Author: Ashley Parker

Fund Drive 2016: Introducing GeoLing

Dear LINGUIST List Subscribers,

GeoLing is a map service that will include all linguistics information around the world—from jobs, to conferences, to internships—and now, for the first time on LINGUIST List—local events. GeoLing will show all events in a map that is also aware of the users geo-location. It runs in all major browsers including on mobile devices.

Information that contains geo-coordinates or addresses and that is posted on LINGUIST List (using the structured submission interface on its website: will be mapped in this interface. Currently, all announcements that were submitted to LINGUIST List up till January are displayed on GeoLing. We are working on regularly exporting all of the announcements to the map.

We have implemented an interface to submit local events which are not part of the regular LINGUIST List announcements. Now, you can add and find events such as local talks, gatherings, etc.

Again, the emphasis for GeoLing is on linguistics, which includes theoretical, descriptive, documentary, cognitive, psycho-linguistics, etc., and in particular corpus and computational linguistics.

To learn how to submit a local event, please visit:

To add a local event, please visit:

We hope to continue to put our full efforts into GeoLing and expand its capabilities and features. We ask that you please make a donation to Fund Drive 2016. To keep our services, such as the brand new and FREE GeoLing, and all of our other features up and running, we need your help. Please consider supporting The LINGUIST List in our 2016 Fund Drive by making a donation at

Support like yours is vital to our ongoing efforts to upgrade and develop services like GeoLing. We hope you will continue to support us so we can better support you!

The LINGUIST List Team

Calls: An Appeal from LINGUIST Editor Amanda Foster

Dear Linguists,

My name is Amanda, and I started working here as an editor at the LINGUIST List last Fall. I am also a student at Indiana Univesity, where I am pursuing a M.A. in Linguistics.

I came to Indiana for my first semester in Fall 2015 – I am originally from France – and the first time I came across the LINGUIST List, I was looking for a university program that could match my interest. The LINGUIST List is the only platform that can provide such a valuable ressource to prospective students. At that time, I would have never imagined that I would have the honor to become part of the LINGUIST List team!

I am so grateful that as a student, I can have a glimpse into what it is like to work as a professional linguist. By working here, I am able to gain a closer understanding of the field of Linguistics, both comprehensively and in its details. I am also able to study in a different country than my own, which is an invaluable and eye-opening oportunity.

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. I doubt that I would be able to live and study here in the United States without it. This job, which is already amazing in itself, also provides me with necessary funds, and gives me the opportunity to reach my life-long dream of becoming a linguist.

Thank you again for your interest in the LINGUIST List! And thank you for your ongoing, vital support.


Amanda Foster
Student Editor

Start: Fund Drive 2016

Dear Colleagues,

It is this time of the year, the fifth season in the LINGUIST List: the Fund Drive. If you appreciate the daily portion of linguistic news on the screen of your computer, please support the LINGUIST List! Why do we need your support? Because, unlike other organizations, we do not collect membership fees, we are not state or government funded, and only a part of our budget is guaranteed by our host institution, Indiana University. Unlike other information services and in particular other mailing lists, we actually do edit your posts and make sure that you do get validated and relevant information, and not spam of any kind. Your donations support this special service and – directly – the linguistics students who provide it.

This year we have decided to keep the Fund Drive low key: while we are in the process of optimizing workflows, at the moment all our editors are busy editing. We still hope that you will have lots of fun with lotteries, prizes and premiums and with school and country challenges in the next couple of weeks. However, we welcome initiatives and appropriate contents from our supporters around the globe to make the Fund Drive a Fun Drive. This campaign is really for you to keep your favorite Linguist List afloat.

