ALT News No. 11

Johan.VanDerAuwera auwera at
Wed Mar 6 18:47:49 UTC 1996

ALT News No. 11
March 1996

Contents:       1.      ALT 2: Where and When
                2.      Other ALT Events
                3.      ALT on the WWW
                4.      Membership Fee
                5.      From the Committees
                6.      LT
                7.      ALT Advantages
                8.      The Good Grammar Guide
                9.      Implications Collection
                10.     LoLL Updated
                11.     New Journals
                12.     For Your Diary
                13.     Who Are We?

1.  ALT 2: Where and When

Prompted by the results of the October poll and by its judgment of what is
the best course to steer, the Executive Committee (EC) suggests that ALT
meetings be normally held biennially (=3Devery two years, as opposed to
biannual, which means twice a year, for purists at any rate). With ALT 1 at
Vitoria-Gasteiz just behind us, the EC planned for 1997 and found Edith
Moravcsik and her colleagues willing and indeed happy to host ALT 2 at the
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  The dates are September 11-14 (Thursday
through Sunday). As far as the EC knows (and such potentially useful
knowledge can easily be gotten from the NLLA Conference Schedule of
Linguistics and Related Topics at
no other relevant conferences are to take place at the same date. Please ad=
vise other
organizations to mind ALT's dates. A first circular with a call for papers
for ALT 2 will be sent around in due course.
        While the normal rhythm of ALT meetings will be biennial, we still
welcome offers from Exceptionally Good Hosts to host an ALT meeting at any
time that suits them.

2.  Other ALT Events

2.1.    Typology and Naturalness
        At the SLE meeting at Klagenfurt (Austria) on September 4-8, 1996,
whose general theme is the ever intriguing one of "Universals vs
Preferences", a workshop will be organized by Bernhard Hurch
(hurch at and Gertraud Fenk-Oczlon (Sprachwissenschaft,
Universitaet Klagenfurt, Universitaetsstrasse 65-67, A-9020 Klagenfurt,
Austria, Tel +43-463-2700 346, Fax +43-463-2700 351), in association with
ALT, on the subject of "Typology and Naturalness".  Further information
from the organizers.

2.2.    Modality
        There are very many language-specific studies on modality, there
are many contrastive studies with a language coverage of exactly 2,  but
there are not so many cross-linguistic studies with a language coverage
greater than 2. Of the latter, some concentrate on language families (e.g.
Birkmann 1987 on Germanic), some on a small number of European languages
(e.g. Schmid 1966 on French, English, German and Italian), and some very
few attempt a wider coverage (e.g. Steele 1973, Bybee, Perkins & Pagliuca
1994, De Haan 1994).
        ALT invites contributions that aim to increase our understanding of
modality in the world's languages. Papers must be explicitly
cross-linguistic, but allowance is made for attempts to look at the
modality facts from just one language from a typological point of view.
        The ALT Regional Modality Meeting will take place at the
Universiteit Antwerpen, 8-9 November 1996 (Fri-Sat).
        One-page abstracts shoud be sent to Johan van der Auwera by July 1
1996. Prospective speakers should indicate the amount of time they would
need (20, 30, 40 minutes + 10 minutes for discussion).

2.3.    We'd like to encourage ALT members all over the world, but
especially outside Europe, to consider setting up other regional ALT
events, especially in years without a global meeting.

3.  ALT on the WWW

ALT now has a home page on the Web. Point your browser to:

The Web site contains, among numerous other attractions, the complete
membership directory. To look for an ALT confr=E8re or cons=A6ur, choose
'member directory' and scroll yourself through the alphabet until you find
that person. Alternatively, you can use your browser's search facility to
search for a name. But there's a catch: due to the way accented letters are
represented in HTML (the Web's  language), you may not find the person's
name if it has accented characters in it. For example, "Eva Agnes Csato" is
really "Éva Ágnes Csató". A bit confusing, but if
callow speakers of Pig Latin can get used to that sort of thing, proper
names in circumfixing HTML should not be beyond the processing capacity of
the hardened typologist.
        When you have found a name, click on it to display that person's
full details, privacy permitting: address, phone, fax and e-mail numbers,
language expertise, etc. (!?). This is formatted in the same way as in the
old-fashioned membership directory on paper that you already have, which
requires endless turning of pages to find whoever you want. You can now
send that person an e-mail by simply clicking her e-mail number.
        Another highly recommended way of approaching the directory is by
language. The languages that members claim they are experts on have been
grouped in one list. Each language (or language group) in the list is
followed by the expert's name. If you want to send that person an e-mail to
ask those burning questions, click her name to display the personal details
and click the e-mail number. In the list, native speakers are marked with
an asterisk.
        If you find errors in the list or want to add information, please
send an e-mail to Peter Kahrel (p.kahrel at You can do that
from the home page.

