Greetings from Ohio! I'm visiting family in the Buckeye State, which means I'm still on the road. The blog is long overdue for an update.
I presented at SEALS XVII this past Friday (see my abstract--PDF alert--for more info). SEALS XVII is the 17th Annual Meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society, if you didn't know. Let me say, it's an exciting time for Southeast Asian linguistics, or anyone interested in Southeast Asian languages.
SEALS publishes a conference proceedings, but the publication has frequently been behind schedule, sometimes by years--I think we may still be waiting on a couple of volumes. Recently, though, the task of publishing the SEALS proceedings has been taken over by Pacific Linguistics. And at this year's meeting, some changes were proposed.
The big change is that the SEALS proceedings be replaced by JSEALS (Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society), an annual peer-reviewed journal. Also, Pacific Linguistics will make the journal available online for free (as well as print-on-demand paper copies). The last couple years' proceedings published by PL are already free online, but it's an important note to make that even as a refereed journal it will remain free.
This kind of move goes somewhat against the conventional wisdom of academia, but it's an important move for a specialized subfield like Southeast Asian Linguistics. The more exposure you can get, the more valuable the journal becomes. This is because the more people read it, the more it can be cited, and the more of an impact factor the journal has. Limiting availability to sell back-issues is both a bad business model and a bad intellectual model. Specialized journals like those in Southeast Asian Linguistics are not about making money. More and more people are coming around to this idea, which is great.
As soon as I can, I'll post about the new online Thai-English dictionary I premiered to the world last Friday. I hope readers here will be interested, too.