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Fun Fact: Jobs Edition

Hey everyone!

I’m sure you’re aware about our job postings section. It’s one of our most popular areas of the listserv. The LINGUIST List has a large number of job postings relevant to our field. In 2016, there were approximately 700 job issues alone. Amanda and Clare work hard to make sure that jobs are posted promptly.

Jobs are one source of income for the LINGUIST List. However, the money we make from jobs is not sufficient to pay for the other services we offer. You can help us out by making a donation at funddrive.linguistlist.org.

Here is a chloropleth map I made in R that shows the percentage of LINGUIST List job posts by country scaled by population. If you click on a country, you should get some information about how many jobs we have received from that country.

Full Map

This data only contains job submissions before January 2016. We’ve only continued to grow since then!

Featured Linguist: Fabiola Henri

Featured Linguist: Fabiola Henri

Featured Linguist: Fabiola Henri

My identity as a formal creolist has been shaped by interplay between my country of origin and my formative educational background. I am a native speaker of Mauritian, a French-based creole spoken in Mauritius off the coast of Madagascar.

At a young age, I became painfully aware of how prejudices plague Mauritian creole-speakers and, in my particular case, the Creole community. I learned on the playground that speaking patois marks one as uneducated. My formal education was conducted in a colonial language but my family spoke creole at home. Mauritian education is built on the British colonial system but strives to accommodate the linguistic heritage of Mauritians—other than those of African descent. Mauritian creole—natively spoken by more than 95% of the population—only gained ancestral language status in 2011. Before that date, Mauritian pupils of African ancestry before took Chapel and etiquette classes instead of the rigorous courses offered to students from other ethnic backgrounds. And if at higher levels Creole students were authorized to register for Hinduism, they were not allowed into the classroom.

Private tutoring likewise has been institutionalized to the benefit Mauritius’ most privileged citizens. Acquiring a Mauritian education is thus a considerable struggle for Creoles—especially those raised in a single-parent household with only a modest income.  Despite facing some deplorable prejudices regarding Creoles’ intellect, I was fortunate enough along the way to come across many people who believed in my abilities. For instance, my high school French teacher, Mrs. Desha, provided my private tutoring for free.

I was determined to navigate my way successfully through these ingrained prejudices in the Mauritian educational system. I graduated high school with arts and languages A-levels—a momentous achievement considering I was the first member from my family to graduate high school. My mother then urged me into full-time work, but I was resolved to attend university. I had accumulated savings doing factory work in the summer since I was 13, and my mother helped as much as she could. I gratefully registered for a French BA at the University of Mauritius in 1997.

Ongoing debate on the status of Mauritian creole and language policy fascinated me. Yet I wanted to contribute in a new way. People routinely insinuated that creoles were broken languages devoid of grammar or complexity. If I emphasized how creoles actually possessed complex systems of grammar, these languages could come to be regarded differently. But the training that I sought was not available in Mauritius.

The University of Paris 3–La Sorbonne Nouvelle accepted me in 1999 to begin an undergraduate degree in Linguistics. Paris proved challenging. I juggled multiple jobs alongside school. By the end of my Maîtrise, I was ready to return home when I was awarded a scholarship from the French Government. This began another exciting chapter of my academic journey. I had time to attend seminars and even attended classes at other Parisian universities. My Master’s research focused on the Mauritian Noun Phrase with a formal and computationally efficient description in HPSG.

After graduating in 2004, I went back home to teach in an underprivileged Mauritian high school. Creole-speakers were continually penalized in an education system still so foreign to them. One pupil complained to me about conducting lessons in English, “If you had been on TV, I would have switched channels.” Already struggling students gained little knowledge from being instructed in a foreign language and subsequently found classes boring. Alongside local creolists, I participated in rallies asserting the sophistication of Mauritian creole grammar, urging for its formal introduction into the education system.

