Fund Drive Closing Letter

Dear LINGUIST,

the Fund Drive is over! We would like to thank all those who have supported the LINGUIST List team – either financially or morally. The full list of our donors this year can be found here:
https://funddrive.linguistlist.org/supporters/

We have also made the advisors challenge – in the last 24 hours of the Fund Drive our readers donated over $1000 and – as promised – the members of our advisory board will match this amount with additional donation on top of the donations throughout the duration of the Fund Drive. Thank you!

While the numbers are still being updated, it looks like we have a winner in the university challenge – and this year it is Stanford University. Congratulations! Stanford can be also proud of the second biggest number of donors from a single institution – thirteen. The institution with the highest number of donors – fourteen – is this year University of Southern Carolina, which also takes the overall 3rd place in the university challenge. The second place in the university challenge goes to Wayne State!

The Fund Drive is over but we still need your support. We have reached just below 60% of our Fund Drive goal this year. For the next couple of days, you will still be able to make a donation via our 2019 campaign https://iufoundation.fundly.com/the-linguist-list-2019 . Later, you can use Indiana University Foundation – please choose ‘Linguist List Discretionary Fund’ from the selection of accounts (https://www.myiu.org/give-now).

Here are the results of the challenges:

University Challenge:
Stanford University
Wayne State University
University of South Carolina

Subfield Challenge:

Syntax (this is a tradition)

Semantics
Phonology

Country Challenge Top 10:
United States
Germany
Canada
United Kingdom
Spain
Belgium
Netherlands
Italy
Australia
Sweden

Again, thank you so much for your contributions and support!

Faithfully Yours,
Malgosia – on behalf of the LINGUIST List Team: Helen, Rebecca, Jeremy, Sarah, Peace, Everett, Nils, Yiwen

The current LL crew!

Rising Stars: Meet Sean Lang!

Dear Readers,

This year we will be continuing our Rising Stars Series where we feature up and coming linguists ranging from impactful undergraduates to prolific PhD candidates. These rising stars have been nominated by their mentors for their exceptional interest in linguistics and eager participation in the global community of language researchers.

Today we share with you the cutting-edge work of Sean Lang. He is a Senior at the University of Michigan where he is a double major in Spanish and Neuroscience. He is currently a member of the University of Michigan Speech Lab where he is working on analyzing a corpus of data from the Afrikaans-Argentine bilingual community that resides in Patagonia, Argentina. His work has ramifications for the Afrikaans language as a whole since the last group of Afrikaans-Spanish bilingual speakers resides in Patagonia, thus making the particular language variety an endangered one. He has received very high praise from his mentors and his work quality is said to be among that of the top undergraduates ever to work in the lab. He has even been interviewed by NPR! While doing all of this great work, Sean has also still found the time to be a mentor and thesis advisor to younger students. And with that… we introduce Sean’s work!

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Between 1902 and 1906, approximately 600 Afrikaans speakers migrated to Chubut Province, Argentina from South Africa. Over the course of the 20th century, the community gradually shifted from Afrikaans-dominant to Spanish-dominant. The year 1954 marks the first record of a church service held in Spanish, though Afrikaans was still the dominant language through the 1960s. In May of 2014, a team of University of Michigan faculty was sent on a fieldwork trip to visit the community and interview its members, a subset of whom were (indeed, still are) Afrikaans-Spanish bilinguals.

Anthropologically and linguistically speaking, this community presents as a unique case, especially the oldest living generation, individuals who learned Afrikaans as a first language (L1) and later, when they entered school, began learning Spanish as a second language (L2). Now, though, as these speakers enter their 70s and 80s, they have been dominant speakers of Spanish (over Afrikaans) for the last 50 years or more, to such a degree that many of them have suffered partial attrition of their L1 Afrikaans.

