Linguistic Discovery


Editorial Statement

We are pleased to launch a new journal, Linguistic Discovery, which is dedicated to the description and analysis of primary linguistic data. The amazing linguistic diversity of our planet poses a great intellectual challenge to linguists as we attempt to define what aspects of language and language use are universal versus those which are particular to subsets of the world's languages. Linguistic Discovery provides a platform for linguists to explore these issues and to inform others about linguistic phenomena that deepen our understanding of language, as well our appreciation for it. The journal will be published at least two times per year.

In the previous two decades, linguists have become increasingly aware that linguistic diversity is in rapid decline. While there is some disagreement over the specific role that the professional linguist should play in any community's struggle to maintain or expand the use of its heritage language, all agree that linguists are uniquely suited to the task of accurately documenting and describing the world's languages. To this end, Linguistic Discovery aims for all of its articles to contain original or hard-to-access data, including cross-linguistic studies whose novelty may not be in the individual pieces of data described, but in the data base.

While there are a number of specialized journals that cater to the study of a given language or language family, few journals publish for a broad readership on a range of different languages. We believe that exposure to diverse linguistic data is critical for theorizing. Despite widespread agreement with this claim, many journals remain relatively narrow in the sets of languages analyzed and the theoretical topics covered. For this reason, Linguistic Discovery has a particular bias toward lesser-studied languages and phenomena.

As part of our commitment to the description and dissemination of primary language data, Linguistic Discovery publishes less traditional kinds of research as well: a section on "Notes from the Field," which encompasses reports on field conditions, issues of field methodology, and so on; downloadable data sets useful for teaching; linguistic problem sets that have been designed for varying levels of instruction; and editorials. Such sections are designed to enhance the availability of teaching resources, to help us incorporate linguistic research into our teaching, and to explore professional issues confronting our field.

Besides the focus of its contents, Linguistic Discovery is unlike most journals in that is it fully electronic in format. Our goal is not simply to provide an Internet accessible version of a journal that appears in print. Rather we intend to exploit the electronic medium to its fullest degree. Linguistic Discovery includes immediate archiving of the journal and an ability to search current issues and archived material. We encourage authors to include audio and video files as integral parts of their articles and data sets. It is our hope that the journal will provide a forum for rethinking the ways in which we publish in the field of linguistics, to make fuller use of the technology that is available.

Another highly unusual feature of Linguistic Discovery is that the journal is completely free and accessible world-wide. Subscriptions are intended for those readers who wish to be notified each time a new issue is published. However, the journal can be read without a subscription, and we invite all readers to contribute articles for publication.

By not maintaining a print version, we are able to avoid some of the costs that confront other journals. For the costs that remain, we have a commitment of support on the part of Dartmouth College that allows us to guarantee that the journal site will be maintained indefinitely and that the journal will be archived so that the information it contains will be accessible in the distant future.

In all these ways, Linguistic Discovery is filling a gap in our current resources. At the same time, like other top publications, we are committed to upholding the highest standards of scholarship. All submissions go through a process of anonymous peer review. We are proud to have an outstanding editorial board which works with us to ensure that only research of the highest caliber is published.

Lenore A. Grenoble, Dartmouth College
Lindsay J. Whaley, Dartmouth College

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Page last updated Wednesday, February 20, 2002.
ISSN 1537-0852

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