Featuring a LINGUIST List staff member: Kenneth Steimel!

All these emails about Conference that you receive everyday in your email box…Do you ever wonder who is the link behind the scenes, between the organisers and the potential participants? Meet our Calls and Confs Editor, Kenneth Steimel! Find out about his hometown over here:


and find out a little bit about himself right here – an insight into a LINGUIST List editor’s life!

Dear LINGUIST List subscribers,

My name is Kenneth Steimel and I am one of the 5 student editors here at the LINGUIST List. I am a PhD student at Indiana University as well. I edit Calls for Papers, Conferences, Media, Software and Ask-a-linguist. Working for the LINGUIST List has allowed me to pursue my graduate studies. I would not be able to afford my degree without the support of this organization. Since subscribers like you support the LINGUIST List, I am very thankful to all of you. 

As we move further into 2017, we need your support again. Without your donations, it becomes hard for us to sustain the services we provide. If you think we provide a meaningful service, please show your appreciation with a contribution. I know everyone here greatly appreciates your donations. Without the support you provide, we would not be able to support graduate assistants like myself who read and edit each post to keep the quality of content high. Truly, thank you. 

Your Call & Conference Editor

Test your wits in the Great LINGUIST Treasure Hunt!

Dear LINGUIST Listers,

It’s time for the first game in the 2017 Fund Drive! It will be a global race to the finish, a test of wits, and most of all a lot of fun! Oh, and did we mention prizes?

The Great LINGUIST Treasure Hunt is now open! To play, just go to Geoling (http://geoling.linguistlist.org/) and follow the clues across the globe! Make it to the end, and you’ll have the chance to win some limited edition LINGUIST List gear!

Here is your first clue:

Did you know LINGUIST List offers summer internships?

Good luck, and may the best linguists win!

Featured Linguist: João Costa

Featured Linguist: João Costa

Featured Linguist: João Costa

Becoming a linguist was partly a matter of chance (or luck!) partly genuine interest. As a junior high school student, I was convinced I wanted to become a teacher. I guess I wanted to be a teacher of French, sometimes an elementary school teacher. High school changed things, and as I turned 16 my interests started fluctuating (almost weekly). I started considering many possible paths: journalism (because I had a radio show with friends at the time), philosophy (because epistemology was my favorite topic), classical languages (I was in love with Latin and Greek), theatre (because I was playing theatre with an amateur group, and asked by a professional group to join them)… too many options, and I had to make a choice. At some point, I had to choose between becoming an elementary school teacher, studying language and literature, or a new undergraduate program at the University of Lisbon: a program in Linguistics. I’m a literature freak, a compulsive reader, but I never liked reading literary critics. I couldn’t picture myself in that world. So, I was left with two choices. I found the structure of the new degree quite interesting, although I had no clue about what formal linguistics was about. I saw that there were courses in cognitive psychology, mathematical methods in linguistics, sociolinguistics, and I found it a perfect cocktail! But still I couldn’t make up my mind… So, I flipped a coin, and the choice of the coin was Linguistics! I’m sorry I didn’t keep that coin as a little treasure.

Studying at the University of Lisbon was great, and I soon realized that Generative Grammar was the theory that provided clearer answers, falsifiable hypotheses and with the best prospects for useful usage in several applied domains. In the first years, I pictured myself as a phonetician for the rest of my life. But a class on unaccusatives by Inês Duarte made me fall in love with syntax. Groningen, as an Erasmus student, and the classes with Jan Koster helped me make the final decision: I wanted to be a syntactician. Adverbs and word order were the puzzles I wanted to work on.

Life as a graduate student is always perfect, and my life in Leiden, with an intermediate eight months visit at MIT, constituted the perfect setting me for me to seriously learn how to study, how to discuss what I study, how to argue. Some people say I am workaholic (as anyone with an addiction I don’t acknowledge that…), but if there is any truth in that, the bad habits started in The Netherlands.

Back in Portugal, my interest moved to Language Acquisition and Language Impairment, realizing that language acquisition could only be done with proper theoretical knowledge, and that theoretical syntax may benefit a lot from findings on language acquisition. Right now, my life as a linguist is temporarily suspended, because I am in the Portuguese Government, as Secretary of State for Education). My work on language acquisition has led me to work on education matters, and to play a role in society. That’s actually what I think science is for – to create a better world.

