Under LINGUIST, several ground-breaking research projects were completed in the area of language documentation and archiving. These were supported by major funding from the National Science Foundation.
Implementing the GOLD Community of Practice: Laying the Foundations for a Linguistics Cyberinfrastructure
The primary goal of GOLDComm was to increase the amount of ontology-aware linguistic data available to the researcher. The specific objectives of GOLDComm were four-fold: to improve intelligent harvesting of linguistic data for the Online Database of INterlinear text (ODIN); to mark up and integrate such data within the ontology-driven framework known as the General Ontology for Linguistic Description (GOLD); to develop a general search facility that models general linguistic knowledge with specific analytical knowledge of particular languages; and to provide an interactive and dynamic environment that allows the linguistic community to have input and make modifications to the core ontology that is at the heart of the data integration process. The long-term goal of the project is to offer the average linguist access to large amounts of structured and searchable linguistic data. The two-year GOLDComm project was funded by a National Science Foundation grant (BCS 0720122) and developed in collaboration with the University of Washington.
This project was a collaborative effort with the Alaska Native Language Center (ANLC), supported by a National Science Foundation grant (OPP-0326805). The goals were to digitize Dena'ina language legacy materials in the ANLC and to create the Qenaga website to enable Dena'ina community members to have online access to those materials. The project also provided training in linguistic fieldwork, and best practices in language data digitization and archiving to the Dena'ina community and to graduate students in linguistics.
The "Union Catalogue" of the Open Language Archives Community (OLAC) is hosted by The LINGUIST List. Currently, there are more than 28,000 searchable records in 26 linguistics-related archives, such as the Alaska Native Language Archive, the Perseus Project, and the Oxford Text Archive.
The aim of this ambitious collaborative project, funded by National Science Foundation (SES-1099652; 2000-2006) was to build an architecture for effective collaboration between linguists working on endangered languages. A major goal was to develop consensus on best practice standards for metadata, linguistic annotation, and language identification, thereby facilitating the widest possible access to data in a maximally useful form. The E-MELD School of Best Practice is a rich compendium of this information, and includes a module that focuses on Case Studies, a Classsroom in which users can learn about standards, a Reading Room, a Work Room, a Tool Room, and an Ask an Expert facility that provides an answers to questions that linguists may have. The aim of the School is to guide the linguist from data collecting in the field to digitally archiving the data and descriptions in a stable respository where they can be easily stored and retrieved by researchers worldwide.
With hundreds of language-related discussion lists on the Internet, each carrying information of value to other linguists and interested scholars, it can be difficult to know what lists are available, where to find them, or how to access past discussions. Many of these discussions are not archived at all. In 1999, with support from the National Science Foundation (SBR-9975299), the LINGUIST List undertook a project to provide a single permanent and searchable archive site for these hundreds of language fora and discussions, past and present, so that the information they carry could be made freely and readily accessible to anyone in the discipline.
With a grant from the NSF National Science Digital Library Initiative (NSDL-0333530; 2003-2005), this two-year collaboration with the Rosetta Project resulted in the creation of a digital library of educational information on approximately 4000 languages and added information on more than 10,500 linguists to LINGUIST's Directory of Linguists.Other Completed Projects
The LINGUIST List's Wikipedia Update Project was an experimental project offered as a community service to its subscribers. Its major goal was to organize a community effort among linguists worldwide to update Wikipedia articles focused on linguistics and languages. Many of these articles needed to be expanded, merged with other articles, or have references and citations added to make them more complete and coherent as stand-alone articles. Since the fundamental tenet of Wikipedia is that anyone can edit its articles, it seemed natural for LINGUIST to encourage its subscribers to participate in this way for the greater good of the discipline. Although LINGUIST is no longer actively involved in organizing these updates, it strongly encourages others who seek to improve the quality and accuracy of linguistics articles in Wikipedia to become involved. Individuals may join the larger WikiProject Linguistics page and contribute to making Wikipedia a truly valuable and reliable resource for the discipline.