Issue 8: Fall 2006

Slavic Linguistics 2000: The Future of Slavic Linguistics in America

edited by Steven Franks, Indiana University; Edna Andrews, Duke University; Ron Feldstein, Indiana University; and George Fowler, Indiana University
Introduction by Steven Franks
The papers in this issue of Glossos represent revised versions of talks presented at a workshop held on 18 February 2000 at Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana, and funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education. The stated purpose of this workshop, which bore the above title (and is in the vernacular of Slavic linguists now referred to simply as "SLING2K"), was to open up a new forum for the discussion of the future of the field. The organizers of SLING2K - my colleague George Fowler and myself, assisted by then graduate students Leslie Gabriele and Michael Yadroff - set out to create an informal atmosphere in which to examine the state of Slavic linguistics in the United States at the turn of the new millenium. Our intent was to evaluate unexploited directions in which we might go, explore unexpected opportunities we might take advantage of, and consider the challenges potentially facing us. The call to participate in SLING2K stated that the "uncertain future of the field of Slavic linguistics has given rise to a number of productive discussions in the pages of journals such as Journal of Slavic Linguistics and at the sessions of meetings such as the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages. In the words of Olga Yokoyama, "the time has come to take a hard look at the future of our field as an occupation".
Leading experts working in diverse subdisciplines of Slavic linguistics were therefore invited to come to IU-Bloomington to present what they regarded to be the state of the field at the end of 1999 with respect to their particular subdisciplines. These so-called position papers—original versions of which were posted in advance of the workshop at and can still be accessed at that URL—were meant to serve as springboards for discussion, rebuttal, response, and debate, both on the web and at the actual meeting. Since that time these papers have been cited in various sources and a number of them have had an impact on scholarship in their areas. However, because the 1999 papers summarized recent achievements, sketched out new directions, and in most cases provided extensive bibliographies, it was felt that updating the original versions would be essential before actual publication. With that goal in mind, Edna Andrews of Duke University's Slavic and East European Language Research Center and Indiana University's Ronald Feldstein assisted me in working with the authors to provide edited and updated versions of their papers. Attempts to publish them in printed format, however, repeatedly fell by the wayside. Fortunately, with Edna's support and with the close cooperation of Project Manager Troy Williams, we have now been able to make revised versions of the SLING2K papers more widely available. It is my hope that the papers contained in this issue of Glossos will encourage a realistic assessment of the viability of Slavic linguistics in the coming century and that they will serve to stimulate further discussion of the future of our field.
The papers included in this issue are as follows (note that those designated "forthcoming" may not be posted until the end of 2006):
Ronelle Alexander
John Bailyn
Christina Y. Bethin
David Birnbaum
Historical Linguistics (forthcoming)
Frank Y. Gladney
Maria Polinsky
Adam Przepiórkowski and Anna Kupść
Irina A. Sekerina
Additional SLING2K talks, not included in this issue, were given by Charles Gribble, Charles Townsend, and Catherine Chvany, while the paper published here by Frank Y. Gladney was not presented at the SLING2K meeting. Finally, Anna Kupść was added to the "HPSG for Slavicists" paper as a co-author responsible for updating the 2000 version.