Crew Letters

LINGUIST List: Training Our Future Linguists

Dear Fellow Linguists,

My name is Justin Petro, and I am a Master’s student at Eastern Michigan University who has been working at LINGUIST List for the past three years. During this time I’ve had the privilege of getting to know many of our users through my work on the Publications and Web Development teams, as well as through the development of grant projects such as LEGO and RELISH. Even if we haven’t had the chance to become acquainted yet, I am certain that my work has most assuredly had an impact on you as a LINGUIST List user, and I’m very proud to be able to contribute to such a vital and important community of scholars.

In order to make sure that I and the rest of the crew here are able to continue providing the services that linguists like you depend on, we need your support. Donate today:

LINGUIST List is not only an important resource for scholars and students of all levels in the discipline, it is also a crucial training ground for students like myself. LINGUIST List has been directly responsible for my professional development in areas such as editing, correspondence, technology, and programming, in addition to providing tuition and financial assistance towards my Master’s degree in linguistics. This dedication to training the future experts in the field is perhaps the greatest contribution LINGUIST List has made to the discipline. I highly urge you to donate today and ensure that we can continue to work for you and for the linguistics community as a whole:

Gratefully yours,

Justin Petro
Publications Manager

LINGUIST List: An Invaluable Service and Resource

Dear Subscribers,

The LINGUIST List relies on the generous support of donors to stay up and running. Do your part now:

Why you should donate.

The LINGUIST List gives you awesome tools. For free. The LINGUIST List lets you know what’s going on in the discipline through its announcement service, including job & internship listings, book reviews, conference announcements, and paper publications. The LINGUIST List also helps you get your work done by offering services like Easy Registration for conference organization, and creating research tools like MultiTree, an interactive visualization of language relationships and subgroupings.

These free tools and resources help researchers, teachers, students, and the general public learn more about the nature and function of language.

The LINGUIST List funds students.

Donations go directly to the funding the linguistic students that keep the LINGUIST List up and running. These students maintain the database and website, organize and post thousands of announcements annually, and help create research tools in addition to their coursework to complete advanced degrees in linguistics (and anything else life throws them).

Why I’m asking you to donate.

I’m a former crew member and Managing Editor of The LINGUIST List. I’m currently a technical writer at Google, and I wouldn’t be doing it without what I learned at (and from) The LINGUIST List. My education and experience informs what I do everyday (notably fighting the good fight against the surprising number of prescriptivists I meet!).

Donate to support what the LINGUIST List does for all of us and to support the students that make it happen.

-Catherine Adams

LINGUIST List: A Service for Linguists, Brought to You by Linguists

Dear Colleagues,

My name is Malgosia Cavar. I am a linguist. I am one of you. I started reading grammar books for fun and pleasure at the age of 11, and – after shortly considering a career as a psychologist – I became a linguist, and since then I have been happy to convey the linguistic good news to the innocent out there. The LINGUIST List has been with me since my student years more than 10 years ago. The jobs I have applied for were announced over the LINGUIST List, and when I plan my conference schedule, I check the LINGUIST List database first. I can hardly function professionally without the LINGUIST List.

For the last two years I have another reason why I cannot imagine my professional life without the LINGUIST List. I have the honor to be a part of the Institute for Language Information and Technology (ILIT) at EMU, the home of the LINGUIST List, where since Fall 2012 I have run MultiTree, a sister project of the LINGUIST List, and participated in the operations of the LINGUIST List itself.

We work hard to provide the service you are used to, so that no linguist is left without the information about the conferences they want to attend, or the deadlines for abstracts they want to submit, the jobs they want to apply for, the books they might have overlooked, if not announced over the LINGUIST List. But we can offer more than that. This year we plan to bring to you a number of new services and innovative features that we in the LINGUIST’s office are all excited about – but we need your support.

We know you are there. We know that we have on average 200,000 unique visitors per month on our web pages. Many of you live outside of the United States, and especially for you, I want to stress again – the LINGUIST List is not state-funded, nor does it have official institutional sponsors apart from the Eastern Michigan University. Please make a donation. Even small donations will help significantly.

Malgosia Cavar

LINGUIST List: A Vehicle Towards A Life-Long Passion

Dear LINGUIST List Subscribers:

My name is Sara Couture, and I started as a Master’s student at Eastern Michigan University in the fall of 2013. I graduated with my B.A. in Linguistics from Wayne State University in August 2012. I worked as an intern for the LINGUIST List in the Summer of 2013 because I was interested in gaining practical experience in the field of Linguistics. When I was offered the chance to continue working at the LINGUIST List as a graduate assistant, I jumped at the opportunity, because the LINGUIST List is renowned for preparing linguists-in-training in exactly that–a career in Linguistics.

