Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

The Rickford plenary address

October 2, 2018

Tomorrow at Stanford, John Rickford is doing a dry run for his plenary address at the NWAV (New Ways of Analyzing Variation) conference later this month:

Class and Race in the Analysis of Language Variation and the Struggle for Social Justice: Sankofa
John R. Rickford, Stanford University
Abstract for NWAV-47 plenary, NYU, 10/20/18


Call for papers: Lavender Languages

October 22, 2012

From Stephen L. Mann at the Univ. of Wisconsin-La Crosse this morning:

The deadline (November 5) is quickly approaching to submit abstracts for the 20th annual Lavender Languages and Linguistics conference, which will be held at American University in Washington, DC, on February 15-17, 2013. Below are general conference details, as well as the call for the session I am organizing (“Sounding LGBTQ: Identifying Sexual and Gender Orientation in Speech”). Please let me know [address link above] if I can answer any questions about the conference or the individual session.

General conference details

From the conference website: “Stated broadly, the Lavender Languages and Linguistics Conference examines language use in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer life. Linguistic inquiry is broadly defined here, to include studies of: pronunciation, vocabulary and meaning, conversational structures and styles, life stories and other narratives, fiction, and poetry, the “language” of scientific and historic documents and print media, meanings encoded in spatial practices, sign language, non-verbal communication, and communication through photography, cinema and other visual arts.” For information, including abstract submission details, go to the conference website:

Organized session details

“Sounding LGBTQ: Identifying Sexual & Gender Orientation in Speech”

When listeners claim to be able to identify the sexual or gender orientation of a speaker, on what are they basing their claim? This question has received some attention in the lavender language literature over the past 20 years (e.g., Gaudio 1994; Levon 2006; Moonwomon-Baird 1997; Munson et al 2006; Piccolo 2008; Pierrehumbert et al 2004; Zimman 2010; plus sessions at past Lavender Languages and Linguistics conferences). This panel will focus on this question from multiple perspectives, including (but not limited to): What linguistic and extralinguistic factors contribute to listener perception of sexual and gender orientation? What is the role of levels of language other than phonetics/phonology? What does it mean to sound LGBTQ in languages other than English? How are linguistic features associated with sounding LGBTQ situated within a larger “indexical field” (Eckert 2008)? What social psychological connections are associated with sounding LGBTQ? Abstracts are welcome for papers that address these and similar questions from different theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches.

Chuck Fillmore

July 12, 2012

My old friend, and sometime colleague, Chuck Fillmore has gotten the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Computational Linguistics. From the International Computer Science Institute (in Berkeley CA) site:

[7/11/12] Professor Charles Fillmore, director of the FrameNet Project [at ICSI], was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association for Computational Linguistics at its annual meeting yesterday in Jeju, South Korea. The award is given each year for widely recognized, sustained, and enduring contributions to the field of computational linguistics. (link)

For health reasons, Chuck wasn’t able to travel to Korea, but he made a 41-minute video of his acceptance speech: a characteristically clear and charming account of his life’s work in linguistics, well worth viewing by anyone interested in the field. (Chuck wrote to friends a little while back about how hard it was to fashion this talk.)


The Metafortress

March 1, 2012

It’s time for the Linguist List’s annual appeal for financial support (which started on Monday). Go to the main site and follow the instructions there; even small contributions help to maintain this valuable resource in linguistics.

As usual, the staff have prepared all sorts of entertainments. Starting tomorrow, there will be weekly installments in the “LingQuest” saga (modeled roughly on quest games, and ultimately, on The Lord of the Rings). This week,

the Adventure begins at The Metafortress!

Yes, a portmanteau of metaphor and fortress.


OUT in Linguistics

March 1, 2012

The old OUT in Linguistics mailing list seems to have died, so I’ve created a Facebook group for this purpose:

The group is open to lesbian, gay, bisexual, dyke, queer, homosexual, trans, etc. linguists and their friends. The only requirement is that you be willing to be out to everyone on the list as lgbt(-friendly); it’s sort of like wearing a pink triangle.

It’s a “closed” group: anyone can see the group, but only members can post and see the postings.

I’m in charge of adding people to the group; mail to me at

(Yes, you need to have a Facebook account.)



An experiment

November 27, 2011

For those of you who are willing to spend a few minutes on it: a little experiment, in which you’ll be asked to supply words in some semantic domain. For example: list the first 10 colors that come to your mind (without reflecting on them, mulling them over, trying to be original or clever, etc.), in the order they come to you.

There are actually two experiments. Flip a coin to choose Experiment 1 or Experiment 2 (but not both). The instructions for Experiment 1 are here, for Experiment 2 here. I’ll close the submissions in 4 days, on December 1st.


Tom Seligman

November 2, 2011

No, not (thank goodness) a death notice, but an announcement of Thomas K. Seligman’s retirement (at the end of this year) as director of the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford. A suitably stylish photo of Tom (by Fred Mertz), communicating something of his charm, humor, and passion for African art:


Linguist List (2011)

March 24, 2011

It’s that time of the year, and Linguist List is begging for money to keep its services going. Unlike Language Log, Linguist List has a staff (enthusiastic grad students), because it couldn’t possibly do what it does without one. Check out the site, and donate here.

Small donations are very much welcome. If you have currency exchange problems, mail Barbara Partee or me.



Another day to remember

March 5, 2011

We have National Grammar Day (March 4), and, more venerably, Hangul Day (October 9). And now, OK Day (March 23). From Allan Metcalf on ADS-L:

Half a century ago, Allen Walker Read proved beyond a doubt that OK was born on Saturday, March 23, 1839, on the second page of the Boston Morning Post. We all know (or should know) of his magnificent series of articles on the subject in American Speech in the 1960s, reprinted in 2002 in volume No. 86 of PADS, edited by Richard W. Bailey.

Relying on his copious material, as well as on subsequent documentation and items dredged from the Internet, I did a book on OK myself, published last fall by Oxford UP. And that gets me to this request —

Let’s celebrate the 172nd birthday of OK this year, on March 23.

How celebrate? Well, any way you want. After all, it’s OK.

If you are on Facebook, I’d appreciate it if you’d go to the page I’ve set up (link)

(where there is now a copy (very hard to read) of the Morning Post piece).

And for some discussion of the meaning/use of OK, see David Beaver’s Language Log posting here.


LINGUIST List (2010)!

March 17, 2010

[Also posted on Language Log.]

It’s that time of  the year again: the LINGUIST List’s annual fund drive is under way, for the month of March; the drive is about halfway (about $32,000) to its goal of $65,000 (the money goes to support the student staff). From the list’s site:

The LINGUIST List is dedicated to providing information on language and language analysis, and to providing the discipline of linguistics with the infrastructure necessary to function in the digital world.

LINGUIST maintains a website with thousands of pages and runs a mailing list with tens of thousands of subscribers worldwide. LINGUIST also hosts searchable archives of over 100 other linguistic mailing lists and runs research projects to develop tools for the field.

The LINGUIST mailing list provides a space for open discussion, reviews of publications, job listings, information on conferences, and much more. LINGUIST also runs an Ask A Linguist service, where people can get answers to questions about language and linguistics.

The list is an incredible resource for linguistics, deserving of your support. Small donations are welcome, by the way.

(Information for donors is on the site, along with special features like a “linguist of  the day” writing about how they got into the field. This year’s writers are Claire Bowern, Dafydd Gibbon, C. T. James Huang, Pius ten Hacken, Anna Wierzbicka, and Anthony Woodbury.)