The times have changed since the beginning of the LINGUIST List; linguists have Facebook, Twitter, Google, blogs, and hundreds of other mailing list, but LINGUIST List remains probably the only truly
international platform that serves linguists from virtually all areas of the world and also all areas of linguistics. We try to keep the pace with the technological challenges and we work on the better integration of the global linguistic community via the LINGUIST List services. You probably did not even notice the changes that happened backstage in the last two years since we moved from Michigan to Indiana. We need to keep developing and adjusting the existing services and we need to revamp our
vintage website. Though the site has its charm and style, we have to keep up with new technological standards and devices. This cannot happen without your encouragement and support.

LINGUIST List has served the discipline for 25 years now. We were with you in good and bad times – when you searched for your grad program, for your first job, for your first conference. We stand by you. Stand by us. Be a part of the world-wide linguistic community. Donate now.

Malgosia and Damir – on behalf of the whole team

Announcing: Graduate Assistantships at The LINGUIST List

The LINGUIST List is announcing openings for graduate assistantships to Indiana University Bloomington graduate students! We are looking for GAs who would be editing and posting submissions to the LINGUIST List, and corresponding with submitters (preferably native or native speaker-like English). GAs would also be participating in research activities at the LINGUIST List, and performing one or a combination of other tasks, including organizing our fund drive and other LINGUIST List events and activities, maintaining the infrastructure, including website, software and other technology development, and maintenance of projects and data at LINGUIST List, among others, GeoLing, GORILLA, MultiTree, etc.

We offer long-term GA-ships with a possibility to work hourly over the summer, experience of working on projects at The LINGUIST List, and more. The GA-ship comes with full coverage of your tuition (up to 12 credit hours), it covers health insurance, and it provides a stipend.

Prerequisites include intrinsic motivation, sense of commitment, and enthusiasm for linguistics. GAs must committed to 20 hours a week in the office, and to spend hours with us this semester and/or over the summer for training.

We are looking for potential GA-ship candidates who would be willing to start working hourly this semester (Spring 2016) and during the summer so that we can guarantee their training.

See for more details about how you can get involved at LINGUIST List:

The LINGUIST List Get Involved Page


Please contact Malgorzata Cavar and/or Damir Cavar at [email protected] with: 

– details about your studies, i.e. major, program, recommending advisor who we can contact

– where you stand in terms of your degree

– an explanation about your motivation and why you would want to work at LINGUIST List


See also the: The LINGUIST List contact details


Happy Birthday to The LINGUIST List!

Dear linguists, colleagues, friends,

The LINGUIST List is celebrating its 25th birthday!

As an academic service run by linguistics students and faculty, it survived 25 years mainly because of a wonderful and supportive community of linguists and language enthusiasts from all around the world. Thank you all for making LINGUIST possible, for keeping it alive for 25 years!

On the 13th of December 1990, Anthony Aristar posted from the University of Western Australia the first email to LINGUIST, announcing together with Helen Aristar Dry the launch of the new list. Helen and Anthony were ending their message with this comment:

”Let us say in ending that making a list of this kind a success depends crucially on initiating an ongoing dialogue between participants. Once this dialogue has been properly begun, the list acquires a life of its own, and little further effort is required to maintain its existence. To this end, we earnestly ask you all to begin contributing, and aid therefore in the continuance of LINGUIST.”

They were more than right. The list acquired a life of its own. It has been serving the linguistic community for 25 years now. It has grown from a mailing list to a major web portal and a social media site and it keeps evolving to remain relevant and to address the needs of the discipline.
Helen and Anthony were wrong about the ”little further effort” to maintain its existence. They are surely very aware of that now.

The operation requires a lot of effort by the team of editing and supporting students and programmers. It is very much unique in providing a moderated mailing list infrastructure with human editing services and post-publishing support for corrections, changes, and updates to posted information. This human touch makes it unique, efficient, important, and interesting. It offers an interactive service with a team of dedicated linguistics students, learning about the academic scene and life of linguistics, learning about running the list service and a complex website, about posting on social media platforms, organizing fund drives, and also doing linguistic research. It has been a pleasure to have the LINGUIST List crew around, to be part of them.