4.  Membership Fee

For the 190 members in good (1995) standing there won't be a membership fee
for 1996--although you may of course support current and forthcoming ALT
activities by paying again what you've already paid once (same procedure as
last year).
        Newcomers will be charged the admission fee of 600 Belgian Francs,
payable to Johan van der Auwera.  Details from the latter or from the WWW
home page.
        The charging of a regular annual membership fee will begin with the
advent of the journal in January or February 1997.

5.  From the Committees

The Executive Committee has been busy (i) interpreting last year's polls,
(ii) waiving the membership fee for 1996 for members of long standing, and
(iii) carefully screening the options for ALT 2.  (The Executives
inspecting the facilities in the United Arab Emirates are expected back any
day now, amidst considerable apprehension that they were mistaken for the
vanguard of the Artillerie Lourde =E0 Tracteurs, who unfortunately abbrevia=
themselves just as we do.) Next on the agenda are now (iv) the drawing up
of statutes, (v) the general promotion of ALT, and (vi) the setting up of a
committee to prepare ALT 2 next year at Milwaukee.
        The Editorial Board has spared no effort to get LT going, in
cooperation with Anke Beck and her colleagues at MdG, but it has also
distinguished itself by clocking up the highest rejection rate in the
trade.  Nonetheless, owing to the pertinacity of those submitting and
resubmitting their papers and reviews, and the occasional lapse of
editorial vigilance, there are grounds for hope that the first issues of LT
will not be entirely blank.  Continue to (re-)submit against all the odds!
And no hard feelings if it's thumbs down again: it's not meant personally.
        On the achievements of the (sadly uncommitteed) Web Person see
above at =A73.

6.  LT

On the sound advice of the Mouton de Gruyter sales department, it has been
decided to start our journal, Linguistic Typology, in the beginning rather
than the end of a year, and to have three issues per year rather than two.
The first issue of LT is now due in January or February 1997, the second in
June or July, and the third in October or November.
        Please note the very moderate price MdG are asking for LT from
institutions.  This should be an additional incentive for your library to
subscribe, especially when appropriately badgered by the typologists in
residence (i.e. you).  Snailmail members will receive the LT promotional
leaflet, to be shown to their librarians, with this News;  technologically
more advanced members will get it a little later, unless they have already
picked it up at a recent conference.
        Intending contributors should request Instructions for Contributors
from frans.plank at (hard copy or Attached (Word) Document),
or fetch them from the ALT web site, at,
click on journal.
        And don't be deterred by committee reports that LT is even harder
for typologists to get published in than LI.

7.  ALT Advantages

The publishers of our journal, Mouton de Gruyter, offer ALT members
substantially reduced prices for all titles in the MdG Grammar Library.
Similar reductions are under consideration for MdG's series Empirical
Approaches to Language Typology (EALT).

8.  The Good Grammar Guide

To get the Good Grammar Guide project started, announced several ALT News
ago (to be precise, in No. 6 of May 1995), would you please nominate up to
three good grammars for each of the languages that count you among their
experts according to the ALT Directory (,
for those in need of a reminder:  simply click on all languages in the
index and jot down those where your name has flashed up), and send the
references to frans.plank at  You may concisely comment on
your shortlists (e.g. by pointing out special strengths and relative
weaknesses of your selections), but unannotated nominations will also be
accepted simply on the strength of your expertise.

9.  Implications Collection

Would those of you who have ever dared to come forward with an
implicational universal in print please send references to
frans.plank at or elena.filimonova at, who are
collecting such items, with an eye to making their collection publicly
available before long.  What is also most welcome are any counterexamples
to any implicational universals--your own, your friends', or especially
your enemies'--that may have come your way.
        Remember that one of the services provided by LT will be The
Implications Register, documenting what is on the typological record.
Contributions to this section of the ALT journal are eagerly solicited.

10.  List of Language Lists (LoLL)

A new updated version (Version 1.c) of LoLL has just become available.  It
can be retrieved by anonymous ftp as:

or from the web as:

Please note that this is a new address. In the event of problems in
retrieving the document, or of corrections to be made to the list, please
contact the compilers: Bernard Comrie (comrie at, Michael Everson
(everson at

