ALT News No. 38

Johan van der Auwera auwera at
Fri Mar 31 18:35:09 UTC 2006

ALT News No. 38

March 2006



1. The 2005 Elections

2. ALT VII, Paris 2007

3. Call for proposals, ALT VIII, 2009

4. SWL2

5. Obituary Peter Ladefoged

6. Mouton discount

7. Donations

8. Recently published

9. Grammar Watch



1. The 2005 Elections


As a result of the 2005 elections all of the members nominated were 
chosen and we welcome them to their new functions. Thus Alexandra 
Aikhenvald, Balthasar Bickel, and Anna Siewierska have joined the 
Executive Committee, and Joan Bresnan, Larry Hyman, and Stephen Levinson 
started on the board of Linguistic Typology.



2. ALT VII, Paris 2007


The web site is up at or

The site contains a call for workshop proposals; the deadline is April 24.



3. Call for proposals, ALT VIII, 2009


As of the Padang conference, there is one proposal for hosting the 2009 
ALT Conference, viz. at the University of California at Berkeley. The 
proposed conference would be held in conjunction with the LSA Linguistic 
Institute. There may, however, be other proposals. Would anybody 
interested in making a bid for the 2009 ALT conference contact ALT 
President Nick Evans not later than May 1. The Executive Committee 
intends to make the relevant decision in the course of May.


  4. SWL2

  A conference, whose goals are close to that of ALT, is the 2nd
  Conference on the Syntax of the World's Languages (SWL2), to be held
  at Lancaster University, Lancaster (United Kingdom), 14-17 September
  2006. See


The conference will feature 60 papers by colleagues from 19 countries on 
a wide range of  morpho-syntactic topics and their treatment in 
different models of grammar. The areas of morpho-syntax covered include, 
argument structure, voice and valency systems, parts of speech, word 
order variation, focus constructions, clause linkage, reference tracking 
devices, complement clauses, relative clauses, conditionals and 
coordinate constructions. Members of ALT are very warmly invited to 
attend. (Anna Siewierska)



5. Obituary Peter Ladefoged


Peter Ladefoged, a leading figure in phonetics, died in London on 
January 24 2006 at the age of 80.  Among his numerous contributions to 
his chosen field are many that are of major significance to the 
typological enterprise.  Over the years Peter traveled to many countries 
to collect data on a wide variety of languages, documenting their sounds 
and, in particular, looking for unfamiliar or previously unknown 
phonetic distinctions.  The knowledge acquired was distilled into his 
proposals for comprehensive typologies of speech sounds and 
observationally-based universal phonological feature systems, as in 
Preliminaries to Linguistic Phonetics (1971) and Sounds of the World's 
Languages (1996, with Ian Maddieson).  This wide background enriched 
every page of his Course in Phonetics (5th ed, 2006), originally based 
on the introductory phonetics class he had taught with such success at 
UCLA, which has become the most widely used textbook in the field.


Peter's career as a phonetician began from an interest in the question 
of what made poetry sound good, but soon progressed to more concrete 
topics.  He wrote his doctoral dissertation on the nature of vowel 
quality at Edinburgh University under David Abercrombie and it was 
Abercrombie who recommended him for a post at the University of Ibadan 
in Nigeria.  This experience led to his joining the Survey of West 
African Languages, directed by Joseph Greenberg and Charles Ferguson, 
and the writing of A Phonetic Study of West African Languages (1964).  
This book is still unequalled as a survey of the sounds of a particular 
region of the world, and pioneered the simultaneous application of 
multiple experimental techniques for the precise description of such 
data.  In 1962, Peter was appointed to the University of California, Los 
Angeles (UCLA) where he founded the laboratory that he was to direct 
until 1991.  In addition to work on universals of phonetic systems his 
research over this period of thirty years included the modeling of 
relations between tongue shape and vowel quality, the acoustic 
characterization of voice quality, the reliability of forensic voice 
identification, and the development of techniques for field phonetics.  
Under Peter's direction the UCLA Phonetics Laboratory became a highly 
creative and supportive environment populated by students and 
post-doctoral scholars, many of whom went on to become major 
phoneticians in their own right, and a roster of distinguished visitors 
from all over the world.  His creation of a model of a successful 
phonetics laboratory is certainly as important as any of his research 


