Central Eurasian Language Grammars First Attempt/Letter

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<accesscontrol>CELG</accesscontrol> This page is for drafting a letter to invite people to contribute to the first volume of the Central Eurasian Language Grammars.


(Subject Line in email: Contribution to a volume on Central Eurasian languages)

Dear ____,

I am writing on behalf of the Editorial Committee to invite you to contribute to a volume on the major languages of Central Eurasia. Specifically, we hope that you would be able to contribute a chapter on ____.

The volume will include detailed grammatical sketches, informed by modern linguistic theory, of the major languages of Central Eurasia. We currently plan to cover 13 languages, and are specifically interested in contributors who have background in modern theoretical linguistics and have worked closely with the language they write about.

One of the main issues we intend to address in the volume is the fact that the majority of published descriptive literature, both in English and in other languages, is not well-informed linguistically, is intended to be used solely for reading knowledge, and/or is often based on previous literature instead of on experience working with the languages directly. The purpose of this volume is to provide a general reference on these languages for the primary audience, which includes general linguists looking for accurate, current data, as well as scholars of all disciplines who are interested in the area.

The volume has two specific goals. It will present accurate, basic grammatical sketches of the languages in question (across all elements of the grammar), and also emphasise typologically interesting, previously unaddressed, and/or currently not well understood aspects of the grammar. The volume intends to be forthright about elements requiring further research, and will attempt to present brief outlines of what is currently understood about such issues for each language.

We are interested in a contribution on ___ of approximately 30 to 40 pages (in the formatted equivalent of 11 point Times font), organised by linguistic topic (e.g., Orthography, Phonology, Morphology and Syntax, Social context, etc.), and including a short lexicon as well as several fully glossed and translated samples. There are certain topics we are especially interested in detailed coverage about, such as agreement, quotatives, relativisation, and coordination, but we will not expect close conformation to a specific template (as this has tended to result in poor quality articles in other volumes). Instead, we will provide a general outline and a list of specific topics we would like covered within each section. We expect that a higher quality of contribution is obtained by working in conjunction with a native-speaker informant, who may be given coauthor status in exchange for their assistance.

We are offering you an opportunity to participate in this volume because we recognise that your expertise in both the ____ language and in linguistics together make you a good fit for the project. We already have commitments for several languages, including a couple of preliminary drafts. Once we have commitments for enough of the target languages, we will approach publishers. We hope you will carefully consider our offer and think through whether you would be able to contribute to the volume. We are looking forward to a reply at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely yours,

Christopher I. Beckwith

Professor, Indiana University

Editor in Chief