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Making the Most of LINGUIST: Additional and Special Interest Resources

Some LINGUIST resources aren’t so easy to classify. In this last letter, we’ve grouped some of the lesser-known features that may be of interest to you.

LINGUIST has established a presence on a variety of social networking sites. Connect with us by clicking the links below:

Various linguistic resources can only be found on the World Wide Web. Luckily, LINGUIST has an area for that!

  • Web Resources/Software: This area of the LINGUIST List contains links to websites and software devoted to natural and constructed languages, to writing systems, and to language resources on the web (such as dictionaries).
  • FYI: As mentioned in our previous letter, the FYI area contains information that doesn’t neatly fit into any single LINGUIST posting topic, such as calls for book chapters, award recipient announcements, new journal editor announcements, scholarship announcements, etc.
  • Discussion: The Discussion area is one of LINGUIST’s best kept secrets (but we’d like it to be not-so-secret). Discussions posted on the LINGUIST site have spawned many publications, collaborations, and thought-provoking linguistic observations and ponderings. Join the discussion!
  • Mailing Lists: There are a number of mailing lists linked in here that are related to different facets of linguistics and language.

LINGUIST’s projects also cater to various linguistic interests.

  • Tutorials: These tutorials were designed by programmers to help train linguistics students for work at LINGUIST. They’re very helpful introductions (or, for some of you, refreshers) for the technical work linguists engage in.
  • Linguistic Blogs: Here you can see what linguists on the web have to say about language:
  • Learning Languages Other than English: These resources will help you find language learning resources.
  • English Language Learning (EFL/ESL): LINGUIST also contains a variety of resources for learning English.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this Making the Most of LINGUIST letter series! As always, if you have any questions about the services LINGUIST offers its readers and subscribers, don’t hesitate to ask.

New Evidence for Neanderthal Language Announced

YPSILANTI, Michigan – The controversy over whether Neanderthals possessed a capacity for language may have been resolved. After years of speculation by evolutionary anthropologists and geneticists, a group of linguists has announced today that they have uncovered written evidence proving the Neanderthal capacity for language.

“Neanderthal man was able to express his ideas about the world around him, but was restricted by his limited syntax,” Professor Schmaltz explained at today’s press conference. “Whereas modern man combines words hierarchically into structure, the Neanderthal could only concatenate them linearly.”

It seems that Neanderthals had a single syllable oog, which, when repeated, formed different words. oog has been translated as ‘Oog’ a proper name, oog.oog meant ‘two people named Oog,’ oog.oog.oog meant ‘emotionally distant – like a teenager anxious to move out of his parents’ cave’ and so on.

Schmaltz’ team was able to identify and translate two texts left by Neanderthals. The first, a recent discovery in Spain, is a fragment of a teenager’s diary. It reads oog.oog.oog and has been translated as ‘[Dear diary, I feel] emotionally distant. [I wish I had my own cave]’.

‘[Dear diary, I feel] emotionally distant. [I wish I had my own cave]’

oog.oog.oog

The second text is either an exhaustive history of the region or simply the Neanderthal word for ‘antelope’, oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog…

 

oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog…

oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog.oog…

 

These findings suggest Neanderthals were just as culturally sophisticated as modern humans, but totally lacked an efficient method of communication. It has long been known that while Homo Sapiens’ culture developed rapidly, Neanderthals stagnated over thousands of years. Schmaltz hypothesizes that innovations simply would have taken too long to explain, as new words would have to be even longer chains of oog’s.

Schmaltz went on to speculate that the high-five traces its origins back to a borrowing from Proto-Neanderthal. “With each hand representing the name ‘Oog,’ slapping them together must have been used as a greeting. It truly was the original instant message.”

 

Making the Most of LINGUIST: Resources for Research

As a researcher, there are a lot of ways to formulate research questions and gather linguistic data. LINGUIST offers several features you can use to reach out to the linguistics community as you conduct your research.

  • Queries: You can submit research surveys, tests, and ask for resources relevant to your research here:

If you think someone may have already asked a similar question, check out Summaries to see if our readers have provided a response.

