A message from the LINGUIST List

It’s never a happy time when fund drives come around again, and most people hate asking for money. This time, however, the drive affects you directly. Lots of the information provided on phonoloblog comes from the LINGUIST List, so what benefits them also benefits us.

Read more below. To donate, go to: https://linguistlist.org/donation/donate/donate1.cfm. And thanks.

The LINGUIST List survives on the kindness and generosity of those in the discipline of linguistics, as they have very little choice.

The LINGUIST List began from very small beginnings: it started as just an academic mailing list at the start. Perhaps because of that, it has never had anything like a firm financial basis. As Anthony Aristar has said, “We’d love it if we had it, of course; but unless some generous person gives us an endowment, we’ll have to keep on asking for money each year.”

All the money you donate goes to the students who run LINGUIST. Faculty work for LINGUIST as well, here at Eastern Michigan University and at the University of Wisconsin at Madison; but none of us are compensated for the time we spend at the List. But the students do not have the ability to survive without an income. These students are wonderful people: devoted to linguistics, determined to make it their career, hard-working and intelligent. They work for very small salaries, but you could not ask for a harder-working group of young people. They come to the List from everywhere, not just the USA: there have been students from Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Indonesia, China, Japan, India, Mexico and Russia. Indeed, an effort has been made to attract students from everywhere: they add so much richness to the enterprise. The moderators have been working to improve outreach, and this year, for the first time, are able to offer visas to international students who wish to be part of their summer internship program.

In a perfect world, it would not be so costly to pay these fine young people, but without them the List would be able to offer you very few services at all. They are the ones who do almost all the work, and do it wonderfully. They are worth every penny it costs us to provide them with a small living. And they are always aware that they are the future of the discipline, and that one day they will be professors and researchers too, helping drive linguistics to greater understanding of human language. And that feels like a wonderful thing to be encouraging.

So we are asking you to help the LINGUIST List again this year to reach its goal in this fund-drive of 2010. They hope to raise $65,000, and are working their way there.

Whatever you can give will be for a really excellent cause: supporting these young people as they work towards their degrees, and become our colleagues.

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