2015-09-11

Newly found intellectual pleasure of joint research

I was never good at working together or even doing things together with other people, especially in a group. So it's no wonder that when I belonged to some sport club in school, I felt suffocated after a while and left it. I belonged to five such clubs from junior high school until the university, and I left all of them after a year or two.

This was also the case with research. I didn't do any joint research with any other researcher, except for editing a Festschrift and a special journal issue with two good old colleagues of mine. I wrote the first sentence of this paragraph in the past tense because this is not the case any more! Recently I've got acquainted with a linguist who has turned out to be an excellent collaborator with whom I share a number of research interests as well as chemistry in other areas of life.

I've never imagined that doing research together can be such a pleasure if my collaborator is an appropriate one. This is like studying the Talmud in partership with someone else who is compatible with you intellectually (and probably emotionally, too). One plus one can be more than two! I and my new collaborator share the combination of at least three research interests shared by few other fellow linguists each of us knows personally: corpus linguistics, computational linguistics, and the study of the Hebrew component in Yiddish. We've already planned three joint research projects for the next three years - each for one year.

What makes this joint research with my collaborator very unique and so pleasurable is the fact that we conduct it orally in Yiddish! This way we defy pessimists about Yiddish as we use it for the highest intellectual purpose, that is, as our common language of science.

Working with such an intellectually compatible collaborator, I'm constantly refilled with new ideas I could never have come up with alone. I'll definitely be able to think up new joint research projects, too. Simply a mekhaye!