Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mid-summer night's relaxation

I just peeked at the blog for the first time in a long time and discovered that it's been many months since my last posting, which took place amidst the crazy failures and pitfalls of fieldwork this past winter. I've since recovered a lot from that, and am having quite a productive summer.

Several new and exciting things to report here:

1. I have a real contract that's been signed by the State of AZ (on my behalf) and the publisher of the most authoritative Maltese-English dictionary. The work involves completion of the creation of the electronic form of the dictionary, and now that I am able to fund the work it's going to get done much faster than before. As part of the effort, I'll be traveling to Malta for a very quick trip in September, along with a graduate RA funded by this contract.

2. A paper co-written with two former students has been accepted at a computational linguistics conference in Spain, in a workshop focusing on corpora and other electronic resources for less-resourced languages. Our paper is one of only four that were accepted (it's on our Maltese online corpus), and I'm thrilled that this work will see the light of day. I'm also thrilled to have the chance to travel to Spain for the first time - another part of the trip this coming September, and I'll be presenting with my two co-authors, both of whom were RAs on my NSF grant.

3. I'm going to be giving two talks in Germany in September as well! Both are for the second meeting of the International Association of Maltese Linguistics, in Bremen. Yes, it's going to be quite the travel month for me. For one talk, my current RA and I are co-presenting a paper on word familiarity and word frequency in Maltese. For the second, I'm giving a workshop on database and corpus creation in Maltese.

4. Another trip I'll be taking is to a corpus linguistics conference in Edmonton this coming October. My two former RAs will be co-presenting with me on our work on the Hebrew and Maltese corpora.

5. Finally, I'd like to report that summertime is just as intensely busy, if not busier, than during the academic year. I can't tell you how many of my friends are shocked to hear this - for the academics reading this, you may also be accustomed to people asking, "Aren't you all off from work for the whole summer?" Yeah, right. I've been working on all of the above, plus working on two papers (one an overdue book chapter, another a revision of an earlier paper) and many other writing-related things. In addition, I've been running a pilot study of a new-ish type of auditory priming experiment, with about 15 subjects each week for two or three weeks so far.

So, that's about it for now. So what about this is relaxing (see the title of this post)? Well, it's a Tuesday night, mid-July, the monsoon winds are blowing outside, and it's beastly hot out. So there's no way I'm doing any work, at least not at this very moment. And that's quite a relaxing thought :-)