In this edition:
A warm welcome to our new CRLC Members for 2005!
New full members:
The complete CRLC Members list is here.
Evershed Amuzu has been awarded his PhD from ANU (see Profile below).
Bevan Barrett has been awarded the Master of Linguistics degree from ANU and has enrolled in a PhD program in RSPAS with a research topic on historical linguistics and reconstruction in the PNG highlands area. The abstract of his MLing thesis was as follows:
Professor Terry Crowley died in New Zealand in January 2005 at the age of 51. Terry was among the most influential, prolific and versatile scholars to work on Pacific and Australian languages and his premature death is a huge loss to the field. He wrote more than 20 books and 70 articles including a number on historical topics. Terry was the first non-ANU-based scholar to apply for associate membership in the CRLC when it was launched in 2001 and has been faithful in reporting in our newsletter his contributions to the study of language change. His textbook, An introduction to historical linguistics, originally put together in 1981 for students at the University of Papua New Guinea, was taken over by Oxford University Press and went through four editions. Terry made several contributions to the historical phonology and comparative methodology of Australian Aboriginal languages, beginning with his classic paper 1976 paper Phonological change in New England, written when he was still an undergraduate, which settled the question of the genetic position of the Nganyaywana language, once thought to be a non-Australian language. The bulk of his impressive energy was devoted to the linguistics of Melanesia, where he worked on both Austronesian languages and Bislama and its antecedent Melanesian Pidgin English. His 1991 Beach-la-Mar to Bislama: the emergence of a national language in Vanuatu (Oxford UP) and Bislama dictionaries demonstrate his expertise in creolistics, an important field in the area of language change. In recent years he devoted much of his time to documenting several endangered languages of Vanuatu. [Harold Koch and Andrew Pawley]
Patrick McConvell, working with Doug Marmion of RSPAS and
Kazuko Obata, formerly of RSPAS, , in early April submitted on behalf
of for AIATSIS the commissioned report of the National Indigenous
Language Survey of Australia to the Department of Communications (DCITA).
Alan Rumsey has been elected a member of Australian Academy of the Humanities
Gunter Senft, with Marie Salaün (University of Paris-V, France) has organized a session on endangered languages and cultures at the Sixth Conference of the European Society for Oceanists, Marseille (France), 6-8 July 2005. See http://www.pacific-credo.net/esfo/sessions.html#sess10.
Ghil`ad Zuckermann has a new website: http://www.zuckermann.org/
Early farmers and the spread of language families
"You breathe with greater ease these days", observed my wife the other day, and she was right: I have left behind me, in Canberra, a rather breathless PhD journey and year!
In November 2004, I submitted my PhD thesis, Ewe-English Codeswitching - A Composite rather than Classic Codeswitching, which I wrote under the supervision of Harold Koch and Andrew Pawley (both of the ANU), Patrick McConvell of AIATSIS and James Essegbey, who was then at the University of Leiden. The thesis is concerned with aspects of grammatical structure of mixed constituents involving Ewe, a Ghanaian language, and English, the official language and sole medium of formal education in Ghana. I have tried to outline the mechanisms of language mixing being deployed by a people who are experiencing intensive contact between their two languages. The mechanisms seem to define the onset of a relexification process, with English lexemes retaining their abstract lexical structures / subcategorisation features in Ewe morphosyntactic frames. What is happening in this bilingual speech community may be seen as constituting a window onto the mechanisms of language change that obtained in some speech communities in earlier times. The thesis was passed by February and the degree was conferred in April.
An article based on the thesis was published in May, in the first 2005 Issue of the AJL, edited by Margaret Florey and Patrick McConvell. The Issue assembles reports on structural outcomes of various pairs of languages in contact. My contribution takes a critical look at the distinction-made within the Matrix Language Frame model-between Classic Codeswitching (CS) and Composite CS as it applies to Ewe-English CS and Akan-English CS. I recommended some pertinent revisions to the distinction.
Another article that has so far emerged from the thesis is due out in a Monash University Linguistics Papers special issue on possessives in languages in various kinds of language contact situations. I first presented the rough draft of that article, The Composite Matrix Language in mixed Possessive Constructions in Ewe-English Codeswitching, at the international conference on Language Contact, Hybrids and New Varieties: Emergent Possessive Constructions held in September 2004 at Monash University; among the audience was Professor Pieter Muysken.
