Region 1: Eastern North America

Welcome to Eastern North America!

Welcome to TraveLING, our Around the World Fund Drive! Our students have put in a lot of hours this past year, so we'd like to ask our readers for help in sending them on a tour of our planet.

Along their journey, they'll meet local linguists, take in the sights, and host a wide array of contests and games for you to participate in (and win fantastic prizes!).

To help them get started and fuel the first leg of their journey, donate now!

Before we head out, we'd like to take you on a tour of the LINGUIST List offices.

Generally speaking, our office operates like a normal office.

However, the LINGUIST List is run by linguists, for linguists. The LINGUIST List itself is housed within Eastern Michigan University's Cooper Building, a lovely little gem located off-off-off-campus, right next to the football stadium.

The LINGUIST List currently employs 7 full-time staff, 4 part-time staff, and 9 graduate assistants. Additionally, 4 brave souls are currently volunteering at the LINGUIST List, making a grand total of 24 people that venture in to post your submissions and work on linguistic projects.

Each crew member strives to best meet your needs as both a subscriber and website user. If you didn't want a LINGUIST List, we wouldn't be here. It's only because of you that we're able to take you on this fun-filled journey around the world.

Thank you!

To jump ahead to our next destination, donate today!

While our plane refuels, we're going to explore some of what Eastern North America has to offer. You'll meet linguists who are either from this region or who work in this region, and you'll travel with us on day trips to local sights.

Day Trip 1: Local Fare

Speaking of fuel, how does the LINGUIST List crew stay nourished? Ypsilanti, hometown of the List, features many coffee shops and cafes, a favorite being Ugly Mug Cafe and Roastery.

The crew also likes to grab a bite to eat at Dalat, a Vietnamese restaurant located in downtown Ypsilanti.

When the day's work is done, some LINGUIST Listers head to Corner Brewery. Corner is the staff's favorite after-hours hangout place. From awesome craft-brewed beverages to a plethora of tasty treats, from the beautiful beer garden to a wide array of board games, Corner has something for everyone.

Day Trip 2: Language Study

Eastern North America is home to many linguistic institutes, universities, and research organizations, including (but not limited to):

Linguistic Data Consortium

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Linguistic Data Consortium: The LDC is an open consortium of universities, companies, and government research labs. It creates, collects, and distributes speech and text databases, lexicons, and other resources for research and development purposes.

LSA's 87th Annual Meeting

Boston, Massachusetts

Linguistic Society of America: The LSA helps support and disseminate linguistic scholarship both to professional linguists and to the general public.

LSA Linguistic Institute 2013

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, Michigan

LSA Linguistic Institute: The Institute strives to create an environment that facilitates the exchange of ideas and advancement of linguistics and that promotes collaboration across disciplinary and institutional boundaries.

Which Crew Members are Local

Many of the LINGUIST List crew are local imports. They've traveled not-as-far-as-some to work for the world's premier online resource for linguists. They include:

Justin's Hometown

Northfield, Ohio

Though my family moved to Northfield when I was in the third grade, my father had actually grown up there himself. Certain things had changed since then; what had been his high school building was my middle school. My mother was an active community member who served on the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Zoning Commission up until 2003, when we moved to Michigan. I have fond memories of our home: picking blackberries from the bushes in our yard to make fresh pies, swimming in our pool during the summer, and of course running amok in the neighborhood and the nearby woods with all the other kids.

Sarah's Hometown

Maumee, Ohio

Maumee is located in NW Ohio within Lucas County. It originally was settled by the Ottawa, but in 1794, during the Battle of Fallen Timbers, the Americans won a major victory over them and the British. Since the location of Maumee is located near a major water port, the Maumee River, it was a major fighting ground for many people.

Today, these ports and locks are still visible (though not in use) throughout the Maumee area. There are some visable to tourists at the Maumee Metro Park.

Sara's Hometown

Madison Heights, Michigan

Madison Heights is part of Oakland County's Automation Alley. There are more than 1,300 commercial and industrial businesses and services within the city's 7.2 square miles (18.6 km2),

and the city is proud to have a majority of small businesses, as well as more than 100 major companies within its borders.

Alex's Hometown

South Lyon, Michigan

South Lyon is a city in southwestern Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan, in Metro Detroit. The population was 11,327 at the 2010 census.[6] The city is part of the South Lyon-Howell-Brighton Urban Area, which had a population of 106,139 according to the 2000 census. South Lyon is located in Oakland County's Lyon Township, near the Livingston County and Washtenaw County lines. The city is 19 miles (31 km) north of Ann Arbor, 45 miles (72 km) west of Detroit and 58 miles (93 km) east of Lansing.

