Author: amanda

Featuring LL Programmer: Lwin Moe!

This week, we’re putting in the spot light a key person at LINGUIST List, the  glue that holds us all together: our programmer Lwin Moe! Of course, we editors review all your submissions and make sure the wheels of LINGUIST List are in motion, but without Lwin, those wheels would be pretty rusty – we couldn’t do a thing!

Did you know that the LINGUIST List website was coded from scratch over the years since the 90’s by some Linguistics students? (some of our history can be found here: http://linguistlist.org/about.cfm#history) That just tells you how much hard work Lwin puts into maintaining and updating our website and listserv – and all kinds of other projects hosted here at the LINGUIST List!

Visit Lwin’s home town in Burma and read a few words from him to you:

Dear LINGUIST List subscribers,

I would humbly ask for your support to help run LINGUIST List. Please donate at https://funddrive.linguistlist.org/donate

The LINGUIST team works hard all year round to send you edited and timely information on conferences, jobs and all things linguistic. Right before the Fund Drive 2017 started back in March, I was up until 2 AM because of a problem in automatically sending out LINGLITE (our daily summary) when we switched the LINGUIST server from the old machine to a new and faster one. LINGLITE was sent out twice, and the content was all messed up. It happened for two days in a row even though the content was fine when we manually triggered to send it out. We later found out that it was due to a known issue in the server software we used. Incidents like this remind us that there are humans behind the smooth and professional operation for LL.

Our student editors work diligently to make sure that subscribers receive high quality content every day. Please help us so we can continue to provide this valuable service to the linguistic community worldwide. Your donations, no matter how small, matter for us to survive. Please help us run this operation! Remember, this donation will benefit you also by allowing us to continue serving you.

Here is the link to donate if you would like to do so:
https://funddrive.linguistlist.org/donate

Thank you,
Lwin Moe

Fun Fact: Easy Abs Edition

Fun Fact: Easy Abs Edition

Hey everyone!

This is Kenneth again. I’m here to let you know about Easy Abs. This area of the LINGUIST List ties in with my last Fun Fact on Conferences and Calls for papers.

Easy Abs is a FREE and user friendly service for conference organizers to set up the abstract submission process. You can create a new conference in Easy Abs or view a list of current conferences in Easy Abs by visiting http://linguistlist.org/confservices/EasyAbs/index.cfm.

Lwin Moe, our programmer and systems expert, works to make sure that the experience is smooth and conference organizers have what they need. He also works to fix any problems should they arise.

We are only able to offer this as a free service due to contributions from people like you. Feel free to show your appreciation at https://funddrive.linguistlist.org.

Thank you!

Incredible Parrot Speech Decoded As 300 Years Old English Dialect -April fool’s :)

We’re sure you’ve caught our April Fool’s day spoof 🙂 If you haven’t yet, we encourage you to take the time for this entertaining read! (and don’t forget that our Fund Drive is still running for two more weeks: http://funddrive.linguistlist.org/)

 

Puerto Lempira, Honduras —- Shrouded in mystery and dense rain forest, the region known as La Mosquitia In south-eastern Honduras is one of the largest and least explored wilderness areas in Central America. It adjoins the Caribbean Sea to the east; its Caribbean shore constitutes part of the Mosquito Coast, which was something of a pirate haven during the Golden Age of Caribbean Piracy in the 17th and early 18th centuries.

Recently, aerial surveys have revealed for the first time untouched ruins left by a mysterious and yet unnamed civilization. The latest archeological team to venture into La Mosquitia is a joint Honduran-American expedition led by Dr. Rebecca Webb of Penrose University. Dr. Webb’s team is now excavating a site that appears to have been a significant pre-Columbian urban center.

La Mosquitia provides an ideal habitat for many species, including an astonishing number of bird species and subsubspecies. One of these is the Yellow-Naped Amazon parrot, which is renowned for its ability to mimic human speech.

During the excavation’s third week, Dr. Webb noticed an intricately carved chunk of stone protruding from the rain-forest floor. She thought it might be a were-jaguar head and crouched down for a closer look it. Just then, completely out of the blue, she heard a parrot’s squawky voice say, “Thee bist a zon of a biscuit eater.” Or at least that’s how she transcribed it.
“The voice certainly gave me a start,” she said. “I looked up and saw a beautiful Yellow-Naped parrot perched on a branch not more than five meters away. I immediately scratched down a quasi-phonetic transcription of the vocalization, but I confess I didn’t understand what it meant. It did strike as sounding like human speech, however, and I was pretty confident that it ended with the words “of a biscuit eater”.

