LINGUIST List 9.1079

Sat Jul 25 1998

FYI: LDC-HPP, SECOL, NSF Report, Journal

Editor for this issue: Martin Jacobsen <>


  1. James Salsman, Human Phoneme Project
  2. Cynthia Bernstein, Relocation of SECOL
  3. pchapin, Comments on Draft report re Human Subjects
  4.>, Journal of Qur'anic Studies

Message 1: Human Phoneme Project

Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998 06:19:48 -0700 (PDT)
From: James Salsman <>
Subject: Human Phoneme Project


 "Free speech in the distance education classroom"

 a non-profit scientific charitable endeavor

 * * *

You are invited to contribute to the establishment of the
international Human Phoneme Project, which endeavors to make
scientific data comprising the recorded, transcribed, aligned, speech
of children and adults useful to educational projects accessible to
all researchers and developers involved with any project which may
make use of such data.

Your donation can be used in one or more of the following ways:

 1) to purchase the rights to the rigorously collected speech data
from the Linguistic Data Consortium, the LDC source organizations, and
the owners of any incidental copyrights on the text of the spoken

 Ref.: -- Linguistic Data Consortium

 2) to produce such high-quality labeled and aligned speech
information from useful and efficient available sources (e.g.,
transcriptions of audio files posted on public web sites), secure the
rights to the resulting data, and place it all in the public domain
under the terms of the GNU General Public License;

 3) to lobby for the recognition of the Internet as the world's
"distance learning classroom" and thus a bona fide classroom subject
to the educational fair use exemptions of the international Berne
Copyright Treaty;

 4) to benchmark the educational effectiveness of
commercially-produced and available speech recognition engines and
application programming interfaces (APIs) and publish the results of
such benchmarks in a manner that will best encourage the commercial
speech software systems developers to address the concerns of the
educational market.

Why is this necessary?

The Linguistic Data Consortium, formed by DARPA in the early 1990s at
the University of Pennsylvania, has become increasingly restrictive on
the availability of their source data to non-member organizations,
membership costs and qualifications have increased, and the data is
being published in smaller proportion to that produced by the
Consortium membership. Since speech recognition technology has
recently become commercially competitive, many LDC members and
commercial enterprises have been trying to restrict access to the LDC
data in order to prevent competition. As more and more prior art for
patented speech systems makes restricting source data a commercially
viable means of stifling competition, the need to place useful source
data into the public domain becomes

How to help:

The international Human Phoneme Project is being administered by Bovik
Research Inst., a West Virginia Nonprofit Organization as described in
section 501(c)3 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. In order to
contribute to the Project, please send your donation to the following
address with the form below.

Make checks or bank drafts in any currency payable to:

 Human Phoneme Project

and please send to:

 c/o James Salsman, Director
 Bovik Research Inst.
 121 Laurie Meadows Dr. # 457
 San Mateo, CA 94403-5206 

Please include the following form:

Donor Name: _______________________________________

Amount: ___________________________________________

Would you volunteer to help collect speech data? ___

Return address: ___________________________________


Country of citizenship: ___________________________

Email address: ____________________________________

Please use these funds for (check all that apply):

[ ] PURCHASE of LDC copyrights for public assignment 
 of the LDC speech corpora, transcriptions, derivative 
 works and adjunct copyrights under the terms of the GNU
 project's General Public License. (When this project is
 complete, excess funds which have not been earmarked for
 other projects will be returned in proportion to the 
 donated amounts.)

[ ] PRODUCE additional human speech data either by direct
 commission by contract for pay of the LDC or its member
 organizations, or by the collection of additional data 
 through direct or indirect means, whichever is most 
 cost effective and productive of data useful for 
 educational applications.

[ ] LOBBY for recognition of educational "fair use"
 exemptions to copyright for data used in an educational 
 context of any distance learning situation whether at 
 a traditional classroom or in a public venue.

[ ] BENCHMARK commercial speech recognition APIs to test
 their suitability for educational uses; publish such
 benchmark results to the customers of the producers.

Disclaimer: Lobbying funded by citizens of foreign countries
is performed under a Universal Covenant of Proxy affidavit
executed by a group of United States citizens which allows
for any political speech or donation by proxy under the
terms of articles 19, 20, and 21 of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, U.N. resolution 217 (A) III of
10 December 1948, to which all U.S. law is subordinate.

