Linguist List

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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.


Since 1991 the resource has been 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. Already in 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 2014 LINGUIST List was moved to the Indiana University Department of Linguistics.

The LINGUIST List is funded by grants from the National Science Foundation as well as by donations from supporting publishers, institutions and its subscribers during the fund drive month each spring. 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 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).[6] 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[7]
  • 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[8]
  • the LL-MAP project (defunct), designed to produce a comprehensive GIS site for language;[9]
  • the MultiTree project, designed to produce a complete database and tree-viewing facility to study language relationships[10]

The EMELD project[11] was the instigator of the GOLD ontology, the furthest advanced of the current attempts to build an ontology for the morphosyntax of linguistic data.[12] It has also produced a phonetics ontology, based upon Peter Ladefoged's and Ian Maddieson's The Sounds of the World's Languages.


  1. ^ About Us. The Linguist List
  2. ^ Documenting Endangered Languages (DEL) An Interagency Partnership
  3. ^ "5.1005 LINGUIST subscription by country". Linguist List. 19 September 1994. 
  4. ^ "1st LINGUIST Conference: Geometric & Thematic Structure in Binding". Linguist List. 1 April 1996. 
  5. ^ Supported Projects. The Linguist List
  6. ^ Variety names and codes
  7. ^ "Linguist List - Projects". The LINGUIST List. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  8. ^ Dena'ina
  9. ^ LL-MAP: Language and Location - Map Accessibility Project
  10. ^ MultiTree:A Digital Library of Language Relationships
  11. ^ E-MELD
  12. ^ About GOLD. Gold Community.

External links[edit]