Many, many people have influenced me, but I cannot help mentioning one of the most influential linguists, since we first talked: Tanya Reinhart!

If I cannot imagine my life without many linguists, I am also sure that linguistics could not be the same without the LINGUIST List!


Please support the LINGUIST List student editors and operations with a donation during the 2017 Fund Drive! The LINGUIST List needs your support!

Check out upcoming surprises on the LINGUIST List!

Hello LINGUIST Listers,

This year, we have a few surprises awaiting you in our Fund Drive – indeed, we think you will find it very fun! Keep reading our messages to get the latest updates on challenges, prizes, and some exciting new games, including a global scavenger hunt… trust us, you won’t want to miss out! To give you a flavor of the upcoming events, this year’s theme is: Putting Linguistics on the Map for 27 Years!
First of all, we have just proclaimed the annual LINGUIST-List Challenge season open!  As part of our Fund Drive, every year we launch a world-wide contest of the most collectively generous donnors, which unfolds into four parts:

– The Countries Challenge: http://funddrive.linguistlist.org/country/
– The Regions Challenge: http://funddrive.linguistlist.org/region/
– The University Challenge: http://funddrive.linguistlist.org/university/
– The SubField Challenge: http://funddrive.linguistlist.org/subfield/

Each and every one of you is guaranteed to fall into one of these contestant categories. Now the question is: are you ready to take part in the challenge? Who will be the 2017 LINGUIST List Challenge Champions?


Second, We are excited to announce the beginning of this year’s first round of the LINGUIST List Fund Drive Lottery! Between today and Wednesday, March 5th, donate and you will be entered to win a prize donated by one of our supporting publishers: one book of your choice from the Multilingual Matters online catalog! Your name is entered once for every $10 donation, so the more you donate, the greater your chance to win! Check out Multilingual Matters’ website (http://multilingual-matters.com/), and then head over to our fund drive webpage, and enter for your chance to win!


We leave you – for now, but we’ll be back soon with a new round of games – with a first taste of our appreciation for your donations – our new Premiums!  Don’t wait another second to check out our Fund Drive website, and to contribute to our cause! http://funddrive.linguistlist.org/

Thank you for your support!

Your devoted LINGUIST List team


The LINGUIST List Fun(d) Drive has now begun!


Dear Colleagues,

It’s Spring again, and time to support the LINGUIST List, your linguistic news channel, providing verified and reliable information, your daily portion of – relatively – light entertainment, for some – a forum for discussion, for some – a bridge to the world, for some – a foot in the door to the career as a linguist or language professional. We have readers in all countries of the world and we span across linguistic disciplines. All year round we, the editors, try to be invisible and simply provide a good service. Today I would like to call for donations to the LINGUIST List.

Linguist List has served you since December 1990. It started as a mailing list, but as the internet and the digital media have changed over the years, so did the LINGUIST List. If you only read the emails sent through the mailing list, you miss out on so much. Just a couple of days ago we broke 50 thousand followers on social media. That’s a lot of people interested in linguistics! We are a huge community. We strive to keep up with technology and we keep introducing new services. Last year we launched GeoLing (http://geoling.linguistlist.org/), displaying linguistically relevant points on an interactive map. And if you don’t want to bother reading, just ask Amazon Alexa! Alexa knows everything published on the LINGUIST List.

As a matter of principle, we do not charge membership fees from the users. We believe that the financial support to the LINGUIST List needs to remain totally voluntary. However, our operations cost real money. We pay for our web servers, we pay a salary to a programmer, we pay tuitions, health insurance and modest salaries to the students of linguistics who, as editors, work on your submissions on a daily basis. To serve you in the best way we can, to continue distributing linguistic news, to update the webpages and stay abreast with the latest technology – we need your donations. All those who can afford it and want to support the linguistic community world-wide, now you have a chance to do so.

Please support the LINGUIST List. Donate now!

-Malgosia Cavar and the LINGUIST List Team


LINGUIST List Internships 2017

The LINGUIST List invites undergraduate and graduate students as well as particularly motivated senior high school students to the 2017 summer internship program.

Interns at LINGUIST List have the opportunity to participate in the daily operations of the LINGUIST List, including editing submissions to the LINGUIST List and correspondence with linguists.

Apart from that interns will have the opportunity to work under the supervision of local or visiting faculty at The LINGUIST List on concrete research projects related to language and STEM sub-disciplines, language documentation, as well as engineering of software solutions and algorithms, mathematical concepts and methods, and technologies related to speech and language data.