Soon other members of Dr. Webb’s team reported encounters with parrots whose vocalizations sounded incredibly like human speech. Some sounded almost like a strange form of English, but others were largely unintelligible, such as the following, as transcribed by members of the team: “Avast ye zee dogs” and “Veed the vizhez”.

Jessica Pollard, a student of Dr. Webb’s, had studied German and thus was able to recognize the word “bist” in Webb’s initial transcription as the 2nd-person singular form of the German verb “sein” (“to be”). It then occurred to her that the preceding word “thee” might be the archaic English 2nd-person pronoun, mostly because it would agree the verb in the grammatical category “person” if in little else.

Mystified, Dr. Webb decided to contact her friend Dr. Montague Hyde, a dialectologist at Kingsbridge College in the UK. When Webb told him about the parrots, Hyde was astounded and more than a little skeptical, but he nevertheless agreed to board a flight for Honduras the following day. Even as he took his seat on the plane, Hyde was beginning to form a hypothesis about the parrots’ vocalizations, but it seemed utterly ludicrous. He simply had to observe the phenomena with his own eyes and ears.

Once Prof. Hyde arrived at the site and heard the parrots for himself, his wild hypothesis was confirmed in short order. To his astonishment, the parrots’ vocalizations turned out to be very close to the English spoken in the county of Somerset, England around 300 years ago. That is, the parrots seemed to be exhibiting fossilized fragments of a centuries-old form of English.
Prof. Hyde notes certain key properties of the parrots’ vocalizations that led him to this amazing conclusion. According to Hyde, the clearest piece of evidence lies in the sounds z (and zh) and v. For example, when Hyde heard the parrots say, “Veed the vizhez,” he at once recognized it as the Somerset way of saying, “Feed the fishes,” since in Somerset English, the fricatives s and f become z and v, except when adjacent to another consonant.

Thus, “zee dogs” in “avast ye zee dogs” corresponds to “seadogs,” and “zon” in “Thee bist a zon of a biscuit eater“ corresponds to the modern Received Pronunciation “son”. According to Hyde, this voicing of fricatives in Somerset and surrounding counties is a very old phenomenon.

“One can find it Shakespeare, in fact,” Hyde observes. “For example, in King Lear, Act IV, Scene 6, the character Edgar affects a Somerset accent to disguise himself:

“Chill not let go, zir, without vurther ‘cagion.”

“The words ‘zir’ and ‘vurther,’” Hyde explains, “are supposed to be the Somerset forms of ‘sir’ and ‘further,’ respectively. ’Chill’ is in fact a contraction of a very Germanic 1st-person person ‘Ich’ and ‘will’. And ’’cagion’…I have no idea what ”cagion’ is.”

The occurrence of ‘Ich’ in King Lear reminds Hyde of the phrase “thee bist” in the initial vocalization: “Thee best a son of a biscuit eater.” Hyde says that “bist” is indeed is a relic of an earlier Germanic form of the verb ‘to be’. He adds that the form “thee” has long been used as a nominative pronoun in Somerset, even though “ye be” is today more common than “thee bist” for saying “you (sg) are.”

According to Hyde, to call someone a son of biscuit eater was a fairly common insult in the 17th and 18th centuries. He further expounds, “Though it may not sound particularly bad to our ears, it’s doesn’t sound particularly good either, does it? I mean, I think we can agree that it’s certainly not a compliment to call someone the progeny of a compulsive eater of biscuits.” Even so, Dr. Webb, didn’t seem to be especially offended upon learning what that first parrot had actually called her. “I’ve been called worse,” she said.

But where and from whom did these parrots acquire these words and expressions? According to Hyde, the source can be none other than the West-Country pirates who terrorized the Caribbean during the Golden Age of Piracy (roughly 1650 to 1730). “The parrots’ vocabulary, phonetics, and idioms match this context perfectly,” Hyde says. “The southwestern counties at that time produced a lot of sailors—-a lot of sailors, including pirates.”

Sarah Bradford, a parrot specialist at the Honduran Zoological Society speculates that some 300 years ago, a pirate—-let us call him Edward—-adopted a certain Yellow-Naped Amazon parrot named Polly. Edward, having hailed from Somerset in England, spoke in the Somerset dialect. According to Bradford, yellow-naped parrots happen to be excellent “talkers”, second only to the African Grey parrot in their ability to mimic human speech. Edward’s pet parrot no doubt learned to replicate many colorful expressions.

