Guidelines for Language Experts

A language expert has the responsibility of entering language data for a particular language into the database. Each language of the database will have at least one language expert associated with it. To become a language expert for the database, please click the login button on the navigation bar, and then click “Sign Up” and fill out the form.


Language experts are acknowledged on the masthead of the web site (under a link called “Contributors” in the navigation bar on the top of the page).

In the near future, we will configure the system so that the contributor name will also appear accompanying every piece of data in the system. For example, the property-value pair Verb Object:Yes for Ewe will be listed as having been set by Chris Collins.


A language expert will preferably be a native speaker linguist of the language in question. There is no constraint on the type of theoretical framework adopted by an expert. If there are no native speaker linguists available, the language expert can be a linguist with a deep knowledge of the language in question.


The language expert will be in charge of setting the property values for their particular language. Since new properties will be continually added to the system, the language expert must be willing to check into the system regularly (e.g., once per month) to set the values of new properties that have been uploaded.

The language expert will also be in charge of adding examples to the data to illustrate the property-value pairs. These examples should conform to the Leipzig glossing rules (see http://www.eva.mpg.de/lingua/resources/glossing-rules.php). The language expert is encouraged to look at other examples currently in the database to get an idea for the general style of the glosses. For each language in the database, each property-value pair should have at least one illustrating example.

The language experts may wish to work in a team. For example, the language expert on Russian may choose to ask other linguists if they want to help out with Russian.

If in setting property-value pairs, or adding examples, the language expert has a question, he or she should write to linguisticexplorer@gmail.com.

From time to time, a language expert might be asked to review newly proposed properties (to make sure that it is clear how the proposed properties would be set for their particular language). This is not a formal review process since no attempt will be made to keep the identities of the language experts secret. Furthermore, the language experts will not have the job of rejecting or accepting the property definitions. Rather, they will simply have the job of commenting on the clarity and cross-linguistic applicability of the proposed property definitions.

Time Commitment

The predicted amount of time that a language expert must commit to the system will be on the average two hours (or more) a month, checking in at least once a month to see if there are new properties. Language experts may rotate from time to time.