joins WHO World Hearing Forum

Macquarie University's Research Centre H:EAR (Hearing, Education, Application, Research), has been accepted as a member of the World Health Organisation's World Hearing Forum.

The goal of the Forum is to facilitate the implementation of the WHO Resolution on the Prevention of Deafness and Hearing Loss and support WHO's advocacy actions in the field of hearing.

Macquarie Linguistics climbs in Times Higher Educational rankings

Times Higher Education has just published its 2020 world university rankings for arts and humanities subjects – which includes the field of linguistics in their classification – and Macquarie University has been placed 100. This is a big leap from Macquarie's previous position in the 125-150 band last year, and places us 5th in Australia (with just ANU, Sydney, Melbourne and the University of Queensland ahead of us). The full results can be accessed here.

Dr Hanna Torsh's book published by Springer

Macquarie linguist Hanna Torsh's first book has just been published by Springer, in the Palgrave Pivot series. Its title is Linguistic Intermarriage in Australia: Between pride and shame. The book examines the experiences of couples with different language backgrounds and different cultural origins as they negotiate love, partnership and parenting. It is based on the author’s doctoral research into the attitudes and experiences of the English-speaking background (ESB) partners of non-English-speaking background (NESB) migrants in Sydney.

Macquarie at the English Australia conference

The annual English Australia conference for the English language teaching sector was held in Melbourne from September 18 to 20, and Linguistics at Macquarie was there in force. Staff members Phil Chappell and Sandra Pitronaci and HDR students Yulia Kharchenko and Melissa Reed all staffed the Applied Linguistics and TESOL information booth, where we had many inquiries about course work and research degrees. Melissa Reed presented her Master of Research project to a large audience in the main hall, sharing her findings about teacher professional development in the English language teaching sector in Australia. This is always a popular topic and the findings were well received. Yulia Kharchenko and Phil Chappell ran a workshop on the role of English language students’ first language in formal classroom learning. This is a controversial topic that Yulia is pursuing in her PhD project, and it generated robust discussion. Sandra Pitronaci presented on getting your review of English language teaching materials published for the English Australia journal – Sandra has recently been appointed Reviews Editor for the journal. Sandra was also the NSW representative for the “Let’s Get Trivial” closing event.

Agi Bodis, in her dual role as English language teacher educator at Macquarie, and English language teacher and curriculum developer at the language college at UNSW Global, presented on integrating intercultural competence in ESL curricula. She also won the annual Award for Contribution to Professional Practice for her curriculum development work at UNSW Global.

Pamela Humphreys, Director of MUIC and the ELC at Macquarie, presented her work on engaging staff through developing teaching philosophies, a project she recently successfully implemented across the college, and for which she was a finalist in the Award for Contribution to Professional Practice.

Linguistics at Macquarie continues to be the “go to” department for Applied Linguistics and TESOL in the English language teaching sector in Australia, with its sponsorship of conferences such as this and its contribution to the conference streams.

TESOL Research Colloquium

The annual TESOL Research Colloquium, hosted by the University of Sydney and supported by Macquarie’s Department of Linguistics, was held on Saturday September 14, 2019. This is an event attended by over 200 TESOL and Applied Linguistics people from across Australia, New Zealand, and the Asian region. It aims to provide a forum for discussing and sharing research in the area of TESOL, as well as to encourage future research collaboration in this area. The Colloquium is a place where both new and established TESOL researchers can network. It includes presentation sessions on a wide range of TESOL and TESOL-related research, as well as pre-colloquium workshops.

Macquarie’s TESOL community was, as usual, highly visible, with sixteen people presenting and many others attending. Phil Chappell started the day off with a plenary talk. Alice Chik (Department of Educational Studies) hosted a symposium with several Educational Studies HDR students (Yijun Yin, Ha Anh Thi Nguyen, Normala Sulaiman and Muhammad Aulia) as well as PhD candidate Yulia Kharchenko from Linguistics. Individual presentations were given by Master of Applied Linguistics and TESOL students Takato Suzuki and Luis Torres Vasquez; and by Linguistics HDR students Anh Ton Nu, Farzeneh Morovati, Melissa Reed, Stafford Lumsden, Luke Alexander, and Yeong Ju (Crystal) Lee.