When Peter accepted an incentive for early retirement from the 
University of California in 1991 it freed him to travel and write even 
more, and to accept visiting teaching appointments at other 
institutions, including Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, and the 
University of Southern California.  His writing in this period included 
many articles and several books, among them Phonetic Data Analysis 
(2003), summarizing much of his field experience and providing a 
handbook for others on how to collect phonetic data in fieldwork 
settings.  When he died he was on his way back from further fieldwork in 


Peter also served the profession in many capacities.  He was, among 
other honors, Chair of the UCLA Linguistics Department from 1977-1980, 
President of the Linguistic Society of America in 1978, and of the 
International Phonetic Association from 1985-1989.  During his period as 
President of the IPA he initiated the effort to renew the Association's 
alphabet and principles through the discussions at the Kiel Congress, 
and he oversaw the transformation of the Journal of the IPA into a 
competitive scholarly publication and the preparation of the 
Association's Handbook.  In recent years he had also devoted much time 
to the issue of archiving in accessible form his own and others' 
recordings of diverse languages, many of them endangered.  He was a 
founder member of the board of the Endangered Language Fund, which at 
his family's request has opened a memorial fund for him 
(  Many 
individual tributes from those who knew and were influenced by him can 
be read at


(Ian Maddieson)


6. Mouton discount


See the attachment for the list of Mouton books for which ALT members 
have a discount. To order a book send a message to Johan van der Auwera. 
He will pass on your order to Mouton. Mouton will send the book together 
with an invoice.



7. Donations


ALT has established a special fund for helping (i) currency-restricted 
colleagues to become or remain members of ALT, and (ii) 
currency-restricted libraries to acquire subscriptions to Linguistic 
Typology. Financial help is most welcome at the following bank account:


Association for Linguistic Typology

c/o University of Antwerp, Linguistics, Universiteitsplein 1,

B-2610 Wilrijk, Belgium


IBAN (International Bank Account Number): BE 18 0355 3030 1465

BIC (Bank Identification Code): GEBABEBB


Note that this account is only used for donations! ALT membership is 
dealt directly by Mouton.



  8. Recently published


Apart from directly commissioning reviews, LT solicits offers to review 
books -- those listed in this regular feature of ALT News or whichever 
others you'd like to add on your own understanding of the attribute 
"typologically relevant".  For purposes of book reviewing in LT, what 
matters is that REVIEWS are done from a distinctively typological angle, 
whatever angles the books reviewed are done from.  Reviewers so 
intentioned please get in touch with me, that is:


frans.plank at <mailto:frans.plank at>   


Drop me a line with bibliographical particulars if you want to make sure 
your own relevant publications will be included in the next listing.  
And remind your publisher to send a review copy to:



Sprachwissenschaft, Universität Konstanz,

D-78457 Konstanz, Germany.


Do feel free to offer to review grammars for LT too (again, from a 
distinctively typological angle).  Those grammars we are aware of are 
listed in GRAMMAR WATCH on the ALT homepage (updated annually).  Again, 
do send particulars of grammars not (yet) listed, published 2000 CE 


Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. & R. M. W. Dixon (ed.) (2006). Serial Verb 
Constructions: A Cross-linguistic Typology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Amberber, Mengistu & Helen de Hoop (eds.) (2005). Competition and 
Variation in Natural Language: The Case for Case. Oxford: Elsevier.


Butt, Miriam (2006). Theories of Case. Cambridge: Cambridge University 

[Even of double case! [FP].  "Case ... is fundamental to every 
language." [CUP]]


Cohen, Henri & Claire Lefebvre (eds.) (2005). Handbook of Categorization 
in Cognitive Science. Oxford: Elsevier.


Costa, João & Maria Cristina Figueiredo Silva (eds.) (2005). Studies on 
Agreement. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

["... a wide variety of languages ...".]


Cravens, Thomas D. (ed.) (2005). Variation and Reconstruction. 
Amsterdam: Benjamins.


Cruse, D. Alan, Franz Hundsnurscher, Michael Job, & Peter Rolf Lutzeier 
(eds.) (2005). Lexicology: An International Handbook on the Nature and 
Structure of Words and Vocabularies. 2nd volume. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

{Parts of speech and other typological gems.]


Dalmi, Gréte (2005). The Role of Agreement in Non-finite Predication. 
Amsterdam: Benjamins.