I chose Linguistics as my career because, for as long as I can remember, language and all its intricacies have been a passion of mine. I’ve wanted to unlock its mysteries, and the more I’ve delved into searching for answers to these mysteries, the more questions and puzzles I uncover. More than anything, I enjoy solving puzzles of all kinds, and language offers a very challenging puzzle to understand and solve. When I discovered Linguistics as a discipline while pursuing my undergraduate degree, I saw an opportunity to take my passion for language and make it my life’s work.

The main LINGUIST List project that I work on is MultiTree. I’ve been busy reading resources and adding language trees to our database, primarily Papuan and Austronesian languages, as well as searching for more resources to add to MultiTree. I was surprised by all the work that is required behind the scenes on MultiTree. I never expected how much painstaking and detailed work goes into making these trees for MultiTree until I started on the project at the LINGUIST List. It has made me appreciate the resource all the more, and also has given me a deeper insight into the world of scholarship. In addition to working on MultiTree, I also work on the LL-Map Project, as well as help with maintaining the LINGUIST List Blog and posting as the editor of Table of Contents (TOCs) on the Publications team.

The LINGUIST List is an important resource and service to the linguistic community. To keep us running, we need your support. Your donations will make it possible for us to continue to serve you, as well as help to promote studies in Linguistics.

Please donate today:

Sara Couture

The Heart of LINGUIST List Is Its People

Dear LINGUIST List Readers,

We all know that behind everything in the world stands people. Everything in the world was once created by someone: the phone that you have in your pocket, the TV that you watch every day, your favorite website that you go to for the information you need. All that was created by people, and all that was once just someone’s idea, the idea that someone thought could one day grow into something big.

So was the LINGUIST List. And now it is the world’s largest online source for the academic field of linguistics. But we don’t want to stop at this point. We have many ideas on how to improve our site and make it even better and more convenient for the linguists of the world. I know that this is true, because I am one of the LINGUIST Listers. Let me tell you a little bit more about myself and how I encountered the LINGUIST List for the first time.

My name is Uliana, I come from Russia and I joined the LINGUIST List as a Graduate Assistant in September of 2012.

I visited the LINGUIST List in the fall of 2011 during my summer trip to the USA. I got the chance to see how the LINGUIST List works from the inside and meet the people that post linguistics jobs, build language trees for MultiTree, create digital language maps for LL-MAP, work on lexicons for LEGO. I was introduced to the projects, their developers and participants. Never will I forget the first impression that I got about the LINGUIST List: it was about the people. I met a group of highly-motivated professors and students who strive to contribute to the word of linguistics, people who are ready to share their knowledge with the world and learn.

And later on I got the opportunity to join this unique team and become one of the LINGUIST Listers. So right now I work for several projects such as MultiTree, the Endangered Languages Catalogue, and LL-MAP, I also post Job Announcements in the Job area of the site.

I have been on the LINGUIST List team for over a year and let me tell you something, it was one of the best years of my life! I don’t remember a single day when I didn’t learn something new in the LINGUIST List. I’m surrounded by the most enthusiastic and devoted people; each and every one of them is smart, intelligent and creative. It is a real team – a team of people that work really hard together to contribute every day to the development of the site and its services with their great ideas, suggestions and work performance. But what matters most is that together with you and other LINGUIST List readers we create a colossal linguistics society where we can search or post jobs, conferences and linguistics events; we can inquire about endangered languages of the word, compare languages and language families on MultiTree and then check those on LL-MAP and more.

And we can do all that and will be able to do even more because the LINGUIST List is moving along with the rest of the world and we are working hard to implement new technologies into our services. But we do need your support to make them available for you and every other linguist.

So, I’m asking you today, please donate. Your donation will help us to improve the LINGUIST List and its services for you and your convenience. And it doesn’t matter if what you can donate today is just $5. What matters is that we all are linguists and we all live our academic or non-academic linguistics world. So donating to the LINGUIST List you will contribute to the development of the linguistics society of the world and help make it better.

Thank you for supporting the LINGUIST List!

With sincere gratitude,

Uliana Kazagashea

LINGUIST List: Fostering Collaboration and Academics

Dear Subscribers,

My name is Alex Isotalo and I was born and raised in Southeastern Michigan. During my undergraduate experience at Eastern Michigan University, I was surrounded by bright and talented students who echoed tales of “The Linguist List.” There seemed to be a congregation of the most ambitious students of linguistics residing in one place on campus. When I finally visited ILIT in the Cooper building on campus, there was a tangible kindness in the air, and I realized why so many students had fluently praised this wonderful organization.