Macquarie shines at the International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS)

ICPhS was held in Melbourne August 5-9. This was the first time ICPhS has been held in the southern hemisphere since its inception in 1932. There were nearly 1000 delegates from all over the world.

Macquarie shone at the conference with 15 Macquarie-affiliated delegates and 12 papers/posters presented. Our Macquarie students were honoured with highly prestigious accolades. Joshua Penney and Ping Tang won two of the three Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association best student paper awards.

Joshua Penney: 'Perception of coda voicing: glottalisation, vowel duration, and silence'

Ping Tang: 'The representation of tone sandhi by children with cochlear implants'

Louise Ratko was one of six students shortlisted for the ICPhS best student paper award for her paper 'Onset ‒ vowel articulatory coordination ‒ voiceless stops and vowel length'

Joshua Penney and Louise Ratko were also awarded International Phonetics Association Student awards.

Adam Smith

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

Visiting Fellows at the LCRC in late 2019

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 is a Visiting Fellow at LCRC from 13 September to 13 December 2019, working on word classes and discourse organization of Mirriwoong.

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 is a Visiting Fellow at the LCRC from 15 August to 13 December 2019, preparing his grammar of Dzongkha for publication.

Professor Iwona Kraska-Szlenk (PhD University of Warsaw), of the University of Warsaw, is a major expert in African languages (including Swahili) and various issue in general linguistics, with a focus on cognitive aspects, and language and cognition. During her stay between 11 and 18 November at the LCRC, she will be working on issues related to studying body part terms, with a focus on cognitive linguistics approach (embodiment as key to “universal” conceptualizations, metaphor, metonymic chains, cultural conceptualizations, etc.) and will offer a talk within the LCRC seminar series.

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

New books published and forthcoming

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald. A guide to gender and classifiers. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Forthcoming.

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald. Evidentiality. A Chinese translation to be published by China Social Sciences Press (Beijing). Forthcoming.

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald. 2020. I saw the dog. How language works. London: Profile Books.

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald and R. M. W. Dixon. 2020. Commands: a cross-linguistic typology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Paperback edition.

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, R. M. W. Dixon, and Nathan M. White. Forthcoming. Phonological word and grammatical word: a cross-linguistic typology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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

Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald and Anne Storch (eds). Mouth 4: 1. Taboo in language and discourse. Special issue, 2019.

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

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

Carola Emkow. 2019. A grammar of Araona. Munich: Lincom Europa.

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

Katarzyna I. Wojtylak. A grammar of Murui. Leiden: Brill. Forthcoming.

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 or early 2020, supported by the Cairns Institute). 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.

Roundtable meetings and workshop

The fortnightly Workshop of the LCRC, 'Adjective classes', commenced on 20 February 2019. The materials for the Workshop are available at


Seminar, Wednesday 30 October

Steve Watters: Egophoricity in Dzongkha: representation of speaker knowledge

Workshop on Adjective Classes, Wednesday 6 November

Pema Wangdi: The adjective class in Brokpa

Seminar, Wednesday 13 November

Iwona Kraska-Szlenk: Body part terms in cognitive linguistic studies

Workshop on Adjective Classes, Wednesday 20 November

Luca Ciucci: The adjective class in Chamacoco

Further information on: https://www.jcu.edu.au/lcrc/news-and-events/round-table-meetings-and-seminars

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:

Distinguished Professor Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald Alexandra.Aikhenvald@jcu.edu.au, 61-7-42321117

The LCRC 2019 Bulletin and other materials are now available on our new site at https://www.jcu.edu.au/lcrc/news-and-events/latest-news

Alexandra (Sasha) Aikhenvald

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News from La Trobe

Professor Marija Tabain was Chair of the International Congress of Phonetic Sciences that was held in August 2019 in Melbourne (https://www.internationalphoneticassociation.org/icphs/icphs2019)

La Trobe hosted the second annual Forum on Australian Englishes in July 2019 (https://sites.google.com/view/auseng/home)

La Trobe will host a workshop on Fostering Multilingual Communities 18-20 December as part of a newly formed research cluster of the same name in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (website under construction)

