About me:

Hi, my name is James (Jamie) Shoemaker.  I retired in 2005 from the U.S. Defense Department after 30 years as a multilingual translator, computational linguist, and software engineer.  I am currently living in Arlington, Virginia, within view of the monuments of the nation's capital.

This web site is an effort to house my continuing explorative work on languages and linguistics in a single space that is accessible to the world community. I happen to work on an HP TouchSmart PC with the Vista operating system, but I actually have more experience working with the Unix operating system.

My main interests, to be elaborated over time on this web site, are the wild and intricate human languages of our planet, their phonology, morphology, syntax, and writing systems; linguistics; etymology (the origins and genealogy of words); machine translation and lexicology (the science of dictionaries).

You could say I'm a Perl fanatic, because that software language really gets things done fast and efficiently.  Because of its superlative regular expressions package, it is especially useful in processing language text.  I also program in C, Java, and JavaScript, and I have considerable experience with XML, DHTML, and Unicode (the universal character set).

As a native speaker of English, I also communicate in French, modern Greek, Turkish, Spanish, German, and Russian;  I've studied Latin and Japanese and am now engaged in pursuing modern Standard Arabic, which I find the hardest of my language learning experiences so far.

Serious articifically-constructed languages for international communication have always interested me and I've studied them for years.  The most intriguing of all of them is Unilingua (aka Mirad) for its ingenious way of vocabulary formation.  As for Esperanto, I find that pretty easy to read when friends write me in that artificial language, but it's too Euro-centric and does not push the envelope.