Ethnologue changes access, again! Clarifying points

News in brief.
Ethnologue, as of October 26, have changed their access conditions on the site. Instead of getting 3 free page views per month, users can now see all pages on the website but not all information on them. To the right are examples of what the views look like for Country and Language pages. This has sparked negative emotions.

They are also pushing more for their guide pages, which old users may notice is very similar to the "Statistics" pages of older editions but with less information. These guide pages seem directed more at educators than academics.

Just like with the previous access restrictions, these are not levied against users in certain countries with low mean incomes. They have also launched a contributor program, which will enable people who contribute to access Ethnologue freely.

SIL International is the publisher of Ethnologue, they are a "faith-based" organisation and while they claim to not be missionary, they work closely with and are funded…

Language family maps

Last week, I assigned Bernhard Comrie's (2017) chapter 'The Languages of the World' (from The Handbook of Linguistics, 2017) to a class. It's a basic overview of the world's language families, which is what I wanted them to read, but for one thing: there are no maps in it. I overcompensated in class by presenting a 30-item list of maps, because some things are just so much easier to understand using visual representations. I decided to post some of the best ones I could find here, for future reference and in order to invite you to post better ones in the comments.

This blog has featured posts on maps before, by Hedvig on how to best represent linguistic diversity on maps and by Matt on new approaches to ethnographies-linguistic maps. It's clear that the kind of maps that are typically used to depict the spatial distribution of languages of a single language family are fraught with difficulties. Typically they deal with multilingualism very poorly, the data they…

ALT2019 conference report

Two weeks ago, the 13th Conference of the Association for Linguistic Typology (ALT) took place in Pavia, Italy. As the name says, this is the main gathering for members of the Association for Linguistic Typology, and it's on a different continent every two years. It just happened to be in Europe as I was ready to go conferencing again (now dragging two kids in tow) so that was lucky.

I like ALT a lot because I can go to basically any talk and find myself interested in it. There are hardly any talks or posters where I am disappointed because it isn't really my cup of tea - it's all typology so everything is my cup of tea :)! It is where the humans who read grammars gather. This year, ALT was paired with a summer school on 'Language universals and language diversity in an evolutionary perspective', which I would have loved to attend (but, kids).

For the first time in history (as far as we could find), ALT offered child care. About 5 attendees made use of this (and so…

My ELAN workflow for segmenting and transcription

Hello everyone,

Hedvig here. I'm currently writing up my PhD thesis, hence the lack of writing here. Hopefully I'll be able to pick it up after submission, there's a lot of drafts lying on blogger waiting for completion. If you really, really miss me in particular, you could listen to my ramble at Talk the Talk - a weekly show about linguistics.

Now that the shameless plug and excuses are done with, let's get down and talk about:


In this blog post, I will focus on a part of this challenge¹ - the workflow for segmenting and transcribing  audio material. This is a rough guide, if it turns out people appreciate something like this I'll re-write it more thoroughly. This is a bit sloppily written in places, but trust me - if I do this "properly" right now I will lose days of work time that I should be spending on my thesis... so, I'll only do it if people really want it - and I might wait a while until I do. Sorry, but it is wh…