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Editorial : ii AVE ATQUE ... ? Mailed with this issue is a sheet of questions that subscribers (or readers) are requested to answer and return. Your answers are important to the editorial "us" as a way of taking stock. After fifteen years -fifty -five issues -- of Sign Language Studies, readers may well echo Cicero's Quam diu... 'How long, 0 Editor, will you continue to try our patience?" A much more typical journal than this is one published by an association of scientists or practitioners, and who subject the editorship to periodic review and occasional overturn. No such association controls SLS, which is by choice a strictly one-man show. (I will devote the next paragraph to recognition of the men and women who have kept the show going.) Begun at the suggestion of Thomas A. Sebeok, to be one of the family of journals published by his Research Center for the Language Sciences (now for Language and Semiotic Studies), SLS appeared first in the fall of 1972 and semi-annually in 1973 and 1974 under the RCLS auspices and the Mouton imprint. When Mouton stopped publishing SLS and many other journals in 1974, the alternatives were stark: let it die, or find another publisher somewhere willing to take the risk. In fact, I did neither. I became its publisher, gain or lose. And to make the game more interesting, I decided to publish it no longer as a semiannual but as a proper quarterly journal. For an earlier venture, the publication of Language Origins, I had made up the name Linstok Press (from linguistics and Stokoe). Somehow, despite Mouton's complete non-communication with me or former subscribers, our list grew. In less than two (continued on page iv) SLS 55 summer 1987 Editorial : iv years' time, I had to call for help. Ruth, my wife, graciously responded, taking charge of the business dealings with subscribers and the purchasers of copies of the three books we then had for sale. She wisely counseled also that we seek professional advice to deal with local, state, and federal tax and other laws; thus Linstok Press, with just two stockholders, was duly incorporated in April of 1977. Ruth's help is the secret of the journal's long survival, and as partner, proofreader of copy, and co-owner of the corporation she has made the operation enjoyable as well as successful. The rough beginning of the venture and the rocky road from the idea to the first issue were smoothed by Professor Sebeok and his associates at Indiana University. In the early years, in return for contributing to the Gallaudet College Library journals from around the world that had been exchanged for SLS, I could call on the skills of the Linguistics Research Laboratory's secretary. First Jean Juliano Lawler, and later, Laura Grove deReitzes gave the pages of many issues the appearance of fully professional products. Later secretaries, Kathy Burton and Nancy Montillo, helped me keep up the growing correspondence with authors and referees. For their devotion to accuracy and schedules and impeccable filing I owe them all inexpressible thanks. The Associate Editors are named on the title page of each issue since No. 22, and their small turnover in the ensuing years is as remarkable as the extent of expertise they represent and the help they have given the Editor. The authors too have contributed not only to knowledge in our special field but to my own gratification. They also are named in print, but I am just as grateful to all the anonymous (continued on page 482) summer 1987 SLS 55 Editorial : 182 referees whose judgments, comments, and suggestions for revision have been of untold value. One other benefactor sticks in my recollection; I have a poignant memory of my visit to the Mouton building in The Hague in December of 1977. There almost the sole occupant of the chill, bare, block-square, three-story building, Mr. van der Wilk, sold me copies of the issues Mouton had published, called in one of the almost non-existent clerical staff, issued an order, and a few minutes later handed me a fat folder of letters of inquiry, claims, and complaints that had...


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