Sincere regards,
James Salsman, 
Bovik Research Inst.
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Message 2: Relocation of SECOL

Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998 12:43:58 -0500 (CDT)
From: Cynthia Bernstein <>
Subject: Relocation of SECOL


	The Committee to Relocate the Southeastern Conference on
Linguistics (SECOL) hereby invites proposals for the secretariat. At
the close of its five-year term, the University of Memphis will
relinquish SECOL in the spring of 1999. For an orderly transition of
SECOL, it is imperative that a new institutional home be in the works
by December 1998.
	The secretariat (which includes Editorship of the scholarly
journal _The SECOL Review_) is normally a five-year commitment and
entails overseeing the business of SECOL (meetings, records of
membership, working with the officers, etc.) and twice-yearly
publishing of the journal and the newsletter. Support is shared
between the organization (with income from dues) and the host
institution (normally through release time from teaching and the
provision of equipment, space, operating supplies, etc.). The post of
Executive Secretary/Editor may be shared, as has been done at Memphis
and at U. of South Carolina before, or held by one person.
	The future of SECOL, the preeminent general linguistics
organization in the Southeast, depends on its finding a new
home. Please consider writing a proposal to bring SECOL and its
increasingly prestigious journal to your school. If you are
interested, contact Tom Nunnally, chair of the relocation committee,
for the GUIDELINES for writing your proposal. The guidelines explain
in detail the duties of the Executive Secretary, the funding available
from the organization, and the kinds of support a host institution
will need to make available. You may request the guidelines from Tom
by e-mail at, by FAX at 334.844.9027 (route to
Prof. Tom Nunnally) or by mail (Prof. Tom Nunnally, 9030 Haley Center,
Auburn U, AL 36849),
	Thank you, and even if you are not interested, please pass
this announcement along to others who might want their institution to
host the SECOL secretariat.

		The Committee to Relocate SECOL

		Tom Nunnally, Ellen Johnson, Bruce Pearson
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Message 3: Comments on Draft report re Human Subjects

Date: Thu, 23 Jul 98 15:30:48 EST
From: pchapin <>
Subject: Comments on Draft report re Human Subjects

The National Bioethics Advisory Committee (appointed by and reporting
to the President) issued on July 1 a draft report on the topic
"Research Involving Subjects with Disorders That May Affect
Decisionmaking Capacity". The report reflects a concern on the part
of some that current procedures for the protection of human subjects
may not be adequate for protecting subjects with certain mental and
neurological disorders that impair their ability to make decisions,
and makes recommendations for revising those procedures in certain
ways, particularly with regard to the constitution and operations of
IRBs, Institutional Review Boards that certify human subjects
protections in research protocols for individual research

Researchers experienced in working with members of such populations
should read and comment on the draft report, as the final version of
the report is likely to form the basis for amendments to the Common
Rule that regulates protection of human subjects in research.

The full draft report, with a reply screen to facilitate making and
sending comments, appears on the NBAC Website, at
The comment period was supposed to be 30 days, which would end July
31. It is possible that they may extend it if the level of response
warrants it, but there's no assurance of that.

Paul Chapin, NSF
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Message 4: Journal of Qur'anic Studies

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 14:32:43 GMT
From:> <>
Subject: Journal of Qur'anic Studies

The Centre of Islamic Studies, SOAS, is pleased to inform the
scholarly community of the launch of a new journal devoted to the
study of the Qur'an. The first issue of the Journal of Qur'anic
Studies is scheduled to appear in early 1999 (print only, initially),
and we will be pleased to answer any subscription-related questions
you may have (address below), and consider requests for sample copies.

The main purpose of this mailing, however, is to reach potential
contributors and to inform interested scholars and researchers of the
new journal's aims and proposed structure. *At every stage, and on
every aspect of the project, we welcome your comment and
criticism*-feel free to get in touch and become involved in the
Journal of Qur'anic Studies.


The rationale

In spite of the fundamental importance of the Qur'an for Islam and
Islamic Studies there is no journal dedicated to Qur'anic studies in
the West or the Muslim world. This is an obvious gap in scholarly
periodical publications, which the SOAS Centre of Islamic Studies has
undertaken to fill by launching a journal dedicated to the subject.