After a rigorous final semester and an honors achievement from the English department alongside the esteemed Brent Woo, I was invited to the M.A. program in Linguistics as a graduate assistant for Fall 2013 here at EMU. With great honor and excitement, I accepted an internship at ILIT for the summer of 2013 and finally have a chance to establish my own presence to The LINGUIST List. Without the generous funding from our supporters, none of this would be possible for me.

I am currently an editor of Ask-a-Linguist, Queries, Summaries, Discussions and Notice Board for The LINGUIST List website, and a team leader of LL-MAP. I absolutely love working with my colleagues, and couldn’t imagine an alternative that would be more fruitful for my academic career. This non-profit organization depends greatly on the kind contributions from our dedicated subscribers, and without you, The LINGUIST List would cease to exist. Please support our long-established services and donate.

You can donate here by following this link:

Sincere Thanks,
Alex Isotalo

LINGUIST List Needs Your Help!

Dear Colleagues,

After two years of service since the last fund drive in 2012, and many new developments, The LINGUIST List is asking for your help again.

During only the last two years we have posted more than 10,000 issues. We have more than 25,000 subscribers to the list. Per MONTH more than 200,000 individual visitors read your posts on the LINGUIST List page. In the year 2013 the LINGUIST List website had more than 1,200,000 unique visitors and more than 5,000,000 visits. More than 100 million hits per year have reached our servers, and almost 6 TB of content have been sent out to the world. All job advertisements, book announcements or reviews have been disseminated via Twitter. News and information has been made available on the LINGUIST blog and social media like Facebook or Google+. This was an exciting time, and we are looking forward to provide you with more opportunities and ways to find out about conferences, internships, jobs, or new publications.

As you all know, the last LINGUIST fund drive was in 2012. Fund Drive 2014 is finally coming up.

We are asking you for your help. The LINGUIST List is a community funded organization. It is made possible by your donations and support. Your donations support directly the student editors who make sure that your postings are send out in time and published on the web. The LINGUIST List does not receive any state or government support, it is made possible by volunteers, supporting publishers, paid job advertisements, and in particular your generous donations and the numerous student editors. You make The LINGUIST List possible.

Please join us on a new journey around the globe in the next weeks. The TraveLing pages are up. We hope that you will enjoy the trip, and please do support LINGUIST List.

The LINGUIST team has prepared the web pages that will enable your TraveLing at the following URL:

New information and pages might emerge there during the fund drive, many surprises can be expected. The LINGUIST team has prepared some exciting stuff. Please stay tuned.

Let me point out some new features: We provide a new additional PayPal donation interface on the fund drive page. This method allows you to donate directly to the eLinguistics Foundation (an American 501(c)(3) non-profit organization) that is set up to support the LINGUIST List student editors.

Thank you for your help and support.

Best Wishes,



Fund Drive 2014: It’s Our 23rd Year!

Dear LINGUIST List Subscribers,

This is the 23rd year that I have written to kick off the LINGUIST List Fund Drive. This year I’m not running the Fund Drive–I’m retired! (Oh frabjous day!) However, I know–better than almost anyone–how much LINGUIST needs your support and what generous support LINGUIST List readers always provide. So I want to lend my voice to that of the new Director, Damir Cavar, as he makes his very first request for donations to keep LINGUIST List running.

This year, your donations are more critical than ever. Because of the transition in leadership, there was no fund drive last year; and the coffers are nearly empty. Indeed, the students who are running this year’s fund drive will be working many unpaid hours–as Damir and his wife Malgorzata have done all year. Unless we have a successful Fund Drive, LL will have no money next year to pay the students who not only keep LINGUIST List running, but who constitute a constant stream of talented young people entering the discipline. Over its 22 years of existence, LINGUIST List has supported 150 Linguistics students through their M.A.’s. And fully one-half of these have gone on to pursue Ph.D.s at other universities.

Damir fought hard, and successfully, to maintain LINGUIST services during a very challenging transition period. Because of his dedication and hard work, LINGUIST is now better than ever, in both staffing and technology. He has assembled an excellent student crew composed of loyal ‘old hands,’ as well as promising new GAs, who have come to Ypsilanti, Michigan from places as far removed as Germany, Croatia, Nigeria, and Siberia. As many of you know, 100% of the donations you make to LL are expended on student stipends. And these students richly deserve your support.

