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I think it would be helpful to have some pointers to places where people can get definitions of linguistic terminology, to help them understand answers. I try not to use too much technical linguistic terminology, but it is difficult to avoid at times; and the whole point of technical jargon is that it makes it easier to discuss technical issues.

Perhaps we should have an FAQ entry that points to places (such as Wikipedia, Glottopedia, IPA, WALS, Popular Lingusitics, SIL lexicon of linguistics, etc, etc) so that people can look up unfamiliar terms?

  • Do you think it would be better to point to other sites or to make a lexicon ourselves? :) We can make a meta question here and slowly insert new terminology little by little. :) – Alenanno Jun 1 '12 at 8:18
  • By the way, remember to accept the answer; it's important in Meta as well! – Alenanno Jun 1 '12 at 22:56
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The resource has been created, see the Meta question FAQ: Linguistic Terminology. I'm tagging this .


If we make it ourselves (with the help of everybody), then I propose we use this scheme.

  1. The question will be linked to our Community FAQ and will be "usable" by the users to redirect newbies, e.g. under a question using a comment like "If you don't know this term, check our database/etc".

  2. We'd use a single answer with the list of all terms. The term itself could be a link to some other page, like Wikipedia, for further explanation. Alternatively, we could make several questions to split the content like one answer for terms from A-F, then G-L, M-Q, R-Z.

If we don't make it ourselves, then we could decide together what's the best source.

  • There are an awful lot of technical terms used in linguistics, I don't think it would be practical to create our own glossary. I think it would be best to simply list some good sites where people can go to find out what terms mean. – Gaston Ümlaut Jun 1 '12 at 9:56
  • @GastonÜmlaut What site do you suggest? – Alenanno Jun 1 '12 at 9:59
  • I listed some in my question: Glottopedia, the IPA, the SIL Linguistic glossary,etc. – Gaston Ümlaut Jun 1 '12 at 11:12
  • @GastonÜmlaut If you find more, feel free to add them to that question! :) – Alenanno Jun 1 '12 at 12:36
  • @GastonÜmlaut I was thinking... If we could slowly build our own resources, don't you think they would function as "keywords" that people will use to come here when they search on google? – Alenanno Jun 1 '12 at 13:26
  • That's a good point... maybe we should do as you suggest and have a part of the FAQ dedicated to terminology. And now I see that it's actually done! – Gaston Ümlaut Jun 2 '12 at 0:54

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