Larry Selinker Bibliography Website

  • One can already, for instance, read the LINGUIST List on the Web.
  • One can now peruse the definitive bibliography of the late Dwight Bolinger prepared by his son and literary executor.
    (It includes a lovely picture of Bolinger, in a characteristic pose.)
  • One can see the full text (and the attached bibliography) of the LSA Resolution on "Ebonics" from the recent Annual Meeting.
    (I was there and can vouch that it was unanimous; in fact, we had a bit of trouble getting some folks to agree to call the press reports only "incorrect and demeaning", instead of far stronger language. But, amazingly, several hundred linguists in the same room managed to discuss, edit, and resoundingly approve the resolution in under an hour. No doubt the fact that it was almost dinner time helped.)
  • On Usenet, one can read , a newsgroup for language scientists, i.e, linguists.
    Alternatively, one can read , a Usenet newsgroup specializing in English usage, popular grammar, idioms, etymology, and prescriptivist theories.
    (Incidentally, I am apparently one of the few linguists inhabiting a.u.e with the /xucpe/ -- or simply poor judgement -- to post there often. I have ulterior motives, of course: I've put a couple of collections of my postings to a.u.e on various topics relating to English grammar, phonology, and usage up on the Web)
  • One can also look up the "genetic" provenance of any language through the electronic wizardry of the Summer Institute of Linguistics's Ethnologue, including the Top 100 Languages.
    (I put genetic in scare quotes to remind myself that a so-called "genetics"
    with no provision for sex is a pretty lame excuse for a metaphor)
  • One can look up any modern English verb to see what syntactic peculiarities it may have and what grammatical classes it belongs to in the Verb Index from Beth Levin's English Verb Classes and Alternations: A Preliminary Investigation (U Chicago Press 1993).
    (To see all the details, of course, you should buy the book;
    but if you have it, you can check any verb in it online.)
  • University of Michigan people (faculty, staff, students) can benefit from our site license to look up the Indo-European root of any English word in the American Heritage Dictionary, part of the Humanities Text Initiative.
    (On the "Basic Searches" page, click the arrow by Lookup and select Indo-European Roots, then type in the word and Search)
    University of Michigan people can also access almost all current Linguistics journals online, courtesy of the UM Library.
  • There is a great deal of data available now. One can seize the opportunity to grep a huge corpus of English text, searching for words and their context, in the CobuildDirect Demo.
    (The definition of grep is provided courtesy of the Jargon File,
    an autolexicographic project of impressive sophistication.)
  • Even more thrilling, anyone (even non-LDC members) can now set up a guest account with the Linguistic Data Consortium in order to access the Brown Corpus, among others.
  • One can now access COSWL's 1993 collection of Language and Gender Syllabi
    (Syllabi from 26 different courses, from all over the world, in many disciplines, from many viewpoints, all on the same topic.)
  • Or, for those irritating little questions, like "What are Linguistics, anyway?",
    one now has choices: Linguistics is (as we have known all the time) fun.
  • One may now read about an innovative approach to Swahili noun classification by Ellen Contini-Morava of the University of Virginia, and even search a database of Swahili nouns
    (Swahili is a Bantu language, which, as all linguists know, means it has
    an elaborate system of prefixal agreement, based on an elaborate system
    of noun classes, like Indo-European gender on steroids.)
  • Or one can approach linguistics via a species of constructivism, by perusing Mark Rosenfelder's ,
    (which contains all the information any SF writer would need to make up a reasonable alien language. And serves as quite a good introduction to linguistic concepts for beginners, to boot.)
  • One can even contemplate the Words (or rather the Phrases) of The Master,
    finding near-infinite wisdom in their universality and optimality.
    (Parenthetically, The Chomskybot seems to have become something of a popular icon. We had over 150,000 hits on it the first year it was up, and have found it widely linked, and even imitated, the sincerest form of flattery.)
  • Selinker defended a PhD thesis on A Psycholinguistic Study of Transfer at Georgetown University in 1966, taught at the American University in Washington, and spent 1968 in Edinburgh's Applied Linguistics department in the company of Pit Corder.  The greater part of his career was spent at the University of Michigan (1977-1993) alongside Sue Gass, following which he was professor at Birkbeck College, University of London until 2002, then visiting professor at New York University.

    Selinker coined two terms in the 1970s which are fundamental to the field:  interlanguage, to describe the learner's developing L2 competence, and fossilization, to refer to the end of that process of development.  Later work involved the discourse domain hypothesis (with Dan Douglas) according to which second language development occurs not homogeneously but in relation to idiosyncratic topics of expertise.  Selinker also co-authored an influential introduction to SLA with Susan Gass.


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