[Lingtyp] Ethnologue goes for paid access

Les Bruce les_bruce at sil.org
Thu Dec 31 01:24:29 UTC 2015

I don't think we need fear that Ethnologue will be discontinued by SIL.
People like Joe and Barbara Grimes who pioneered this work have been
strongly supported by their constituency who have appreciated the academic
work of these people.  


Les Bruce


From: Lingtyp [mailto:lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org] On Behalf
Of Everett, Daniel
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 3:41 PM
To: Martin Haspelmath
Cc: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] Ethnologue goes for paid access


It is not at all clear that SIL is trying to make money. Maintaining these
pages costs thousands of dollars per month and, as Martin says, SIL has no
academic funding. Its funding comes from churches by and large and they have
no particular interest in supporting non-mission related academics. I
strongly urge the academic community to develop its own resources in this



Sent from my iPhone

On Dec 30, 2015, at 16:28, Martin Haspelmath <haspelmath at shh.mpg.de> wrote:

Yes, that's true, and here's the description:

They say you can access seven data pages per month for free.

I don't find this surprising. Ethnologue (and the entire academic branch of
SIL) has no proper academic funding, so it's normal that they are trying to
make some money out of their flagship publication.

Incidentally, Glottolog has no proper funding either, but as it is now
hosted by MPI-SHH in Jena (http://www.shh.mpg.de/48816/research_outline), at
least its continued existence is assured for the next dozen years or so.

(I think we should try to tell our administrators that it makes little sense
to try to sell academic publications. Instead, they should by properly
funded by the academic publishers themselves, in order not to drive
academics even further into questionable practices
-based-on-illegal-foundations/> .)


On 30.12.15 22:16, Peter Arkadiev wrote:

Dear all,
does any one know whether the access to the Ethnologue is going to be by
paid subscription only? When trying to routinely access the information
about a random language, I got a screen advertising paid subscription for
$60 per year, and there is no way to bypass it and get access to the
information which was freely available a week ago. This looks pretty

Martin Haspelmath (haspelmath at shh.mpg.de)
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
Kahlaische Strasse 10    
D-07745 Jena  
Leipzig University
Beethovenstrasse 15
D-04107 Leipzig    

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