Decoding the meaning of language | MIT News

“In addition to conducting his own research, von Fintel is also a founding co-editor of Semantics and Pragmatics, an open-access, peer-reviewed journal that is now one of the top four journals in the discipline. Last year, it officially became the second official publication of the Linguistics Society of America, which has published the journal Language since 1925. 

Interestingly, when von Fintel launched the publication in 2008 (with David Beaver of the University of Texas at Austin), the idea of open access was still novel. “Before the Web, people communicated in informal networks, so it was hard to find out what was going on,” von Fintel says. “I felt an obligation to help people get access to what was going on.”
An early and passionate advocate for open access, von Fintel helped launch the MIT linguistics department’s first website in the early 1990s, and soon thereafter started his academic blog, “semantics etc.,” to build connections among linguists and disseminate ideas throughout the field. He also served on the Institute’s Open Access Working Group, which proposed the open access policy adopted by MIT in 2009. 

“One point of the scientific method is quick and open communication,” von Fintel says. “You can build on results as soon as they happen. It accelerates the way science gets done. We’re changing the culture in our discipline in a big way.”…”