Now, while parrots are famously long-lived, pirates aren’t, so Polly probably outlived Edward. After Edward died, perhaps on or just off the Mosquito Coast, Polly would have probably flown off into the jungle of La Mosquitia and found a mate. He would have taught his young and perhaps also his mate the words and phrases he learned during his life as a piratical pet.

Bradford further speculates that the descendants of Polly could have continued to transmit these vocalization from generation to generation. She explains that to parrots, the precise mimicking of a vocalization is more important than the vocalization’s semantic content, so perhaps parrots are better able to replicate a vocalization from generation to generation than humans. Remember also that the lifespan of a Yellow-Naped Amazon parrot is 60-80 years. Such long lives would help bridge the gap between 300 years ago and the present.

Author: Tony Meyer

5th Lottery: Raising the stakes, 3 prizes to win!

Dear Subscribers,

We’ve just done the draw for the 4th Lottery, which ended yesterday! Our first prize was won by Gerardo Augusto Lorenzino from Temple University, PA, USA, who won two prizes, by donating to our cause.  Thank you again, and Congratulations!

We’re now pleased to announce the opening of our 5th lottery – the Second to Last Lottery!! If you haven’t tried your chance yet, this is one of your last chances to win a book donated by our supporting publishers!

To raise the stakes a little, this week there will be THREE draws! For every 10 dollars donated, you get a chance to win one of the three following prizes:

– Language Testing and Assessment (Book 7 of the Encyclopedia of Language and Education, 2nd Edition: Elana Shohamy Ed.)

– Your choice of a free book from Multilingual Matters: http://www.multilingual-matters.com

– A free 1 year subscription to all ebooks published by Morgan & Claypool Publishers: http://www.morganclaypool.com/

What a chance! Don’t miss another second to enter for a prize – while supporting the LINGUIST List!

Thanks,

The LINGUIST List team

A Generous Letter from the Great Trey Jones! (SpecGram)

In Generous Support of
the LINGUIST List

The brilliant Trey Jones
Editor-in-Chief of the hilarious Speculative Grammarian

Almost a quarter of a century ago back in the stone age I alone created the brilliant new revolutionary field of subliminal linguistics. And while that brilliant idea may not appear to the ignorant masses to have gone anywhere, I have thanks to subliminal manipulation been quite successful nonetheless.

I originally subscribed to the LINGUIST List around that time, too—the ’90s were rad!. I used to read maybe skim LL messages the titles for sure on a machine the linguistics department falsely claimed was a computer hooked up to a 300 baud i.e., half my reading speed acoustic coupler! What a horrible time—we were surviving but not really living in some dystopian version of the future!

Here in the glorious present day, as the brilliant Editor-in-Chief i.e., the glorious leader, of the brilliantly hilarious Speculative Grammarian—the premier brilliant scholarly journal featuring research in the unfairly neglected but hilarious field of bitingly clever satirical linguistics—I appreciate how hard it is for my minions to wrangle interns (flog ’em!) and keep the lights on and the presses running. Oh, wait, the uppity interns inform me that they think they can correct me and that we don’t have presses anymore. How many ways and with what kind of sharp things can I flog them!

So, I have an inkling of all the hard work (so much flogging!) and dedication to building up your flogging arm that goes into running the brilliant LINGUIST List day in, day out, year after year—yeah, you should feel guilty. It wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of flogging the interns, pretending to care about the whiny editors, placating the diva programmers, and so much else the long-suffering moderators have to put up with. Or so I assume—if their staff is half as lazy as ours.

The brilliant LINGUIST List does so freakin’ much and provides so freakin’ much to the soon-to-be generous linguistics community—’cause them servers ain’t free. Give (give more!) generously (give more!) to show (give more!) your (give more!) support (give more!) for the LINGUIST List (give more!)!

http://funddrive.linguistlist.org/

 

Meet Clare, Featured LL Staff of the week!

Clare started as an intern last summer at the LINGUIST List, and now also works as a LINGUIST List Editor! She is also the manager of this year’s Fund Drive. Clare comes from Speedway, Indianapolis (read her cool post about her home town here: http://funddrive.linguistlist.org/pages/ClareHarshey/). Here is a letter from her to you:

Dear LINGUIST Listers,

My name is Clare, and you may know me from the occasional list posting… or somewhat more-than-occasional email correspondence! I’m an editor for the LINGUIST List, and am now almost halfway through my MS in Computational Linguistics at Indiana University. I’m writing this letter today to tell you more about myself, in order to express how grateful I am, and how so many of us should be, that an organization like the LINGUIST List exists.