11.  New Journals

11.1.   Announcing a new journal: The Journal of Amazonian Languages
        EDITORIAL POLICY: The Journal of Amazonian Languages seeks to
publish high-quality, peer-reviewed articles on any aspect of the languages
of lowland Amazonia.  In addition to Amazonian languages proper (those
spoken in the Amazonian or Orinocan basins), The Journal of Amazonian
Languages welcomes submissions on other indigenous languages of lowland
South America, including languages of Chile, Argentina, Columbia, etc.
Topics or areas might include survey results (e.g. reports on new languages
& dialects or updating of information on inaccurate or vague older survey
data), theoretical or typological linguistics, issues in language survival,
descriptive linguistics (especially "grammar fragments", i.e. sketches of
whole grammars or parts of grammars that are too large for other journal
outlets, but too small to be published as separate monographs),
sociolinguistics, historical and comparative linguistics, and other areas
of relevance to the classification, history, and general understanding of
Amazonian languages and their contributions to development of ideas on
human language.
        SUBMISSIONS: Manuscripts for review (in Portuguese, English,
Spanish, or French, but to be translated into English when accepted for
publication; not longer than 40-60 pages; LSA stylesheet) should be sent to
the Editor:  Daniel L. Everett, Editor, Journal of Amazonian Languages,
Department of Linguistics, 2816 Cathedral of Learning, University of
Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA (email:  dever at;  FAX:
412-624-6130;  Phone:  412-624-8101).
        EDITORIAL BOARD:  Desmond Derbyshire, Bruna Franchetto, Peter
Ladefoged, Yvonne Leite, David Payne, Doris Payne, Geoffrey Pullum, Aryon
Dall'Igna Rodrigues, Filomena Sandalo, Lucy Seki, Marilia Faco Soares, Leo
        PUBLISHERS: The University of Pittsburgh & The University of
Rondonia, Brazil.  Publication schedule: Once a year. First issue projected
for October 1996. Estimated size is 250-300pp per volume.  Subscription
information: contact Ms. Carolyn Anderson, Department of Linguistics,
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA
(anderson at  Subscription Price: $25.00 + postage and
handling. Latin American mailings will be sent from the Federal University
of Rondonia.

11.2.   Announcing another new journal: The Moscow Linguistic Journal
        EDITORIAL POLICY: broad orientation; different approaches and
methods; lively and even controversial discussion of all matters
linguistic; opinions expressed need not coincide with those of the
editorial board.
        EDITORIAL BOARD: A. N. Barulin, M. A. Krongauz, E. V. Muravenko, I.
A. Muravyova, N. V. Pertsov (Editor-in-Chief), S. A. Starostin--all at the
Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Russian State University
of the Humanities, which is the publisher of the journal.
        SUBMISSION: send original articles, reviews, remarks, notes,
reminiscences, letters, information about events relating to linguistics in
hard copy and diskette (or also e-mail) to the Editorial Board;  languages
of publication are English and Russian.  Editorial address:  Russia, 125267
Moscow, Miusskaja Square 6, RGGU, Building 2, FTiPL, MLJ Editorial Board;
Fax: +7-095-2505109; Tel: +7-095-2506560; Email: apld at

11.3.   Plans for a new journal: Turkic Languages
        A new periodical, Turkic Languages, to be edited by Lars Johanson
in collaboration with some colleagues and to be published by Harrassowitz
(Wiesbaden/Germany), is being planned.  Further information from: Lars
Johanson, Seminar fuer Orientkunde, Universitaet Mainz, D-55099 Mainz,
Germany; E-mail: johanson at
        By the way, the newsletter TULIP (short for Turkish and Turkic
Linguistic Post) may also be obtained from Lars Johanson by those with an
interest in this family.

12.  For Your Diary

-  Conference 'Evolution of Human Language',  Edinburgh, April 1-4 1996;
contact: jim at
-  LP'96 Conference 'Typology: Prototypes, Item Orderings and Universals',
Charles University, Prague, August 20-22 1996;  contact: palek at
-  SLE 29 Conference 'Universals versus Preferences (in Synchrony and
Diachrony)', Universitaet Klagenfurt, September 4-8 1996;  contact:
SPW at
-  XVIth International Conference of Linguists, Paris, July 20-25 1977;
contact: cil16 at
-  See for more.

13.  Who Are We?

And now for something completely different.  If you have this lingering
feeling that you have been insufficiently informed in this issue and its
predecessors about what is going on these days in:

Accelerated Life Testing
Actuarial Life Table
Administrative Lead Time
Advanced Laser Technology
Aer Lingus Teoranta / IRL
Airborne Laser Tracker
Akademische Liedertafel
Arbeitsgemeinschaft Luftfahrttechnik
Artillerie Lourde =E0 Tracteurs
Arzneimittel-Liste und -Tarif
Association of Law Teachers
Associazione per la Lotta alla Trombosi

you may have been reading the wrong News.

Frans Plank                 Johan van der Auwera    Bernard Comrie

Sprachwissenschaft          Linguistiek (GER)       Linguistics, GFS-301
Universitaet Konstanz       Universiteit Antwerpen  U of Southern Californi=
Postfach 5560               B-2610 Antwerpen        Los Angeles,=20
D-78434                                             CA 90089-1693=20
Germany                     Belgium                 USA
frans.plank at auwera at     comrie at
fax: +49-7531-882741        fax: +32-3-8202762      fax: +1-213740 9306

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