For general research needs, LINGUIST features a Publications Area where you can find bibliographic resources:

In this area, you can find:

If you’re doing language documentation research or your research is more technical in nature, you should visit our

for technical tips.

In fact, all of our projects can be used to gather information, and generate and support language hypotheses:

So once you’ve finished your research, how can you use LINGUIST to make the most of your career? Stay tuned for the next letter on LINGUIST’s resources for professional development.

Remember, these services are available to the linguistic community by your donations. To help us keep these services available in the future, remember to donate and help support.

Thank You Applicants!

Thank you to everyone that applied for the 2014 summer internship program. This year we received a record number of 100 applicants! We anticipate to begin to review the applications within the next few weeks.

Didn’t get the chance to apply for this year and want to prepare for next year’s cycle? Here are some things that will make you stand out:

1. Show a passion for something

Here at the LINGUIST List, our staff is full of people with a variety of skills in different fields. Some know programming, others really love phonology or syntax. Whatever you have a passion for, go for it! Our office is full of a variety of people (and some animal guests) and we like to have interns that seem excited about a particular field.

2. Double check your contact information

Each year, we inevitably have a few submissions where the application email address is put in incorrectly and bounces. This year, we added in a section where we asked for an alternate method of contacting you. This was mainly done to make sure that in case the main email bounces we can still get a hold of you. What if we didn’t have that information? You would not have known how awesome we thought your application was and we will be forever without telling you this. Remember, if you think you submitted it with a typo or accidentally a word, you can always contact us. We would love to hear from you! We all make mistakes :)

3. Brush up on your skills

Want to improve on your programming skills? Want to learn a new trick? You should check out our tutorials and YouTube videos to get started. There’s some on the basics of HTML, CSS, ColdFusion, Javascript, and SQL. Are you more of the hands on type and are in the Ypsilanti area? Keep an eye out on our social media pages for postings about talks and demonstrations that will be happening in our office.

4. Ask to volunteer

If you don’t have time to fully commit to a summer internship or want to still help out in our office, we are always looking for reliable volunteers to assist with our projects. If you are interested in helping out on a regular basis, review our list of projects and email linguist@linguistlist.org with your questions.

 

2014 LINGUIST List Internship Program Now Accepting Applications!

The LINGUIST List is pleased to announce the availability of a limited number of paid internship positions for the summer of 2014 at the LINGUIST offices in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Internships are available for a three-month period between May and August 2014.

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Interns will have the opportunity to participate in the daily operations of the LINGUIST List and its parent organization, the Institute for Language Information and Technology (ILIT) at Eastern Michigan University. ILIT serves the discipline of linguistics by providing digital tools and services that sustain the scientific analysis of language and by disseminating high-quality language data and linguistic information. In addition to the LINGUIST List website and mailing list, ILIT manages a number of grant-funded projects that develop the cyberinfrastructure of linguistics; interns may expect to work primarily on the following projects:

(1) Language and Location: A Map Annotation Project (LL-MAP: http://www.llmap.org): This project began as a joint NSF-sponsored project of Eastern Michigan University and Stockholm University and is hosted as an ongoing project at ILIT. In LL-MAP, language information is integrated with data from the physical and social sciences by means of a Geographical Information System (GIS). Tasks for this project include map-making (using Global Mapper and Google Earth) and using the LL-MAP Scholar’s Workbench to style and upload maps. You will also be responsible to help develop a new interface for the map viewing facility.

(2) MultiTree (http://multitree.org): The MultiTree project is a digital library of scholarly hypotheses about language relationships and subgroupings. This information is organized in a searchable database with a web interface, and each hypothesis is presented graphically as a diagram of a family tree. Typical tasks for this project include researching language relationship hypotheses and entering this information into the MultiTree database.

(3) Endangered Language Catalog (ELCat: http://www.endangeredlanguages.com/): This project launched in fall 2011 with funding from the NSF. The ELCat project is responsible for posting data about endangered languages with evaluation from global experts. This information is used to confront the issue of language endangerment by allowing users to upload data and multimedia files regarding thousands of languages in order to document, preserve, and teach others about each language. Potential interns will be responsible for resource discovery, reading scholarly articles, data entry, and bibliography management.

