Fun Facts

Fun Fact: Early Websites

Hi all! 

Nils here with another fun fact. Did you know that the Linguist List is over 30 years old? While our old website wasn’t created until about 1997, the first post over the initial mailing list was sent in December, 1990, and because we archive everything, you can still read it here! This was before browsers were even available to the general public, let alone HTML, which is what we still use for web pages today. 

As a related fun fact, the very first website ever is still up too! It was created by CERN and they have since recreated it. You can find it here.

Websites obviously exploded in the 90s, and we quickly joined the fun around 1997. Of those, most of them have been shut down since, but we have remained all this time! We’re always making improvements, and we’re still working on our newest iteration of the website.

Of course, all of this is only possible due to the generosity of our readers. Donations help us to pay for the servers we use, all the services we provide, and, of course, our wonderful editors who make sure that all content is curated, formatted, and that absolutely no spam gets through to you, our readers. To learn more, please visit our Fund Drive page to learn more about us and why we need your help! The LINGUIST List relies on your generous donations to continue its support of linguists around the world.

Thank you,

Nils Hjortnaes

Fun Facts: Behind the Scenes 2

Let’s pull back the curtain once more…

Hello readers!

Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes at LINGUIST List and what happens after you hit ‘Submit’ on our site? Well in short, a lot happens. Bear with us, this Fun Fact is a little long but it’s super interesting.

Once you hit ‘Submit’ on our site, the announcement is then added to that category’s queue and is then awaiting Editor approval. With a few exceptional categories, like TOC announcements, there is a turn-around of 48 business hours for all submissions, in most cases though, submissions get posted before this. It is during these 48 hours that Editors quality assure each submission and work with the submitters so that each announcement is correct.

For each category on our site we have at least one dedicated Editor who is responsible for every announcement in that area. They are responsible for proof-reading each submission, ensuring that each piece of content is linguistically relevant, making small edits to formatting so that each announcement is up to our standards, and in the cases for Journals and Conferences there is an extra check that must be done. For these two areas the Editors must thoroughly research the event or journal to make sure that it is not predatory or a scam. Editors are also responsible for communicating with submitters to make sure all announcements are correct before they are posted on our site.

Book announcements and TOC announcements on our site require accounts. To publish TOCs, each submitter must have their account access opened by a LINGUIST List Editor to make sure that publisher accounts are secure and are not being accessed by anyone else. TOC announcements take a little longer to edit than some other areas because on top of our editing and formatting standards, each abstract must be read, and the linguistic subfields and languages must be tagged individually!

Our editors do a lot of work to edit all submissions, fact-check, and communicate with submitters to make sure the announcements on our site are of the utmost quality.

Our Editors are not the only ones who do a lot behind the scenes work at LINGUIST List, we also have a Web Development (web dev) team and a System Administrator. Web dev is responsible for many things, including ensuring that our sites, new and old, are running smoothly and that there are no issues with our submission forms. They are also the ones who receive the much-appreciated feedback from our users regarding improvements to The LINGUIST List. Our System Administrator is responsible for keeping our services running, whether that be our servers or making sure that our mailing lists are working. They also make sure that our technology in the office is up-to-date and running smoothly.

The LINGUIST List is a non-profit and we do not charge our readers or subscribers a fee to access the information posted on our site. Even though we are a non-profit, we do still have some services that come with a fee, such as Job announcements, social media boosts, TOC announcements, and Book announcements. We also have the support of various publishers who pay an annual fee for Book announcements. These service fees go right back to us to keep LINGUIST List running.

The LINGUIST List stands out from other listservs in various ways, but one very distinct way is that while we do not publish articles we are technically a journal. We have our own ISSN number and we are archvied with the U.S. Library of Congress! Every announcement on our site is retained in a permanent online archive. In addition, The LINGUIST List provides hosting and archival services to over 100 other linguistics-related mailing lists.

While LINGUIST List has a faculty Moderator, it is worth noting that all other employees here are students. All our Editors, Web Development staff, and our System Administrator are all graduate students at our host university, Indiana University. The LINGUIST List employs us as graduate students and without this opportunity it would not be possible for us to continue our degrees.

By donating to The LINGUIST List, you are not just contributing to a vital online resource and community, but you are also contributing to the future of our field by allowing us to fund graduate students. Your donations further the field of linguistics in many ways. Thank you for all of your donations and help each year, the employees at LINGUIST List are very grateful!

If you would like to donate, you can find our donation page here: https://funddrive.linguistlist.org/donate/

Best regards,
The LL Team

Fun Facts: Student Resources

Hello Linguist Listers,

Many people think of LINGUIST List primarily as a resource for professional academic linguists. While this demographic does make up a large portion of our subscribers, LINGUIST List is also dedicated to serving the needs of up-and-coming linguists.