I have since May resumed work at the University of Ghana, which
gave me a four-year study leave. As the university went on recess
soon after my return, I have found time to begin to estimate the
amount and scope of work I need to do without delay by way of
collection of data on CS involving English and each of three Ghanaian
languages - Akan, Ga and Da?me. Ghanaian languages share a similar
kind of contact with English and my immediate interest is to study
the various data sets in the light of insights I have gained into
structural phenomena in Ewe-English CS.
July 31-August 5: International Conference on Historical Linguistics, Madison, Wisconsin (USA). See http://csumc.wisc.edu/news_files/ICHL.htm
28-30 September, 2005: Australian Linguistic Society Conference, Melbourne, http://www.arts.monash.edu.au/ling/als/index.html
Towards a reconstruction of the history of tone in languages
of the Trans New Guinea family
The Trans New Guinea family is perhaps the world's third largest
language family (after Niger-Congo and Austronesian), with some 400
members. It is also one of the world's least known language families.
One of the problems that need to be tackled in order to reconstruct the history of the family is the question of tone. It is now fairly clear that many members of the family are tonal, and it is likely that Proto Trans New Guinea was also tonal. In this talk I will look at the tonal typology of Trans New Guinea languages and examine tone in one language in greater detail. I will also consider whether a historical reconstruction of Proto Trans New Guinea tone is a realistic goal.
Beyond the reconstruction of proto-Maric - the search for higher-level
genetic relationships among the languages of Queensland
Proto-Maric (pM), the reconstructed proto-language ancestral to
the Maric languages of central Queensland, is typical of Pama-Nyungan
languages in general: it possesses most of the features - phonological,
lexical, morphological and grammatical - common to (and often distinctive
of) this language family, along with numerous individual peculiarities
which serve to distinguish it from its neighbours and relatives.
In this seminar, a summary of pM (as reconstructed in my recent Master's thesis) will be presented, focussing particularly on those features and innovations which help to differentiate it from both its near neighbours and its putative ancestral language proto-Pama-Nyungan (pPN). Evidence that Guwa, a language to the west, may be the Maric subgroup's closest relative will also be outlined.
In addition, I will address the question of Maric's possible wider genetic affiliations, as a first step towards the greater goal of disentangling the complex historical relationships among the Pama-Nyungan languages of Queensland. Drawing primarily upon morphological evidence, it will be shown that the Maric languages appear to bear more in common with languages to their north than with those to the west and south, or to the east along the coast - a possibility which may have important implications for the prehistory of Maric-speaking peoples.
Where and when was Proto Oceanic spoken? Linguistic and archaeological
The challenge of tracing the origins and directions of the Austronesian diaspora has engaged scholars from linguistics and other disciplines for more than a century. In this paper I will discuss the task of locating and dating one important Austronesian interstage, Proto Oceanic, drawing on evidence from archaeology and historical linguistics. Both these disciplines record a major dispersal event occurring in the southwest Pacific a few millennia ago and the challenge is to see how closely their basic stories match and, if they do match closely, to see how one discipline can complement the other in filling in the details.
Post-1989 lexical changes in Slavonic languages
Perestrojka in the Soviet Union (from 1985), the collapse of communism
in central and south-eastern Europe in 1989, the disintegration of
Yugoslavia and of the Soviet Union in 1991 were revolutions and revolutions
usually have clear consequences for language.
Before the October Revolution, most Russians were illiterate; when they learned to read and write after the October Revolution, they started to adjust their pronunciation to the spelling ("spelling pronunciations"). Many of the changes in Russian pronunciation during the Soviet era can be seen as a result of this phenomenon. The post-1989 changes in the Slavonic languages appear to relate entirely to the lexicon, although in Croatia some morphosyntactic and phonological phenomena have now been codified that were previously considered to be solecisms /dialectalisms. In Russian, Zemskaja (2000) notes a rise in analytical and agglutinative features.
Post-perestrojka changes in Russian: (1) there are neologisms to denote features of the novoe mylenie new way of looking at things, which Gorbachev introduced, and neologisms, many borrowed from English, to describe the new realities of capitalist Russia. (2) On the other hand, terms that used to refer to aspects of Soviet reality are now obsolete; (3) lexemes that previously referred exclusively to phenomena outside the Soviet Union are now part of everyday life; (4) lexemes referring to phenomena that were part of Russian life and administration before the October Revolution have been revived; (5) lexemes that previously had a negative connotation are now considered to be neutral, e.g. biznes business, sdelka business deal. (6) There are also neologisms that have been coined to refer to the Soviet era. Such expressions have a negative connotation, e.g. komandno-administrativnyj socializm command socialism. (7) Some lexemes have been reinterpreted; (8) unprintable lexemes - vulgarisms, four-letter words or in Russian necenzurnye slova as well as mat vulgar language, youth slang (molodezhnyj zhargon) and general slang (obshchij zhargon) - are now used in print, both in newspapers and in artistic literature.
