Challenges Update… with a twist!

Hello Linguists and Supporters! Today we thought that the challenges update should highlight those who haven’t been able to hold the spotlight yet, the universities and subfields that are in 3rd place through 6th place–those who are just shy of making it into the top!

Check to see if your university makes the list, and if they do, why not push to break into the top three! And look here for the complete listings!

So without further ado, here are the runner-ups in the challenges!

In Subfields:
Phonology takes fourth with $2064–not far behind third place holder Sociolinguistics!
Semantics takes fifth with a total of $1753. Can Semantics overtake Phonology?
Historical Linguistics brings up sixth with $1368! Way to go Historical Linguists!
Current overall leader (for now!): Syntax.

In Universities:
University of South Carolina comes in fourth with $705 from 8 donors! With just a little push, they could catch up to Stanford and put themselves in the top!
Arizona State University is close behind, with $540 from 3 donors.
The Ohio State University brings up fourth $313.00 from 7 donors.
Current leader: University of Washington… but not by too much!

In Regions:
Australia comes in fourth with 7 donors.
The Middle East comes in fifth with 5 donors.
South America comes in sixth with 4 donors. We are so grateful for our donors all over the world! Thanks for being part of the work we do here!
Current leader: North America.

In countries:
Fourth place is currently held by the United Kingdom, with 17 donors–and it’s a slim enough margin to overtake current third place holder Canada in no time.
Austria started out as a frontrunner, and currently holds fifth place with 11 donors. Just a few more to retake your spot, Austria!
Italy comes in sixth with 8 donors… but it closely followed by Japan, the Netherlands, and Spain, off of which are represented by 7 donots each!

The fund drive total currently stands at 62% of the goal, with $14,945 left to go! If each of our users donated just $5, we would not only be done in a heartbeat, but multiply it tenfold! Thanks for being with us the last 28 years as we work to create and maintain a global linguistics community.

–The LL team

It’s a very close match in the Universities Challenge!

Hello Linguist and supporters. It’s time for another update on the Fund Drive Challenges, and we’re excited to give you the new standings!


It has been a tough match in the Universities challenge! Yesterday, Indiana University was on top, having shot right past Stanford and University of Washington!
However, it wasn’t long until University of Washington reclaimed first place, with $2125 from 31 donors.
Indiana University hasn’t given up–$2060 from 21 donors and less than a hundred dollars behind!
Stanford University now comes in third, with $1370 from 20 donors.


Syntax has broaded its lead, now standing in first with $4140 in donations. Way to go Syntacticians!
Computation Linguistics, which is close to our hearts here at LL, comes in second–for now!–with $2430 in donations.
Sociolinguistics brings up the third with $1760. (But look out, because Semantics isn’t far behind…)


North America currently stands in first with 238 donors.
Europe comes up behind with 109 donors.
Asia comes in third with 21 donors.
The US is coming in first still, thanks in small part to the competition between Indiana and Washington, with 217 donors.
Germany remains in second with a total of 30 donors (Danke, Deutschland!)
And Canada comes in third with 21 donors.
Finally, the following countries are represented by 1 donor: Trinidad and Tobago, Finland, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Iceland, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Chile, Macau, New Zealand, and now, also Poland! You all deserve recognition. We appreciate those around the globe who support the work we do here at the LINGUIST List!


Thanks for participating, everyone! As of today we have surpassed 55% of our goal! To see the full standings on challenges, and to donate to the cause of global linguistics, visit: https://funddrive.linguistlist.org/

Fun Fact: Reviews Edition

Hey everyone,

Kenneth here to provide you with another fun fact about the services that the LINGUIST List provides. This time, I’m going to be talking about the Reviews area of the website and listserv.

Since 2007, we have had over 3,000 books reviewed by members of the Linguistics community. Over 200 were reviewed last year alone.

For reviews, we make connections between publishers and potential reviewers. Our reviews editor, Clare Harshey, orchestrates the reviews process making sure that reviewers get their materials and that the written reviews are edited.

Our review editors Dr. Helen Aristar-Dry and Dr. Robert Coté work hard to proofread and edit the reviews that are submitted. Both of these teams have a monumental task.


If you appreciate the services that the LINGUIST List provides, including reviews, please show your support with a donation on <a href=funddrive.linguistlist.org>the LINGUIST List fund drive page</a>.


We truly appreciate it!

Fun Fact: Ask-a-Linguist Edition

Hey everyone!
Ken here with another fun fact for you. Last week, I talked about the usage numbers for the website. This week, I’m going to talk a little bit about one of the services we offer on our website: Ask-a-Linguist.

This site is a QA board for non-linguists to ask questions from linguists like you. However, I find that many of the questions asked appear to be from linguists who are interested in something that’s not their area of research or linguistics students.

