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LINGUIST List 18.3057

Fri Oct 19 2007

FYI: Glottopedia: The Free Encyclopedia of Linguistics

Editor for this issue: F. Okki Kurniawan <okkilinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Martin Haspelmath, Glottopedia: The Free Encyclopedia of Linguistics

Message 1: Glottopedia: The Free Encyclopedia of Linguistics
Date: 19-Oct-2007
From: Martin Haspelmath <haspelmatheva.mpg.de>
Subject: Glottopedia: The Free Encyclopedia of Linguistics
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Dear LINGUIST readers,

We would like to announce a new free reference resource for linguists:
Glottopedia, the free encyclopedia of linguistics (see

Glottopedia is a wiki site that depends on volunteer contributions, like
Wikipedia. All linguists are invited to share their knowledge with others
through this site.

Glottopedia differs from Wikipedia (or other general encyclopedias such as
Citizendium) in that

(i) its content is much more specialized (e.g. you'll be able to find
articles on ''copy raising'', ''appositive relative clause'',
''subcomparative construction'', ''relabelling'', ''rich agreement'',
''loan translation'', ''adfix''), and

(ii) users must have an account to edit articles, and they must be
linguists with an academic background.

Moreover, Glottopedia focuses on *dictionary articles* rather than survey
articles of the sort that are found in Wikipedia (and various specialized
linguistics handbooks). But each dictionary article (potentially) provides
more information than just a definition: It also gives examples, synonyms,
other meanings of the term, the origin of the term, some key references,
and a translation into other languages (Glottopedia is a multilingual
enterprise; so far there are mainly articles in English and German).

Glottopedia also has articles on linguists, but unlike Wikipedia, which
aims to restrict its articles to ''notable people'' (see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Notability (academics)), Glottopedia
potentially has articles on all linguists. Thus, there is no danger that an
administrator will delete your article because it does not meet this
(extremely vague) criterion. (However, Glottopedia's articles on living
linguists are restricted to links, in order to avoid problems of
personality rights.)

Eventually we also want to add articles about all languages and language
families (with detailed references), and articles about things that we need
for our everyday work (such as journals, conferences, institutions), but at
the moment this is mainly an idea for the future.

We feel that Glottopedia is a resource that the field of linguistics really
needs, and we hope that you will all contribute to it (as well as
contributing to Wikipedia, for a general audience!). Some of us have taught
courses in which the assignment to the students was writing dictionary
articles on some technical terms. We think that especially advanced
students, who do not yet have easy access to other forms of publications,
will find that Glottopedia gives them a great chance to make a contribution
to the field.

Martin Haspelmath, Sven Naumann, and Götz Burger

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

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