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Linguistics journal will make its home at UTPA
By Melissa Rodriguez, Public Affairs Specialist
316-7192
Posted: 12/08/2004
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The College of Arts and Humanities at The University of Texas-Pan American will soon house the “Southwest Journal of Linguistics” beginning fall 2005.

The journal publishes scientific articles on language issues of relevance to the U.S. Southwest as well as articles on languages such as Chinese, Maori, Guaraní and Maya. Dr. Hugo Mejías, associate professor of Spanish linguistics, and Dr. Pamela Anderson-Mejías, associate professor of applied linguistics, will together take on the editorial duties of the journal in fall 2005. New Mexico State University-Las Cruces will be responsible for production of the journal.

The husband and wife team said this new job will bring recognition to UTPA and to the Departments of English and Modern Languages & Literature, which are supported by the dean of the College of Arts and Humanities and the provost. As co-editors they are responsible for choosing the content of the journal and coordinating peer reviewers for the articles submitted.


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Dr. Pamela Anderson-Mejías (left) and Dr. Hugo Mejías (right) browse the linguistics journal soon to be housed at UTPA.
“This is recognition for the University and it shows that there are people here that can do this kind of a job,” Mejías said.

The journal has been a leading venue for the dissemination of language science research over the past thirty years, according to Dr. Glenn Martinez, associate professor of Spanish and linguistics and chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literature.

“The presence of the Southwest Journal of Linguistics on our campus will significantly enhance student interest in the vital language issues that face the border region in the 21st century,” Martinez said.

Dr. Rodolfo Rocha, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, said the college’s participation in this project is the first step toward consolidation of the language research being conducted on the campus currently.

“I am hopeful that this initiative can incite new and exciting collaborations among students and faculty members across colleges,” he said.

The Mejías’ would like to see the journal extend its scope internationally, especially in Latin America, and expand the journal from primarily theoretical linguistics to cutting-edge research topics in applied linguistics as well, such as heritage language teaching, applied linguistics in the workplace and language and the law.

When asked what she hoped to gain from the new experience, Anderson-Mejías jokingly said, “more gray hair.” They both agreed the excitement of being exposed to cutting-edge research is something they are looking forward to.

“You also get an opportunity to work with more of your colleagues across the world,” Anderson-Mejías said.

The Mejías’ feel the addition of the journal will support both graduate and undergraduate programs and the University as a whole.

“We have a very active Master of Arts in English as a Second Language program, which we are hoping to broaden into applied linguistics,” Anderson-Mejías said. “It also supports our undergraduate programs, because you don’t have to be a graduate student to do background research.”

The duo said they work well together and do not foresee any problems with the addition of the co-editing duties which will require approximately 40 hours of their time a week.

“We have very different styles of working, but they are complimentary,” Anderson-Mejías said. “In general, we both have a very similar philosophy about linguistics. It (our philosophy) is, language is a phenomenon to be observed, described and explained in context on its own merits, and we don’t make judgments about it.”

The journal is published twice a year, in December and June, and the editorial duties may change every three years. The journal was previously housed and produced by Texas A&M University-Commerce and the University of New Mexico respectively. The pair will begin their duties almost immediately to publish the journal in December 2005.

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