Historical Linguistics; Language Documentation: LL Editor Sara’s Favorite Tree

Dear Fellow Linguists,

In the vein of our theme about trees and planting new roots here at LINGUIST List, we all have been thinking about what our favorite linguistic trees are.  I had a hard time narrowing this down.  My first reaction was to say “MultiTree!”, my favorite LL grant project, as well as my favorite tool for historical linguistics before I even started working at LINGUIST List.  But that is more than one tree, but rather a forest of linguistic analyses about genetic classification.  I worked as an editor and researcher on MultiTree for a year and a half and I inputted a lot of trees into our database, mostly for Austronesian and Papua New Guinea language families.

I loved many of the trees that I uploaded, but one that stood out to me in particular was this classification of Kwomtari by Baron 1983:



Kwomtari: Baron 1983. MultiTree: A digital library of language relationships.


Kwomtari is a small language family that includes only 6 daughter languages, spoken in Papua New Guinea.  This was the first tree that I researched and uploaded as a MultiTree editor.  I later went on to enter several different classifications for the Kwomtari family, since scholars disagree on how to classify these languages.  But this tree is in particular is nostalgic for me.  It reminds me how much I love working on MultiTree, researching new resources and new classifications, investigating language codes, and learning about languages from far-flung places around the globe, languages I wouldn’t have even known existed if I hadn’t researched them for MultiTree, and by proxy, the LINGUIST List.

The LINGUIST List is a free resource funded by the linguistic community to serve the linguistic community.  Without your support over the years, the LINGUIST List and such related resources like MultiTree would not exist.  If you have found the LINGUIST List to be helpful and if you would like to keep them around, please consider donating to our Fund Drive:


Your continuing support is vital to our existence.  We appreciate any little bit of help that you can give.

Linguistically yours,

Sara Couture

Publications Editor



Donate to Win a Copy of Sociolinguistics and Deaf Communities from Cambridge!

Dear LINGUIST List Readers,

Today, we are introducing another prize donated by Cambridge University Press to our Fund Drive raffle.  They are donating two copies of Sociolinguistics and Deaf Communities.  If you are interested in sign language variation or discourse and the sociolinguistic issues involved, this is the book for you.  You can read a full abstract about the book in the link below:


This fascinating linguistic resource can be yours for a minimum donation of $25, if you donate before midnight tomorrow (April 11, 11:59 pm EST).  Two winners will be selected at random from our pool of donors who donate from now until the deadline.

You can donate by following this link to our Fund Drive page:


Also, if you donate before next week, you will a 20% off promotional code to Routledge’s book catalogue as well as be entered to win an additional $100 off any of Routledge’s books.  Don’t miss your chance to win these great discounts.

Please the spread the word about our Fund Drive raffle and other Fund Drive content by liking, sharing or retweeting on social media.  You can also go to our social media pages and blog for any updates about our Fund Drive and other LINGUIST List activities.  We will be having more publisher giveaways, so stay tuned.

Thank you all for your support! We can’t do it without you.

Thanks and good luck!

Linguistically yours,

The LINGUIST List Crew

What Makes LINGUIST List So Special?

Dear LINGUIST List Subscribers, Readers, Users, and Followers,

There are many very important and interesting moderated lists for linguists on the internet that allow you to quickly post some information about a conference, a job opening, a new version of some software, or a question related to some issue. All list moderators check whether the submitted message is relevant for the particular audience before they approve its dissemination. We at LINGUIST List check whether the message would be relevant for the GLOBAL linguistic community, independent of a specific linguistic domain or sub-field.

We at LINGUIST List believe that it is in your interest to have all submissions double-checked and approved, links to pages checked, content edited to avoid embarrassment for the author or the readers. We believe that having human editors, and not just moderators, serves all of us best in a professional and academic environment.

LINGUIST List is the only such service that provides moderation and careful editing of submissions—for linguists, by linguists.

We believe that checking publisher’s announcements or conference calls is in the interest of all of us to make sure that these announcements are serious and not predatory. We check every announcement by a publisher or a conference organizer. We verify the address and website, check whether it is blacklisted in common registries of predatory publishers, and send feedback to these registries, if we identify a predatory publisher.