I started working at the LINGUIST List as a summer intern in May of 2016. Hearing back about the summer internship was incredibly exciting for me, and arriving here in person didn’t disappoint! As an intern, I spent my summer working on a Yiddish speech corpus, with the eventual goal of developing new speech and language technologies. Before long, I was able to take on some additional duties, like editing some Jobs, Supports and Reviews postings for the List. I was even able to attend the LSA annual meeting this year with some of my colleagues here, to represent our organization, learn, and meet other linguists.

I’m lucky to have experienced the many different facets of the LINGUIST List, and to have directly benefited from it. The work I do not only allows me to support my graduate studies, but it enriches me professionally and personally every single day. The only thing that makes this possible is the generosity of our readers. Your past donations have completely changed the course of my growth as a linguist, and your donations this year and in future years will do the same for many more students.

It may seem an exaggeration to say that you, personally, can make such a difference, especially if you can only make a small donation. But it’s completely true: you and the other 24,999 subscribers to our list now have the chance now to come together and continue to support new linguists, just like you have already supported me. You aren’t just donating to the LINGUIST List–you’re investing in the future of the field of linguistics.

Thank you for reading, and thank you again for your ongoing generosity. And if you haven’t already, please visit us at http://funddrive.linguistlist.org/ and consider showing your support today.

Sincerely,
Clare Harshey

Opening of the 4th LINGUIST List Lottery!

Dear Readers,

We have a winner for our 3rd lottery! Congratulations to the winner of a double prize: one book of your choice from the Multilingual Matters online catalog and a free subscription to the Journal: Anthropological Linguistics, published by University of Nebraska Press!

We’re now pleased to announce the FOURTH Lottery of the season! Last week we had one winner of two prizes… but this week, we have TWO draws, and one the winners get TWO prizes!

1st prize: Knowledge about Language, Book 6 of the Encyclopedia of Language and Education, 2nd Edition, published by Springer AND a free subscription to the Journal of Anthropological Linguistics, published by the University of Nebraska Press

2nd prize: the Book of your Choice from Multilingual Matters! http://www.multilingual-matters.com/

Enter the Lottery here: http://funddrive.linguistlist.org/donate/ From your amount, each 10 dollar buys you a raffle ticket!

Thanks for your support, and good luck!

Meet Jacob Heredos, Featured Staff of the week!

Jacob started at the LINGUIST List as an intern last summer, and once the summer ended, decided to stay on as an atypical staff member! He’s also the Master Mind behind the Geoling Treasure hunts you’ve been trying to solve (by the way, if you haven’t tried this week’s yet, you should really read this post: https://blog.linguistlist.org/uncategorized/enjoy-a-weekend-getaway-all-from-behind-your-keyboard/, there are prizes to win!)

You can find out about where Jacob comes from here: http://funddrive.linguistlist.org/pages/JacobHeredos/ and read more about what he has to say to you below:

Dear Users of the LINGUIST List,

My name is Jacob. I started working with the LINGUIST List as an intern last summer, less than a week after finishing my BA in Anthropology, International Studies, and Spanish here at Indiana University.

I suppose my place in the LINGUIST List is a bit unorthodox in a few ways. First, you may have noticed that my background is not exactly in Linguistics (though I did minor in it). Second, I have no ties to the posting and editing that make up the core of the List, instead working on a number of our other projects and lending a hand wherever help is needed. Third, while our staff is mostly made up of MA and PhD students, I am no student at all, working only at the LINGUIST List and as a research assistant.

It has been a privilege to work at the LINGUIST List, and I think that my unusual position here has given me a unique perspective on the work that we do. As I moved more and more toward linguistics later in my studies, the LINGUIST List impressed me with its scope and utility. In every other discipline that I have involved myself in, none has anything even close to the central hub that the worldwide linguistics community has in the LINGUIST List. The List makes the world of linguistics, whether in industry or academia, infinitely more accessible to students and young professionals, and its value cannot be overstated.

The LINGUIST List has served the global linguistics community for nearly three decades, and I hope that it can continue to do so for decades to come. In my short time here, I have seen the monumental time and resources necessary to run the List, and the hard work of linguistics students and faculty who balance their own studies, teaching, and research alongside it.