We’ve had 33 questions posted so far this year that touch on a variety of different disciplines and the majority of these questions have answers. Some even have multiple responses and comments.

I invite all of you to check it out. There’s some great questions like <a href=https://askaling.linguistlist.org/question/1844/what-are-the-defining-qualities-of-a-language/>this question about what language is</a> and <a href=https://askaling.linguistlist.org/question/1797/the-origin-of-affixes/>this question about how affixes emerge in languages</a> .

What do you think about these questions? If you think they’re interesting or if you have questions of your own, please create an account <a href=https://askaling.linguistlist.org/account/signup/?login_provider=local>here</a> .

All posts are moderated (by me) so only questions that are related to Linguistics or language are allowed and all spam is filtered out.

If you appreciate services like Ask-a-Linguist, please donate to the <a href=https://funddrive.linguistlist.org>LINGUIST List funddrive</a>.

We are half of the way to our goal and time is running out. Please donate.

Fund Drive Challenges: Where does your University Stand?

Dear Linguists and Subscribers:

It’s time for the regular challenges update!

In the Subfield Challange:
Syntax has cut itself a pretty wide lead with a total of $2485!
Computational Linguistics comes in second for now, with $2095.
Sociolinguistics brings up the third with $1660.
(And on a side note–Historical Linguistics is finally catching up with Semantics for 4th place. Hello my fellow historical linguists!)

In the University Challenge:
University of Washington has again surpassed Stanford University! With a total of $1665 from 27 donors, Washington is aiming to beat Stanford.
Stanford University is in second place with $1370 from 20 donors.
And in third place, our own host institution, Indiana University! $1340 from 11 donors places IU in the running!

In the Region Challenge:
North American leads with 159 donors!
Europe remains in second with 63 donors, but seems to be steadily catching up.
Asia is in third with 12 donors.

In the Country Challenge:
The US remains in the front–for now!–with 147 donors.
Germany remains in second with 21 donors.
And Canada has outstripped Austria at last with a total of 12 donors! Go Canada!

LINGUIST List has just passed 37% of our Fund Drive goal, thanks to all of you. We still have a ways to go, but we have made really good progress this last week. We appreciate you!
–The LL Team

Fun Fact: Website Edition

Hey everyone,

Ken here with another fun fact for all of you. I imagine you’re acquainted with our website (https://linguistlist.org). Our featured staff this week, Paige Goulding has been hard at work getting our new website up and running. A large part of the challenge with this is that our website receives a large amount of traffic. Here are some figures to show the volume of visitors we receive:

For the main site there are nearly 600,000 page hits per day and nearly 20,000 unique visitors. Over the course of a week, we receive about 83,000 unique visitors.

As we design the new site, we want to ensure that we can improve load times as well as reducing the load on our current systems.

Now for the fun part.

Some of you are using some wild browsers. One of you is using version 0 of firefox (the latest release is version 59), there’s some netscapes and mosaics out there.
Someone (probably me) used the blackberry browser.

Our visitors represent almost every operating system from amiga to BeOS (unfortunately, there wasn’t one ending in z). 15% of our users are using Linux (woot!). Someone out there is visiting us using Windows XP… interesting stuff.

To help pay for this traffic and the content that drives this traffic, please donate to the linguist list on our fund drive page.

Fund Drive goal update: 20%!

Dear Readers,

We’re writing to thank you for your generosity so far in our Fund Drive: we have passed 20% of our goal! We have received donations from over 150 users, 77 universities, 30 countries, and linguists in a wide variety of subfields (currently led by Computational Linguistics, Sociolinguistics and Syntax)!

We are passionate about our role in the world-wide linguistics community, a role that we have played for 28 years. We now have 30 000+ users who range from fledgling linguistics students to distinguished, life-long contributors to the field, and we are proud to provide services that meet various needs for users all along that spectrum. Whether it’s a new job, a promising conference call, or a particularly interesting new book, we want to be the place you find it.

But to achieve that end, we need your help. Although we never charge our readers for the information we provide, our operation isn’t free. We rely on the generosity of our users to fund Graduate Assistants, programmers, summer interns, IT infrastructure, and so on. Without your donations, the LINGUIST List would simply not be possible.

If just 1 in 10 users would donate $10, we would reach our goal and end the Fund Drive TODAY. We could get back to doing what we do best: serving linguists around the globe. So please, if you haven’t yet––please visit our Fund Drive homepage to learn more about us, and why we need your donation.

Gratefully yours,
The LINGUIST List Team

Fund Drive Fun Fact: Easy Abs

Hey everyone,

Kenneth here again with a Fun Fact for all of you. This week, we’re directing a lot of our content towards EasyAbs. EasyAbs is a free service we provide for conference organizers that helps make the process of receiving and reviewing abstracts, well…Easy!

