Linguist List

The LINGUIST List is a major online resource for the academic field of linguistics. It was founded by Anthony Aristar in early 1990 at the University of Western Australia,[1] and is used as a reference by the National Science Foundation in the United States.[2] Its main and oldest feature is the premoderated electronic mailing list, now with thousands of subscribers all over the world, where queries and their summarized results, discussions, journal table of contents, dissertation abstracts, calls for papers, book and conference announcements, software notices and other useful pieces of linguistic information are posted.


Between 1991 and 2013, the service was run by Anthony Aristar and Helen Aristar-Dry. In 1991, it moved from Australia to Texas A&M University, and Eastern Michigan University was established as the main editing site. By 1994, there were over 5,000 subscribers.[3] From October 14 through November 6, 1996, it held its first on-line conference, Geometric and Thematic Structure in Binding, devoted to the Binding Theory and opened by the keynote address by Howard Lasnik.[4] LINGUIST List moved from Texas A&M to its own site in 1997. Wayne State University in Michigan was established as the second editing site in 1998, but in 2006 all its operations moved to nearby Eastern Michigan University. In 2013, Aristar-Dry and Aristar retired from Eastern Michigan University and Damir Cavar became the moderator and director of operations. In 2014 Malgorzata E. Cavar became the second moderator. In 2014, LINGUIST List was moved to Indiana University and it has been hosted at the Department of Linguistics since then, with Damir Cavar and Malgorzata E. Cavar as the co-directors of the resource operations.

The LINGUIST List is funded by its donations from supporting publishers, institutions and its subscribers during the fund drive month each spring. Some LINGUIST List projects were funded by grants from the National Science Foundation. In recent years it has become a site for research into linguistic infrastructure on the web, and has received numerous grants from the National Science Foundation to do this work.[5]


The LINGUIST List hosts two mailing lists LINGUIST and LINGLITE:

  • LINGUIST, a mailing list that forwards all postings to the subscriber directly or as a daily digest.[6]
  • LINGLITE, a mailing list that forwards once a day a list of postings with titles and links to the subscribers.[7]

The LINGUIST List mailing lists are free and open for subscription using a web interface.[8]

Everybody can submit postings to The LINGUIST List lists without being subscribed or in any way a registered member.[9] A web interface is used to submit postings to the lists.[10]


The LINGUIST List has been one of the resources for the creation of the new ISO 639-3 language identification standard (aiming to classify all known languages with an alpha-3 language code).[11] While the Ethnologue was used as the resource for natural languages currently in use, Linguist List has provided the information on historic varieties, ancient languages, international auxiliary languages and constructed languages.

The LINGUIST List has also received grants for

  • the Catalogue of Endangered Languages project, a joint effort with the University of Hawai'i at Manoa to build the most reliable, up-to-date source of information on the world's endangered languages[12]
  • the EMELD Project, designed to build infrastructure to facilitate the preservation of endangered languages data
  • the DATA project, designed to digitize data for the Dena'ina language[13]
  • the LL-MAP project (defunct), designed to produce a comprehensive GIS site for language;[14]
  • the MultiTree project, designed to produce a complete database and tree-viewing facility to study language relationships[15][16]
  • the AARDVARC project, designed to address the problem of not transcribed, and therefore unavailable, documentation of understudied languages by building an interdisciplinary community of linguists, anthropologists, and computer scientists to share knowledge and collaborate on the specification of a repository and suite of tools to facilitate automatic or semi-automatic transcription and analysis of audio and visual information[17]

The EMELD project[18] was the instigator of the GOLD ontology, the furthest advanced of the current attempts to build an ontology for the morphosyntax of linguistic data.[19] It has also produced a phonetics ontology, based upon Peter Ladefoged's and Ian Maddieson's The Sounds of the World's Languages.

Some projects emerged from funded or internal activities at LINGUIST List:

  • GeoLing, a GIS-based information service that places events, jobs, institutions, conferences, and other announcements with a geo-location that are announced on LINGUIST List on the global map.[20]
  • AskALing, a discussion forum and question and answer platform for linguistically relevant questions and issues.[21]
  • GORILLA, a platform for archiving of language data, recordings, word lists, corpora, and technologies, and the development and conversion of language data to corpora and resources that bridge language documentation of low-resourced and endangered languages, and Human Language Technology (HLT) and Natural Language Processing (NLP).[22]