We also believe that the information that you submit should not be just sent out and forgotten. We help you by adding information to clarify your posts, to change details, extend deadlines, add programs to your conference calls, or close a job advertisement. Our editors receive on average five such requests each per day, to change some announcement, correct settings in an EasyAbs review setting, to change deadlines, contact emails, or language and linguistic specializations.

We believe that this is necessary to reduce the time our subscribers waste with irrelevant information—to improve the information quality that we disseminate over LINGUIST List.

We know that over the last 25 years LINGUIST List has served many of you worldwide. It has brought us linguists together, helped us to find a job, let us know about new books and dissertations, workshops and conferences all over the globe. We are aware that things have changed, that our mailboxes are flooded with incredible amounts of information, that there are so many websites that provide linguistic information, that social media is changing the way we use the internet for communication. We are constantly improving our technologies and services to focus on our mission:

To provide free information and services to all linguists, readers and subscribers worldwide.

We believe that linguistics needs such an information hub that is independent, user-funded, international, and that integrates all linguistic sub-fields, not specializing on a single research area or domain. LINGUIST is truly international and multilingual, run by a team of linguists from Asia, Europe, and America. It is run by a team of volunteers, student editors and faculty, all linguists from different subfields, with different linguistic and language backgrounds.

During Fund Drive 2015, you can support LINGUIST List with a donation:


We all appreciate your support, and when we say “we all,” we mean the global international community of linguists and language lovers.




Historical Linguistics Editor Erin’s Favorite Tree

Dear LINGUIST List Subscribers,

Continuing on this year’s Fund Drive’s theme of trees, I’m going to go out on a limb and follow up Lwin’s tree with another historical linguistics tree.

This is a representation of a tree of Proto-Indo-European

This is a representation of a tree of Proto-Indo-European, “IndoEuropeanTreeDielli1″ by Zoti Zeu – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:IndoEuropeanTreeDielli1.svg#/media/File:IndoEuropeanTreeDielli1.svg

One of the first classes I took as a Linguistics major was a class called “Introduction to Indo-European Linguistics”, and in this class, we learned about different ways in which languages change and the reconstruction of languages. For me, this tree represents so much of what I learned in that class — how languages can divide and change, but that there are things which can make so many languages relatable to one another. As an undergraduate, this was some sort of magic, or a really fun game, seeing how languages could change and then applying what I learned about language change to my language-learning endeavors. (“Well, if this root changed to that in Language X, it probably changed to this in Language Y!”) How exciting and fascinating it was to have a whole new way of looking at words, seeing the interconnectedness of so many languages.


Just like how exciting it was to see the interconnectedness of languages, so it was great to find a place where linguists were also connected. LINGUIST List gave me a place to see both how many opportunities there were (for more reading, learning, and working), and also gave me the chance to connect with scholars all over the globe.


If you have found the LINGUIST List helpful over the years, as I have: please consider donating to this year’s Fund Drive. this will help us to continue providing quality services intending to help connect the linguistics community and enrich the general trove of linguistic resources.


Win a One-year Subscripition to the Journal of Portuguese Linguistics: Spread the Word and Donate!

Dear LINGUIST List Readers:

We hope you have been enjoying our publisher raffles during our Fund Drive.  Today, we are offering another prize, this time donated by the Association of Editors of the Journal of Portuguese Linguistics.  They are offering a one-year journal subscription to the Journal of Portuguese Linguistics to everyone that donates $20 or more to the LINGUIST List Fund Drive.  You can read about the journal here:


Donate at least a minimum of $20 before midnight tomorrow (April 9, 11:59 pm EST), and you will win a one-year subscription to the Journal of Portuguese Linguistics.  You can donate here:


Reminder: we still have another week of the Routledge Giveaway.  Anyone who donates will receive a 20% off promotional code to Routledge’s book catalogue.  By donating, you also are entered to win an ADDITIONAL $100 in books from Routledge.  Don’t miss your chance

Please spread the word about our Fund Drive!  You can like and share our posts on Facebook or Google Plus, or retweet on Twitter.  If everyone who uses LINGUIST List donated at least $10 right now, we would achieve your goal.  We can’t do it without your support.

