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Why WSK?

Why WSK and why authors participate in this project?

WSK is the most ambitious attempt in the field of linguistic terminology. There is no comparable project that brings together so many experts in the different fields of linguistics in order to provide up to date definitions and explication of the myriads of central and sometimes less central terms in linguistics and to give a fine-grained and relationally linked network of the terminology in linguistics. None of the printed dictionaries of linguistics that are currently on the market have a comparable coverage of terms. The articles are all written according to the most advanced standards of lexicology. Addressees of this enterprise are students of linguistics (beginners and advanced levels) as well as linguistic experts who might be more interested in the systematic relationships of one term vis-à-vis other related terms or on the selection of central references. WSK is NOT just another handbook. It is a terminological database grouped around different subfield of linguistics. The printed volumes will follow, once the ongoing process of the addition of new articles will be finished in 2018.

One might object that the WSK project of De Gruyter is a private enterprise surely for academic purposes but of course not for free. The question might arise, why not to launch such a project as a Wiki-type data-base. There are some attempts to create web-based terminological data-bases of linguistics, though such as "Glottopedia", the "Glossary of linguistic terms" of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, and, of course, there is Wikipedia containing many good quality articles on linguistic terms. None of these attempts does meet the wide coverage of terms, nor the high standards for the articles WSK has set up from the beginning of this project.

WSK has several advantages over WIKI-type publications which will be enumerated briefly:

  • Articles are written only by experts on the topic;
  • Articles are edited before publication—first by the area/volume editors, then by the database/series editors (and they are revisable after publication);
  • Sustainability is guaranteed since this is a commercial product not reliant on volunteers and grants;
  • The publisher makes a considerable investment to ensure quality and user-friendliness;
  • Article authors are named, they are not anonymous;
  • Authors get full credit for articles as academic publications;
  • Articles are citable in other academic publications.

It has to be stressed that most of the authors that decided to participate in one of the WSK volumes and to write articles clearly see the advantages over Wiki-type projects with regard to linguistic terminology. First of all, it is an intellectual exciting task to define and explicate linguistic terms embedded in a network of related terms. Secondly, our authors are young researchers in the respective fields and they took over the opportunity to write named (i.e. non-anonymous) articles that count as academic publications in an ambitious project launched by one of the leading publisher in linguistics.

  1. Fakultät für Sprach-, Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaften
  2. Institut für Information und Medien, Sprache und Kultur (I:IMSK)

Allg. und Vergl. Sprachwissenschaft

Wörterbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft

Volume 13: Linguistic Typology