An ontological approach to Canonical Typology: Laying the foundations for e‐Linguistics

Scott Farrar

in Canonical Morphology and Syntax

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199604326
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746154 | DOI:
An ontological approach to Canonical Typology: Laying the foundations for e‐Linguistics

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With the rise of the Web as the medium for curating typological data, linguists will have access to thousands of data sets on many of the world's remaining languages. It is not excluded that many or most grammars and sets of field notes will be digitized and stored in a Web-accessible format. Digitization requires interoperability and transparency of annotation. Standardization of terminology is one approach; however, there are more basic challenges, including a conceptual framework for specific areas including, among others, Canonical Typology. There is currently no broadly accepted means to allow arbitrary descriptive data to be automatically published, searched, and visualized, i.e. no possibility of an e-linguistics. Addressing this challenge Scott Farrar presents the General Ontology for Linguistic Description (GOLD). He argues that the framework can be employed to solve some basic issues concerning an implementation of Canonical Typology. An OWL-DL implementation of GOLD is presented with relevant examples.

Keywords: canonical typology; ontology; e-linguistics

Chapter.  9378 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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