Studying the many facets of the individuals living in the community has become an active collaboration between historians, anthropologists, and linguists. Specifically, though, my work over the past year has focused on the cross-language influence between the L1 Afrikaans and L2 Spanish of these Argentine bilinguals, with attention to filled pauses in particular. Past studies of the influence between bilinguals’ languages has shown, as we might intuit, an influence of an L1 on an L2. However, there also exists a body of research evidencing the influence of an L2 on an L1, also suggesting that this influence is greater in cases of increased exposure to and proficiency in the L2. We elected to focus on filled pauses because, as discourse byproducts of lexical retrieval and syntactic planning, they constitute an informative feature through which to understand second-language fluency.

An analysis of over 3,000 filled pauses produced by the Afrikaans-Spanish bilinguals, Afrikaans monolinguals, and Spanish monolinguals suggests that filled pauses are multi-faceted, and that their various facets may pattern independently. For example, Spanish monolinguals and the bilinguals while speaking Spanish produced three types of filled pauses: vowel-only (e.g., “uh”, “eh”), vowel followed by nasal consonant (e.g., “um”, “em”), and nasal consonant-only (e.g., “mm”). Meanwhile, Afrikaans monolinguals and bilinguals while speaking Afrikaans only produced two types: vowel-only and vowel followed by nasal consonant. Essentially, that the bilinguals are target-like in their filled pause “inventories” suggests a lack of influence between languages.

However, gradient analyses of the formants, F1 and F2, in Praat of the vocalic segments of filled pauses showed evidence of robust bidirectional influence between the languages of the bilinguals. The two monolingual groups fell on extreme ends of the continuum, while bilinguals occupied an intermediate space between the two. The vowel durations of the filled pauses also suggested bidirectional influence, while the nasal consonant durations suggested unidirectional influence of the L1 Afrikaans on the L2 Spanish.

All taken together, these results suggest that filled pauses are multifaceted. Furthermore, those facets are capable of patterning independently, which is analogous to what occurs with “regular” lexical items, suggesting that filled pauses belong to the same grammar as those lexical items.

As a final note, the study described above constituted my undergraduate honors thesis, which has provided me with great challenges, fulfillment, and myriad opportunities to grow over the last eight months. Following my graduation (May 2019), I will be flying to Guatemala to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer for two years, after which I plan to apply to PhD programs.

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If you have not yet– please visit our Fund Drive page to learn more about us and why we need your help! The LINGUIST List relies on your generous donations to continue its support of linguists around the world.

Rising Stars: Meet Tyler Kibbey!

Dear Readers,

This year we will be continuing our Rising Stars Series where we feature up and coming linguists ranging from impactful undergraduates to prolific PhD candidates. These rising stars have been nominated by their mentors for their exceptional interest in linguistics and eager participation in the global community of language researchers.

Selected nominees were asked to share their view of the field of linguistics: what topics they see emerging as important or especially interesting, what role they see the field filling in the coming decades, and how they plan to contribute. We hope you will enjoy the perspectives of these students, who represent the bright future of our field.

For today’s post we come to you with a great contribution from Tyler Kibbey. He is an MA student in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Kentucky, a co-convener of the LSA Special Interest Group on LGBTQ+ Issues in Linguistics, and an affiliate of the upcoming Linguistics Institute at the University of California, Davis. His work applies Conceptual Metaphor Theory to religious language and ideology with the aim of mitigating anti-LGBTQ+ religious violence. His recent work has also explored the moral responsibilities of linguists beyond the descriptivist framework. According to his mentors, he has gone far above and beyond the requirements of the normal MA student. He has presented research on metaphors in very conservative religious language, on language ideologies within the discipline, and on the use of religious discourse in political contexts among other issues. Keep up the great work, Tyler! Now lets move on to his piece…

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In this historical moment, one of the most important areas of linguistics is the study of extremist language as it structures and creates systems of violence which affect marginalized groups the world over. New perspectives on the role of linguists as moral agents in society, rather than being simply indifferent observers, is breaking new ground in how the discipline should approach issues of violence wherein such acts are related to language. Specifically in the case of the many manifestos and articles of extremist propaganda that have found wider circulation in the modern age of communication, the role of linguists in attempting to understand and mitigate these acts of linguistic violence is paramount to the responsibility of language experts in contemporary research. Whereas humanity has a terrifying capacity, if not proclivity, for violence, the next wave of modern linguistics must seek to account for how language can be used to promote intolerance in our communities and to develop evidence-based programs for the pursuit of peace on all fronts.