Damir has exciting plans for LL, including a new LL interface, one that works on tablets and phones, and he has been tirelessly reconfiguring the LL backend to use open source software and hardware. The latter improvement is long overdue. As many of you know, the LL interface, which is nearly 20 years old, was dependent on Cold Fusion and Oracle; and neither Anthony nor I had the expertise, the time, or the sheer determination to redesign the over 300,000 pages on the website. Damir has two of the three; so—despite having less time than we did this year—he has almost finished the redesign. He has also been working on site localization (web display in the local language) and on securing a more accurate count of LL subscribers and pages viewed. (It turns out that European users outnumber US users; and the EMELD School of Best Practices ( is still frequently accessed.) Many of these innovations were demo’d at LSA, and some will be made available to general users during the weeks of the Fund Drive.

I am writing now simply to urge you to give Damir and the LINGUIST List crew the same generous support that Anthony and I always relied on from you—the support that has kept LINGUIST List thriving during these last (gasp!) 22 years. Your support is key to LL’s survival at this critical juncture.



Helen Aristar-Dry

LINGUIST Moderator (retired)

LINGUIST List: A Place for Growth and Community

Dear LINGUIST List Subscribers,

My name is Anna White and I am a student editor here at the LINGUIST List. I am originally from Shreveport, Louisiana and I have just begun working at the LINGUIST List this semester.

I obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics at Baylor University in Waco, Texas in May 2013. After finishing my undergraduate degree, one of my professors in the Linguistics Program at Baylor told me about the Master’s in Linguistics program at Eastern Michigan University and the wonderful opportunity to work at the LINGUIST List that the program could provide. She had graduated from the Master’s program herself and recommended it to me. I enrolled in the program in fall of 2013.

I now have a graduate assistantship at the LINGUIST List that supports me as I pursue a Master’s degree in Linguistics. I am so thankful to have a job that is relevant to my field at such an early stage of my career, and I greatly enjoy working at the LINGUIST List. Every day I look forward to working with other linguists on services that aid the linguistic community and projects that further our knowledge and make resources accessible to our community.

I edit the conference calls for papers and I have just started working on the MultiTree project, which I look forward to contributing to and learning from. I feel that the work I am able to do here matters, and I am so grateful to everyone that supports the LINGUIST List. Please help us continue to grow and support students like me in the pursuit of higher education in the field of Linguistics.

Your support allows us to keep providing valuable services and resources to our community. When you donate to the LINGUIST List, you are supporting our projects and daily functioning. You are supporting students that love Linguistics as much as you do, and helping us to make a future in the field for which we all have a passion.

If you can, please consider donating at least some small amount to help us keep running in the coming year. You can follow this link to see our fund drive page and learn more about why your contribution matters so much. Many thanks.


Anna White
Calls & Conferences Editor

Publications Manager Danniella Hornby Explains the True Meaning of Fund Drive

I first joined The LINGUIST List as an intern in the summer of 2010,
and often heard the other students and employees trade horror stories
of “Fund Drive” and how difficult and exhausting it can be. They all
worked so hard and wanted to find new and creative ways of encouraging
people to support the work that they loved to do; work that benefits
everyone in the linguistics community. At the time, I didn’t
understand what Fund Drive was or why it was so important. But now –
two years and countless LINGUIST projects later – I walk into the
office every day and I understand. Please give something to support
our organization today:

The LINGUIST List has provided me with experience and skills and
allowed me to work alongside the most motivated and hardworking
students I could imagine. But most significantly, it has opened my
eyes to the importance – and necessity – of free and accessible

I missed my opportunity to write to you during the 2010 Fund Drive –
if I had, I would have said that I hoped you would consider supporting
a fantastic organization, because working on grant projects and
editing Ask-a-Linguist questions had already opened my eyes to what a
valuable resource the LINGUIST List is. Last year, I wrote to you as a
bright new graduate student and a new editor of Journal Calls, and
hoped that you would feel my excitement at having returned to
LINGUIST. This year, as the Publications Manager at LINGUIST, I write
to you in the hopes that you will appreciate what a valuable training
ground LINGUIST is and how dedicated we are to what we do.

I know that when my time at LINGUIST and at EMU comes to a close,
there will be new interns and new graduate assistants who are eager to
step up and continue the work that we all do and love at LINGUIST
List. By donating to the fund drive, you can help ensure that, each
year, students will continue to have this opportunity.

Danniella Hornby
Publications Manager