Featured Linguists

Martin Ball, Featured Linguist

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

I was born in the heart of Welsh-speaking Wales (Tywyn in Meirionydd), but my family moved to southern England not long afterwards. This move was a cause of some dismay to me when I first became aware of other languages (I started French in primary school – so quite early on!). I was really miffed that we hadn’t stayed long enough for me to acquire this interesting language. So, from the age of 11 or so, I set to with a Teach Yourself Welsh book, BBC Radio Wales courses (which you could hear even in Exeter, Devon), and much later on an intensive Wlpan course in Cardiff. So, starting on a journey of learning ‘iaith yr angylion’ led me to an interest in other languages. Like others who have written for this feature, I became a devourer of language manuals from the local library, and eventually discovered books on linguistics.

My undergraduate degree was in Linguistics and English literature at what was then the University College of North Wales, Bangor, and is now Bangor University. I studied under great teachers such as Alan Thomas, Ken Albrow, Robert Owen Jones and Tony Bladon. These scholars fostered a particular interest in phonetics and sociolinguistics in me. I determined to follow up my undergraduate degree with further studies in these areas, and took up a place on the Master’s program in Linguistics and Phonetics at the University of Essex, under the excellent leadership of Mark Tatham and Kate Morton. I was lucky enough also to meet Chris Code at this time, then a fellow student on the Master’s program. He is now a leading aphasiologist; back then, he helped introduce me to the field of communication disorders, and he has remained a lifelong friend and academic collaborator.

Almost immediately I finished at Essex I was offered an assistant lectureship in linguistics at a university in Libya. An interesting year spent deep in the Sahara was followed by the offer of a lectureship at the Cardiff School of Speech Therapy – a chance to get back to Wales couldn’t be missed! Here I was able to combine my academic interests in Welsh and in communication disorders. Indeed, as the program was about to undergo accreditation I had to immerse myself into the then relatively new field of clinical linguistics. Luckily, I got help from the writings of David Crystal (later, I was lucky enough to meet and collaborate with David), and from meetings with Pam Grunwell – a pioneer in the field of clinical phonetics and phonology. So, by the early eighties I felt I had a grip on teaching clinical linguistics and phonetics and therefore enrolled part-time in a doctoral program at University College Cardiff (now Cardiff University). I was fortunate to have Prof Glyn Jones as my Advisor – one of the most influential linguists working on Welsh of recent times. He was not only a great mentor and friend, but patiently helped correct my Welsh on those occasions that I ventured to present papers at conferences or prepare articles for publication in the language. My dissertation was a sociolinguistic study of the initial consonant mutation system of modern spoken Welsh. In the mid-eighties I attended a conference on minority languages held at the National University of Ireland in Galway. There I met my future wife, Nicole Müller, who was a scholar of medieval Irish and Welsh - but later also became a clinical linguist. We have clearly started a trend of moving from Celtic to Clinical!

In the late eighties I spent a few years teaching at what is now the University of Glamorgan, and in 1992 I moved to the University of Ulster. There I was promoted in quick succession to Reader then full Professor. I had the opportunity to become course director of a brand new program in Linguistics that ran alongside the Speech Pathology program. By the late nineties I was based in Ireland (though my interests were in Welsh), and my wife held a post at Cardiff University Wales (though her interests were in Irish)! So, to solve this dilemma we both moved to Lafayette, Louisiana! Instrumental in this move was our friend Jack Damico, and we have been able to collaborate with him on various projects, including articles, books, a book series and a journal.

Here at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette we have undergraduate, Master’s, and doctoral programs in Communication Disorders. The ability to work with doctoral students interested in clinical linguistics has been especially rewarding. I’m also co-editing two journals, and two book series with colleagues here and elsewhere in Louisiana, and these keep me busy! However, linguistics isn’t all I have time for – as the photo shows, I also like preserved railways. I’m on the footplate of a steam locomotive on the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway in north Devon, England, in the picture. (Yes, academics are just like the characters in the ‘Big Bang Theory’…)

It’s a long way from ‘Teach Yourself Welsh’ to professor of clinical linguistics, and I have to admit to fair amount of being in the right place at the right time. But, mostly it was having the good fortune to have good teachers and good mentors, and parents able to help me through college and graduate school!