Filling the Sociolinguistic Gap for English Speakers Worldwide

Poster presentation for the American Dialect Society, New York City, January 2019

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The idea behind this presentation was to demonstrate to North American language scientists that their work is widely read throughout the world, and, as we already know, they tend to dominate the publishing industry. While my main message was not to lambast the academic publishing industry (though that would be a meaningful exercise), it became clear through even this small study that North American and other inner-circle authors are favored in academic publishing, which, of course, is English dominated. My main point was to remind North American linguistic authors that a) their work is probably read and used outside North America more than they tend to realize, and b) why not cater to this eager and high-purchasing power potential audience.

Although their feedback was anonymous, many linguistics educators who responded to my survey went to great lengths to express their frustration at not having adequate materials to allow them to teach in their language of teaching. Due to availability, they are forced to used English-language textbooks, even for “big” languages like Spanish and Russian. This is clearly an issue which deserves further investigation.

Published by Elizabeth Peterson

Linguist. University Lecturer at the University of Helsinki.

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