Author: Damir Cavar

LINGUIST List Internships 2017

The LINGUIST List invites undergraduate and graduate students as well as particularly motivated senior high school students to the 2017 summer internship program.

Interns at LINGUIST List have the opportunity to participate in the daily operations of the LINGUIST List, including editing submissions to the LINGUIST List and correspondence with linguists.

Apart from that interns will have the opportunity to work under the supervision of local or visiting faculty at The LINGUIST List on concrete research projects related to language and STEM sub-disciplines, language documentation, as well as engineering of software solutions and algorithms, mathematical concepts and methods, and technologies related to speech and language data.

Depending on individual interests or skills interns can get involved in the following LINGUIST List related projects for a certain proportion of their work time:

  • GeoLing: A web-application that maps LINGUIST List events, institutions, resources on a GIS system for mobile devices and access
  • Voice interface: Development of dialogs and speech interfaces for use with Amazon Echo/Alexa, Google Home, Cortana, etc. to provide LINGUIST List information over these voice systems/interfaces, develop new linguistic “skills” and extend existing ones
  • Improvement of the new LINGUIST List website and content, applications like Ask-a-Ling, and new services and applications


Interns will get an opportunity to also work with:

For more information on the specific projects read about them on the specific pages and visit our “Get Involved” site.


Thierry Declerck visiting the LINGUIST List

Thierry Declerck

Thierry Declerck

We were happy to have Thierry Declerck from the DFKI here in Bloomington over the last weeks. He writes:

“I have been visiting the Indiana University on the occasion of a workshop on Corpora in the Digital Humanities that I co-organised with Sandra Kübler.  At the same time I was very happy to follow an invitation by Damir Cavar to visit the office of the LINGUIST List and to discuss issues related to the topics of the workshop, especially in the field of low-resourced languages, and how to make resources for such languages available and more visible. Damir made an impressive presentation of the use and adaptation of recent speech technology products (e.g. Amazon Echo/Alexa, Google Home) for accessing information available at the LINGUIST List (including information about conferences, workshops, jobs, or notes on language resources and technologies).

Thanks for hosting me and for the discussions we also had in the days following the workshop and my first visit at the LINGUIST List offices and hoping to continue the exchanges.”

Thierry Declerck


The LINGUIST List Team at the LSA Annual Meeting 2017 in Austin, Texas

The LINGUIST List team at the booth at LSA Annual Meeting in Austin, demonstrating GeoLing, Alexa’s Flash Briefing LINGUIST List module, and many other new projects…



This is probably the first time that LINGUIST List posts have been edited and approved on the highway while driving from Bloomington, IN, to Austin, TX.

At the conference:



LINGUIST List on Amazon Echo / via Alexa

Dear linguists,

Alexa (Amazon Echo) just got a new Flash Briefing channel. You can add The LINGUIST List Flash Briefing with your Alexa app to your Amazon Echo (Dot) or Tap. The new settings will allow you to select most recent postings or the newest postings in any of the LINGUIST posting areas (e.g. Books, Calls, Conferences, Disc, Diss, FYI, Internships, Jobs, Media, Qs, Reviews, Software, Summer schools, Sums, Support, TOC).

Once you added The LINGUIST List Flash Briefing to your Echo, you can activate the LINGUIST List postings with “What’s new?” or other commands.

We will add more functionalities to Alexa and extend these functionalities to Cortana and Google Home/Assistant.

Have fun with that!

Your LINGUIST List Team


GeoLing shows linguistic events and institutions on a global map

The LINGUIST List has added a new service to its set of web applications: GeoLing

GeoLing allows you to submit announcements of local linguistic events. See for details the HOWTO page of GeoLing.

It also allows you to view all active conference, job, and summer school announcements that are submitted to LINGUIST List on a global map.

In addition to these exciting new functionalities, GeoLing also displays on a global map all linguistic institutions, programs, organizations, even office addresses that were submitted to LINGUIST List.

GeoLing can link to your institutional online calendar and read all local events from it automatically so that you do not have to update the events on GeoLing manually. GeoLing also understands emails with attached addresses in the vCards format, iCalendar or vCal event data submitted to it via email from your favorite contact management software or app, or your PIM or organizer. You will find more details on the HOWTO pages of GeoLing.

LINGUIST List can host online calendars for your institution and link them to GeoLing. Please let us know, if you are interested in this service.

