LINGUIST List Special Issue: How LINGUIST Helps You; How You Help Our Students

Tue Apr 1 02:03:42 UTC 2008

LINGUIST List Special Issue: How LINGUIST Helps You; How You Help Our Students

Moderators: Anthony Aristar, Eastern Michigan U <aristar at>
            Helen Aristar-Dry, Eastern Michigan U <hdry at>
Reviews: Randall Eggert, U of Utah  
         <reviews at> 


The LINGUIST List is funded by Eastern Michigan University, 
and donations from subscribers and publishers.

------------------------- Message 1 ----------------------------------
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 09:11:11
From:  linguist <linguist at>
Subject: Search a Database of Information on Over 7000 Unique Languages

Dear LINGUIST Subscribers, 

I am very excited to tell you about the language resources area!  As
an editor, it's no surprise that I am familiar with our resources here
at LINGUIST; it's not often, however, that I get to promote a part of
our site that I use on a daily basis. I love languages, and the
language resource area is a veritable treasure trove of language
links. Not only does this area contain information on languages and
language families, but it also contains links to fascinating sites
about natural and constructed languages, as well as orthographies and
dictionaries. As an insatiable linguaphile, I can attest that if you
just start perusing the amount of language-related information, you
will probably never exhaust these links.

While most of you probably do not share my obsession with learning 
languages, what I can tell you is that if you are looking for a 
dictionary or a resources on your language you will probably find it 
here. In fact, even if you are not specifically interested in learning 
a language or looking up something from a specific language, there is 
another aspect of this portal-a language database. 

This language database (made possible through the generous cooperation 
of Ethnologue) allows subscribers to search a database of information 
on over 7000 unique languages, using over 47,000 language names and 
alternate names, and is not limited even to living languages-it also 
keeps track of extinct languages and languages in imminent danger of 
become extinct. In addition, all these language codes follow best 
practice guidelines, being coded in ISO 639-3 format. This makes them 
optimal for use in data projects and ensures that any data you get 
from us will carry greater portability and viability into the future. 

In closing, I would simply like to say LINGUIST's language resource 
area really is emblematic of our site structure in general. By making 
information available to the general public as well as those who are 
using our data for a specific purpose, we are ensuring that we reach 
a maximum number of subscribers. In the end, we here at LINGUIST are 
about serving you, and the language resources area not only provides 
language-related information (e.g. Dictionaries) but also adheres to 
best practice standards, and in doing so reaffirms our commitment here 
at LINGUIST to creating digital resources not merely for the present 
but for the people and projects of the future.

So, donate to LINGUIST to help us continue providing these resources:

- Matt Lahrman, Student Editor

------------------------- Message 2 ----------------------------------
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 09:19:20
From:  linguist <linguist at>
Subject: Most of My Professors in Math at Princeton Were Mystified ...

Dear Linguists,

Arnold Zwicky is one of the LINGUIST List Advisors. This year, he was
nominated to be a Ring Master of the Day. Here is a bit of his story
on how he got into Linguistics:

"In the background were my interests, as a child in languages, in
writing, in science, and in mathematics. In high school I took Latin
and German, did science fair projects in biology and physics, weighed
possible careers in music (I was a classical pianist, and good enough
to win some local competitions, but not, I eventually realized, of
conservatory quality) and chemistry and mathematics, and edited my
high school's newspaper (and later, by a remarkable accident, got to
work for four summers on the Reading Eagle, in Reading, Pennsylvania.

In the middle of this came an experiment in the teaching of English
grammar: instead of a traditional textbook, my English teacher one
year opted for Paul Roberts's Patterns of English, based on Charles
Carpenter Fries's structuralist (and corpus-based) description of
English grammar. Just wonderful: you could look at a language
analytically and systematically; you could discover the principles by
which it was organized."

Read more on Arnold Zwicky and other Ring Masters of the Day at:

Help LINGUIST support more Linguistic Grad students by donating at:



------------------------- Message 3 ----------------------------------
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 09:23:57
From:  linguist <linguist at>
Subject: LINGUIST has given me a very valuable opportunity.