Thanks and good luck!

Linguistically yours,

The LINGUIST List Crew


An Appeal from LINGUIST Supporter Wannie Carstens of North-West University, South Africa

Dear all,

In the past few weeks, many efforts have been made to get the members and subscribers of the LINGUIST List to come forward with the necessary financial support to enable the staff of the List to continue with their good work, but we are still more than $50,000 short. It really is a pity.

As a very frequent user of the List, I do not think that we as linguist community can do our work without having access to a source like LINGUIST List. The linguistic information available is just unbelievable: conference announcements, book reviews, job postings, queries, discussions, linguistic facts, diagrams, trees, etc. etc. Therefore: please contribute – even it is only a small amount – to let the staff keep up with this. If every individual making use of the resources just contribute $10, we will soon have the balance of the required amount, and even maybe some spare change for next year’s effort.

I therefore totally agree with Dr. Arendse Bernth about the necessity of support from the whole linguistic community. We do need the LINGUIST List and WE need to make it happen.

Here in South Africa, we at the North-West University are proud to see that we are the main contributors for not only South Africa but also the whole of Africa! Currently we are fourth on the list of universities worldwide. This makes us a main role player … On the other side it is an indication that too many other universities in Africa only make use of the resources and information provided by the LINGUIST List, but do not contribute anything to make it a sustainable list.

I hereby then challenge every university in AFRICA to improve on the amount we were able to put together – $820. Let us show the rest of the world that we appreciate what we get out of the LINGUIST List. If every other university in Africa (it seems there are about 1,300 universities and colleges in Africa) donates only $100, we soon will have the required amount.

This also goes to universities all over the world: only $100 from every university making use of LINGUIST List’s resources will provide more than enough money to enable the staff of LINGUIST List to continue to serve us, the linguistic community of the world. This really is not too much to ask, especially considering what we get out of the deal.


Kind regards

Prof Wannie Carstens

North-West University, South Africa


To read LINGUIST Advisor Arendse Bernth’s appeal, please visit http://linguistlist.org/issues/26/26-1839.html.

Last Call! Donate and Enter to Win a Language Warrior T-shirt from The Language Conservancy

Dear LINGUIST List Readers:

Today is the last day of our Language Warriors theme week and also your last chance to win a prize from The Language Conservancy. They dedicated to rescuing the world’s endangered languages, restoring them to vital use, and safeguarding them for future generations.  They help prevent the extinction of languages by: 1) raising funds for research; 2) increasing the international public awareness of the social and personal consequences of indigenous language loss; and 3) providing technical support to organizations and communities engaged in revitalizing their languages.

For a minimum donation of $25 before noon tomorrow (April 7, 11:59 am EST), you can enter to win this Language Warrior t-shirt (size large) and declare your Language Warrior status to the world:


Don’t miss your chance to win some Language Warrior attire.  You can donate to the LINGUIST List here:


Also, please spread the word about this raffle and other Fund Drive activities, by liking/sharing/tweeting/signal fires and/or morse code.  Every little bit helps and without your support, the LINGUIST List would not exist.

Thanks and good luck!

Linguistically yours,

The LINGUIST List Crew

Language Warriors: Get a Chance to Win Speak Lakota! from The Language Conservancy…Donate Today!

Dear LINGUIST List Readers (and Language Warriors):

On this fine Saturday morning, here at the LINGUIST List, we have another prize for donated by The Language Conservancy.  An institute dedicated to rescuing the world’s endangered languages, restoring them to vital use, and safeguarding them for future generations, they help prevent the extinction of languages by: 1) raising funds for research; 2) increasing the international public awareness of the social and personal consequences of indigenous language loss; and 3) providing technical support to organizations and communities engaged in revitalizing their languages.