In Croatia, Bosnia/Hercegovina and Macedonia nationalist governments have promoted the de-Serbianization of the national language and the restoration of its purity. Croatian language planning in the post-Yugoslavian era has been explicitly referred to by Croatian nationalists as the re-Croatization of the national language. Similarly, Bosnian nationalists say that their language-planning efforts aim to restore the Bosnian character of their language. Bosnian linguists claim that Bosnian literary sources were neglected in Serbo-Croatian lexicography and hence Bosnian lexical items were not registered (Völkl 2002).
The following courses on language change are being taught at ANU in 2005:
Language Change and Linguistic Reconstruction (LING2005), an annual first-semester course, was taught this year by Dr. Laura Daniliuc.
Languages in Contact (LING2018) will be taught in the 2nd semester by Dr. Jennifer Hendriks.
Study of a Language Family (LING3008), a 2nd semester course, this year will be on the Papuan languages and will be taught by Professors Andrew Pawley and Malcolm Ross.
Evershed Amuzu, PhD: Ewe-English Codeswitching - A Composite rather than Classic Codeswitching (see profile)
Bevan Barrett, Master of Linguistics: Historical reconstruction of the Maric languages of Central Queensland. (Supervisor Harold Koch; see members news for Abstract)
Recent Publications by Members
Alpher, Barry. Pama-Nyungan: phonological reconstruction and status as a phylogenetic group. In Bowern and Koch. 93-126; 387-574.
Amuzu, Evershed. 2005. Revisiting the Classic Codeswitching-Composite Codeswitching distinction: A case study of nonverbal predication in Ewe-English codeswitching. Australian Journal of Linguistics 25: 127-151.
Bellwood, Peter. 2005. First farmers: The origins of agricultural societies. Blackwell.
Bowern, Claire. Diagnostic similarities between Nyulnyulan and neighbouring languages. In Bowern and Koch. 269-290.
Bowern, Claire and Harold Koch (eds). 2004. Australian languages: classification and the comparative method. (Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, 249) Amsterdam: John Benjamins. [See http://linguistlist.org/issues/15/15-1201.html for a recent review by Stephen Anderson.]
Bowern, Claire and Harold Koch. 2004. Introduction: subgrouping methodology in historical linguistics. In Bowern and Koch. 1-16.
Hercus, Luise and Peter Austin. 2004. The Yarli languages. In Bowern and Koch. 207-222.
Koch, Harold. 2004. A methodological history of Australian linguistic classification. In Bowern and Koch. 17-60.
Koch, Harold. 2004b. The Arandic subgroup of Australian languages. In Bowern and Koch. 127-150, 575-580.
Lee, Sarah and Debra Ziegeler. 2004. Analysing a semantic corpus study across English dialects: searching for paradigmatic parallels. In Andrew Wilson, Paul Rayson, & Dawn Archer (eds), Corpus Linguistics around the World [Language and Computers series]. Amsterdam: Rodopi. 121-140.
McConvell, Patrick and Felicity Meakins. 2005. Gurindji Kriol: a mixed language emerges from code-switching. Australian Journal of Linguistics 25: 9-30.
McConvell, Patrick and Margaret Florey. (eds) 2005. Language shift, code-mixing and variation. Special issue (25.1) of Australian Journal of Linguistics.
McConvell, Patrick and Mary Laughren. 2004. The Ngumpin-Yapa subgroup. In Bowern and Koch. 151-178.
McConvell, Patrick and Nicholas Thieberger. 2005. Keeping track of language endangerment in Australia. In Denis Cunningham, David Ingram and Kenneth Sumbuk (eds), Language diversity in the Pacific: Endangerment and survival. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.
McConvell, Patrick. 2003. Headward migration: a Kimberley counter-example. In Nicholas Evans (ed), The Non-Pama-Nyungan languages of northern Australia: comparative studies of the continent's most linguistically complex region. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. 75-92.
McConvell, Patrick. 2004. A short ride on a time machine: Linguistics, culture history and Native Title. In S. Toussaint (ed), Crossing boundaries: cultural, legal, historical and practice issues in native title. Melbourne University Press. 34-49.
