Archive for People

Honor to a tribal elder

Sasha Aikhenvald on the Linguistic Typology mailing list, April 13:

Ernie Grant, a notable elder of the Jirrbal [earlier known as Dyirbal] tribe, will be honoured by an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from James Cook University on 17 April 2010.

Attached is the statement of his achievements leading to this award. [click here; then, to see the statement, double-click on the filename in the download box]

It is worth noting that Ernie is the son of Chloe Grant, Bob Dixon's first and great teacher of Dyirbal. He is one of the last remaining speakers of the language.

In the history of (native-speaker) language consultants (also known as informants), they have been treated as everything along the scale from experimental subjects to language teachers to research collaborators. In Grant's case, it was his mother who primarily served as a language consultant, while Grant himself grew to perform a wide range of significant services to his community — for which he's now being given this honor.

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Zimmer tapped for New York Times post

Late-breaking news:

The New York Times Magazine announced today the appointment of linguist and lexicographer Ben Zimmer as the new "On Language" columnist. Mr. Zimmer succeeds William Safire who was the founding and regular columnist until his death last fall. [alas, a non-restrictive relative clause missing its comma] The column is a fixture in The Times Magazine and features commentary on the many facets – from grammar to usage – of our language. "On Language" will appear bi-weekly beginning March 21.

Yes, our very own Ben, who was proud enough to tell the rest of the LLoggers, but too modest to post the announcement himself.

Massive pleasure at Language Log Plaza and on ADS-L.

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Just say gnome

It's been a while since we had a Noam Chomsky posting. Now, via the Stanford Linguistics Department's newsletter, the Sesquipedalian, a bit of silliness:

There's a "Meet the Real Professor Chomsky" site.

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