Author: Sarah Robinson

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!

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!

___

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

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

Featured Linguist: Sonja Lanehart

Sonja L. Lanehart, Ph.D.
Brackenridge Endowed Chair in Literature and the Humanities

When I was a teenager, I asked members of my family at a gathering, “Why do Black people use be so much?” Because many people in my family and people important to me struggled with literacy, my mission was to go to college and graduate school and earn a Ph.D. where most of my family did not make it past high school. Without anyone to tell me African American Language (AAL) was a valid language variety, I originally set out to study Speech Pathology as an undergrad at the University of Texas to “fix” African Americans.

During my time as a student in Austin, I was exposed to James Sledd’s “Bi-dialectalism: The Linguistics of White Supremacy” (1972) and “Doublespeak: Dialectology in the Service of Big Brother” (1984). Sledd, as a southern White male, spoke about language and identity rights for African Americans (and southerners) in a way they could not (Freed 1995) because, as is still the case, African Americans were seen as too close to the situation. I have always found it troubling/problematic/ironic that, with the inclusion of African Americans and other people of color into the academy, or “the Ivory Tower,” we have often been discouraged from studying our own people because we are accused of being too close to the situation and therefore unable to be objective, whereas Whites have freely studied everyone for centuries and seemingly without reproach or prejudice or subjectivities in the eyes of the research community or the ever-nebulous “they.” As James Sledd noted forty years ago, even “compassionate, liberal educators, knowing the ways of society (i.e., the narrative society has constructed about blackness/Blackness), will change the color of a student’s vowels because they cannot change the color of their students’ skins” (1972, 325). Similarly, James Baldwin, in response to the 1979 case Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School v. Ann Arbor School District—the very Ann Arbor I happened to spend my graduate and Ph.D. years at the University of Michigan—wrote:

“The brutal truth is that the bulk of White people in America never had any interest in educating Black people, except as this could serve White purposes. It is not the Black child’s language that is despised. It is his experience. A child cannot be taught by anyone who despises him, and a child cannot afford to be fooled. A child cannot be taught by anyone whose demand, essentially, is that the child repudiate his experience, and all that gives him sustenance, and enter a limbo in which he will no longer be Black, and in which he knows he can never become White. Black people have lost too many Black children that way.” (1979, 19E; emphasis added).

Having meditated on both Sledd’s and Baldwin’s words during my college exposure to linguistics, I remained a lifelong learner of language variation because I come from a community whose language is not valued. Instead of trying to “fix” the language of my people (where there are no problems to begin with), I, a Black woman, was not discouraged from studying my own people because I vowed to use my education to remedy the linguistic prejudices people hold against AAL and its speakers. I know these negative beliefs about AAL persist. I see them in my classes when African American students, usually while using AAL, reject there is such a thing as AAL or that they themselves speak it. I hear this attitude reflected when I interview Black adults, college students, and teenagers about their perceptions of language. I cringe at both Black and non-Black employers who say they will not hire someone who pronounces ask as “aks” (a common pronunciation in AAL) or uses “double negatives” (multiple negation) because it represents faulty thinking (as if language were math) or who pronounces four as “foe” (again, common in AAL) or who just plain does not use “good” English (i.e., “bad” English is a synonym for AAL). I hurt listening to people denigrate Rachel Jeantel for her speech during her testimony as a witness to the murder pf her best friend.

Sista, Speak!
Black Women Kinfolk Talk about Language and Literacy
By Sonja L. Lanehart

I have based my work in Critical Sociolinguistics since the murder of Trayvon Martin, the devastating trial of his murderer, the rise of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, the massacre of “The Charleston Nine,” and the murder of my distant maternal relative, Sandra Bland, and too many other Black women and men, girls and boys, across the United States. I focused my vocation on asking questions needing answers and investigating gaps in the literature regarding language use and identity in African American communities because I am part of those communities. It is business and it is personal.

As sociolinguists, we have a responsibility to the communities we study in addition to ourselves. As a Black sociolinguist studying Black communities, it is incumbent upon me – and all scholars – to use scholarship both within and outside the academy for the benefit of humanity and society. This is why I do what I do.