Dear Linguists,

I come from a far away land, Indonesia, where more than seven hundred
languages are spoken (not including dialects), some of which are on
the verge of extinction. Before coming to the LINGUIST List, I spent
almost five years working as a Research Assistant at the Max Planck
Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology-Jakarta Field Station. There,
I collected language acquisition data on Jakarta-Indonesian, and
documented the language of Traditional Betawi Malay. My interest in
the abundant languages of Indonesia, combined with my work experience
at the Max Planck Institute, has intrigued me to learn more about
linguistics. For this reason I decided to pursue my Master's degree,
and the LINGUIST List has given me a very valuable opportunity to work
as a student editor while studying linguistics at Eastern Michigan

I am very grateful and proud of being the first Indonesian student who
has worked at the LINGUIST List. I have gained valuable knowledge of
language technology that I was unfamiliar with before I came to the
LINGUIST List. I believe this knowledge is very useful for my future
use as a linguist to study the under-documented languages in my home

>From my experience, finding support for academic purposes is hard. So
I would like to remind you that your contribution to the LINGUIST List
not only keeps this enterprise running but also creates a great
opportunity for a graduate student such as myself.

Please donate:

Best Regards,

Ferdinan Okki Kurniawan
Student Editor

------------------------- Message 4 ----------------------------------
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 10:09:26
From:  linguist <linguist at>
Subject: Update on the MultiTree Project

Dear Linguists,

I'm writing to give you an update on the MultiTree project.  The goal
of the project is to create a digital library of scholarly hypotheses
about language relationships and subgroupings. This information is
organized in a searchable database with a web interface, and each
hypothesis is presented graphically as an interactive diagram of a
family tree using a hyperbolic viewer which allows even very large
trees to fit on the screen.  Each tree is accompanied by information
on all of the languages it contains, as well as the bibliographical
information for the hypothesis.  MultiTree will interact with the
LL-Map project, a geolinguistic database which will provide users with
a fully functional Geographical Information System through which
linguistic data - including subgrouping information - can be viewed in
its geographical context.

Both these databases will be integrated with the existing LINGUIST
List databases, providing access to a wealth of information on related
books, articles, dissertations, and conferences.

This past year has seen a lot of progress on the project - we now have
a beta interface up at and we have
entered many more hypotheses into our database.  There is of course
more work to do - many more hypotheses to be entered particularly.  On
the interface side, we would also like to add a Comments and Tree
Editing facility to the interface, and we are working on a way to view
two trees simultaneously and compare them.

Many of the students here at LINGUIST are doing research for MultiTree
(learning about language relationships in the process), and although
it is an NSF-sponsored grant project, the amount of work it takes to
develop this valuable resource far exceeds the funds provided by the
grant.  Please take a look at the new interface (keeping in mind that
it is still a work in progress!) and let us know what you think of it
by writing to multitree at  If you agree that it is a
useful tool for linguists, as well as for non-linguists who want to
learn about language relationships, please consider donating to
LINGUIST to help fund continuing work on this project, as well as all
the other things we're working on to support the discipline!

Visit the project website to learn more:

To help us continue developing resources to help the linguistics
community, donate now:

Yours sincerely,
Susan Smith
Team leader, MultiTree project 


This Year the LINGUIST List hopes to raise $60,000. This money will go
to help keep the List running by supporting all of our Student Editors
for the coming year.

See below for donation instructions, and don't forget to check out our
Fund Drive 2008 LINGUIST List Circus and join us on our many shows!

There are many ways to donate to LINGUIST!

You can donate right now using our secure credit card form at

Alternatively you can also pledge right now and pay later. To do so,
go to:

For all information on donating and pledging, including information on
how to donate by check, money order, or wire transfer, please visit:

The LINGUIST List is under the umbrella of Eastern Michigan University
and as such can receive donations through the EMU Foundation, which is
a registered 501(c) Non Profit organization. Our Federal Tax number is
38-6005986. These donations can be offset against your federal and
sometimes your state tax return (U.S. tax payers only). For more
information visit the IRS Web-Site, or contact your financial advisor.

Many companies also offer a gift matching program, such that they will
match any gift you make to a non-profit organization. Normally this
entails your contacting your human resources department and sending us
a form that the EMU Foundation fills in and returns to your
employer. This is generally a simple administrative procedure that
doubles the value of your gift to LINGUIST, without costing you an
extra penny.  Please take a moment to check if your company operates
such a program.

Note: the donors' names are appended to every fund drive message sent
to the main list.  You can also see the list of all donors by clicking

Thank you very much for your support of LINGUIST!


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