[An-lang] Glossing notation

Paul Geraghty paul.geraghty at usp.ac.fj
Sun Jan 27 21:45:33 EST 2019

Hugh, it only becomes a nightmare if you use apostrophe for glottal stop. I insist on using something closer to IPA – see attached on Tongan, and note there is also an upper case form (sorry it’s a draft, can’t find the final version!). Paul

From: An-lang <an-lang-bounces at anu.edu.au> On Behalf Of Hugh Paterson III
Sent: Saturday, January 26, 2019 8:21 AM
To: John Lynch <johnlynch123 at gmail.com>
Cc: an-lang at anu.edu.au
Subject: Re: [An-lang] Glossing notation

I prefer the quote marks unless there is a glottal stop in the orthography of the translation, then it becomes a typographical nightmare.  Parentheses in my opinion should be for parenthetical statements within the primary language of the text body.

- Hugh Paterson.  Someone younger than a baby boomer.

On Fri, Jan 25, 2019 at 12:12 PM John Lynch <johnlynch123 at gmail.com<mailto:johnlynch123 at gmail.com>> wrote:
It would be interesting to know the reason for this proposed change.

Parentheses are usually used to add additional but non-essential information. Calling on my editorial experience, I can envisage two different kinds of situations. One is where the non-English term is used as if it was an ordinary word in an ordinary sentence, in which case the parenthetical translation might be appropriate. For example:
a. Only men may enter the fale (house) during mortuary ceremonies ...
b. Only men may enter the house (fale) during mortuary ceremonies ...

The other is where the focus is on the word as an item of linguistic exposition, in which case the parenthesis is mistakenly treating the gloss as non-essential. In such cases I would support retaining the current practice. E.g.:

c. The first syllable of  fale 'house' is usually stressed,although ...


On Fri, Jan 25, 2019 at 3:44 PM Ross Clark <r.clark at auckland.ac.nz<mailto:r.clark at auckland.ac.nz>> wrote:
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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John Lynch, FAHA
Emeritus Professor of Pacific Languages
University of the South Pacific
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