We are glad that LINGUIST List is reaching silver status now. We hope to lay the ground for it reaching gold in the next 25 years. The fund drive is necessary to keep LINGUIST List running. Please help the LINGUIST List Team to achieve this goal. Please help us with this effort!

The LINGUIST List is now located at Indiana University in the Department of Linguistics for more than a year. We are grateful for the help and support that LINGUIST received from Indiana University and all linguists, linguistics and language related programs, colleagues, and students on campus! We are thankful for all the support and help that we received from all around the world.

LINGUIST List relies on your donations to financially support the editing students and keep the operation working. Our readers’ support goes directly to fund the students who edit the mailing list and website; without that support, we’d have nobody to send out the information you rely on. LINGUIST is a charitable non-profit service that will issue tax-deductible (in the US) receipts for donations. Please consider donating to LINGUIST List and supporting the student editors. Please follow the instructions on the LINGUIST List donation page!

Thank you all for your support!


The LINGUIST List Team



Linda Lanz Visits The LINGUIST List!

On Friday, December 4, the Indiana University Linguistics Club hosted Dr. Linda Lanz as part of their Colloquium Series. While Dr. Lanz was in Bloomington, she stopped by The LINGUIST List office to visit!


Dr. Lanz, IU Graduate Student Yue Chen, and LINGUIST Editor Ashley Parker

Dr. Lanz, IU Graduate Student Yue Chen, and LINGUIST Editor Ashley Parker

Dr. Lanz currently works as a computational linguist at Interactive Intelligence. While she was at IU, she gave a talk about the work she’s done with language documentation and revitalization in  Iñupiaq and Virginia Algonquin.

We always welcome visitors at The LINGUIST List office. If you are in Bloomington, please stop by!

Meet Amanda Foster!

Dear LINGUIST List Subscribers,

Please join us in welcoming out newest LINGUIST editor, Amanda Foster!


Amanda Foster

Amanda just started working at LINGUIST list as an editor in October 2015. Born and raised in France, where she completed a B.A. in Linguistics and a B.A. in Philosophy in 2013 at the Sorbonne Universities, Paris, she moved in August 2015 to Bloomington, IN, to pursue a M.A. in General Linguistics at IU. What first called her to the study of Linguistics is her strong interest in under-resourced and endangered languages, and the interaction between languages and the world views that they carry. Apart from her  enthusiasm for learning about different cultures and languages, she spends her free time reading or playing board games, walking or hiking, and trying to learn the accordion!

Michael Abramov at LINGUIST List

This summer was a great one for collaborating with fellow scholars on our projects here at The LINGUIST List! Over the past few months, Michael Abramov accompanied Hilaria Cruz at our office to help with the transcription and time alignment for a Chatino corpus–an Otomanguean language found in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico. For the past 15 years, he has worked as a librarian at the Austin Public Library in Texas. Though not a trained linguist, on occasion Michael assists Hilaria on her research in Chatino. Michael has studied Romance languages in the past and can speak Spanish and a little Italian.

Michael at LINGUIST List

Thank you, Michael, for all of your help this summer!

Summer 2015 Projects at The LINGUIST List

It has been a busy summer here at The LINGUIST List! Please take a moment to check out the projects that our 2015 summer interns and volunteers have been working on!

  Alec      Clara

Edvard Bikbaev

Edvard Bikbaev works on the GORILLA project at the LINGUIST List. To that end, he is creating and annotating the speech corpus for Russian, his native language. The speech corpus Edvard is involved with includes multiple annotated tiers and will be further used to train a forced aligner.  In addition, Edvard translates contents of the GORILLA website, and updates MultiTree with linguistic publications in Russian. Edvard plans to apply for a PhD program in Computations Linguistics and use the Russian speech corpus he has created at Linguist List for his

Alec Wolyniec

Alec spends most of his time at the LINGUIST List creating the official LINGUIST List Google Chrome App, which will soon provide easy access to the upcoming GeoLing map and other LINGUIST List resources. He is also in the process of writing a script that automatically collects language data from Wiktionary and other open-source databases, and has so far used the program to extend the LINGUIST List’s Yiddish lexicon.

