Mouton "discounts" for ALT members

Giorgio Francesco Arcodia -- ============================================================ Ljuba Veselinova, Associate Professor Dept of Linguistics, Stockholm University, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden Phone: +46-8-16-2332 Fax: +46-8-15 5389 URL : "We learn by going where we want to go." Julia Cameron ============================================================ giorgio.arcodia at UNIMIB.IT
Fri Nov 11 08:16:44 UTC 2011

Dear colleagues,

A follow-up on Harald's message: Monographs from the book 
series 'Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics' are published 
in the P.R.C. with a 'sinicized' cover design, an 
introduction in Chinese at a price which is reasonable for 
that marked (in the region of 5-10 EUR per volume). They 
are jointly published by CUP and The Commercial Press, a 
major Chinese publisher); you can visit this link 
( for an example.


Giorgio F. Arcodia

Dr. Giorgio Francesco Arcodia
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca
Dipartimento di Scienze Umane per la Formazione
Edificio U6 - stanza 4101
Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
20126 Milano

Tel.: (+39) 02 6448 4946
Fax: (+39) 02 6448 4863
E-mail: giorgio.arcodia at

On Fri, 11 Nov 2011 03:12:40 +0100
 Harald Hammarström <harald at BOMBO.SE> wrote:
> Dear Mark,
> I don't know if it can be called a solution but one 
>possibility for
> authors is to submit to open-access monograph series 
>that welcome
> descriptive materials, e.g., Cadernos de Etnolinguistica 
> (South-)Americanists or Himalayan Linguistics Archive 
> Himalayanists, or even the MPI EVA Language Description 
> repository ( then it'll be 
>accessible to any
> scholar with a computer and some indirect or direct 
>access to the
> internet. I suppose few authors are ready to do this 
>because of the
> prestige associated with the magna publishers. But the 
>prestige comes
> from senior scholars acting as series editors, reviewers 
>and the like,
> who might as well do this for an open-access publisher. 
>I have never
> understood why senior scholars continue to do this 
>instead of doing
> the same for an open-access publisher. Perhaps someone 
>who knows
> better could comment?
> If you are thinking of a printed and bound version to be 
>affordable to
> a member of the speaker community who is not necessarily 
>a scholar or
> has access to a computer, it seems possible to have a 
>local publisher
> publish the grammar/dictionary giving a much more 
>reasonable price. I
> believe Robbins Burling did exactly this, with a 
>publisher somewhere in
> NE India (so it should be comparable to your case) but I 
>don't know what
> the exact price was and whether it was affordable and 
>actually bought
> by many interested locals.
> It is sometimes argued that high book (& journal) prices 
>is necessary
> and justified for added value and development of 
>infrastructure with
> frontline publishing companies. But the overview of 
>profit margins with
> academic publishers by McGuigan and Russell [1] claims 
>that this is not
> at all enough to explain the profit margins (and thus, 
>in turn, the book/
> journal prices). For this they cite a report from an 
>analysis conducted
> under Deutsche Bank which I have not read, but in any 
>case, does anyone
> know the specifics for de Gruyter, Mouton, and/or the 
>MGL book series, i.e.,
> what are their profit margins and what is the added 
>value they can be
> said to bring?
> all the best,
> H
> [1]
> Glenn S. McGuigan and Robert D. Russell, 2008. The 
>Business of Academic
> Publishing: A Strategic Analysis of the Academic Journal 
> Industry and its Impact on the Future of Scholarly 
>Publishing. Electronic
> Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship, volume 9, 
>number 3.
> 2011/11/11 Post, Mark < at>
>> Dear Typologists,
>> I thank Bill Croft for raising this point, but would 
>>further suggest that
>> there is a deeper issue involved, particularly as 
>>regards large-scale
>> descriptive work such as grammars and dictionaries. Most 
>>work currently
>> being done in language description relates to 
>>communities or localities in
>> which institutions and individual scholars alike have so 
>>little purchasing
>> power that obtaining an MGL volume is a straightforward 
>>impossibility -
>> with or without an ALT or similarly-scaled "discount". 
>>While exceptions can
>> be found, the overall effect of this situation is, one, 
>>to radically
>> restrict research opportunities in exactly the places 
>>where they are often
>> most in demand, and two, to foster inequality among our 
>>colleagues. I'm
>> sure I will be reminded that most scholars are aware of 
>>this problem, and
>> that there is no point in bringing it up unless I can 
>>put forth an
>> acceptable solution. I really wish I could. But I do 
>>want to propose that
>> the current status quo is ethically flawed to a very 
>>serious extent, and
>> that authors contribute to this problem when we submit 
>>our work to
>> publishers whose pricing schemes are so dramatically 
>>prohibitive as is
>> MGL's (whatever other merits they may have). I would 
>>also warmly welcome
>> suggestions for how matters might be improved from 
>>listmembers who might
>> have made more progress in their thinking about 
>>potential solutions than I
>> seem to have.
>> Regards all around,
>> Mark
>> Mark W. Post
>> The Cairns Institute
>> James Cook University
>> Smithfield, QLD 4878
>> Australia
>> Tel: +61-7-4042-1898
>> Eml: at
>> Web:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Discussion List for ALT 
>> On Behalf Of Bill Croft
>> Sent: Friday, 11 November 2011 1:28 AM
>> Subject: Mouton "discounts" for ALT members
>> Dear typologists,
>>     Some of you have taken advantage of the discounts 
>>that Mouton has
>> offered to ALT members for the Mouton Grammar Library 
>>and Empirical
>> Approaches to Language Typology series. The discount, 
>>available in a
>> list at the Lingtyp website, used to be around 50% of 
>>the (very high)
>> list price of the volumes in these series. After 2009, 
>>no new volumes
>> were added to the discount list. Now the new discount 
>>list has
>> reappeared but the discount has shrunk to 20%.
>>    The change in the discount has made the MGL and EALT 
>>volumes go
>> from (barely) affordable to completely unaffordable to 
>> scholars. This is particularly serious because Mouton 
>>volumes are so
>> expensive - pretty much the most expensive in the field 
>> linguistics - that it is difficult if not impossible for 
>> libraries to purchase them. I inquired about the change, 
>>and was told
>> that De Gruyter decided to standardize the discount for 
>>all societies
>> at 20%, and since Mouton is owned by De Gruyter, Mouton 
>>has to
>> conform to De Gruyter policies.
>>     At this point, according to the current ALT discount 
>> volumes published before 2009 are still available at 
>>their original
>> discount price. I do not know how long that will last.
>>    I do not know if it is worth trying, but I would urge 
>>members to
>> object to this change in policy to Mouton and De 
>> Sincerely,
>> Bill Croft

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