For today’s prize, we are offering another indigenous textbook and CD combo set, Lakhótiya Wóglaka Po! – Speak Lakota! respectively. Normally valued at $55 USD, if you donate a minimum donation of $25 before noon tomorrow (April 5, 11:59 am EST), you will get a chance to win this textbook-CD combo. The winner will be selected randomly from our pool of donors.

Please visit this link to donate:


You can also help out by spreading the word and telling other linguists about our Fund Drive (like/share/tweet/send message via carrier pigeon).  Every little bit helps and we appreciate all of your support!

Thanks and good luck!

Linguistically yours,

The LINGUIST List Crew

Language Warriors: Always Wanted to Learn How To Play Lakota Flute Music? Now You Can: Donate Today!

Dear LINGUIST List Readers:

Happy Friday, fellow linguists and Language Warriors!  We have another prize for you from The Language Conservancy, which is dedicated to rescuing the world’s endangered languages, restoring them to vital use, and safeguarding them for future generations.  They help prevent the extinction of languages by: 1) raising funds for research; 2) increasing the international public awareness of the social and personal consequences of indigenous language loss; and 3) providing technical support to organizations and communities engaged in revitalizing their languages.

The Language Conservancy is interested not only in preserving indigenous languages, but also indigenous culture.  The prize we are offering to you today is a copy of Learn to Play the Flute!: Music Lesson Book for the Indigenous North American Flute.  You can view a full description of the book here:


If you have a love for music and may be interested in learning about traditional Lakota flute music, this will be the book for you.  If you donate a minimum of $25 to the LINGUIST List before noon tomorrow (April 4, 11:59 am EST), you can get your name entered into the drawing  to win this musical delight.

You can donate here:


We will be offering two more prizes for our Language Warrior theme week over the weekend, so stay tuned for more details about those.  Please spread the word (like, share, tweet, yell across the room to your friend) about this raffle and other Fund Drive activities.

Thanks and good luck!

Linguistically yours,

The LINGUIST List Crew

Premiums: Check Out What Can Be Yours with a Donation!

Dear LINGUIST List Subscribers,

Happy weekend to all! We are so excited to have reached the $20,000 mark in our Fund Drive this week, however, we still have a long way to go. Our goal is to collect $79,000.00 for our editors and the programming support.


Today we want to show you our Fund Drive premiums—what you can get for free with a donation to LINGUIST List as a thank you!

For a donation of $200 or more, you can be the owner of our Classic Embroidered Zip-Up Sweatshirt in white:


Donate $125 or more and choose the Classic Embroidered Hat in white! You’ll be wearing the LINGUIST logo in style:


For a $110 donation, you’ll be able to carry all of your things around in a blue or black LINGUIST tote*—complete with a syntax tree, perfect for any linguist:



A donation of $100 will allow you to pick a T-shirt of your liking! We have our Classic T-Shirt in white:


Our Global Linguist T-Shirt* in purple:


Our Sunset T-Shirt in gray*:


For a $75 donation, store all of your work on a custom LINGUIST 4 GB USB Drive*:


A $75 dollar donation can also get a custom LINGUIST List deck of cards—possibly our coolest and certainly our most fun premium:


If you’re looking for some LINGUIST swag to hold your hot or cold beverage, a $55 donation can get you a gray LINGUIST Travel Mug* or a Red and Blue Water Bottle*:

Gray_Travel_Mug_w._Sunset_Logo Red_Water_Bottle_w._Sun_Logo

A $27 donation can get you a LINGUIST Spatula for all of your cooking needs, a or LINGUIST Stylus Pen:



For a $17 dollar donation, you can receive a LINGUIST Magnet to show off your LINGUIST List pride on your refrigerator or car, or a LINGUIST Rubber Bracelet:

White_Magnet_w._Sunset_Logo Blue_Rubber_Bracelet

Finally, with an $11 donation, choose to receive a LINGUIST Sticker to show off your support:


*while supplies last

Remember, you are not donating just for a premium, or even for your own interest alone –LINGUIST List is read worldwide, by professionals but also students and language enthusiasts who otherwise would have much more limited access to linguistic contents.

Will you make a donation and help us reach our goal?



Your LINGUIST List Team