Already, in the meta there are discussions about if people should gloss their sample text. I find their argument persuasive that foreign text without a gloss is useless without several thousand hours of study of the language in question.

The professional linguists are using the Leipzig Glossing Rules.

  1. Should we expect Leipzig Glossing Rules to work for all invented languages?

  2. How does one handle grammar that may not match up with the "standard abbreviations"? Lojban comes to mind, since they as a community reject that grammatical classes in Lojban have any counterpart in natural languages.

  3. Conlang audiences are just as likely to be an amateur audience, unlike the readers of linguistics academic journal. Is there a better way to gloss for a popular audience?

Should we expect Leipzig Glossing Rules to work for all invented languages?

No, not all of them, but the set of languages for which they will not work is exceedingly restricted. Basically, just ask yourself "can my language be written in a primarily linear format?" If so, the Leipzig Glossing Rules are for you. If it is carried by sound, you can gloss it. That right there covers very nearly every language that has been asked about on this site so far. If it's a manual sign language, there's still an exceedingly good chance that you can gloss it. If it's a fully-2D non-linear writing system, the alterations you will have to make to the conventions to make it work then become sufficiently large that it would no longer make sense to call the result "Leipzig glossing". But those aren't exactly common.

How does one handle grammar that may not match up with the "standard abbreviations"? Lojban comes to mind, since they as a community reject that grammatical classes in Lojban have any counterpart in natural languages.

Exactly the same way the professionals do: by providing a glossary of your non-standard abbreviations.

Conlang audiences are just as likely to be an amateur audience, unlike the readers of linguistics academic journal. Is there a better way to gloss for a popular audience?

That depends on what you are trying to communicate to that popular audience. In some cases, a full gloss may not be needed, even for a professional audience. A simple set of parallel translations demonstrating the effect of a straightforward morphological or syntactic alternation, for example, may be sufficient for its purpose. But in the general case... I don't think so. Leipzig glosses are intended to be easy to understand, and they succeed at that about as well as it is possible to do in most cases.

  • 3
    It's wise to give a glossary for all abbreviations, even the ones you feel are standard, because there're enough non-standard uses of abbreviations in glosses out there that someone is sure to be confused if you don't, whether through your fault or there's. It's a simple step which makes it safer for everyone. – curiousdannii Mar 12 at 4:08

Since

  1. It's really hard to conceive of a human language whose grammar and syntax are truly outside the bound of what exists in natural language (despite Lojban fanboy statements to the contrary) to the point that the Leipzig rules can't be used for it.
  2. The Leipzig rules already are already designed to handle human languages, and human languages can get pretty ridiculous already.

I don't see what's the problem. You don't have to go the strict way either, you can be as specific or as generic as your example needs to be, but the Leipzig rules are always a good place to start.

Besides, people are more likely to argue about the terminology (i.e. which abbreviation you're using, again as in your own Lojban example) or what words to use to gloss something than about the application of Leipzig proper.

Your Answer

 

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.