LINGUIST List 13.127

Sun Jan 20 2002

All: New Features of the LINGUIST Site

Editor for this issue: Anthony Rodrigues Aristar <>


  1. The LINGUIST Network, New LINGUIST Site

Message 1: New LINGUIST Site

Date: 21 Jan 2002 04:05:19 -0000
From: The LINGUIST Network <>
Subject: New LINGUIST Site

Dear Subscribers,

In the coming weeks you will notice that Linguist List is beginning to
take on a new appearance. Over two years ago we began one of our most
ambitious projects: moving all our data into a relational
database. This entailed a great deal of work: designing a very complex
database, categorizing all our links and information by type,
linguistic subfield and subject language, and creating thousands of
records from our legacy data. SIL was generous enough to allow us
access to their entire database of Ethnologue language information,
and we then complemented this with codes and information on ancient
and constructed languages. Thus, from the LINGUIST site, you can now
search for information on over 7400 languages, using over 47,000
alternate names. Furthermore, we now thus have our data categorized by
the most complete set of language codes on the Internet. The full set
of language codes can be searched at the URL:

You will see that this facility allows you full access to all
information in the Ethnologue database, as well as to all LINGUIST
codes and language descriptions.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Deborah Anderson of
the University of California at Berkeley for a huge amount of work in
making the Indo-European codes more accurate. Any mistakes still
remaining are ours. 

We would like to invite responses from anyone who anyone who wishes to
make comments, suggest corrections, or to propose additions to the set
of codes. Please send your comments to

The site is still being developed, but you can see the value of these
language codes by going to any of our links pages, for example, the 
dictionaries page at:

Notice that at the top of all our links pages you can choose either to
browse by linguistic subfield or by subject-language. For example, if
you go to "Browse dictionaries by subject language" you will be
offered a menu of languages for which we have dictionary links. This
list represents an automatically updated subset drawn from our
database of over 47,000 language names: as a dictionary link related
to a new language is added, the menu will change.

Similarly, if you choose to "Browse dictionaries by subfield" you will
be taken to a menu of linguistic specialties (e.g. phonology,
morphology, applied linguistics) for which we have dictionary links.
Within the next month or two, all of the LINGUIST site
will become searchable in this manner.

One addition to the LINGUIST site that we are particularly proud of is
the OLAC harvester. The Open Language Archives Community (OLAC) is a
sub-community within the Open Archives Initiative (OAI). Like the OAI,
OLAC is dedicated to making information about digital resources freely
available over the Internet. OLAC, however, focuses specifically on
information about language and linguistics-related resources. 

OLAC works in a simple way: linguistic archives or individual
linguists ("Data Providers") describe their resources using the simple
OLAC metadata format. This metadata is then electronically "harvested"
by "Service Providers" which make the information available to users
in the form of a searchable database. 

The LINGUIST List is proud to be an OLAC Service Provider, hosting
what we believe will become the "union catalog" of language-related
resources on the Internet. Currently you can search over 18,000
records from 13 major archives (including ELRA, the Alaskan Native
Languages Archive, Summer Institute of Linguistics, and the Linguistic
Data Consortium) from our OLAC Query page. The search return will
provide a brief description of the resource, as well as access
information. To see this new system at work, go to the URL:

As more archives join OLAC, the number of records will increase
greatly. We believe that it will number in the hundreds of thousands
before the end of 2003.

In closing, we would like to thank you for your support and ask that
you pardon the occasional non-working link in the interest of all the
new features to come.


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