Miceli, Luisa. 2004. Pama-Nyungan as a genetic entity. In Bowern and Koch. 61-68.
Ross, Malcolm. 2004. Demonstratives, local nouns and directionals in Oceanic languages: a diachronic perspective. In Gunter Senft (ed), Deixis and demonstratives in Oceanic languages. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. 175-204.
Ross, Malcolm. 2004. The grammaticization of directional verbs in Oceanic languages. In Isabelle Bril and Françoise Ozanne-Rivierre (eds), Complex predicates in Oceanic languages: Studies in the dynamics of binding and boundness. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 297-330.
Simpson, Jane and Luise Hercus. 2004. Thura-Yura as a subgroup. In Bowern and Koch. 179-206
Ziegeler, Debra. 2004. Grammaticalisation through constructions: the story of causative have in English. Annual Review of Cognitive Linguistics 2: 159-195.
Ziegeler, Debra. 2004. Reanalysis in the history of do: a view from construction grammar. Cognitive Linguistics 15/4: 529-574.
Ziegeler, Debra. 2004. Redefining unidirectionality: Is there life after modality? In Olga Fischer, Muriel Norde and Harry Perridon (eds), Up and down the cline- the nature of grammaticalization (Typological Studies in Language 59) Amsterdam: Benjamins. 115-135.
Zuckermann, Ghil`ad. 2004 Review of Agnieszka Kuczkiewicz-Fras 2003, Perso-Arabic hybrids in Hindi: The socio-linguistic and structural analysis. (New Delhi: Manohar). Yearbook of South-Asian Languages and Linguistics, R. Singh (ed.), Mouton de Gruyter, 239-244.
Zuckermann, Ghil`ad. 2004 The genesis of the Israeli language: A response to "Philologos"'s "Hebrew vs. Israeli"'. The Mendele Review: Yiddish Literature and Language 8.13 [electronic publication].
Zuckermann, Ghil`ad. 2004. (with Ch. Rabin). Hebrew. In G. Abramson (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Modern Jewish Culture, Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 358-361.
Zuckermann, Ghil`ad. 2004. The genetics of the Israeli language: mosaic or Mosaic?' Midstream 50.4: 30-32.
Gordon, Elizabeth et al. 2004 New Zealand English: its origins and evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
This book is a result of nearly fifteen years of work on the Mobile Disc Recording Unit archive, work which, since 1996, has taken place under the name of the Origins of New Zealand English Project (ONZE). During the 1940s, the Mobile Unit traveled around New Zealand collecting audio recordings, resulting in an archive containing over 200 interviews with mainly second-generation European settlers of the country. Information about the speakers is included in an appendix to the book and shows that dates of birth range between 1851 and 1900, and that the vast majority had parents from Scotland, England or, less frequently, Ireland. Both male and female speakers are well-represented.
The first sections of the book give background on the project, on the study of New Zealand English (especially modern NZ English) and some historical background on colonial New Zealand society and settlement. A number of theories are outlined that have previously been proposed as explanations for the origins of New Zealand English. These include a number of highly entertaining lay-theories (false teeth, laziness, "defective methods of breathing" and hay fever, among others), as well as more plausible suggestions such as influence from Maori, Cockney or Australian English, transplantation of a London dialect, "drift", a natural outcome of mixing British English dialects, and Trudgill's theories on new dialect formation (see Trudgill 2004 for details).
The actual data from early speakers recorded by the Mobile Unit is then analysed in detail (100-215). Each vowel that is considered "typical" for New Zealand English is discussed, along with the questions of whether and how frequently it occurs in the early data, which dialects of British English (if any) it is found in, whether it was remarked upon in early commentaries on New Zealand English, and its eventual fate in modern New Zealand English. Rhoticity, h-dropping, l-vocalisation and the /hw/ ~ /w/ merger are also treated. Correlations between these variables and social factors are also discussed.
