Thursday, August 02, 2007


How new technology gets adopted in practice is something I'd love to know a ton more about, but it's really surprised me how variable the reaction has been to current web-based innovation. In particular, recently I've heard a couple of very senior colleagues talk about investing fair amounts of time editing wikipedia material. (Bodes well — we should have great entries if these folks are working on them!)

A few weeks back I read about the new Glottopedia project (language hat and Anggarrgoon both blogged about it), but only got around to checking it out this morning. It's being edited by a set of respected linguists (though representing a restricted range of theoretical approaches at this early stage), and it is really in its infancy — with a limited set of entries in German and English. There is, for example, not even a category for language change or historical linguistics yet.

The project has real promise, if it can gain critical mass of collaborators. Assuming it does, it'll be interesting to watch how its role evolves vis à vis the wikipedia material on linguistics and other on-line resources.

Update: I forgot to mention the LINGUIST project until Polyglot Conspiracy brought it up.

Image from here.


pc said...

That is a great idea, although one might worry that this will mean ever-decreasing quality of Wikipedia's linguistics articles, should the people who tend to be interested in doing such activities switch their focus to Glottopedia. Also, I wonder if this will have any impact or cross-pollination with LinguistList's Wikipedia Update Project. Either way, if there's a solid linguistics resource out there that's free and reliable, I'm into it. Thx for the heads up.

pc said...

Also, everyone keeps calling your blogging "nonpareil." Not that I don't agree, but should the rest of us be offended by this? Does this make us "pareil"???

Mr. Verb said...

Curses, I *KNEW* I forgot some key angle -- it was the LINGUIST update project. Thanks!

As far as I know, only the unsurpassed hyperbolist (and excellent blogger) Ben Zimmer has used 'nonpareil' about this blog. Coming from the inventor of the game of outrageous adjectives for this blog (he was the first to do it, I'm pretty sure), I just assumed it was a little inside joke. God help us if this blog actually got that description in earnest!