Interview: Oceanic Linguistics Editor John Lynch

In 56 years, Oceanic Linguistics has been led by only three editors: George W. Grace, Byron Bender, and John Lynch. Below, Lynch shares the journal’s history, how he managed to complete Vol. 54 in the middle of a hurricane, and how the journal has kept up with its expanding field.

John Lynch, editor of Oceanic Linguistics since 2007.

Oceanic Linguistics will publish its 56th volume this year. Tell us about the history of the journal.

OL was founded in 1962 on the recommendation of the Tenth Pacific Science Congress, held in Honolulu in 1961. The founding editor, George W. Grace, was then at Southern Illinois University; in 1964 he moved to the UH, and brought the journal with him. After 30 years as editor, he handed over to a colleague in the UH Linguistics Dept., Byron W. Bender, who continued as editor till 2007, when he handed over to me. (See Grace, Bender, and Lynch 2011. “The first fifty years of Oceanic Linguistics.” Oceanic Linguistics 50(2):285–311.)

Tell us about your journey to become editor of Oceanic Linguistics.

I had been an associate editor of OL since 1999, but that just consisted of refereeing the occasional paper. A cabal consisting of the two previous editors, two other UH faculty associated with the journal, and a linguist then at UH Press suggested to me that, since Byron Bender wanted to retire as editor, perhaps the editorship should move south of the equator — and I was their suggested nominee. I guess the fact that I am originally from Australia, have a UH PhD, have lived in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu since 1970, and was about to retire was qualification enough.

George W. Grace (right) in Houaïlou, New Caledonia, in 1955. Source: Wikipedia. Grace founded the journal in 1962 and served as editor for 30 years. See Robert Blust’s “In Memoriam: George William Grace (1921-2015)” in Vol. 54, Issue 2.

In your field, what issues are particularly relevant now? 

Two issues have remained relevant for many years. One is the historical interrelationships of the languages of the Pacific, both Austronesian and non-Austronesian, and the contribution of this study to wider Pacific prehistory. The other is the contribution that Pacific linguists can make to the general study of language and linguistic theory.

How has Oceanic Linguistics evolved over the years? Do you foresee any changes on the horizon?

The major evolution has been in terms of size: many of the early issue were 100 pages or smaller; the most recent issue, on the other hand, runs to almost 400 pages. The field has expanded enormously in the last half-century, and the pool of potential authors has expanded along with it.

Byron Bender served as the second editor of OL for 15 years, and now serves as managing editor. Source: UH Dept. of Linguistics.

Is there an issue that you’re particularly proud of?

I’m especially proud of vol. 54, no. 1, of June, 2015. Final copy goes from my laptop to UH Press for printing. However, as I was about to prepare the final files, Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu — the most powerful hurricane in Vanuatu’s history. We were without water for a few days and without power for two weeks. My son purchased a tiny gasoline generator, which kept lights and refrigerator going … and allowed OL 54(1) to be produced to deadline!

Do you have any advice for those interested in submitting to Oceanic Linguistics? What are you looking for in future issues?

Two things: 1) Find a topic that is interesting to other people, not just to you. And 2) write simply and clearly.


About the Journal

Oceanic Linguistics is the only journal devoted exclusively to the study of the indigenous languages of the Oceanic area and parts of Southeast Asia.

Subscriptions

Annual subscription rates are US$120 for institutions and US $40 for individuals. Click here to subscribe.

Submissions

All submissions and editorial inquiries should be addressed to John Lynch, Editor, at oceanic@hawaii.edu.

Early Release Articles: Korean Studies April 2017

University of Hawai’i Press is proud to present the early release of the following articles from Korean Studies through a partnership with Project MUSE.

EARLY RELEASE ARTICLES

Browse all Korean Studies early release articles online here.

Please note: Early release manuscripts have been through our rigorous peer-review process, accepted for publication, and copyedited. These articles will be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal. These articles have not yet been through the full production process and therefore appear in their manuscript form, which may contain errors. These articles will be removed from the early release page once they are published as part of an issue.

Stay tuned for more early release articles from UH Press journals in 2017.