In the coming decades, one area where linguistics will once again be required to apply itself is the domain of religion. Though the subdiscipline of theolinguistics has long since fallen apart, current research in cognitive linguistics and the scientific study of religion is continuing to unveil the ways in which language facilitates religious experience, ideology, and all too often violence. One current line of thought, Conceptual Metaphor Theory, is well situated for undertaking these tasks. The semantic representations of religious objects of faith, such as supernatural agents or deities, are often conceptualized as beyond the limits of human understanding, and thus, neither true nor false. Within various theological traditions, this has often caused doctrinal shifts between viewing religious language as either highly metaphorical or fundamentally literal, which has further caused problems for linguists seeking to place religious language within a bivalent framework of truth. This has also allowed individuals of faith to arrive at their own determinations of the meaning of religious language and conceptual frameworks. Admittedly, this is not immediately concerning at face-value. However, when the dramatic flourishes of religious rhetoric encompass the semantic domains of war, morality, or sovereignty, language can galvanize an individual’s perception of the world and allow them to justify tremendous acts of violence in the name of faith. Language is fundamental to this process, and it is through linguistics that religious violence can be successfully understood and hopefully mitigated.

This is ultimately the line of research that my own work assumes in attempting to understand religious violence, principally, and anti-LGBTQ+ violence, generally. Over the last five years, I have conducted critical metaphor analysis on white supremacist manifestos,  Westboro Baptist Church sermons, ISIS propaganda, and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the hopes of understanding how language facilitates these systems of violence, as well as their linguistic positioning within universal cognitive processes. As an organizer, I have also worked to promote LGBTQ+ equality within the discipline, founding the Linguistic Society of America’s Special Interest Group on LGBTQ+ Issues in Linguistics in 2017 and organizing LGBTQ+ Linguistics events at various conferences and institutions. In line with my research and organizational work, I sincerely believe that linguistics has the potential to effect real change in contemporary society and that together we can pursue peace through the study of language.

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If you have not yet– please visit our Fund Drive page to learn more about us and why we need your help! The LINGUIST List relies on your generous donations to continue its support of linguists around the world.

The Fund Drive is Almost Over!

Dear LINGUIST List,

Over the last month we have sent numerous calls for support. As you should know, LINGUIST List is on a soft budget; the funds to pay salaries to our student-editors and the web development team comes from paid ads and from your donations. While bills need to be paid, there is one thing we don’t want to do: hide behind a pay wall and charge an obligatory fee from our readers. This is because the only way to become a member in our club is by participating in knowledge exchange, not by paying a fee. To help running LINGUIST List, to keep the doors open to those who cannot pay, to keep the contributions of those who cannot pay available to us, for the progress of the field, for yourself to keep this resource functional, please donate.This is the last day of the Fund Drive, the last call. Our advisors, whom I cannot thank enough, encouraged and supported us during this Fund Drive by organizing challenges in their home institutions and donating themselves. The whole list of our faithful advisors is here: https://new.linguistlist.org/advisors/

If we receive a minimum of $1000 within 24 of this post, our advisors pledged to match this donation with their own additional contribution of $1000.

Please donate.

Thank you,
The LINGUIST List Team

The current LL crew!

