LINGUIST List 6.1550

Fri Nov 3 1995

Disc: Women in Linguistics

Editor for this issue: Ljuba Veselinova <lveselinemunix.emich.edu>


Directory

  1. Waruno Mahdi, Re: 6.1541, Disc: Women and Linguistics, Literacy
  2. ALICE FABER, Re: 6.1545, Misc: Lg & dialect, Women in ling, Self-cen, Binary
  3. "M. Lynne Murphy", women in linguistics

Message 1: Re: 6.1541, Disc: Women and Linguistics, Literacy

Date: Fri, 03 Nov 1995 12:05:34 Re: 6.1541, Disc: Women and Linguistics, Literacy
From: Waruno Mahdi <warunoparadox.rz-berlin.mpg.de>
Subject: Re: 6.1541, Disc: Women and Linguistics, Literacy

To be frank, I was rather surprised that somebody would even question
it at all. Ever since a school boy, I had never doubted that women (or
girls) were much better than men (boys) in everything having to do
with language, and that impression has never been challenged by any
adverse experience (I'm over 50 now). Surely there must be heaps of
substantiating statistical material (school notes per subject
vs. gender, student gender ratio vs. subject, intelligence tests for
various intelligence types vs. gender, etc) lying around?

Waruno Mahdi
Faradayweg 4-6
14195 Berlin
Germany

tel. +49 30 8413 5407
fax. +49 30 8413 3155
email: warunoparadox.rz-berlin.mpg.de
http://calamity.rz-berlin.mpg.de/~waruno/
_________________________________________
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Message 2: Re: 6.1545, Misc: Lg & dialect, Women in ling, Self-cen, Binary

Date: Fri, 03 Nov 1995 11:06:43 Re: 6.1545, Misc: Lg & dialect, Women in ling, Self-cen, Binary
From: ALICE FABER <faberlenny.haskins.yale.edu>
Subject: Re: 6.1545, Misc: Lg & dialect, Women in ling, Self-cen, Binary

Marc Picard asks in Linguist 6.1544 why women are under-represented in
Indo-European and Nostratic. Certainly, I can't explain this. However,
my impression is that the under-representation is in areas involving
comparative reconstruction. At the 1987 workshop on comparative
reconstruction that Phil Baldi organized at the Stanford institute,
there were, as I recall, 4 women out of 50 participants; and three of
those were in the Amerindian group. As the fourth, I have to say that
I have never felt anything but encouragement from men in the
field. However, throughout my graduate training, I got a very strong
message that what I was doing somehow wasn't really linguistics. And,
given the current job market for historical linguists...As to why
women might be more discouraged by the job market than men are (if
that's even the explanation for the disparity), I couldn't say. All I
know is that when I was in grad school, there were three other women
in the program who were doing historical/comparative work, two in
Indo-European and two in Semitic. One did not complete the program;
the other three of us did, and, even though my primary employment
involves a specialization other than historical linguistics, I'm the
only one of us who continues to publish in the area, however
sporadically.

Alice Faber
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Message 3: women in linguistics

Date: Fri, 03 Nov 1995 20:44:43 women in linguistics
From: "M. Lynne Murphy" <104LYNmuse.arts.wits.ac.za>
Subject: women in linguistics

although several anecdotal reports on the proportion of women in
linguistics have been posted, i'm surprised that no one has yet
brought up the cornell lectures on women in linguistics. while there
are more women students than men, it seems that (at least
in the 80s) there are fewer women in entry level positions in
linguistics departments. for instance, davison, chicocki, and silva
(1990) reported that in 1986-7 56.7% of PhDs in linguistics were
awarded to women, but in 1989 there were twice as many men as women in
assistant professor positions at the "top 17" linguistics programs in
the u.s. on the other hand, there were more women in part-time and
non-tenure-track positions than men. in comparing the top 17 to other
linguistics departments, the more prestigious schools had greater
proportions of women in part-time positions (70% vs. 50%), but lower
proportions of women at assistant and associate prof levels (around
33% vs. 43%).

the committee on the status of women in linguistics is trying to
track these numbers and find out what causes the discrepancies
between the proportion of women with PhDs in linguistics and the
proportion of those with jobs in linguistics. they recently sent out
two surveys on the matter: one aimed at individuals in order to
track career paths, and one aimed at departments.

there are lots of things that could account for the lower proportion
of women in these positions (vs. the number getting degrees), such as
whether women are more likely to go into subfields that are more or
less prestigious or "central" to linguistics, or whether more women
than men are limited in their job searches by family commitments. is
the proportion of women in entry-level, tenure-track positions roughly
the same as the proportion of job seekers who are women?

i don't know whether they're still collecting data for that survey,
but kira hall was organizing it. i assume there will be some kind of
report at the COSWL meeting at the LSA in san diego this year.

reference:
davison, alice, walter chicocki, and david silva. 1990. the
representation of women in linguistics 1989. in alice davison and
penny eckert (eds.), the cornell lectures: women in the linguistics
profession. washington, dc: committee on the status of women,
linguistic society of america.

[highly recommended collection--sent to many linguistics depts, so
yours might have a copy, but perhaps still available from the lsa.]

lynne murphy


M. Lynne Murphy 104lynmuse.arts.wits.ac.za
Department of Linguistics phone: 27(11)716-2340
University of the Witwatersrand fax: 27(11)716-4199
Johannesburg 2050
SOUTH AFRICA


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