China Review International, vol. 22, no. 1 (2015)

This issue of China Review International: A Journal of Reviews of Scholarly Literature in Chinese Studies includes two features and more than 15 reviews:

FEATUREs

China’s Palace Women through the Dynasties (Reviewing Keith McMahon, Women Shall Not Rule: Imperial Wives and Concubines in China from Han to Liao; Keith McMahon, Celestial Women: Imperial Wives and Concubines in China from Song to Qing) Reviewed by Paul S. Ropp

Chinese Metaphysics: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking (Reviewing Chenyang Li and Franklin Perkins, editors, Chinese Metaphysics and Its Problems) Reviewed by Joseph E. Harroff

REVIEWS

Shehong Chen, Daughter of Good Fortune: A Twentieth-Century Chinese Peasant Memoir, reviewed by Guo Chao

Enze Han, Contestation and Adaption: The Politics of National Identity in China, reviewed by Elizabeth Van Wie Davis

Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi, The Han: China’s Diverse Majority, reviewed by Yu Luo Continue reading

Early Release Articles: Philosophy East and West, April 2017

University of Hawai’i Press is proud to present the early release of the following articles from Philosophy East and West: A Quarterly of Comparative Philosophy through a partnership with Project MUSE.

EARLY RELEASE ARTICLES

Browse all abstracts and HTML versions of Philosophy East and West early release articles online here.

Please note: Early release manuscripts have gone through a rigorous peer-review process and will appear in a future issue of the journal. However, articles have not yet been through the full production process and therefore appear in their original manuscript form, which may contain errors. These articles will be removed from the early release page once they are published as part of an issue.

Stay tuned for more early release articles from UH Press journals in 2017.

Oceanic Linguistics on set of sci-fi film, Arrival

The 2016 science-fiction film Arrival features Dr. Louise Banks, who is called upon to communicate with aliens after they arrive on Earth. The linguistics professor, played by Amy Adams, is shown in this publicity still in her office full of linguistics books and journals, including Oceanic Linguistics!

Publicity still from Arrival via Language Log.

According to “The making of a cinematic linguist’s office” on Language Log, the books in Dr. Banks’ office were borrowed from the film’s linguist consultants at McGill University, including Jessica Coon, Morgan Sonderegger, and Lisa deMena Travis (who published in Oceanic Linguistics Vol. 39 Issue 1).

Though set designers were less interested in titles than blue and beige colored covers, it’s great to see Oceanic Linguistics on the big screen. The current cover design (left) was launched in the journal’s fifth volume in the Summer of 1966, with a cover stock update (right) in 2009.

This year, Oceanic Linguistics will unveil a new cover for this longstanding linguistics journal that continues to grow with its field. Stay tuned for the new cover and an interview with editor John Lynch.

Learn more about Oceanic Linguistics here.

HJH author expands on Kalaupapa history at 4/13 event

Lawrence Judd and his wife Eva at Kalaupapa, circa 1949. Courtesy of the National Park Service, Kalaupapa National Historic Park, Kalaupapa Historical Society Collection, published in Hawaiian Journal of History Vol. 50.

The Hawaiian Historical Society invites members and friends to a presentation that features Fred E. Woods, Ph.D., author of “A Vow Remembered: Lawrence M. Judd and His Pledge to Kalaupapa,” published in The Hawaiian Journal of History, volume 50.  The lecture is free and open to the public.

The presentation is titled, “Reflections of Kalaupapa” and will expand upon Dr. Wood’s Journal article to include insights and information from his two most recently published books: Kalaupapa: The Mormon Experience in an Exiled Community (2017) and Reflections of Kalaupapa (2017).  Both books will be available for puchase at the meeting.

Dr. Woods will provide reflections of Kalaupapa by patients, employees, volunteers, visitors, and his own observations based on scores of oral history interviews, primary sources, and personal experience.

The annual membership meeting and program takes place on April 13, 2017, at the Kapiʻolani Community College, Hale ʻŌhiʻa. Doors open at 5:45 p.m. and the evening begins with a screening of the 2011 documentary film, “Soul of Kalaupapa” at 6:00 p.m. Learn more here.

Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society – Volume 10: 1 (2017)

Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society has published four new articles now available online for volume 10, number 1 (2017).

The Historical Phonology of Kriang, A Katuic Language by Ryan Gehrmann

A Description and Linguistic Analysis of the Tai Khuen Writing System by R. Wyn Owen

Discourse Functions of Zero Pronouns in Tai Dam by Itsarate Dolphen

Phonological Sketch of Helong, an Austronesian Language of Timor by Misriani Balle

JSEALS is an open access publication. All journal content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license. Sponsor: Southeast Asian Linguistics Society