An international team of researchers has set out a proposal for new guidelines on cross-linguistic data formats, in order to facilitate sharing and data comparisons between the growing number of large linguistic databases worldwide.¬†Science Daily brought us this interesting topic in their article, “Guidelines for a standardized data format for use in cross-linguistic studies.”

There is an ever increasing number of linguistic databases worldwide. However, these databases are generally created independently of each other, with unique and narrow foci. This disconnect results in different data components, which takes away the option of effectively comparing data across databases.

The Cross-Linguistic Data Formats Initiative (CLDF) was created in an effort to resolves these issues. The CLDF sets out proposed guidelines for a standardized format for linguistic databases, and also supplies a software package utilizing a basic ontology. The goal of this effort is to facilitate sharing and re-use of data in comparative linguistics.

With an ontology to define content, the relationships and connections are identified, and that provides consistency in data sharing.

Melody K. Smith

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