The interface will allow you in the next version to display selected events. For example, you should be able to display all events that are related to “Optimality Theory”, or to “Syntax” of “Slavic languages”. You should be able to find all “theoretical syntax” jobs, or jobs related to “Natural Language Processing”, “Speech Recognition”, “Pragmatics”, “Translation”. There is a limited search facility implemented already. We are working on more improvements.
The displayed information about the events will allow you soon to “add the event to my calendar” or “add the address to my address book” on mobile devices like tablets or smart phones. We are working on that.


We hope you like this new service.

Your LINGUIST List Team


LINGUIST List Internships 2016

Dear linguists, colleagues, students,

LINGUIST List will host another internship program during summer 2016. See for details the announcement on LINGUIST List.

Please keep in mind that the dates of the core internship program are flexible and can be adapted to suite the summer break period of different systems, countries, and continents. Please contact us to discuss particular arrangements that you might need.

We would be happy to assist you with applications for supplemental funding and stipends. Various countries and educational or research organizations offer support opportunities to students. Please consider contacting your advisor and local University administration about funding opportunities and let us know how we could help you with the application.


Your LINGUIST List Team


LINGUIST List at the LSA 2016

Please join us for the LINGUIST List office hours at the LSA 2016 Annual Meeting:

date: Friday, 8th of January 2016

time: 6-7 PM

location: George Washington University room

We will talk about the launch of:

  • GeoLing, a GIS-based linguistic information system (linguistic information on a global map).
  • GORILLA, a service that links language documentation, linguistic research with corpus linguistics, computational linguistics, and natural language processing, corpus development, speech and language technology engineering.

and many other LINGUIST List related things.

Please join us!

This year LINGUIST List will not host a booth in the exhibition area, but we are happy to meet with you during the LSA 2016 annual meeting. Please email us or call us to make meeting arrangements.

See you at the LSA 2016 annual meeting!

Your LINGUIST List Team


Fund Drive 2015 is Over! Thank You to All of Our Supporters!

Dear LINGUIST List Subscribers, Supporters and Friends,

Fund Drive 2015 has come to a close, and we would like to thank everyone who made a donation—big or small—for their generosity! This Fund Drive was no small effort, and we appreciate all of the support that we received from
nearly 700 donors!

To wrap up Fund Drive 2015, we would like to conclude with the results of our challenges:

– The Subfield Challenge

While phonology and syntax held the lead for the first half of the drive, it was computational linguistics that came out on top! Check out how the top five subfields ranked:

1. Computational Linguistics ($7,790)
2. Syntax ($6,121)
3. Sociolinguistics ($3,998)
4. Phonology ($3,129)
5. Semantics ($2,845)

– The University Challenge

Indiana University Bloomington and The University of Washington were in a stiff battle throughout the drive, but who ended up on top? Check out the results:

1. Indiana University Bloomington ($2,730)
2. University of Washington ($2,590)
3. Stanford University ($1,365)
4. North-West University, Potchefstroom and Vaal Triangle Campuses, South Africa ($820)
5. University of Arizona ($750)

– The Business Challenge

We also received some donations from a few very generous businesses:

1. Google Inc. ($4,000)
2. Microsoft Natural Language Group ($300)
3. IBM Watson ($150) and IBM Context Computing ($150)

We would also like to make a special mention of our Advisory Panel, whose efforts during our Advisors’ Challenge and all throughout the drive were invaluable. Not only were their donations vital to Fund Drive, but their willingness to spread the word and raise awareness brought great life to our efforts. We send them our sincerest thanks!

We are incredibly grateful for each and every donation that we received totaling $41,091.85, but we still did not come close to our goal of $79,000. Although Fund Drive 2015 is over, you can continue supporting us with one-time or recurrent donations by selecting The Linguist List Discretionary Fund (see the Instructions page):

Please consider making a donation to keep The LINGUIST List running the way you like it! LINGUIST List is dedicated to freely providing information and services to the linguistic community, and it’s through your support that we’re able to do it.

We thank you all for your support during Fund Drive 2015!

