Links, apps, etc.

The study of language isn't only interesting to university researchers like me. Here are some places where linguistics can be found outside the walls of traditional academic publishing.
  • The Lexicon Valley podcast is a well-produced series of short pieces on various topics of linguistic interest, from an uncensored piece on offensive language to a look at creaky voice (yay!) in contemporary (and not-so-contemporary) American English speakers.
  • The Language Log blog is written mainly by prominent academic linguists, but with an eye to what is interesting to language nerds of all levels.
  • Check out my page of fun stuff for info on entertaining linguistic material of more peripheral academic value.

Apps and websites

I enjoy using my mobile devices, and the internet, to streamline and augment how I teach and do research. Along the way, I have discovered some apps and websites that are particularly useful. I have listed some of them below. If there is an app or website you like that I haven't mentioned here, please let me know about it.
  • Phonetics
    • There are several phonetically-oriented apps - Pronunroid (last I used it, it kept crashing), Phonemic Chart (nice as far as it goes, but limited coverage of sounds and environments), Sounds of Speech (haven't checked out the app, but I've looked at the associated website, which seems fine). None of them has really proven useful to the particular work I do. I can imagine some of them being useful for students learning phonetics.
    • TypeIt full IPA keyboard. This is a web page that I use almost every time I need to add a phonetic character to an email or other communication. I open the web page, select the symbols I need, and copy them into my message. (For documents, I use the built-in Special Character interface in Google Documents, which works similarly but is better-integrated into the document editing workflow.)
    • Talking IPA charts: ours (UofA Linguistics - Canadian English only), UVic (full IPA chart). These are great for students (or sometimes, those of us with more experience) to calibrate their ears by clicking on symbols in an IPA chart and hearing model pronunciations vetted by trained phoneticians.
  • Bibliographic
    • Dropbox. What can I say? If you produce any electronic text or data (besides audio and video, which tend to be too large), then this is one of the two best options for painless backup. (The other is Google Drive, which I also use.) Be sensible with sensitive information, but beyond that back up everything. This tool is especially useful on the tablet in conjunction with a PDF reader/annotator. Research usefulness: 4/5
    • Google Drive. Similar to Dropbox. Drive is useful for in-place creation and editing of slides, text documents, spreadsheets, and other stuff, as it has been integrated with the Google online office suite. This is great for collaboration with colleagues and students. Research usefulness: 5/5
    • qPDF Notes. A wonderful tool for making notes in PDF files (for example, of papers I'm reading). I started with the free version, and was quickly sold on it. This is one of the tasks I got the tablet for in the first place - reading papers while not at my computer. Better than printing them off, and I can share the annotated files with colleagues as PDF files. Research usefulness: 5/5
    • CiteULike. A tool that I find very useful for managing my extensive research bibliography. I can manually (or, if I have the right type of bibliography file) automatically populate it with papers, books, etc. It is searchable by keyword, author, and so forth. And I can have it export a bibliography file in one of several useful formats. (My favorite is BibTeX.) It also has various social-media-type features, which I have not yet used in any systematic way.
  • Other
    • My UAlberta. Collecting various online resources in one place for those who work and study at the University of Alberta: Moodle links, university maps, transit info, library, etc. Handy. It seems to be a solid, well-designed app. Practical usefulness for members of the UAlberta community: 4/5
    • ETS Live To Go (Android) (Apple). Edmonton Transit tracker for bus and LRT, including live tracking. Not the smoothest interface, but for sustained use, I normally find it easier than the alternatives. Personal usefulness: 4/5