Depending on individual interests or skills interns can get involved in the following LINGUIST List related projects for a certain proportion of their work time:

  • GeoLing: A web-application that maps LINGUIST List events, institutions, resources on a GIS system for mobile devices and access
  • Voice interface: Development of dialogs and speech interfaces for use with Amazon Echo/Alexa, Google Home, Cortana, etc. to provide LINGUIST List information over these voice systems/interfaces, develop new linguistic “skills” and extend existing ones
  • Improvement of the new LINGUIST List website and content, applications like Ask-a-Ling, and new services and applications


Interns will get an opportunity to also work with:

For more information on the specific projects read about them on the specific pages and visit our “Get Involved” site.


Thierry Declerck visiting the LINGUIST List

Thierry Declerck

Thierry Declerck

We were happy to have Thierry Declerck from the DFKI here in Bloomington over the last weeks. He writes:

“I have been visiting the Indiana University on the occasion of a workshop on Corpora in the Digital Humanities that I co-organised with Sandra Kübler.  At the same time I was very happy to follow an invitation by Damir Cavar to visit the office of the LINGUIST List and to discuss issues related to the topics of the workshop, especially in the field of low-resourced languages, and how to make resources for such languages available and more visible. Damir made an impressive presentation of the use and adaptation of recent speech technology products (e.g. Amazon Echo/Alexa, Google Home) for accessing information available at the LINGUIST List (including information about conferences, workshops, jobs, or notes on language resources and technologies).

Thanks for hosting me and for the discussions we also had in the days following the workshop and my first visit at the LINGUIST List offices and hoping to continue the exchanges.”

Thierry Declerck


The LINGUIST List Team at the LSA Annual Meeting 2017 in Austin, Texas

The LINGUIST List team at the booth at LSA Annual Meeting in Austin, demonstrating GeoLing, Alexa’s Flash Briefing LINGUIST List module, and many other new projects…



This is probably the first time that LINGUIST List posts have been edited and approved on the highway while driving from Bloomington, IN, to Austin, TX.

At the conference:



LINGUIST List on Amazon Echo / via Alexa

Dear linguists,

Alexa (Amazon Echo) just got a new Flash Briefing channel. You can add The LINGUIST List Flash Briefing with your Alexa app to your Amazon Echo (Dot) or Tap. The new settings will allow you to select most recent postings or the newest postings in any of the LINGUIST areas (e.g. Books, Calls, Conferences, Disc, Diss, FYI, Internships, Jobs, Media, Qs, Reviews, Software, Summer schools, Sums, Support, TOC).

Once you added The LINGUIST List Flash Briefing to your Echo, you can activate the LINGUIST List postings with “What’s new?” or other commands.

We will add more functionalities to Alexa and extend these functionalities to Cortana and Google Home/Assistant.

Have fun with that!

Your LINGUIST List Team


GeoLing shows linguistic events and institutions on a global map

The LINGUIST List has added a new service to its set of web applications: GeoLing

GeoLing allows you to submit announcements of local linguistic events. See for details the HOWTO page of GeoLing.

It also allows you to view all active conference, job, and summer school announcements that are submitted to LINGUIST List on a global map.

In addition to these exciting new functionalities, GeoLing also displays on a global map all linguistic institutions, programs, organizations, even office addresses that were submitted to LINGUIST List.

GeoLing can link to your institutional online calendar and read all local events from it automatically so that you do not have to update the events on GeoLing manually. GeoLing also understands emails with attached addresses in the vCards format, iCalendar or vCal event data submitted to it via email from your favorite contact management software or app, or your PIM or organizer. You will find more details on the HOWTO pages of GeoLing.

LINGUIST List can host online calendars for your institution and link them to GeoLing. Please let us know, if you are interested in this service.

The interface will allow you in the next version to display selected events. For example, you should be able to display all events that are related to “Optimality Theory”, or to “Syntax” of “Slavic languages”. You should be able to find all “theoretical syntax” jobs, or jobs related to “Natural Language Processing”, “Speech Recognition”, “Pragmatics”, “Translation”. There is a limited search facility implemented already. We are working on more improvements.
The displayed information about the events will allow you soon to “add the event to my calendar” or “add the address to my address book” on mobile devices like tablets or smart phones. We are working on that.


We hope you like this new service.

Your LINGUIST List Team