03 April 2016

LinguistList Fund Drive!

Barbara Partee writes:

The Linguist List fund drive for 2016 has begun.


Linguist List has great value for everyone, but it's easy to take it for granted, like Wikipedia (which also needs support.) The second "Linguist of the Day" this year is Gary Holton (http://funddrive.linguistlist.org/linguists/) of the University of Alaska, one of whose main specializations is language documentation. He tells on his post there how crucial Linguist List has been in getting the linguistic community together to develop best practices for fieldwork, documentation, archiving, etc, often in cooperation with NSF and other entities. There's one good reason right there.     

Linguist List also revolutionized the whole business of job postings and job searches. We used to have to submit a job description to a print journal and/or the LSA Bulletin and/or some MLA publication, I forget what, with a tight deadlines followed by a long wait before the announcement appeared, and it was all very cumbersome and awkward.     

And of course the calls for papers for conferences etc -- now they reach linguists everywhere, getting rid of the unintentional but inevitable discrimination that resulted from the fact that conference organizers were dependent on the mailing lists they had, and those often didn't reach many independent scholars or scholars at small schools or scholars abroad. Now if you have access to internet you have access to all that information, thanks to the fact that Linguist List is the recognized clearing house that everyone will send their conference information to.   

And on an on -- Linguist List is probably of value to you in more ways than you've ever realized, especially if you're of a young enough generation that it has always been there, as far as you've been aware.     

They've been through a labor-intensive transition period the last couple of years, changing leadership as Helen Aristar-Dry and Anthony Aristar retired and Damir and Malgorzata Cavar took the helm, and the whole operation moved from Eastern Michigan University to the University of Indiana. They had to skip the fund drive the first year of the transition because they had no time or staff to mount one. They did have one last year and were moderately successful. But they really really need our help this year. All the funds that are raised go to supporting graduate students who help keep Linguist List running. The goal this year is $79,000, and they really need to reach it.     

As usual, there are various challenges. Right now, with things just starting up, UMass Amherst happens to be tied for third in the university challenge -- but that could change fast, since we're third at a total of $300 with just 2 donors. (http://funddrive.linguistlist.org/university/) But if lots of us would jump in quick with whatever gift we can afford, I hope we can at least stay in a good respectable top 10% or so.