An evolving discipline

The absence of a dedicated journal was, of course, not the sole reason
behind the launch of the Journal of Qur'anic Studies. It was felt that
there was a need to encourage the growth of Qur'anic studies as a
field of study and a focus of research in its own right. More
significantly, it was agreed that while existing journals might
perhaps be able to accomodate an increase in the number of studies of
the Qur'an undertaken within the traditional Arabist / Islamicist
disciplines these journals serve so well, it was unlikely that these
publications could support and reflect a growth 'outwards' of the

A wider outlook

By this is meant the development of the field such that it could no
longer be subsumed within the field of Arabic or Islamic studies. This
entails a recognition of the valuable contributions that are being
made, and could increasingly be made, by those of other disciplinary
backgrounds to the study of the Qur'an, and a commitment to a
deepening of our understanding of the Qur'an as text and as history,
as cultural phenomenon and as sacred writing, as political sourcebook
and as literary achievement.

A commitment to scholarship

It should be noted here that the editors emphatically do not mean by
this that they consider either the western or Islamic traditions of
Qur'an scholarship to be moribund or exhausted. That the opposite is
the case does not need stating. Indeed, the constant vigour of these
traditions is such that the editors expect that the bulk of
submissions will be from scholars working in, or in some way
associated with, these scholarly traditions. Nor do the editors intend
for the Journal to become 'all things for all people', substituting a
nebulous 'interdisciplinary' character for scholarly vigour and the
disinterested pursuit of knowledge, well-rooted within the traditions
of textual and religious scholarship. Rather, the editors' approach
should be seen as an expression of their opinion that an opening-up of
the study of the Qur'an is to be welcomed and should be reflected in
the pages of the Journal.
Contact, communication and engagement

Wider participation, then, is what the editors intend by adopting an
open attitude to scholars from a wide variety of disciplines in the
humanities, social sciences, arts and natural sciences. Yet the
commitment to widening the scope of Qur'anic studies does not end
there. The editors also seek to establish a means for contact,
communication and engagement between the largely separate worlds of
Islamic and western Qur'an scholarship. By establishing the Journal as
a bilingual undertaking (English and Arabic), and by seeking to
distribute the Journal as widely as practically possible, it is hoped
that new ideas and original research will reach readers who would
otherwise not have come across these; in turn, these latter would be
stimulated to contribute to the 'research cycle'.

New developments

Not only through its articles can the Journal act as a 'bridge', but 
also through a commitment in its review section to try to include 
reviews of new works on the Qur'an in the vernacular languages of the 
Muslim world, as well as the output of the western academic presses. 
Still further, the Journal will include a 'Notes and Correspondence' 
section, intended as a space for members of the Qur'anic studies 
community to contribute news and information on current research, 
publishing projects and developments in the field. It is hoped that much 
information on new courses and books, and reports of Qur'an related 
activities on the Internet and CD-Rom releases can be featured in this 

The Journal will initially be published biannually, starting in early 
1999. It is expected that libraries and academic institutions will 
subscribe, as well as scholars of the Qur'an, Islamic Studies and 
Comparative Religion .

The editors affirm their dedication to impartial and scholarly enquiry.

The following have agreed to participate as members of the editorial 

Professor M.A.S. Abdel Haleem,	SOAS (Chair)
Professor Muhammad Abu Layla,		Al-Azhar University
Professor S. Badawi,				American University of Cairo
Professor E. Bosworth,			University of Manchester
Dr Paul Hardy,				SOAS
Dr A. Irvine,					SOAS
Professor Tarif Khalidi,			University of Cambridge
Professor W. Madelung,			University of Oxford
Professor Mustansir Mir,			Youngstown State University
Professor Ian Richard Netton,		University of Leeds
Professor Angelika Neuwirth,		German Oriental Institute, Beirut
Professor H. Shafi,				University of Cairo
Dr M.F. Al Shayyal,				University of Westminster
Dr S. Sperl,					SOAS
Professor Josef Van Ess,			University of Tubingen
Professor Alford T. Welch			Michigan State University
Dr T. Winter,					University of Cambridge
Professor J.C. Wright,			SOAS

For further information, please contact:

Prof. M. A. S. Abdel Haleem
Centre of Islamic Studies
SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square

Tel:		+44 (0)171-323 6297
Fax:		+44 (0)171-436 9391
email: Yusuf
Editorial Assistant, Centre of Islamic Studies

Centre of Islamic Studies
SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square

Tel: +44 (0)171 637 2388 ext. 2702
Fax: +44 (0)171 436 9391
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