Clara García Gómez

Clara is mainly involved in the GORILLA Project creating a speech corpus for Castilian Spanish, of which she is a native speaker. She is creating materials necessary for automatic alignment and transcription. She also works on the translation of parts of the website into Spanish and in some editing tasks for LINGUIST List. She is interested in the study of undocumented languages so she is happy to participate in GORILLA and hope to contribute to this project further after creating the corpus for Castilian Spanish.

Jacob Henry

Jacob has spent most of his time working on the LL-MAP project, a large collection of maps containing linguistic  and geographic information to be used by linguists, anthropologists, and other researchers.The LINGUIST List relocation Indiana University became an opportunity to relaunch and redesign the technologies. This has involved porting all of the data accumulated to new servers and testing various file formats to find the easiest to work with for our purposes. We’ve made some progress and ideally, we would be able to relaunch LL-MAP by the end of the summer.

Seyed Asghari

Seyed started working on Baharlu dialect of south Azeri Turkic language. It is a language that is being spoken in west Iran with the neighboring area of Persian, Kurdish, and Lori languages. He studied different writing styles used to produce the most suitable transcriptions. Moreover, he needed to study the standards of romanization of Baharlu Turkic. He worked on sample recordings, creating transcription, romanization, and translation.

During this work he has also started preparing a Baharlu-English dictionary that including original word, romanization, English translation and will be completed with other elements such as lemma, PoS and pronunciation information.

Petar Garžina

For the last two weeks, Petar has been mainly working on the Automatic Speech Recognition Project. Currently, he is working on the Croatian speech corpus and ASR. The first part of the project consists of making recordings and transcribing them. Along with building the corpus, he has been going through the documentation about Chrome Apps, and from the beginning of this week, he will start working alongside Alec on the LINGUIST List Chrome app. At the end of his internship, he would like to have a working Croatian Speech Recognizer, and an application that will ease the use of various LINGUIST List features.

Zac Branson

Zac has been working primarily on the front and back end of Geoling which can be found at Zac has additionally contributed to the Gorilla project ( including the development of resources to be provided by Gorilla.

Featured Linguist: Monica Macaulay

Featured Linguist: Monica Macaulay

Featured Linguist: Monica Macaulay

So, you know how most kids want to be firefighters, or doctors, or scientists when they grow up?  When I was a kid I wanted to be a librarian.  Yes, I was the biggest nerd in the world.  It was just that I loved to read and I loved to organize things, so organizing books sounded really good.  I also played Scrabble with my mom, and we would look words up in her immense “Shorter Oxford English Dictionary,” which we regarded as the authority on all matters language-related.

When I was 15 we moved to Santiago, Chile.  My mother was thrilled because her children were going to learn to speak a second language.  So, being 15, I decided I wasn’t going to learn it.  Unfortunately, I did, despite my best efforts.  So I spent about six months hiding it from my parents until it just got too hard to pretend.  We were there for a year and a half.  By the end of our time there my Spanish was so good I could fool people into thinking I was Chilean.  It’s been downhill ever since.

I graduated in Chile from Santiago College – that was my high school – a girl’s school with the motto “for finer womanhood.”  I was 16 and it made perfect sense to me that since I had graduated from high school I was an adult.  So I took off overland with my boyfriend and spent three months traveling through South America.  My parents, of course, were absolutely horrified.  It was quite an adventure and I did live to tell about it.  Then the boyfriend and I moved to Prescott, AZ, where we attended a hippy college for a while.  Next up, San Francisco, where I went to art school.  (Of course.)  We lived on a houseboat in Sausalito.  I finally dumped art school (no talent, just a love of art supplies) and the BF, and moved to Berkeley.