  1. ^ "About LINGUIST List".
  2. ^ "Documenting Endangered Languages (DEL) nsf05590".
  3. ^ "5.1005 LINGUIST subscription by country". Linguist List. 19 September 1994. Archived from the original on 29 October 2007.
  4. ^ "1st LINGUIST Conference: Geometric & Thematic Structure in Binding". Linguist List. 1 April 1996.
  5. ^ "LINGIUST List - Projects".
  6. ^ The LINGUIST List: The LINGUIST Mailing List
  7. ^ The LINGUIST List: The LINGLITE Mailing List
  8. ^ The LINGUIST List Subscription Page
  9. ^ The LINGUIST List Subscription Interface
  10. ^ The LINGUIST List Posting Submission Interface
  11. ^ "OpenStax CNX".
  12. ^ "Linguist List – Projects". The LINGUIST List. Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Dena'ina Qenaga -- A Resource for the Dena'ina Language".
  14. ^ "LL-Map".
  15. ^ "MultiTree".
  16. ^ "About MultiTree".
  17. ^ Malgosia Cavar, Damir Cavar. "Automatically Annotated Repository of Digital Audio and Video Resources Community".
  18. ^ "E-MELD Homepage".
  19. ^ "GOLD Community: General Ontology for Linguistic Description".
  20. ^ GeoLing:GIS-based linguistic events and information
  21. ^ AskALing:Linguistic Question and Answer platform
  22. ^ GORILLA:Global Open Resources and Information for Language and Linguistic Analysis

External links

Brunca Sign Language

Brunca Sign Language is a village sign language of an indigenous Brunca community in southern Costa Rica. It is unrelated to Costa Rican Sign Language.

Duit language

Duit is an extinct Chibcha language, spoken by the Muisca of present-day Boyacá, Colombia. The language appears in the modern name of the pre-Columbian settlement and last ruler Tundama; Duitama.

Gokhy language

Gokhy (Gɔkhý) is a Southern Loloish language of the border region of China, Thailand, and Myanmar. They are also referred to by other Akha groups as the Akhə Akha. Speakers live mostly in China. It is closely related to Akha, and that it is part of the Hanoid (Southern Loloish) group of languages, but is uncertain of its classification within Hanoid.There is one Gɔ̀khý village in northern Thailand with about 100 people. The Gɔkhý had of Thailand migrated from near Menghai, Yunnan via Myanmar.

Hattic language

Hattic (Hattian) was a non-Indo-European agglutinative language spoken by the Hattians in Asia Minor between the 3rd and the 2nd millennia BC. Scholars call the language "Hattic" to distinguish it from Hittite, the Indo-European language of the Hittite Empire.The form "Hittite" in English originally comes from Biblical Heth, quite possibly connected to common Assyrian and Egyptian designations of "Land of the Hatti" (Khatti) west of the Euphrates. It is unknown what the native speakers of "hattili" called their own language.

The heartland of the oldest attested language of Anatolia, before the arrival of Hittite-speakers, ranged from Hattusa, then called "Hattus", northward to Nerik. Other cities mentioned in Hattic include Tuhumiyara and Tissaruliya. Hittite-speakers conquered Hattus from Kanesh to its south in the 18th century BC. They eventually absorbed or replaced the Hattic-speakers (Hattians) but retained the name Hatti for the region.

Ionic Greek

Ionic Greek was a subdialect of the Attic–Ionic or Eastern dialect group of Ancient Greek.

Kipchak language

The Kipchak language (also spelled Qypchaq) is an extinct Turkic language and the common ancestor of the Kipchak branch of Turkic languages.

The descendants of the Kipchak language include the majority of Turkic languages spoken in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus today, as Kipchak-Cuman was used as a lingua franca in Golden Horde–ruled lands.

Kazakhs are remnants of Eastern Cuman-Kipchak tribes who lived in Northern Kazakhstan in the 10th century, but migrated to Europe later. So, their language originates from a more isolated form of earlier Kipchak.

Tatars, Siberian Tatars, Balkars, Karachays, Kumyks, Cumans (later Crimean Tatars), Bashkirs and Mongolian aristocracy adopted the Kipchak language in the days of the Golden Horde.

Kitanemuk language

Kitanemuk was a Northern Uto-Aztecan language of the Serran branch. It was very closely related to Serrano, and may have been a dialect. It was spoken in the San Gabriel Mountains and foothill environs of Southern California. The last speakers lived some time in the 1940s, though the last fieldwork was carried out in 1937. J. P. Harrington took copious notes in the 1916 and 1917, however, which has allowed for a fairly detailed knowledge of the language.