 

 

 

 


Thanks for reading this Featured Story by Sonja Lanehart. While you’re here, please consider donating to the LINGUIST List; only a small portion of our funds come from our host university, and we depend on our donors to keep our services available to linguists all over the world.

Cryptogram Winners! There’s still a few more prizes…

Dear LINGUIST List readers and supporters,

Yesterday, we posted a puzzle for you to solve with the promise of prizes, and you answered the call! We already have winners who have claimed the SpecGram copies and the magnets, and we now have only 7 post cards to give out. The puzzle is below again if you want to solve it for a sweet Speculative Grammarian post card! We’re so grateful to Trey Jones and the awesome editors at SpecGram for sharing their sweet loot (and cool puzzles) with us.

it’s e’s-y!

If you are interested in claiming one of the remaining post cards, write us an email with the answer and send it to:

funddrive[at]linguistlist.org

srobinson[at]linguistlist.org

everett[at]linguistlist.org

 

Congratulations to Jonas, Magdalena, Jessie, Anda, Julia, Brandon, Jing, Angie, Maša, Marcin, Kamil, and Krzysztof! Thank you for playing!

If you haven’t donated to the LINGUIST List yet, what are you waiting for? LL relies on you–our readers and supporters–to keep our services available to linguists all over the world. Click here to donate, ad remember to check the instructions above, how you choose to fill out the form may affect whether we can document your linguistic subfield or university, should you want your donation to be reflected in the weekly challenges updates!

Thanks again for your support over the last 29 years. We truly appreciate our supporters, and we truly appreciate the awesome guys at Speculative Grammarian!

Best regards,

The LL Team

Cryptogram Winners Already!

Wow, our readers are quick draws! It looks like we already have two winners who have claimed the two SpecGram copies. Congratulations to Magdalena and Jonas!

Additionally, two more people have answered and will receive magnets for their quick participation. Congratulations Anda and Jessie!

it’s e’s-y!

We still have more magnets and post-cards, so if you want to write in an answer to the puzzle, send us an email at:

funddrive[at]linguistlist.org

srobinson[at]linguistlist.org

everett[at]linguistlist.org

 

And thank you for playing!

If you haven’t donated to the LINGUIST List yet, what are you waiting for? LL relies on you–our readers and supporters–to keep our services available to linguists all over the world. Click here to donate, ad remember to check the instructions above, how you choose to fill out the form may affect whether we can document your linguistic subfield or university, should you want your donation to be reflected in the weekly challenges updates!

Thanks again for your support over the last 29 years. We truly appreciate our supporters, and we truly appreciate the awesome guys at Speculative Grammarian!

Best regards,

The LL Team

Solve a Puzzle, Win a Prize!

Dear LINGUIST List readers, subscribers, and supporters–

As part of our 2019 Fund Drive, the fine editors at Speculative Grammarian have offered us a challenge!

If you are one of the first to write in and solve the following puzzle, you may win a prize! The first two to write in with the correct answer to the cryptogram will receive a copy of SpecGram for free! After that, we have SpecGram magnets and post cards to send to runners up!

The cryptogram was created using a cipher based on the letter ‘e’.

 

it’s e’s-y!

HOW TO WRITE IN AN ANSWER:

DO NOT comment your answer on a facebook post or other social media–send your answers to one or more of the following addresses:

funddrive[at]linguistlist.org

srobinson[at]linguistlist.org

everett[at]linguistlist.org

 

There’s a limited number of prizes, and it’s first to write in (via the proper communication channel only–email!) first serve!

If you haven’t donated to the LINGUIST List yet, what are you waiting for? LL relies on you–our readers and supporters–to keep our services available to linguists all over the world. Click here to donate, ad remember to check the instructions above, how you choose to fill out the form may affect whether we can document your linguistic subfield or university, should you want your donation to be reflected in the weekly challenges updates!

Thanks again for your support over the last 29 years. We truly appreciate our supporters, and we truly appreciate the awesome guys at Speculative Grammarian!

Best regards,

The LL Team