CLLD – Cross-Linguistic Linked Data

Language Comparison with Linguistic Databases - RefLex and Typological Databases

posted Friday, October 10, 2014 by Robert Forkel

I spent the last couple of days in Nijmegen having had the fortune of being invited to the workshop Language Comparison with Linguistic Databases: RefLex and Typological Databases at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.

Our presentation of the clld software seems to have touched on one issue in particular that is of general interest in the community:

What should be the next step after the "gold rush" of linguistic database creation?

Obviously looking beyond one's own nose was a very good start.

Recurring topics were the importance of appropriate data visualization, and the realization that accessing data from tools should be mediated via a (standard) API. While automatic creation of an index of language features available in different databases may already be a good application exploiting such an API, I would guess that a visualization like the WALS Sunburst Explorer has way more potential to be the killer app to help develop this API.

So as a starting point towards such an API, we will experiment with turning the Sunburst Explorer into a visualization app that can suck in data via JSONP from as many typological databases as possible. And we would be happy if you joined the party by joining the list Cross-Linguistic Databases.