We have a large number of testimonials coming out later in the week that we collected last year from happy conference organizers. I’m here to provide some numbers (and graphs) for you all.

Since 2008, we have had 1,259 conferences use this service. That’s not counting the meetings that were deleted by the organizers. Over 75,356 abstracts were submitted to these conferences!

We had 136 conferences with deadlines last year and 7,686 abstracts were submitted last year as well.

Something that I thought might be interesting to look at is the number of abstract submissions per conference. I’ve created the graph below to display this. The top graph indicates the number of abstract submissions we received during a year while the bottom graph indicates the number of meetings held during this same year. The middle graph displays the ratio of abstracts to meetings for a given year.

While last year saw less meetings than typical, this looks like it’s normal fluctuations from year to year. However, the number of abstract submissions appears to be dropping. At first glance, it looks like now is the time to submit an abstract! However, these stats are distorted somewhat by the distribution of abstracts among conferences.

Here’s a histogram showing the distribution of how many abstracts each conference received. As you can see, this looks somewhat Zipfian with very high outliers.

This is probably a case where it would be better to look at median instead of mean since the Zipfian distribution has very high outliers. These high outliers could severely affect the abstract submission count (e.g. if just one 1000 submission outlier was missing from a year, the ratio of abstracts to conferences would lower a lot). However, significance tests are a little too serious for Fun Facts don’t you think?

EasyAbs is important to a lot of people as the 1,259 conferences that used this service indicate. If you appreciate EasyAbs or any of the other services the LINGUIST List provides, please consider a contribution to our annual fund drive campaign. It’s going on now!

You can donate by visiting funddrive.linguistlist.org . Thank you!

Fund Drive Challenges Update

Welcome to another week of the LINGUIST List Fund Drive Challenge!

In the Subfield Challenge:
Computation linguistics remains in the lead with $1390!
In second place, Syntax follows closely with $1050.
Semantics comes in third with $865.
The Subfield Challenge is neck-and-neck all down the ranking, by the way–Historical Linguistics can displace Applied Linguistics with only $52, and Phonetics is only $15 behind Psycholinguistics! Check out the complete list below.
View Full Ranking

In the University Challenge:
Stanford University leads–for the time being–with $1350 from a total of 16 donors!
Washington University proudly encroaches with $1085 from 9 donors.
Arizona State University with $500 from only 1 donor!
This challenge is also close, with fourth and fifth place hotly contested–Temple University remains in fourth with $300, and fifth goes to University of California, Santa Barbara–but University of Oslo and The Ohio State University are tied and only $25 behind UC Santa Barbara! Take a look at the full ranking to see where your university stands.
View Full Ranking

Region Challenge:
North American maintains a strong lead with 69 donors–but don’t get too comfortable with that lead!
Europe comes in second with 35 donors.
Asia is in third with 7 donors.
We’re so grateful for our donors from all over the world!
View Full Ranking

Country Challenge:
The US remains in the lead–for now!–with 66 American donors.
Germany is in second with 11 donors.
Austria comes up third with 5 donors.
View Full Ranking

As always, we are grateful to our supporters and followers for everything they have done to support us. Thanks for being there with us for the last 28 years!
–The LL Team

Fun Fact: Calls & Conferences Edition

Hey everyone!

This is Kenneth with some fun facts about the LINGUIST List for you. As I wrote in my personal letter earlier this week, I edit the Calls & Conferences area of the listserv (in addition to a few others). This area of the listserv features conference submissions from around the world. You can see for yourself using the interactive map at geoling.linguistlist.org .

Last year, we had over 2,000 unique conferences announced over the listserv. Each of these conferences gets edited by one of our editors. We try to make the conference announcements as clear as possible and correspond with the submitters if some things are not clear.

This is a super important area. Not only because this is what I do but because it provides such a huge collection of Linguistics conferences that you can search through, save, or forward to your peers.

As editor, I have a unique perspective. I’m stunned by how varied the field of Linguistics is.

That 2,000 conference figure mentioned above is actually the number of unique conference announcements. Each conference is allowed to post 3 calls for papers and a program announcement. Some conferences choose to simply announce a description of what the conference is geared towards. I’ve made a chart showing how the Calls & Conferences section has grown over the years.

9 years ago, the number of announcements was only two thirds of what it is now. Apparently 2015 was a bad year for the conference program. What do you make of this?

The LINGUIST List relies on donations from people like you to keep areas like Calls & Conferences going. Because of people like you, we can deliver this edited, moderated information.

If you appreciate the LINGUIST List as a source of events in the field or if you appreicate us in general, please donate at funddrive.linguistlist.org.

Thank you