1st Edition

Becoming a Linguist Advice from Key Thinkers in Language Studies

Edited By Eldin Milak, Ana Tankosić Copyright 2025
    220 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    220 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This unique collection of essays, edited by and for students of linguistics, offers insights into the personal and professional journeys of some of the key thinkers in language studies.

    With contributions by fifteen established scholars, including Noam Chomsky, William Labov, Diane Larsen-Freeman, and Ofelia García, the volume provides first-hand insights into the ‘becoming’ of a linguist, and the many joys and challenges which come with it. The contributors pair honest and practical academic advice with personal experiences to assist novice and aspiring linguists to find their footing in the rapidly changing landscape of language studies, and guide them through linguistics past, present, and future. Autobiographical and reflexive, each chapter also includes recommendations for key readings and resources used or produced by the contributors.

    As a volume focused on the people behind the ideas, Becoming a Linguist will be of interest to students and scholars of language and linguistics, the history of linguistic thought, as well as the interested general reader.




    Eldin Milak


    CHAPTER 1:

    “Linguistics past and present”

    Noam Chomsky


    CHAPTER 2:

    “What I got out of Linguistics, and what I gave back”

    William Labov


    CHAPTER 3:

    “Becoming an applied linguist”

    Claire Kramsch


    CHAPTER 4:

    “Lessons learned”

    Diane Larsen-Freeman


    CHAPTER 5:

    “Welcome to a lifetime of fun”

    Richard Hudson


    CHAPTER 6:

    “On becoming/observing people languaging”

    Ofelia García


    CHAPTER 7:

    “Worlds in grains of sand: Interactional Sociolinguistics and Linguistic Ethnography”

    Ben Rampton


    CHAPTER 8:

    “Embracing vulnerability”

    Suresh Canagarajah


    CHAPTER 9:

    “The reluctant linguist”

    Alastair Pennycook


    CHAPTER 10:

    “From apprentice to mentor: An applied linguist‘s voyage”

    Lourdes Ortega


    CHAPTER 11:

    “Remaking the world with Linguistics”

    Kristina Hultgren


    CHAPTER 12:

    “Why Identity, Ideology and Emotion Matter: A Global South Perspective”

    Peter De Costa


    CHAPTER 13:

    “Chronotopes: Time and space in identity-making”

    Sender Dovchin


    CHAPTER 14:

    “Yes, aspiring linguist, what you’re doing is Linguistics”

    Uju Anya


    CHAPTER 15:

    “Arriving at a Linguistics of Hope”

    Usree Bhattacharya



    Ana Tankosiċ




    Eldin Milak received his PhD in Linguistics from Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea. His research looks at language and script practices and policies in the context of East Asia. Eldin is a Global Korea scholar, a Korea Foundation postdoctoral fellow, and lecturer at Curtin University.

    Ana Tankosić completed her PhD in 2023 at Curtin University, Australia. Her research explores sociolinguistic and cultural inequities, translingual identities, and discourses of the Global South. Ana is a Fulbright alumna from Bosnia and Herzegovina, lecturing and conducting research in Australia.