Welcome to a website designed primarily for fellow Applied Linguists.

Last updated December 02, 2013 [Anglicizing Ethnic Surnames, under the Linguistics tab]

October 13, 2013

            I started this website in 2009 after retiring from forty years of college "professing." I left the classroom, but did not quit researching. During these past four years this website has averaged 70 unique visitors per month.  This past September 85 different people visited.  The largest number in September was from the Ukarine; with the United States, China, and the Russian Federation being the seacond, third, and fourth largest respectively.  (Collectively 17 countries were represented.) Over tthese four years, three of the most copied articles were in the Linguistics Tab: the Bahlow Review, the Cattle Breed Names, and the San Fernando Cemetery statistical analysis.  The fourth most visited article was in the Cemeteries Tab: Lateiner at Rest.  
          
Numerous visitors have been gracious enough to chat with me at the Trinity University email address below.  Several people asked that I share which articles reveal my own unique contributions.  Only three are unique: (1) Chapter five of the book: The Universal Discourse of Grief, (2) The Texas Cattle Breed naming process, and (3) the Creole Conundrum
          This past year, a colleague at the University of Texas in San Antonio has started a Texas Chapter of the Association for Gravestone Studies.  I have added her email address below (under the Association for Gravestone Studies.)

           The attached information reflects work that began in 1961 and continues today. The author has worked eight years in Japan (Kumamoto and Tokyo) and forty-four in Texas  (Austin and San Antonio).
          
The majority of research concentrates on “contact” (or “home”) language usage.  Unique, perhaps, the data for "home" language has been collected from gravemarkers – contrasting monolingual immigrant language gravemarkers (Spanish, German, Arabic, Greek, Italian, French, etc.) with monolingual English language gravemarkers. 
            Bilingual gravemarkers (semantic information repeated in both languages) and Mixed Code gravemarkers (no semantic information repeated) offer the most intriguing and relevant data.  On these gravemarkers (the text of which originate in the "home" languages of the deceaseds' families) immigrant languages assimilate into English in a predictable pattern: The names of the deceased first, then the death date, then the birth date (or age at time of death), then kinship terminology, and finally creative epitaphs.  (Other semantic information - stylized epitaphs, lodge and religious affiliation, places of birth and of death, occupation, means of death, etc. - display no pattern of assimilation.)
           This research found its application specifically in bilingual education (Ebonics and Spanglish) and in language assessment (English).
           I have also added a section of popular articles.  For three years in the early 1990s, I wrote a weekly newspaper column on South Texas dialects features.  As of June of 2012, I have started a new monthly series on cemeries.  This series will be available only on this website.

  

Most of the published articles stem from papers given at:

               The Linguistic Society of America www.lsadc.org

               The American Dialect Society www.americandialect.org

               The American Culture Association www.pcaaca.org

                              Cemeteries & Gravemarkers Area jedgette1@widener.edu

               The Association for Gravemarker Studies www.gravestonestudies.org

                                         The Texas Chapter of the Association for Gravemarker studies stitches63@yahoo.com

               The American Name Society www.wtsn.binghamton.edu/ANS/

Other papers were given at international conferences in Japan and in Europe.

For more information, contact Scott J. Baird at sbaird@trinity.edu or cell phone 210.857.3272

 

Scott J. Baird
Professor Emeritus, Applied Linguistics
Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas