LINGUIST List 12.866

Wed Mar 28 2001

All: LINGUIST List Search Engines

Editor for this issue: Lydia Grebenyova <>


  1. linguist, LINGUIST List Search Engines

Message 1: LINGUIST List Search Engines

Date: 28 Mar 2001 05:45:46 -0000
From: linguist <>
Subject: LINGUIST List Search Engines

Have you ever tried to enter a term like "morphology" into a general
search Internet engine? We just tried it. Northernlight found
255,010 items; Yahoo returned 184000 hits; and Googol returned 338,000
hits. Imagine how much time you would have to spend sifting through
these results in order to find information related to linguistic
morphology. And imagine how many hits you would get if you entered a
term like "aspect."

Why do we mention this? Well, we would like to point out that The
LINGUIST List has long been concerned with trying to find ways to help
linguists reduce the amount of irrelevant information returned from
searching the Internet. To that end, we have made available a number
of specialized search engines. From the LINGUIST site you can perform
any number of specialized searches, and get results that are all
related to linguistics. For example, you can search for "morphology"

- LINGUIST List issues at (2400 hits)
- LINGUIST List issue subject lines at (153 hits)
- Linguistics job announcements at (310 hits)
- Linguistics book announcements at (274 hits)

What's more, you can search for discussions of "morphology" not just in
one list, but in most of the lists in linguistics, all at one time, at
the URL . 
We have 85 other language related lists archived on the LINGUIST site,
and we've written a search engine which searches them all at once.

Soon you'll be able to search the whole LINGUIST web site, with
our thousands of links to other linguistics-related sites, all at once.

And you can try out a new feature that we are calling "Search the
Linguistic Web" at URL . This
search engine has some bugs in it yet, but when it's finished, it will
offer you something no other discipline has: a search engine that is
intended to search and index only sites which are of potential
interest to linguists.

We even have an early version of software that will allow you to enter
search terms in new ways that are designed to be specifically relevant
to linguists. For example: have you ever wanted to search for
information about all the languages in a language subgroup or a
language family? Have you ever found information on a language which
seems interesting, and wondered whether there was any information
about that same topic in related languages? You can't search like
this with the search engines that exist now. But we're working on one
that will let you do exactly these things.

We're doing this work because we think it's worthwhile. But the sad
fact is that we can't do it if we don't have the resources to do it
with. And that means money to pay our graduate students for the work
they do, and the programs they design.

So far in our Year 2001 fund drive, we have received $33,449 of the 
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