The Leipzig Glossing Rules for interlinear morpheme-by-morpheme translations

Martin Haspelmath haspelmath at EVA.MPG.DE
Thu Jun 26 10:44:04 UTC 2003

Dear typologists,

Many linguists that work on less widely known languages make use of
interlinear morpheme-by-morpheme glosses, for which fairly standard
conventions now exist. However, these conventions have hardly been been
codified so far.

The Leipzig Glossing Rules represent an attempt at codification of the
current conventions in the field. They can be found under

The Leipzig Glossing Rules have been developed jointly by the Department
of Linguistics of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
(Bernard Comrie, Martin Haspelmath) and by the Department of Linguistics
of the University of Leipzig (Balthasar Bickel). They consist of ten
rules for the "syntax" and "semantics" of interlinear glosses, and an
appendix with a proposed "lexicon" of abbreviated category labels.

The Rules cover a large part of linguists' needs in glossing texts, but
many authors will feel the need to add (or modify) certain conventions
(especially category labels). Still, it will be useful to have a
standard set of conventions that linguists can refer to, and the Leipzig
Rules are proposed as such to the community of linguists. We expect, for
instance, that teachers may find them useful if asked by students, and
journal editors may recommend adherence to these Rules to their authors.

The Rules are intended to reflect common usage, and only very few
(mostly optional) innovations are proposed. We intend to update the
Leipzig Glossing Rules occasionally, so feedback is very welcome.

Martin Haspelmath

Martin Haspelmath (haspelmath at
Max-Planck-Institut fuer evolutionaere Anthropologie, Deutscher Platz 6	
D-04103 Leipzig
Tel. (MPI) +49-341-3550 307, (priv.) +49-341-980 1616

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