Da Milano, Federica (2205). La deissi spaziale nelle lingue d'Europa. 
Milano: FrancoAngeli.


É. Kiss, Katalin (ed.) (2005). Universal Grammar in the Reconstruction 
of Ancient Languages. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.


Elsík, Viktor & Yaron Matras (2006). Markedness and Language Change: The 
Romani Sample. (EALT, 32.) Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.


Feuillet, Jacques (2006). Introduction à la typologie linguistique. 
Paris: Honoré Champion.


Filimonova, Elena (ed.) (2005). Clusivity: Typology and Case Studies of 
the Inclusive-Exclusive Distinction. (TSL, 63.) Amsterdam: Benjamins.

[When you teach introductory grammar, with most of your conceptual 
framework and illustration drawn from English or another such language 
of high curricular profile, you nowadays feel duty-bound to mention that 
there are other languages too, which on many points differ and on others 
don't.  (That's what is known as adding a typological perspective.)  A 
difference that is singled out with much more than chance frequency on 
such occasions, on the evidence of a representative sample of textbooks, 
is this one:  unlike English et al., some languages have two we's, one 
to include and the other to exclude the addressee, a potentially useful 
distinction, though evidently not vital, or else it could be expected to 
be universal. 

Now, if you really want to come across with conviction on the point of 
inclusives and exclusives in future, picking out the single example from 
one of the textbooks or encyclopedias won't do:  that would not be doing 
justice to the complex and fascinating subject of pronouns for inclusion 
and exclusion, their morphology, syntax, and semantics, their history, 
crosslinguistic distribution, and typological interconnections.

Let's face it (which is inclusive, while let us isn't), there is now 
only one really authoritative source of knowledge about (in/ex) 
clusivity:  this book, the work of an international team of experts on 
that category and the languages that insist on expressing it.  No 
pronouns shelf in a self-respecting private or public library should be 
missing it. [Praise for the book, deserved, one hopes -- FP]]


Fritz, Matthias (2005). Die trikasuellen Lokalpartikeln bei Homer: 
Syntax und Semantik. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

[Tri-casual local particles -- a typological characteristic.]


Fritz, Matthias (2006). Der Dual im Indogermanischen: Genealogischer und 
typologischer Vergleich einer grammatischen Kategorie im Wandel. 
Heidelberg: Winter.

[Extra-IE comparisons with Finno-Ugric, Semitic, Bantu [???].]


Fuß, Eric (2005). The Rise of Agreement: A Formal Approach to the Syntax 
and Grammaticalization of Verbal Inflection. Amsterdam: Benjamins.


Gamerschlag, Thomas (2005). Komposition und Argumentstruktur komplexer 
Verben: Eine lexikalische Analyse von Verb-Verb-Komposita und 
Serialverbkonstruktionen. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag.

[In Japanese.  That is, in German, but about such things in Japanese.  
The title was already too long to reveal this extra detail. [FP]]


García García, Luisa (2005). Germanische Kausativbildung: Die deverbalen 
jan-Verben im Gotischen. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

[Based on the latest work in causative typology.]


Hall, Christopher J. (2005). An Introduction to Language and 
Linguistics: Breaking the Language Spell. London: Continuum.

[Part IV: Babel.]


Hargus, Sharon & Keren Rice (eds.) (2005). Athabaskan Prosody. 
Amsterdam: Benjamins.


Holzapfel, Anne (2005). Evidentialität im Japanischen. Münster: LIT.


Ikegami, Yoshihiko (2005). Sprachwissenschaft des Tuns und Werdens: 
Typologie der japanischen Sprache und Literatur. Münster: LIT.


Klaiman, M. H. (2005). Grammatical Voice. Cambridge: Cambridge 
University Press.

["First typological study of grammatical voice systems to be based on a 
comprehensive cross-linguistic survey." [CUP]] 


Lightfoot, David (2006). How New Languages Emerge. Cambridge: Cambridge 
University Press.

["Driven by children." [CUP]]


McMahon, April & Robert McMahon (2005). Language Classification by 
Numbers. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[Historical classification, that is, sometimes also referred to as 
"comparative historical".