Best wishes,
The LINGUIST List Team

Featured Linguist: Ljuba Veselinova

LINGUIST List Fund Drive 2015

Featured Linguist: Ljuba Veselinova (Stockholm University)

Featured Linguist Ljuba Veselinova

Featured Linguist: Ljuba Veselinova

I came to LINGUIST List in 1994 as the first recipient of its graduate student fellowship funded by subscribers. Compared to its current size, the list was small back then (around 4000 subscribers). However, the work was exciting and there was this whole new universe to explore–I am talking, of course, about the internet. I was soon engulfed by UNIX, its shells, its mail and text utilities, especially emacs. It was scary to have to tell some of the people who figured as authors of my textbooks that they will need to edit parts of their messages. The mailing list function was a primary one at that time and the list was split between Eastern Michigan University and the University of Texas A & M. Those of us based in Michigan were connecting to a computer in Texas via a phone modem! I stayed with LINGUIST List thanks to the subscriber’s support until I finished my MA in 1997. By the time I was leaving, the subscriber numbers had soared to 10000 and counting; the mailing list had become just one of the functions LINGUIST performed, and a well organized website was in place. The first NSF funded infrastructure project was going on and there were several grant proposals in the making. Working for LINGUIST List had never been more promising.

In a way, it is actually wrong to ask me what I am doing after LINGUIST List because I never truly quit for real. While greater part of my time has been devoted to typology through my dissertation on suppletion in verb paradigms and my participation in the World Atlas of Language Structures (WALS), my interest in technology and LINGUIST is as alive as ever. After 1997, I kept coming back to Michigan for periods of time of varying length. Thanks to grants from the Swedish Institute I was able to come back in summer 1998 as well as in fall 1999; in summer 2000 I was partially funded by LINGUIST List NSF grant. My latest stay was on a Visiting Scientist position during the academic year 2005-6. I was planning on looking for other academic jobs in the US when the Swedish Research Council awarded me a four year long research funding. It is worth noting that one of the motivations for this reward as well as other grants I received was my international experience while working for the LINGUIST List.

Here in Stockholm, I have been focusing on the typology of negation in non-verbal and existential sentences. I also pursue studies on geographical information systems (GIS) on my own. Much of my research is geared towards uncovering patterns of variation but also patterns of unity in the languages of the world. For instance one striking example of a pervasive feature is the fact that most languages make a difference between the way they negate actions e.g. I don’t run and the way they negate existence/availability e.g. There is no beer (in the fridge). There are also languages such as Turkish where negation of states e.g. I am not sick differs from both the negation of actions and the negation of availability. As shown on the map below, special expressions in for the negation of existence are dominant in languages of the world; in fact there are a few, well delimited areas where the distinction between negation of actions and negation of availability is obliterated, Western Europe is one of them.

Negative Existentials (by Ljuba Veselinova)

Negative Existentials (by Ljuba Veselinova)

Seeing grammatical patterns in a spatial contexts is something that I will never get tired of. A live version of the map above, still in the making can be seen here:

The education I received at LINGUIST List came via many different channels: through direct instruction thanks to its founders, Prof. Helen Aristar-Dry and Prof. Anthony Aristar, who with their incredible resourcefullness and endless patience have been my mentors and friends for many years; then, just having to sit down and actually do the work was a great learning experience. What I learned from LINGUIST is reflected daily in my correspondence and professional contacts, in my organizing skills, in my knowledge and interest in technology and databases. LINGUIST List has grown from a mailing list with a linguistic profile to an organization and a school of its own kind. Finally, working at LINGUIST List gives you this incredible energy and actual belief that anything is possible and anything is within reach. You are in touch with the best of an incredibly diverse discipline. At the same time, you learn that you can do anything that you really believe in and really dream of: ballet dancing, playing the guitar, doing photographing or knitting — it’s all there, and it’s all yours. So maybe I will see you at the next conference, or maybe at Burning Man?

Flight-picture by Ljuba Veselinova

These days I am happy to send my students there as the LINGUIST List experience is immensely beneficial to anyone who is going to pursue a career in linguistics and/or language technology. It is also my turn to chip in the supporting pot and once again thank the subscribers for all the contributions that made my stay with LINGUIST possible. At the same time, I would like to extend a plea for a continued support for the LINGUIST List and its current moderators, Malgorzata E. Cavar and Damir Cavar, who carried out its move to a new site and continue to work tirelessly to maintain it as an extremely vigorous and creative environment where many students have found expression for their talents and actually become linguists.

Featured Linguist: Ljuba Veselinova

Featured Linguist: Ljuba Veselinova


Please support the LINGUIST List student editors and operations with a donation during the 2015 Fund Drive! The LINGUIST List really needs your support!