The French government again granted me funding for pursuing a PhD in Linguistics. I registered at the University of Paris 7 to work with an outstanding syntactician, Anne Abeillé. Graduate work allowed me to present my research internationally and network with renowned linguists in both creolistics and theoretical linguistics. One of my academic life’s most memorable and inspiring moments happened at the HPSG 2008 Conference in Kyoto. Ivan Sag talked with me over coffee about my work and the possibility of my moving to Stanford University. This was the first of many wonderful opportunities.

I completed my PhD in 2010 with a dissertation on verb form alternation in Mauritian. My research adopts a generalist perspective on creolization, according to which creoles emerge from a combination of factors including natural language change, language contact, input from the lexifier (e.g. forms, frequency, collocations), substratic influence, cognitive processes (e.g. untutored SLA, regularization, grammaticalization), among other factors. This work provides a unique view of creole morphology, one which challenged the simplificational model of creolization. Building on my Mauritian findings, I extended my research to include other French-based creoles as well as Portuguese-based creoles.

After postdoc and adjunct positions at Paris 7, Paris 3 and Lille 3, I accepted another postdoc at the University of Kentucky to work with Gregory Stump, an eminent morphologist, before being promoted to Assistant Professor in the Linguistics Department. My associations with international scholars have led to formal collaborations in international research groups like the SEEPiCLa (Structure and Emergence of Pidgins and Creole Languages). I also collaborate with scholars in Mauritius to prepare creole pedagogical materials for Mauritian primary schools.

My academic career devoted to exploring the formal complexity of creoles has taken me across the globe and has established me as a major figure in contemporary creole studies—quite the far cry from that little Mauritian girl dreaming of improving life through education.

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Please support the LINGUIST List student editors and operations with a donation during the 2017 Fund Drive! The LINGUIST List needs your support!

Featuring a LINGUIST List staff member: Kenneth Steimel!

All these emails about Conference that you receive everyday in your email box…Do you ever wonder who is the link behind the scenes, between the organisers and the potential participants? Meet our Calls and Confs Editor, Kenneth Steimel! Find out about his hometown over here:

http://funddrive.linguistlist.org/pages/KennethSteimel/

and find out a little bit about himself right here – an insight into a LINGUIST List editor’s life!

Dear LINGUIST List subscribers,

My name is Kenneth Steimel and I am one of the 5 student editors here at the LINGUIST List. I am a PhD student at Indiana University as well. I edit Calls for Papers, Conferences, Media, Software and Ask-a-linguist. Working for the LINGUIST List has allowed me to pursue my graduate studies. I would not be able to afford my degree without the support of this organization. Since subscribers like you support the LINGUIST List, I am very thankful to all of you. 

As we move further into 2017, we need your support again. Without your donations, it becomes hard for us to sustain the services we provide. If you think we provide a meaningful service, please show your appreciation with a contribution. I know everyone here greatly appreciates your donations. Without the support you provide, we would not be able to support graduate assistants like myself who read and edit each post to keep the quality of content high. Truly, thank you. 

Your Call & Conference Editor

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 Holiday Recess

Hey everyone!

This is Ken again. I just wanted to wish everyone Happy Holidays. We will be closing on Saturday for the holiday season. We reopen on the 2nd. This simply means that new submissions that come in during this time will not be posted/reviewed.

Emergency submissions can be sent in with ‘URGENT’ in the subject line. However, we will charge double for ‘URGENT’ postings.

We wish you an enjoyable holiday season and a happy new year! We truly appreciate your continued support of LINGUIST List. We couldn’t do this without you.

 

P.S. We had a white elephant gift exchange at the LINGUIST List Holiday party. High quality gifts were exchanged.

(Clare got a 24k dial up modem)

 

Some of the gifts rocked!

(literally a rock)

Linguist List at LSA

Hey everyone,

This is Ken at the LINGUIST List. I just wanted to let all of you know that we will be at the Linguistic Society of America conference in Austin, Texas in January (http://www.linguisticsociety.org/event/lsa-2017-annual-meeting).

We will have a booth with the other organizations at the conference. We look forward to talking to you about the projects housed here at the LINGUIST List (Multitree, LL Map, Geoling, GORILLA and more). We are also open to discussing our posting areas and the website.

Come, visit, and get to know the people behind the LINGUIST List!