Our student portal is specifically designed to aid students in their entry into the field. Prospective linguists will find information on the field as a whole, stories about how various linguists became involved in the field, and what types of work is currently going on in the field. Our recently developed Programs platform serves as a database for linguistics programs at universities around the world. Prospective students can search by geographical area, subdiscipline, and type of program. If your university’s program isn’t yet listed, we encourage you to add it here (https://linguistlist.org/programs/).

LINGUIST List also provides resources for those whose studies are already in progress. LINGUIST List helps publicize numerous conferences geared towards graduate and undergraduate linguists each year. Our Queries section connects student or postgraduate researchers with the larger linguistics community, oftentimes helping them find native speakers or data for ongoing research projects. Our ‘Ask a Linguist’ feature is also an invaluable resource for those who may be new to the field and unsure where to look for answers to questions of a linguistic nature. The student portal includes several writing resources, such as MLA/APA resources, information on language codes (MultiTree), and more. Graduates and postgraduates can also find information on funding opportunities in our Supports section. After completing their studies, LINGUIST List helps connect qualified linguists with employment in their field through our Jobs section, which just this year has advertised 343 jobs so far.

Those of you who have been keeping up with our Fund Drive posts thus far will know that LINGUIST List is staffed entirely by graduate students. Many of us would find it impossible to continue our studies without the funding from our jobs here at the List. Over its thirty-year history, over 200 graduate students have worked at the LINGUIST List as editors and programmers. That means that there are potentially up to 200 linguists working in the field today whose studies were directly supported by YOU, the subscribers of LINGUIST List!

We’re very proud that a large part of our work these past thirty years has been to help students as they enter the field of linguistics and provide resources and insight into our vibrant community of study. Since LINGUIST List is partly funded by donations, we want to thank those who have given throughout the years. You have enabled countless young linguists to find the resources and support they needed to pursue their work in the field. We hope to be around for (at least!) thirty more years, and to continue helping students on their way to becoming linguists, but we can’t do that without your help! If you are able, please consider donating to our Fund Drive here (https://funddrive.linguistlist.org/donate/).

Thank you for your continued support!

Fun Facts: Into the Archives

Hello LINGUIST List Readers and Subscribers,

In the spirit of our Fund Drive’s 30th anniversary theme, I dived into the archives to learn more about how various linguistic theories have been represented on LINGUIST List over the years. Since my main interest is in syntax, I decided to focus my search on a few syntactic theories. The field of syntax has come a long way in the past thirty years, and LINGUIST List has been there through it all. It would have been interesting to do a thorough timeline of each of these theories and their various developments over the years; but considering time constraints and in the interest of appealing to as many of our syntactician readers as possible, I’ll do a bird’s eye view of the first and last mentions of several syntactic theories.

The first mention of the Minimalist Program on LINGUIST List was on 20 May, 1992, in Discussions, in a comment by Dr. Martin Haspelmath (https://old.linguistlist.org/issues/3/3-417.html). Dr. Haspelmath mentioned Chomsky’s paper, “A minimalist program for linguistic theory,” and we promptly received several requests by readers wanting to know where they could access it. When I searched for this paper, the official citation indicates that it wasn’t officially published by MIT Working Papers until 1993. The most recent mention of Minimalism was 31 August, 2020, in Books, where we announced Extraposition from NP in English by Edward Göbbel (https://old.linguistlist.org/issues/31/31-2695.html).

The first mention of Cognitive Grammar (including Construction Grammar, Functional Grammar, and Discourse-based Grammar) was 1 February, 1991 in FYI’s, announcing International Cognitive Linguistics Association’s journal, “Cognitive Linguistics” (https://old.linguistlist.org/issues/2/2-27.html). Like LINGUIST List, “Cognitive Linguistics” is also celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, having been founded in February 1990 (Congratulations!). The most recent mention of Cognitive Grammar was 24 September, 2020 in Supports, advertising a PhD student researcher position at Ghent University (https://old.linguistlist.org/issues/31/31-2891.html).

Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar, of course, originated in the ‘80’s, and it was quick to appear on the LINGUIST List. The first mention of HPSG was on 4 February, 1991 in a Summer School announcement for the Third European Summer School in Language, Logic and Information, specifically for a class on ‘Topics in Constraint-based syntactic theory’ taught by Dr. Carl Pollard himself (https://old.linguistlist.org/issues/2/2-30.html). The most recent mention of HPSG was 20 April 2020 in Reviews, for a review written by Michael B. Maxwell of the University of Maryland on Endangered Languages and New Technologies (ed. Mari C. Jones) (https://old.linguistlist.org/issues/31/31-1411.html).