Kuwani language

Kuwani is a poorly attested Papuan language of the Bird's Head Peninsula of New Guinea. It is attested only from a single word list, and even its exact location is unknown. Smits and Voorhoeve (1998) assumed it to be equivalent to Kalabra, but there are significant lexical differences.

Locrian Greek

Locrian Greek is an ancient Greek dialect that was spoken by the Locrians in Locris, Central Greece. It is a dialect of Northwest Greek. The Locrians were divided into two tribes, the Ozolian Locrians and the Opuntian Locrians, thus the Locrian dialect can be also divided in two branches, the Ozolian and Opuntian respectively. The traits of both dialects were described by Wilhelm Dittenberger, editor of the project Inscriptiones Graecae.

Old Costa Rican Sign Language

Old Costa Rican Sign Language is a deaf-community sign language of San Jose, spoken by people born before about 1945. Along with American Sign Language, it is one of the sources of New Costa Rican Sign Language. (Woodward 1991, 1992)

Pecheneg language

Pecheneg is an extinct Turkic language spoken by the Pechenegs in Eastern Europe (parts of Southern Ukraine, southern Russia, Moldova, Romania and Hungary) in the 7th–12th centuries. It is also possible that the language was spoken by the Cumans, per Byzantine princess Anna Komnene.It was most likely a member of the Oghuz branch of the Turkic family, but poor documentation and the absence of any descendant languages have prevented linguists from making an accurate classification; most experts would be fairly confident in placing it among the Oghuz languages, but would refuse to classify it further.

Pingtang Miao

Pingtang Miao, named after Pingtang County (平塘 píngtáng) in which it is spoken, is a group of Miao language varieties of China.

Saka language

(Eastern) Saka or Sakan was a variety of Eastern Iranian languages, attested from the ancient Buddhist kingdoms of Khotan, Kashgar and Tumshuq in the Tarim Basin, in what is now southern Xinjiang, China. It is a Middle Iranian language. The two kingdoms differed in dialect, their speech known as Khotanese and Tumshuqese.

Documents on wood and paper were written in modified Brahmi script with the addition of extra characters over time and unusual conjuncts such as ys for z. The documents date from the fourth to the eleventh century. Tumshuqese was more archaic than Khotanese, but it is much less understood because it appears in fewer manuscripts compared to Khotanese. Both dialects share features with modern Pashto and Wakhi. The language was known as "Hvatanai" in contemporary documents. Many Prakrit terms were borrowed from Khotanese into the Tocharian languages.

Sarawak Malay

Sarawak Malay (Standard Malay: Bahasa Melayu Sarawak or Bahasa Sarawak, Jawi: بهاس ملايو سراوق, Sarawak Malay: Kelakar Sarawak) is a Malayic language native to the State of Sarawak. It is a common language used by natives of Sarawak. This variant is related to Bruneian Malay, spoken in the districts of Limbang and Lawas (Sarawak) and Pontianak Malay, which is spoken in the neighbouring West Kalimantan province in Indonesia. There is some debate on whether it is a vernacular variety of Malay or a separate language altogether. It is more similar to Ibanic languages compared to the Malay dialects of Sumatra and the Malayan Peninsula, which makes it mutually unintelligible for Malay speakers outside Sarawak and Borneo..

Sorung language

Sorung is an extinct language of the island Erromango in Vanuatu. It has sometimes been classified as a dialect of Sie.

Sörsörian language

Sörsörian is a possibly extinct language of Vanuatu, presumably one of the Malekula Interior languages.

Wila' language

Wila’, also Bila’ and Lowland Semang, are extinct Mon–Khmer languages of Malaya recorded on the Wellesley coast opposite Penang in the early 19th century.

Wulguru language

Wulguru, or Manbara, is an extinct Australian Aboriginal language that was spoken by the Wulgurukaba people around the area around present day Townsville, Queensland, on the east coast of Australia. The range of Wulguru dialects known to have been around the area include two varieties mentioned from Palm Island, two from the Cleveland Bay area, and various dialects from Townsville.

Zhang-Zhung language

Zhang-Zhung (Tibetan: ཞང་ཞུང་, Wylie: zhang zhung) is an extinct Sino-Tibetan language that was spoken in what is now western Tibet. It is attested in a bilingual text called A Cavern of Treasures (mDzod phug) and several shorter texts.

A small number of documents preserved in Dunhuang contain an undeciphered language that has been called Old Zhangzhung, but the identification is controversial.

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