Mouton "discounts" for ALT members

Bill Croft wcroft at UNM.EDU
Fri Nov 11 15:27:16 UTC 2011

I see that my initial message has prompted a number of responses on 
various topics that were connected to that message, but not directly 
addressing the issue that I originally raised. That issue was that 
Mouton is no longer offering a discount to INDIVIDUALS that put their 
grammars in reach, at least for employed academics at universities in 
developed countries. My point remains that Mouton's new policy is 
putting their books out of reach of individuals, and that Mouton will 
actually lose more money (by not selling those volumes at all) than 
it would lose if it kept the 50% discount (in which case they would 
at least earn money from individual ALT/SSILA members who bought the 
books - the numbers of which are so small it's not like they would 
have to do a money-losing print run to sell copies to individuals).

I also raised the issue that the high list price of Mouton grammars 
means that many universities cannot afford to buy them either. For a 
small, poor regional university like the University of New Mexico, it 
is difficult to justify spending a large part of the linguistics 
library budget on a grammar of a Papuan or an African language. So I 
am willing to buy such a grammar for myself - if I can afford to. But 
I no longer can, from Mouton at any rate.

This is not to deny that the issues subsequently raised - how 
for-profit publishers function as the gatekeepers for the 
dissemination of scholarly knowledge, accessibility of scholarly 
research in poorer countries and to the native speaker communities, 
print vs electronic resources, and so on - are important ones. 
Mouton's former policy for ALT/SSILA members made a small 
contribution in addressing some of these problems, and was quite 
laudable. Their new policy is a step backwards that is deplorable in 
my opinion.

Best wishes,

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