Professor Marija Tabain has been appointed an Editor of the Journal of the International Phonetic Association (https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-the-international-phonetic-association)

Professor James Walker guest-edited a special issue of the journal Asia-Pacific Language Variation on “Regional Chinese in Contact” (https://benjamins.com/catalog/aplv.5.1)

Beginning in 2020, La Trobe University will offer a Bachelor of Languages and Linguistics (https://www.latrobe.edu.au/courses/bachelor-of-languages-and-linguistics), the only university in Victoria to do so and only one of three in Australia

Marija Tabain and Tonya Stebbins have been promoted to Professor, Stephen Morey has been promoted to Associate Professor

Dr Jessica Birnie-Smith (PhD, Monash U, 2018) has been hired on a fixed-term contract for the next two years

James Walker

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News from Living Languages

In September, the Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity launched our new name: Living Languages. While our old name served us well, we’ve grown and changed since our founding, and we wanted a name that reflects what we see in our work: the energy of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who care for and draw strength from their languages, and the living, growing languages themselves, with all their resilience and richness.

We are pleased to introduce you to our new website: www.livinglanguages.org.au

Besides our name and website, nothing else has changed! We’ve had a busy six months since our last update. In May, we delivered our first ever Professional Development Workshop for Youth. Ten young language warriors from around Australia joined us for four days of intensive training in language teaching, linguistics, project planning and public speaking. Our trainer Ebony coordinated this PD, collaborating closely with Annalee Pope from First Languages Australia. In August, Ebony, Annalee and some of the young PD participants presented on the workshop at the Puliima Indigenous Languages and Technology conference in Darwin.     

The other big initiative we were involved in this year was partnering with AIATSIS and Monash University to host Paper and Talk: a two week workshop at AIATSIS in Canberra - 25 years since the original Paper and Talk organised by Nick Thieberger! - bringing together Community Researchers from five different language groups to explore the archives at AIATSIS and other collecting institutions in Canberra. They were supported by a team of Linguistic Partners and trainers with training and assistance in linguistics and research skills. It was a very powerful few weeks - one we hope to repeat in the future.

Other than these special projects, our regular training program has continued as normal, including workshops with Iwaidja teachers at the Mamaruni School on Croker Island, Pitta Pitta and Jandai speakers in Brisbane, and Jawoyn teachers at Barunga School.

Emma and Andrew were joined by Gathang and Wonnarua woman Sharon Edgar-Jones (one of our previous Professional Development participants) to deliver workshops on morphology at the Puliima conference. Sharon will also be joining us in December as we deliver a two-day course at the CoEDL summer school, “Making linguistics accessible to those who need it”. We’re looking forward to working with Sharon, Harley Dunolly-Lee from the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages, and others, for this dive into Aboriginal language scenarios and stories from across the country.

Emma Murphy

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News from the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Melbourne, 5-9 August 2019

The 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences was held in Melbourne, Australia from 5th to 9th August 2019. It is the first time the ICPhS was held in the Southern Hemisphere. The congress was co-hosted by the International Phonetic Association and the Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association, and was supported by La Trobe University, Macquarie University, Victoria University of Wellington, Western Sydney University and the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language.

In total, 792 papers were presented covering a wide variety of topics in phonetic sciences. These consisted of 5 plenary talks, 406 oral presentations and 381 poster presentations. The programme included 10 special oral sessions, 2 special poster sessions and 4 workshops. Contributions came from 47 countries. 473 reviewers took part in the double-blind review of the congress papers, a process that was facilitated by 28 area chairs. 3 satellite meetings were also held. In total, 959 delegates attended the Congress.


The editors of the Proceedings are Sasha Calhoun, Paola Escudero, Marija Tabain and Paul Warren.

To cite papers, please use the following information:

Author Name(s) 2019. Paper Title. In Sasha Calhoun, Paola Escudero, Marija Tabain & Paul Warren (eds.) Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Melbourne, Australia 2019 (pp. XX-XX). Canberra, Australia: Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association Inc.

The online version of the Proceedings of ICPhS 2019 has the ISBN 978-0-646-800069-1 and the publisher is the Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association Inc.

Marija Tabain

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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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