Day: February 19, 2014

Gotta Guess ’em All: Win a Free Journal from Elsevier!

Dear LINGUIST List Readers,

We know many of you would have loved to grab a year’s subscription to one of Elsevier’s journals, but simply didn’t have the means to be the top donor in yesterday’s contest. Well you’re in luck, because we’re offering a chance for not one, but four people to walk away with a year’s subscription to one of the following journals:

  •  Assessing Writing
  • Computers and Composition
  • Discourse, Context & Media
  • English for Specific Purposes
  • Journal of Communication Disorders
  • Journal of English for Academic Purposes
  • Journal of Fluency Disorders
  • Journal of Phonetics
  • Journal of Pragmatics
  • Journal of Second Language Writing
  • Language and Communication
  • Language Sciences
  • Lingua
  • Linguistics and Education
  • System

And the best news? No donation is required to be entered to win! Instead, you’ll have to rely on your crafty linguist skills to be in the running!

Head to our Music Corner on the Fund Drive Site ( and listen to this year’s Fund Drive Song, which features choruses in multiple languages. Send your list of languages (we’ll give you a hint: English is one of them) to [email protected] with the subject line “Fund Drive Language Contest”, and if you guess them all, you might be one of four people who wins it big! We’ll be announcing the winners next week!

And don’t forget, you can always donate $35 USD or more to grab a guaranteed premium!

Happy Guessing!

The LINGUIST List Crew

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

Win the Collected Works of M.A.K. Halliday! Donate today!

Dear LINGUIST List Readers,

Another day, another prize! For the second prize of this year’s Fund Drive, we are proud to introduce the Collected Works of M.A.K. Halliday, from Bloomsbury Publishing. You can see the contents of this book here: (

To enter to win the Collected Works of M.A.K. Halliday, just donate any amount to LINGUIST and then sign up for Bloomsbury’s e-newsletter, by sending an email to [email protected] with “Halliday” in the subject line. This contest will run for the duration of Fund Drive 2014, and at the end of Fund Drive, the names of those who donate will be gathered into a drawing and the winner will be selected at random.

With titles covering applied linguistics, theoretical linguistics, TESOL, language studies and stylistics, Bloomsbury Linguistics provides authoritative and innovative resources for instructors, students, researchers, professionals and the general reader.

Donate for your chance to win!

In addition to signing up for Bloomsbury’s generous contribution to our Fund Drive, if you donate at least $35 or more, you can have your pick of our fun premiums:

Good luck!

– The LINGUIST List Crew


Our First Featured Linguist: Martin J. Ball

As our Fund Drive goes on, every week we are going to present you a Featured Linguist from the current TraveLing region of the world. As our first region is Eastern North America, please welcome our Featured Linguist from this region – Martin J. Ball. See below what Martin has to say about his career and love for linguistics.

Linguist Martin Ball

Linguist Martin Ball

Biography, by Martin J. Ball

I was born in the heart of Welsh-speaking Wales (Tywyn in Meirionydd), but my family moved to southern England not long afterwards. This move was a cause of some dismay to me when I first became aware of other languages (I started French in primary school – so quite early on!). I was really miffed that we hadn’t stayed long enough for me to acquire this interesting language. So, from the age of 11 or so, I set to with a Teach Yourself Welsh book, BBC Radio Wales courses (which you could hear even in Exeter, Devon), and much later on an intensive Wlpan course in Cardiff. So, starting on a journey of learning ‘iaith yr angylion’ led me to an interest in other languages. Like others who have written for this feature, I became a devourer of language manuals from the local library, and eventually discovered books on linguistics.

My undergraduate degree was in Linguistics and English literature at what was then the University College of North Wales, Bangor, and is now Bangor University. I studied under great teachers such as Alan Thomas, Ken Albrow, Robert Owen Jones and Tony Bladon. These scholars fostered a particular interest in phonetics and sociolinguistics in me. I determined to follow up my undergraduate degree with further studies in these areas, and took up a place on the Master’s program in Linguistics and Phonetics at the University of Essex, under the excellent leadership of Mark Tatham and Kate Morton. I was lucky enough also to meet Chris Code at this time, then a fellow student on the Master’s program. He is now a leading aphasiologist; back then, he helped introduce me to the field of communication disorders, and he has remained a lifelong friend and academic collaborator.

Almost immediately I finished at Essex I was offered an assistant lectureship in linguistics at a university in Libya. An interesting year spent deep in the Sahara was followed by the offer of a lectureship at the Cardiff School of Speech Therapy – a chance to get back to Wales couldn’t be missed! Here I was able to combine my academic interests in Welsh and in communication disorders. Indeed, as the program was about to undergo accreditation I had to immerse myself into the then relatively new field of clinical linguistics. Luckily, I got help from the writings of David Crystal (later, I was lucky enough to meet and collaborate with David), and from meetings with Pam Grunwell – a pioneer in the field of clinical phonetics and phonology. So, by the early eighties I felt I had a grip on teaching clinical linguistics and phonetics and therefore enrolled part-time in a doctoral program at University College Cardiff (now Cardiff University). I was fortunate to have Prof Glyn Jones as my Advisor – one of the most influential linguists working on Welsh of recent times. He was not only a great mentor and friend, but patiently helped correct my Welsh on those occasions that I ventured to present papers at conferences or prepare articles for publication in the language. My dissertation was a sociolinguistic study of the initial consonant mutation system of modern spoken Welsh. In the mid-eighties I attended a conference on minority languages held at the National University of Ireland in Galway. There I met my future wife, Nicole Müller, who was a scholar of medieval Irish and Welsh – but later also became a clinical linguist. We have clearly started a trend of moving from Celtic to Clinical!

In the late eighties I spent a few years teaching at what is now the University of Glamorgan, and in 1992 I moved to the University of Ulster. There I was promoted in quick succession to Reader then full Professor. I had the opportunity to become course director of a brand new program in Linguistics that ran alongside the Speech Pathology program. By the late nineties I was based in Ireland (though my interests were in Welsh), and my wife held a post at Cardiff University Wales (though her interests were in Irish)! So, to solve this dilemma we both moved to Lafayette, Louisiana! Instrumental in this move was our friend Jack Damico, and we have been able to collaborate with him on various projects, including articles, books, a book series and a journal.

Here at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette we have undergraduate, Master’s, and doctoral programs in Communication Disorders. The ability to work with doctoral students interested in clinical linguistics has been especially rewarding. I’m also co-editing two journals, and two book series with colleagues here and elsewhere in Louisiana, and these keep me busy! However, linguistics isn’t all I have time for – as the photo shows, I also like preserved railways. I’m on the footplate of a steam locomotive on the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway in north Devon, England, in the picture. (Yes, academics are just like the characters in the ‘Big Bang Theory’…) I’ve just accepted the position of professor of Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics at Linköping University in Sweden – so I’m returning to Europe with a new language to learn!

It’s a long way from ‘Teach Yourself Welsh’ to professor of clinical linguistics, and I have to admit to fair amount of being in the right place at the right time. But, mostly it was having the good fortune to have good teachers and good mentors, and parents able to help me through college and graduate school!

Martin J. Ball