Eventually I realized I might want to go to college (a real one), and that there was one in the town I lived in. So I applied and got into UC-Berkeley.  It took me 7 years to finish.  I kept dropping out to do things like hitch-hike through Mexico, but that’s another story.  Everyone in Mexico laughed at my Chilean accent so I quickly modified it.

I took random classes in college, just not sure what I wanted to do.  But then one day I saw a course listing for a class in the English department that I thought would help me with my crossword puzzles, an obsession at the time.  It turned out to be 1965-era Standard Theory, taught as gospel truth.  (This was the mid/late-70s.)  I was hooked.  And OH MY GOD at the end of the semester I discovered there was a whole department of this stuff.  That was it, I never looked back.  I had finally found the place where I could combine my love of words and my love of organizing things into systems.

Cut to grad school (still at Berkeley – who would want to leave that beautiful place?).  I was there in a phase where the only required course in the linguistics graduate program was a 2-semester sequence in field methods.  (This is how I managed to get a PhD and never take an actual phonology course!)  They were offering two sections the year I took it.  I knew one was going to use Vietnamese, and I said, no way, that’s a tone language, I’m not doing tone.  The other one turned out to be Mixtec.  Nuff said.

Despite the tone, I discovered I loved eliciting and analyzing data.  Eventually I did fieldwork in Mexico (and I’ve written about that elsewhere), and wrote my dissertation on the language.  After a year’s stint at George Mason University I wound up in the English department at Purdue University.  Indiana was a bit of a shock after 14 years in the Bay Area.  But I met my husband, Joe Salmons, there, and made a lot of good friends.

The year after I got tenure, though, we moved to Madison to take jobs at the University of Wisconsin.  I grew up in Madison, so it was quite strange to return home after all those years.  When we moved there I was just finishing up my grammar of Chalcatongo Mixtec, and it seemed like a good time to make a change.  Ever since hearing Amy Dahlstrom talk about Algonquian languages in graduate school I had had a bad case of Algonquian envy.  Wisconsin has five native languages which are still spoken, three of which are Algonquian.  I satisfied my Algonquian envy by starting to work on Menominee, and have continued that ever since.  There’s a steep learning curve for Algonquian linguistics, but it’s totally worth it.

A couple of interesting things have happened along the way, to me and to the profession.  I didn’t start out feeling like an Americanist – that is, I didn’t feel like I was one of those people who would characterize themselves as working on American Indian languages; I just happened to work on Mixtec (and also a California language called Karuk).  But that identity snuck up on me, and I definitely define myself as an Americanist now.  The other thing that has happened is that the field has undergone a radical transformation, and me along with it.  This is the recognition that the vast majority of the languages we work on are severely endangered, that our work with communities has as much value as our scholarly work, and that we need to take responsibility for helping communities out with language revitalization when and how they want us to.


Documentary and theoretical approaches coexist and enrich each other, and American Indian languages are in the thick of it.  When I was in graduate school it was pretty much unthinkable that people from the theory-dominant departments would do fieldwork – now it seems like most everybody does some.  And I find myself working with community members on dictionaries of Menominee and Potawatomi, something I never could have imagined myself doing when I was in grad school.  The benefits of these changes to the field are enormous, and I think we’re in a much healthier place as a discipline now.

From 2009 to 2014, Joe Salmons, Anja Wanner, Rajiv Rao, and I were the review editors for Linguist List.   It was a lot of work but we were proud of the quality (and quantity!) of the reviews we posted.  After stepping down from that, I became a co-editor of the Papers of the Algonquian Conference, and last January I became president of the Endangered Language Fund (  We give grants for small projects on endangered languages all over the world.

Just a footnote:  linguistics ruined Scrabble for me.  It’s just that pesky question of what counts as a word!  I mean, can you use “ish”?

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