[An-lang] Glossing notation

Ross Clark r.clark at auckland.ac.nz
Thu Jan 24 23:34:52 EST 2019

I've had an inquiry from the editor of a journal which sometimes publishes papers of a (Pacific) linguistic nature. They are contemplating changing the format for glosses of single words in languages other than English from single-quotes to parentheses -- e.g.from

fale 'house'


fale (house).

This would bring it into agreement with the reverse situation, where a local-language equivalent is given for a word in non-linguistic discussion:

house (fale).

[Sorry, all those fale's should be in italics. Don't know how to make that happen in Outlook.]

Apparently the Chicago Manual of Style approves this. 

I don’t find this change particularly disturbing, even though single-quotes is a pretty widely followed practice in linguistics. But I wanted to circulate the question a little to see if there is strong feeling about it, or if people can think of difficulties which haven’t occurred to me.
Thanks for your input.
Ross Clark

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