(4) 19th International Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG) Conference: This conference will take place from July 17, 2014 through July 19, 2014 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  The focus of this conference is to promote interaction and collaborations among researchers interested in non-derivational approaches to grammar, where grammar is see as the interaction of (perhaps violable) constraints from multiple levels of structuring, including those of syntactic categories, grammatical relations, semantics, and discourse. There will also be a special panel session on “Language Documentation and Linguistic Theory” with a focus on under-resourced and endangered languages. Interns will be responsible for assisting with the design and printing of conference materials, assisting non-local attendees with finding local events, and other tasks to be determined by the local conference organizers.

(5) Grammar Engineering Platform Development: The goal of this project is to create an online IDE for morphological analyzers (and potentially syntactic grammars) where linguists are able to simply copy and paste their data into a form online, specify grammars and rules, and perform analyses and parses of data. Interns will learn about XFST, FOMA, Finite State Morphology, Context Free Grammar, Unification Grammars, linguistic theories, documentation standards, java, python, and Django development techniques. Interns do not necessarily need to already know about the above. On-site training workshops will be provided. If you already have experience with these tools, please make sure to mention this on your application and/or supplemental materials.

(6) Website, App, and Localization Development: LINGUIST List is working on creating a new website and posting system. Interns will help to create not only a new website, but also to develop applications compatible with the iOS and Android systems. For the localization, interns that have a higher reading ability in languages other than English are highly desired. Training on localization, app development, and the website creation will be provided. If you already have experience with these tools, please make sure to mention this on your application and/or supplemental materials.

Interns are required to work 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday, and will receive a stipend of US $8.50 per hour. Housing is not provided, although we are able to provide some assistance in locating accommodations.

International applicants must have a visa that permits them to work in the US. LINGUIST List will work with applicants to obtain a visa; however, this is not guaranteed, as the administrative procedures involved are subject to university approval.

Applicants with external funding or support are encouraged to apply to work here as an extension of the internship program.

LINGUIST List fellowships for the M.A. Linguistics program at Eastern Michigan University for 2014 may be available to selected interns. For more information, see http://www.emich.edu/english/programs/linguistics/.

The deadline for internship applications is January 27, 2014. Applicants will be contacted early in February; Skype interviews with finalists will be scheduled for mid-February or March.

To apply for an internship position, fill out the Google form in its entirety at:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1no5TJ4XHf0PJ3sUN4PfKwzrPQvUTubzEYbSXgIkALEI/viewform.

Applicants are welcome to submit supplementary materials to interns@linguistlist.org  with the subject line “2014 LINGUIST List Internship Application [Your Name]“

ILIT Open House 07/11 and 07/12

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Are you in Michigan for the 2013 Linguistic Institute? Come and visit us for our Open House! Stop by to talk to the staff and students about their work here and the possible opportunities that await. We will be open to the public for two times: Thursday July 11th from 9-2 and Friday July 12th from 2-5. We plan on making it an informal event, so bring your friends and stop in throughout the two session times.

We are in the Cooper building near Eastern Michigan University’s campus at 2000 N Huron River Dr. in Ypsilanti.

The easiest way to get here from downtown Ann Arbor is to take “The Ride” on line 3 for $1.50. You can get on at two locations: Ann and State or Glen and Catherine. Take this into Ypsilanti and it will go down Washtenaw Avenue. Your stop will be on Huron River Drive at the Eastern Michigan University Stadium. The LINGUIST List is across the street from the stadium bus stop inside the Cooper Building. On Thursday, one of our interns, Thomas Haider, will be guiding people to the Cooper building from the Ann and State Street stop. The bus will pick people up at 8:55am and Tom will be there around 8:45am. If you miss the bus, the buses run about every half hour and you can take another one into town.

If you get lost, you can call us at 734-487-0144. We look forward to seeing you!

Thomas Haider

Here’s Tom, your friendly tour guide and the face to look for at the bus stop.