The Fund Drive is almost over: only three days left

Dear LINGUIST List readers and subscribers,

Our 2019 Fund Drive is almost over. Just three days left! and we still have less than half of our goal–just 46%.
We depend on the support of our readers to make our yearly operational costs. Without the support of our wonderful community of linguists all over the world, the LINGUIST List would disappear.
We know how many linguists the world over rely on this unique service to stay informed, and we love serving the global linguistics community–but we have to rely on donations to keep these doors open and these services free to users.

To those of you who have already donated, thank you! Your support means the world to us, and you keep us afloat.

If just one thirtieth of our subscribers donated the lowest possible amount allowed by our host institution’s website, we would reach our goal within the hour.

click here to donate: https://funddrive.linguistlist.org/donate/

Thanks for being with us all these years; without you, there’s no us. So here’s to being here, serving linguists all over the world, for years to come.

All the best,
-The LL Team

Featured Linguist: Shobhana Chelliah

Dear LINGUIST List readers and subscribers,

Please enjoy this awesome message from this week’s featured linguist, Dr. Shobhana Chelliah!

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I am delighted to support the Linguistlist (LL) in their 2019 fund drive. Like many of you, I rely on LL. I’ve posted conference information, gotten input on typological questions, listed jobs, gathered data to argue for new faculty, and to help our students identify nonacademic jobs in linguistics. It’s hard to imagine working without this resource. Please support LL with your donations. I have and I will continue to.

Dr. Shobhana Chelliah

So now a little bit about myself. I was born in Palayamkottai, a town near the city of Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu, India. When I was seven, my father taught me, my mom, and sister how to eat with knife and fork, packed our belongings and moved us to Washington D.C. He worked at the International Monetary Fund for seven years. In 1975, he decided once again to pack kit and caboodle and move us back to India. Since my Hindi and Sanskrit skills were close to zero, high school for me was at the international boarding school, Woodstock International School. The D.C. experience explains my American accent and the Woodstock experience why I have friends from all over the world.

Now on to my introduction to linguistics: After getting a BA in English literature from St Stephen’s college in Delhi, I signed up for an MA in linguistics, in Delhi University where our Field Methods language was Manipuri (Meiteiron). Thank you M.A. advisor K.V. Subbarao and thank you fellow student and language consultant Promodini Nameirakpam Devi! And thank you UT Austin Ph.D. advisor Anthony Woodbury and collaborator/spouse Willem de Reuse! All four of these great people and many more supported the writing of my first book, A Grammar of Meitei (Mouton 1997). This laid the foundation for my current work on Lamkang Naga, a South Central Tibeto-Burman (Kuki-Chin) language of Manipur. NSF Documenting Endangered Languages grants and the UNT digital library have supported the creation of: https://digital.library.unt.edu/explore/collections/SAALT/. A whole host of questions about metadata, data formats, data organization, and archive usability have crystalized through this experience and my information science, anthropology colleagues, and I are happily tackling those now.

Between 2013-2015, I had the good fortune to serve as the Program Officer for the Documenting Endangered Languages Program at the US National Science Foundation. Thank you Joan Maling, Terry Langendoen, and my Program Officer cohort – What brilliance! What brains! In 2015, with NSF inspiration in my back pocket, I moved back to the University of North Texas, the institution that has mentored, sheltered, and nurtured me since 1996. Here I’ve been involved in creating two types of resources for South Asian Languages: (1) an Interlinear Gloss Translation repository we are calling the Computational Resource for South Asian Languages (CoRSAL) and (2) controlled vocabularies for tagging linguistic data from Tibeto-Burman languages. My partners in these ventures are fellow College of Information knowledge seekers, Computational Linguist Alexis Palmer and Information Scientist Oksana Zavalina.

One really cool happening: UNT is proudly graduating a member of the Lamkang community with an MA in Linguistics and helping her step into her new world as a PhD student in Philosophy with a focus in environmental philosophy. Congratulations, Sumshot Khular! We continue to support students from indigenous populations in India and Pakistan. We have visiting scholars here from Manipur and Pakistan and have admitted a students from Assam, Kashmir, and Pakistan. I am so excited that we can support these students who are committed to their communities and Language Documentation.