Your generosity is what keeps us serving the community. Thank you for your support, and please donate to allow us to continue to serve you.

http://funddrive.linguistlist.org/

Sincerely,

Jacob

Announcing: 5 Dollar donation day, and a special Lottery on Wednesday!

Hi everyone,

We are aware that donating to the LINGUIST List can be taxing to some of the smaller-sized wallets out there. We love to support every Linguist at any stage of their career, and that includes a lot of students! That’s why we’ve decided to put this part of our readership in the spotlight for the culminatory day of our Fund Drive, Wednesday 15 March, two days from today! That day, we are organizing a one day special FIVE DOLLAR DAY Lottery game! Here is how it works:

– It’s Wednesday March 15, you walk by your usual coffee shop. You are about to order your daily dose of caffeine in the shape of a large caramel latte. You stop and think: that day, you will only buy a small regular coffee, for a change.
– Instead, you invest the sum of the fancy latte into the LINGUIST List Fund Drive 5 DOLLAR DAY lottery! Here is the link to donate: http://funddrive.linguistlist.org/
– Your name is entered into our Special Lottery and you get a chance to win: Phonetic Transcription in Theory and Practice, by Berry Heselwood (2013), published by Edinburgh University Press!

For those of you out there who donate 10 dollars or more, your name will not only be entered into this lottery, but also in our week-long 2nd Lottery of the LINGUIST List Fund Drive, for which this will be the last day to enter! (more details about this lottery here: https://blog.linguistlist.org/uncategorized/the-second-lottery-is-now-open/)

We look forward to honoring our student readership in our 5 DOLLAR DONATION DAY on Wednesday! 🙂

– the LINGUIST List Student Editors

Featuring Jobs and Journals Editor: Amanda Foster!

Did you know that the LINGUIST List Jobs editor is French? Meet Amanda Foster, featured staff member of the week! Amanda edits Jobs and Student Support announcements (http://linguistlist.org/jobs/), as well as Table of Contents and Journal Calls for Papers from our Linguistic journals database, and she helps maintain the Publishers and Journals database (http://linguistlist.org/pubs/). She also edits any French submission that come our way 🙂 You can read where Amanda is from here: http://funddrive.linguistlist.org/pages/AmandaFoster/

And read a message from her right here – an insight into what it’s like working at the LINGUIST List! Consider supporting this Graduate Assistant by donating to the LINGUIST List: http://funddrive.linguistlist.org/

 

Dear Subscribers and Followers,

Bonjour! My name is Amanda, I’m in the 2nd year (in the final stretch!) of my MA in Linguistics at Indiana University. I started at the LINGUIST List in Fall 2015, at that time I was paid hourly, but thanks to your donations last year, LINGUIST List was able to hire me as a Graduate Assistant here in Fall 2016! I am writing to you to show you how much impact LINGUIST List has already had on my own life, so that you may see how far even the small donations you make can go.

First of all, I would like to express my deep gratitude to those of you who donated last year. When I started the program in Fall 2015, I was not financially sure that I would be able to continue past my first year into the program, in order to graduate. The fact that LINGUIST List was able to hire four GAs instead of 2 is a direct consequence of your donations.

Let me tell you how I got acquainted with LINGUIST List for the very first time, as an Undergraduate student back home. I am originally from France (right here: http://funddrive.linguistlist.org/pages/AmandaFoster/), and at the time I was looking for a university program that could match my interest. That’s how I found Indiana University, from the student portal: http://linguistlist.org/studentportal/. LINGUIST List also helped me find my
very first Internship  through the Student portal, and today as I prepare to begin my professional career, I am so thankful for the Jobs and Student Support pages of the website! (http://linguistlist.org/jobs/)

Being an editor at LINGUIST List benefits me more than financially. Every day, as I edit your submissions, I am able to gain a closer understanding of the field of Linguistics.

But my favorite part about working at the LINGUIST List is that it provides a connection between linguists from around the globe, and working here enables me to be part of this community. This is such an incredible opportunity: as we all strive towards the common goal of reaching a better understanding of our world and the people who inhabit it, we are actually able to connect with each other at more than a theorical level. By donating, you enable us to provide the means to support this worldwide community.

Your donation, however small or large, has the potential to affect so many lives: those of researchers around the world who use LINGUIST List, perhaps your own research, and certainly my own life.

So, thank you for your ongoing, vital support. Please consider donating today: http://funddrive.linguistlist.org/donate/

Sincerely,
Amanda