For the benefit of typologists curious about what's being compared:  
well, sorry, it's the Swadesh List.  At least the lexicostatistics is 
tinged with glottochronological pessimism, not to say gloom.  Ends with 
a critical discussion of how perhaps to compare sounds too.  However, 
Levenshtein distance calculations where /a/ and /t/ on the one hand and 
/a/ and /o/ on the other are counted as equally dissimilar from one 
another, though undeniably possessed of the virtue of computational 
simplicity, are found to be somewhat at odds with intuitive notions of 
phonetic similarity and with the sort of expertise that old-fogey 
historical linguists would pride themselves upon. Clearly, further 
research is needed here.  As things stand, there's always the 
computational artwork to admire:  trees, rooted as well as unrooted, and 
networks, branching ever more exuberantly in all possible dimensions. [FP]]


Malchukov, Andrej (2004). Nominalization/Verbalization: Constraining a 
Typology of Transcategorial Operations. (Lincom Studies in Language 
Typology, 8.) München: Lincom Europa.


Mereu, Lunella (2004). La sintassi delle lingue del mondo. Roma: Laterza.

[On constituent order and configurationality, mostly.  Adorned with 
pitch trackings for focus constructions on the last few pages. [FP]]


Miestamo, Matti (2006). Standard Negation: The Negation of Declarative 
Verbal Main Clauses in a Typological Perspective. (EALT, 31.) Berlin: 
Mouton de Gruyter.


Moravcsik, Edith A. (2006). An Introduction to Syntactic Theory. London: 


Moravcsik, Edith A. (2006). An Introduction to Syntax: Fundamentals of 
Syntactic Analysis. London: Continuum.


Moseley, Christopher (2005). Encyclopedia of the World's Endangered 
Languages. London: Routledge.


Newmeyer, Frederick J. (2005). Possible and Probable Languages: A 
Generative Perspective on Linguistic Typology. Oxford: Oxford University 


Nølke, Henning, Irène Baron, Hanne Korzen, Iørn Korzen, Henrik H. Müller 
(eds.) (2006). Grammatica: Festschrift in Honour of Michael Herslund. 
Bern: Lang.

[Syllables, mirativity, voice, adjectives, motion, Madame Bovary, and 
much else of typological interest.]


Pietrandrea, Paola (2005). Epistemic Modality: Functional Properties and 
the Italian System. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 

[Esp. Ch. 2 for the typological backdrop to the Italian system.]


Rentsch, Julian (2005). Aspekt im Neuuigurischen. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.


Robbeets, Martine Irma (2005). Is Japanese Related to Korean, Tungusic, 
Mongolic and Turkic? Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.


Stoel, Ruben B. (2005). Focus in Manando Malay: Grammar, Particles and 
Intonation. Leiden: CNWS Publications.


Tsunoda, Tasaku (2006). Language Endangerment and Language 
Revitalization: An Introduction. (Paperback edition.) Berlin: Mouton de 


Ud Deen, Kamil (2005). The Acquisition of Swahili. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

[How inflection and other things of crosslinguistic interest are acquired.]


Van Valin, Robert D., Jr. (2005). Exploring the Syntax-Semantics 
Interface. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Voeltz, F. K. Erhard (ed.) (2005). Studies in African Linguistic 
Typology. Amsterdam: Benjamins.


Vogel, Petra M. (2005). Das unpersönliche Passiv: Eine funktionale 
Untrersuchung unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Deutschen und seiner 
historischen Entwicklung. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

["From a supra-language perspective." [WdG]  Or "super"?  "soup"? [FP]]


  9. Grammar Watch

See attachment.






Nick Evans[President]


University of Melbourne                tel +61 3 8344 8988

Parkville Victoria                     fax +61 3 8344 8990


E-mail:                                 nrd at


Frans Plank [Editor-in-chief, Linguistic Typology]


Universität Konstanz

D-78457 Konstanz                   tel + 49 7531 88 26 56

Germany                            fax + 49 7531 88 27 41

E-mail:                       frans.plank at



Johan van der Auwera [Secretary-Treasurer]


Universiteit Antwerpen

B-2610 Antwerpen                     tel + 32 3 820 27 76

Belgium                              fax + 32 3 820 27 62

E-mail:                       johan.vanderauwera at



On the WEB:

Webmaster : Peter Kahrel         p.kahrel at



Johan van der Auwera


Center for Grammar, Cognition and Typology

University of Antwerp,  Universiteitsplein 1   B-2610 Wilrijk   Belgium

johan.vanderauwera at

phone:  32/3/820.27.76  &  fax:  32/3/820.27.62

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