So now I am going on the LL website to contribute. Follow me there!

Four days till the fund drive ends: we need your help!

Dear LINGUIST List readers and subscribers,

Our 2019 Fund Drive is coming to a close with only 4 days remaining, including today, and we still have less than half of our goal–just 46%.

We derive a significant portion of our operational costs from donation, and we really depend on the support of our readers. Without the support of our wonderful community of linguists all over the world, the LINGUIST List would have to close its doors.

We rely on it ourselves–to find journals, to stay informed and up to date on journals, conferences, and job opportunities around the world, some of our GAs even discovered their programs using LL–and we know how many other rely on this resource as well.

To those of you who have already donated, thank you! You are instrumental to our ability to keep the LINGUIST List alive and able to serve the global community! Your support means the world to us.
If just one thirtieth of our subscribers donated the lowest possible amount allowed by the host institution’s donation counter, we would reach our goal within the hour.

click here to donate: https://funddrive.linguistlist.org/donate/

Thanks for being with us all these years; without you, there’s no us. So here’s to being here, serving linguists all over the world, for years to come.

All the best,
-The LL Team

Fund Drive: Five Days Remain

Dear LINGUIST List readers and subscribers,

Our 2019 Fund Drive is coming to a close with only 5 days remaining, and we still have less than half of our goal–just 43%. We depend on the support of our readers to keep our service available to linguists all over the world, but there is a very real possibility that the LINGUIST List could disappear. We don’t just run LL, we rely on it ourselves–to find journals, to stay informed and up to date on journals, conferences, and job opportunities around the world–and we know how many other rely on this resource as well.

To those of you who have already donated, we are enormously grateful–you keep us afloat! Your support allows us to continue serving the linguistics community. We want to keep these services available, and we need your help to make it happen! If just one thirtieth of our subscribers donated the lowest possible amount allowed by the host institution’s donation counter, we would reach our goal immediately.

click here to donate: https://funddrive.linguistlist.org/donate/

Thanks for being with us all these years; without you, there’s no us. Here’s to being here, serving linguists all over the world, for years to come.

All the best,
-The LL Team

The last 6 days of the Fund drive

Dear LINGUIST List readers and subscribers,

Our 2019 Fund Drive is coming to a close with only 6 days left, and we still have less than half of our goal. Without the support of our readers, there is a very real possibility that the LINGUIST List could die out. As many of you rely on our services to stay informed, this would be an unfortunate loss.

To those of you who have already donated, we are eternally grateful. Your support allows us to continue serving the linguistics community. We want to keep these services available to the global linguistics community, and we need your help sometimes to make it happen! If just one thirtieth of our subscribers donated the lowest possible amount allowed by the host institutions donation counter, we would reach our goal immediately.

Thanks for being with us all these almost three decades, and here’s to being here, serving linguists all over the world, for decades to come.

All the best,
-The LL Team

There’s only one week left…

Dear LINGUIST List readers and subscribers,

It looks like our 2019 Fund Drive is coming to a close, and we have less than half of our goal. As you know, we make up only part of our budget from our host institution, and we rely on the support of our users and donors to keep these services available. Some of you may have tried to post an announcement during one of our two “day without LINGUIST List” blackout days, and found the LL services unavailable. There’s a real danger that such an event could become permanent in the future, if we are unable to keep ourselves funded.

We greatly appreciate the support and donations of our loyal readership. You know we want to keep these services available to the global linguistics community, and we need your help sometimes to make it happen! If just one thirtieth of our subscribers donated the lowest possible amount allowed by the host institutions donation counter, we would reach our goal immediately.

Thanks for being with us all these almonst three decades, and here’s to being here, serving linguists all over the world, for decades to come.

All the best,
-The LL Team