I took so many cute wugshots this month I couldn’t pick just one. Here’s a series of crocheted wugs which Concordia linguistics student Caitlin Stahl made and brought to NELS, a wug I drew on a children’s magnetic toy in a store in NYC, and a line of marching wugs from a blackboard in the University of Toronto linguistics department.
In July 2015, I attended the month-long LSA summer institute (aka lingstitute) at the University of Chicago. My primary purpose there was to run four, weekly editathons to improve linguistics-related articles on Wikipedia. There were a total of 76 participants and 50 articles improved in 5 languages — for more details, see the report here. Many thanks to everyone involved!
Shortly before lingstitute, Emily Temple-Wood (Wikipedia User:Keilana) and I created a wug-tastic linguistics stub sorting guide, for those who may be interested in contributing to linguistics-related articles on Wikipedia but don’t know much about linguistics — and it’s already seen some use at the editathons!
I organized the third #lingwiki editathon at the annual meeting of the Canadian Linguistics Association / Association canadienne de linguistique (ACL|CLA). We had 32 participants who edited a total of 43 articles – you can see the full report here. Many thanks to the sponsors, Wikimedia and the ACL|CLA, and of course to all the participants.
I launched a series of linguistics videos with YouTuber Tom Scott. We co-wrote five videos as a third season of his Language Files series — the firsttwo went up in May, and the next three will go up in June.
And finally, here’s a photo of the linguistics section in Strand Books, from when I visited New York City this month. I’m especially pleased that they have separate sections for linguistics and etymology!
I received a grant from Wikimedia to fund the upcoming #lingwiki editathons in May (at the CLA in Ottawa), July (at the LSA summer institute in July), and October (at NELS in Montreal). You can see the grant information here: Linguistics Editathon series: Improving female linguists’ participation and representation on Wikipedia. The grant was funded through Wikimedia’s Inspire campaign to improve the gender gap in Wikipedia editing, which was a great fit considering that a lot of fantastic female linguists have participated in previous lingwikis, and many articles about notable female linguists have already been added. I’m excited to see more articles in that area as well as our other two categories of under-documented languages and linguistics stubs improved in the three upcoming lingwikis.
I gave a lightning talk called “Language is Open Source” at AdaCamp Montreal, a conference for women in open source and open culture. You can read the full text here. I also facilitated a round-table session about linguistics at AdaCamp — turns out there are a quite a lot of former linguists in tech!
I organized the second #lingwiki Wikipedia editathon, for which the central event took place online via the Twitter hashtag, but with in-person satellite editathons in Singapore (organized by Lauren Gawne), Canberra (organized by Hedvig Skirgard) and Madrid (organized by Manuel Alcántara Pia). A total of 24 participants from four continents participated, creating or improving 54 articles in 7 languages. Full details here, including a list of all articles edited. I also attended and helped facilitate at my local Art+Feminism editathon earlier in the month.
I jointly launched a new collaborative project, Ling Vids, a series of videos about linguistics. You can watch the first video below, on whether a sentence is more like a bracelet or a mobile:
The second #lingwiki will take place online on the last weekend of March, the 28-29, with the peak online hours being 7-10pm US/Canada-EDT = 7-10am Singapore time, etc. Lauren Gawne of Superlinguo is also organizing an in-person editathon in Singapore, and Hedvig of Humans Who Read Grammars is organizing one in Canberra, Australia. I’m also in touch with organizers in Spain, who are translating my original slides (benefits of Creative Commons licenses!) and planning an editathon for the first weekend of April.
For more in-person events, I confirmed with the organizers of the 2015 summer institute in Chicago that they’re interested in hosting some #lingwiki events. So we’ll be having four editathons, one each Wednesday afternoon, and I’ll also be running a seminar on guiding your class to edit Wikipedia during the first week, in case any Lingstitute instructors want to take advantage of it. If anyone who’s not going to be in Chicago wants to take advantage of the July linguistics energy around Wikipedia and edit yourself or organize an editathon, you can follow along the #lingwiki hashtag and do feel free to get in touch with me for organizing tips.
I started the year at the Linguistics Society of America’s annual meeting in Portland, Oregon, where I spoke on a panel about popularizing linguistics in online media. I represented tumblr and tumblinguists, and you can view my slides online here; I’m told there will also be a video online eventually, so I’ll link to that whenever it’s up. I also organized a Wikipedia editathon to improve linguistics-related articles, which had 27 participants and improved at least 41 articles. Editathon links:
I’m currently organizing a second editathon to take place online around the #lingwiki hashtag. Please fill out the doodle poll here if you want your time preferences/timezone to be taken into consideration when scheduling it.
Several interviews with me (and various other linguists) are now online:
Here’s a picture that I took in Portland at Powell’s Books — I’ve never seen such a large linguistics section at a general-audience bookstore (and this picture doesn’t even include all of it!). The linguistics section was pretty picked-over by the time I got there on Sunday, but I heard that several linguists found some good deals!
What a year! I finished my MA in linguistics at McGill at the end of 2013, so in 2014 I started writing linguistics for a general audience full time. By comparison, here’s 2013’s (much shorter!) highlights post.
I started the year at the LSA in Minneapolis, where “because x” — which I’d written several posts about — was voted Word of the Year for 2013.
At a meta-blog level, I celebrated my two-year blogiversary and 1000th post on All Things Linguistic, and wrote an FAQ. I also started publishing monthly summary posts of my linguistic activities, blog-related and not, on my personal website, so you can check those out if you’re worried about missing anything major.
Upcoming: I’ll be starting next year as usual at the Linguistic Society of America annual meeting in Portland, Oregon in early January, where you can catch me on the Popularizing Linguistics via Social Media panel, at a linguistics careers networking event, running a Wikipedia Editathon, and of course generally in the hallways and on #lsa2015. I’m bringing my copy of linguistsagainsthumanity and I hear there may be a few other ling-games brought, so feel free to bring any games you have and/or join us (probably in the lobby or other common area) if you see people playing!