In Glottopedia, survey articles are articles that give an overview of linguistic research in a particular subject area. They are articles of the sort that one finds in handbooks of linguistics (e.g. Lappin (ed.) 1996, Ágel et al. (eds.) 2006) and in state-of-the-art volumes (e.g. Cheng & Sybesma (eds.) 2002). They are also articles of the sort that one finds in Wikipedia. Thus, when a Wikipedia article on a linguistic subject is copied into Glottopedia, it should normally be classified as a survey article.
Survey articles should not be confused with dictionary articles. Dictionary articles are primarily about linguistic terms (though they also give examples of phenomena denoted by these terms), whereas survey articles are about the phenomena themselves.
Thus, Glottopedia may well contain both a dictionary article and a survey article about the same topic. In most cases, the articles will be distinguished by normal naming conventions (e.g. in English, survey articles but not dictionary articles have a definite article in their name, cf. the dictionary article middle voice and the survey article The middle voice). When the survey article and the dictionary article would have the same title, the survey article is distinguished from the dictionary article by "(survey)" in the article title (e.g., topicalization and topicalization (survey).)
But survey articles may of also be written about topics that cannot be characterized by a single term. Thus, The passive in Relational Grammar or Sociolinguistics in Thailand would be suitable survey articles, but not suitable dictionary articles.
The collective authorship made possible by the wiki format seems to be less well suited for survey articles, so at present Glottopedia focuses on dictionary articles. For the future, we envisage the possibility of individually authored survey articles that are not freely editable, but can be freely discussed and updated by their authors.
- Ágel, Vilmos et al. (eds.) 2006. Dependency and Valency: An International Handbook of Contemporary Research. Berlin: de Gruyter.
- Cheng, Lisa & Sybesma, Rint (eds.) 2002. The second GLOT International State-of-the-Article-Book. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
- Lappin, Shalom (ed.) 1996. The handbook of contemporary semantic theory. Oxford: Blackwell.