Lexical-Functional Grammar first appeared on LINGUIST List on 23 February, 1991 in Discussions, in a comment by Dr. Larry Gorbet, lamenting the “prescriptive metametalinguistics” of those who would criticize names like “Lexical-Functional Grammar” (https://old.linguistlist.org/issues/2/2-49.html). Its most recent mention came on 17 June, 2020 in Conferences, announcing the 25th International Lexical-Functional Grammar Conference, which was hosted via Zoom because of the pandemic (https://old.linguistlist.org/issues/31/31-1997.html).

As we saw from this brief overview, many different syntactic theories have been represented on LINGUIST List over the years, and, in many cases, these theories were being discussed on LINGUIST List extremely early on. We’re very proud of 30 years of helping linguists from all over the world connect for discussion, collaboration, and employment. If this overview has made you nostalgic, you can always go on our own trip down memory lane by visiting our archives (https://old.linguistlist.org/issues/master.cfm). We’d also be interested to hear from readers who were here during the ‘first mentions’ of these theories – is there a theory or an idea that you remember hearing first on LINGUIST List?

Thanks for reading,
– Lauren

If you enjoy our content and want to donate to the LINGUIST List, you can do so here: https://funddrive.linguistlist.org/donate/
Thanks so much for your support,
–the LL Team

Fun Facts: Linguist or Polyglot?

Hello all,

It’s time for our next Linguist List fun fact! As linguists, we’ve all had the conversation at some point that goes, roughly, “Oh, you’re a linguist? How many languages do you speak?” followed by a hasty explanation of what linguistics actually is and how it is not about learning languages. It certainly doesn’t help that many linguists also happen to be polyglots. This is the case for all of us here at the Linguist List, so for our fun fact this week we’d like to tell you a bit about the languages we speak here, besides the obvious English.

In no particular order, Becca (Jobs) speaks French and Swedish. Nils (Web Development) speaks German and a little bit of Danish. Sarah (Journals and TOCs) really loves Germanic, and knows German, some Icelandic, Old Norse, and various other dead germanic languages. Everett (Conferences and Miscellaneous) knows Spanish, Japanese, and a little German. Jeremy (Books) knows Swahili, Hadza, Nigerian Pidgin, Welsh, German, and Arabic. He’s also teaching his adorable son some Swahili. Gosia (Moderator) knows Russian, Croatian, Polish, and Serbian. Peace (System Administrator) knows Korean. And Yiwen (Web Development, Supports, and Internships) knows Mandarin, Cantonese, German, and some French.

Even though learning languages isn’t what linguistics is about, they’re still pretty neat, so we do it anyway. And it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a broader knowledge of languages.

That’s it for today! Thanks for reading. If you appreciate services provided by the LINGUIST List like book and job announcements, please consider donating to our annual fund drive campaign. We rely on your donations to continue operating and supporting our editors.

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

Fun Facts: Career Search Page

Dear all,

It’s Tuesday again, and we are excited to present more fun facts about our new website.

We designed a brand-new, all-in-one career search page which gives you access to the most recent posts of jobs, internships, and support. Posts are presented in cards which demonstrate the highlights of each post. A handy set of filters are provided if you are looking for something more specific. Also, there is a search box for our readers to search for certain keywords.

You can check out the career search page (beta version) via the following link:

https://new.linguistlist.org/career/search

All of our web developers at Linguist List are graduate students in Linguistics and we are trying our best to revitalize the new website to improve the experience of our readers. Please stay tuned for more fun facts about our new site coming soon!

Yiwen

If you appreciate services provided by the LINGUIST List like book and job announcements, please consider donating to our annual fund drive campaign. We rely on your donations to continue operating and supporting our editors.

If you’ve already donated or just donated, thank you, we appreciate it.

Fun Facts: FAQ Page

Hello all,

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for more fun facts! One of the jobs of our editors is to answer questions regarding your posts or our policies. I’ll be honest, we aren’t fans of reading through our policies either. They’re long and pretty dry, as policies often are. We also noticed that many of the questions you, our readers and submitters, have are very similar. In the spirit of our funddrive, and the theme of revitalization, we’ve created a new FAQ to make it much easier for you to find the information you’re looking for!

https://new.linguistlist.org/faq/

It’s one of the many features we’re working on adding to our new website. Speaking of which, watch for next week for more information and fun facts on our new, revitalized website!

Nils

If you appreciate services provided by the LINGUIST List like book and job announcements, please consider donating to our annual fund drive campaign. We rely on your donations to continue operating and supporting our editors.

If you’ve already donated or just donated, thank you, we appreciate it.