The book concludes with an in-depth discussion of the earlier proposed explanations for the origins of New Zealand English in light of the evidence from the previous chapters. It is shown that the data from the Mobile Unit disprove the theory of a Cockney origin of NZ English, while strengthening the case for an explanation consisting of multiple other factors: Australian influence, a "swamping" effect of south-east English dialects, determinism and drift. It is shown that the ONZE study has major implications for socio-linguistic claims about language change, especially vowel-shifting, mergers and the influence of gender and family on change. This is an important book for anyone interested in sociolinguistics, phonetics or historical linguistics and at the same time is accessible to a reader without extensive background in these areas. [Rachel Hendery]
Trudgill, Peter. 2004. New-Dialect Formation: the inevitability of colonial Englishes. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
While it clearly may be read and appreciated in its own right, this book also acts as a useful companion volume to the collaborative effort of New Zealand English: its origins and evolution (Gordon et al. 2004; see the book notice in this newsletter), offering as it does an individual theoretical response to the data of the Origins of New Zealand English (ONZE) project. Indeed, Trudgill uses the findings of the ONZE project, together with data from other Southern Hemisphere Englishes, to revisit, revise and refine his theoretical model for what he calls 'new-dialect formation', i.e. those situations where 'there is no prior-existing population speaking the language in question'.
The first half of the book is devoted to examining the case for 'colonial lag' in Southern Hemisphere Englishes, whereby the normal progression of linguistic change is delayed as a result of the new-dialect formation process. Here, Trudgill analyses the evidence available from the ONZE data, as well as from Australian, South African, Falkland Islands, and even Tristan da Cunha Englishes of the phonetic quality of several (principally vowel) phonemes, in order to establish the extent to which the oft-times remarkably similar phonetic and phonological features of these dialects may have arisen from the prevailing features of 19th century British English. Trudgill uses this study as a base from which to re-examine the role of six key processes (mixing, levelling, unmarking, interdialect development, reallocation and focussing) across the three chronological stages of new-dialect formation. This leads us to the main thesis of the work, foreshadowed in the title: that new-dialect formation in general, and the formation of NZE and Southern Hemisphere Englishes specifically, may be seen as largely deterministic. Trudgill argues that the surviving features of a focussed new-dialect are determined by the dialect mixture of the founding population, and owe more to the numerical advantage of certain features in the new speech community (with some leeway given to issues related to markedness in borderline cases) than to questions of prestige, stigma or identity. This determinism in turn serves to explain why the various colonial Englishes of the Southern Hemisphere are so homogeneous - each developed from a broadly similar dialect mixture at a similar period of history. [Bevan Barrett]
Clyne, Michael. 2003. The dynamics of language contact: English and immigrant languages. (Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
This is a study of the impact of English on Australian immigrant languages-principally but not exclusively German, Dutch, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, Croatian, Vietnamese-using data from his C's studies dating from the 1960s and those of former students and other Australian scholars. This book is kind of sequel to C's 1991 Community languages: the Australian experience (Cambridge UP). It is integrated into the rich and growing international literature on language contact phenomena. Ch 3 "On models and terms" is a good guide to the literature in this field; C discusses, inter alia, the sometimes confusing terminology surrounding "code-switching" and introduces a terminological framework of his own. Especially useful is the term "transference" for the use of material from one language in an utterance framed in other; the term is applied at various levels of language-lexical, semantic, phonetic/phonological, prosodic, tonemic, graphemic, morphological, syntactic, pragmatic-and "transversion" used to refer to the crossing over from one language to another during an utterance. His explanations for the latter are expressed in terms of "facilitating" factors rather than hard constraints. All students of language contact are certain to find valuable insights in this book. It is easy to agree with, Salikoko Mufwene, who says in the series editor's foreword: "This is another must-read for students of language contact in general". [Harold Koch]
Publish with the CRLC!!!
Manuscripts are solicited for series "Studies in Language Change", the CRLC's publication series produced in cooperation with Pacific Linguistics-see http://pacling.anu.edu.au/crcl.html. The SLC series aims to publish high-quality works on aspects of historical linguistics or related subjects, especially, but not exclusively, works on languages of Australia and the Indo-Pacific region. Potential contributors should contact Pacific Linguistics in the first instance, enquiring whether their manuscript would be suitable for publication in the SLC series
Chair of Management Committee: to be appointed.
Director: Dr. Cynthia Allen, FAHA, School of Language Studies, Faculty of Arts, ANU. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
· Prof. Malcolm Ross, FAHA, Department of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, ANU
· Associate Professor Ann Kumar, FAHA, Centre for Asian History, Faculty of Asian Studies, ANU
Other Management Committee members:
· Dr. Harold Koch, School of Language Studies, Faculty of Arts, ANU
· Rachel Hendery, School of Language Studies, Faculty of Arts, ANU (Graduate Student Representative)
Dr. Michael Smith,
Director of Research, National Museum of
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