LINGUIST List 23.998

Tue Feb 28 2012

LINGUIST Needs Our Support

Editor for this issue: Matthew Lahrman <>

Date: 28-Feb-2012
From: LINGUIST List <>
Subject: A Letter from LINGUIST Project Director Naomi Palosaari
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Dear LINGUIST List Subscribers,

So here we are again, day two of fund drive. The first day of fund drive is over and we are settling in to accept that our fleeting dreams are also over and fund drive will last longer than one day. Here at the LINGUIST List offices, we are struggling with prioritizing Fund Drive tasks and our regular, everyday duties (which are usually more than we have time in the day to do). I know I am also struggling with the need to ask for money. There are many worthy causes out there--is it really right to ask for funding for a linguistics website and listserv when there are schools to be built, dogs to be rescued, or children to feed?

And yet, this message sits in your inbox, waiting for you to read and respond. I am asking you for money. I may contribute to many of those other needy and important organizations, but I also think it's important to support the LINGUIST List -- and I have for several years. Because I think what LINGUIST List does is important, and because I know firsthand that we could not do it without donations. Sure, we throw around the ideas of charging a subscription fee for the site or converting to a society with membership fees. But we reject those ideas because in the end, it is important to have an information portal for linguistics that does not have a gatekeeper. Any student on the cusp of declaring a linguistics major, any linguist from a struggling third-world country, or any well-paid academic can access the information on our website and listserv free of cost. What this means for you is that the quality of information in the discipline of linguistics is a little better: the students are more well-informed, the conferences more well-attended, the job announcements seen by more well-qualified applicants.

So I'll humble myself, pull out my virtual panhandle, and ask for funds.

Yes, there are many other valuable organizations to contribute to. But if you are reading this message, you use LINGUIST because you find value in the service we provide. Please recognize that value by contributing to our Fund Drive. I am providing a case study of my use of LINGUIST below, but my feelings will not be hurt if you skip over the rest of this message to go directly to our donate page.

I joined the LINGUIST staff in August; before that I was a visiting assistant professor teaching a 10 courses a year and completing my PhD dissertation. In the year before coming on staff I used LINGUIST in many ways: 1) I searched for jobs to apply to, 2) I directed my students to browse for appropriate conferences in which to present their work, 3) I searched for maps on Mayan languages as part of my research on tonogenesis in Mocho', 4) I directed students to the internships directory to seek out internships in linguistics, 5) I searched for language-specific information and resources on several languages related to my research. My use of LINGUIST did not in itself guarantee successful results but it made success quicker and easier; I was successful in job applications and landed several interviews, I took my students on a university-funded trip last March to present their work at a conference, and I completed an analysis of tone in Mayan languages as part of my dissertation. LINGUIST contributes to your success by making the information you need to be a successful academic easily and freely available. So answer the question "What is LINGUIST worth?" by donating today:

Beseechingly yours,

Naomi Palosaari

Project Director

Page Updated: 28-Feb-2012