Open Language Archives Community.

I just discovered the Open Language Archives Community (OLAC):

OLAC, the Open Language Archives Community, is an international partnership of institutions and individuals who are creating a worldwide virtual library of language resources by: (i) developing consensus on best current practice for the digital archiving of language resources, and (ii) developing a network of interoperating repositories and services for housing and accessing such resources.

I got to it by typing “Georgian” into the search box at Marginalia Search, “an independent DIY search engine that focuses on non-commercial content, and attempts to show you sites you perhaps weren’t aware of.” That brought me here, and I clicked on the link OLAC resources in and about the Georgian language, where the first link under “Primary texts” was “Histoire de l’âne en géorgien,” a minute-long audio file that was fun to listen to even though I’ve forgotten almost all my Georgian. Give Marginalia a try!


  1. Marginalia Search is absolutely delightful. I’ve never found myself asking for a search engine that mostly returns academic websites, but it turns out that’s precisely what I needed.

  2. For all of Georgian’s fearsome maximal onsets, it sure uses a lot of CV syllables.

  3. David Eddyshaw says

    After all the effort put into the onsets, there is no energy left for any more consonant clusters.

  4. David Eddyshaw says

    The speakers of Svan show more stamina, deleting or reducing every even-numbered non-final vowel, because you can never have too many consonant clusters:

    (Old Irish, nothing.)

  5. Sadly, in reality it is absolutely useless as my website on Georgian verbs does not appear on any of these sites. 😀


    While in Svaneti I learned some Svan from my hosts, only to find out a few days later that all that I learned was completely incomprehensible when I moved further up the mountains to a new place. I presume, there must be mutual intelligibility with the similarly mutually-unintelligible-mountainous-peoples in Switzerland.

  6. Which wouldn’t be so bad if you start with CVCVCV…, except that u/o get reduced to /w/ instead of being deleted.

    How about §2.6 “Expressive phonosemantics”, though: “big-big ‘the clumsy gait of a big man’; pig-pig ‘a thin person’s gait’”; “p’rit’-ä(j) ‘has raised, flapping ears’, prit-ä(j) ‘has wide ears’”; “gwir ‘a bald man stands/sits’”.

  7. From DE’s link:

    Svan has a reputation for being archaic, harsh-sounding, and impossible for non-Svans to acquire.

    Now that’s what I call a language. I’ll have to give it a whirl sometime.

    my website on Georgian verbs

    Nice website!

  8. A toast in Svan (with transcription).

  9. Thanks Hat! I am always wary about self-promotion, but of all the dross I have tossed on the Internet, this is the one I’d most like to be useful, so, if anyone looks at it and sees glaring (or not so glaring) omissions, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

    As for Svan language learning resources, my winter project the past few years has been slowly uploading Varlam Topuria’s coursebook on Svan. It’s all uploaded now, but still mostly unformatted and still all in Georgian, though mostly usable with the aid of Google Translate.

  10. of all the dross I have tossed on the Internet, this is the one I’d most like to be useful

    Google is getting more and more useless at finding things. It’s basically, where the herd goes, Google goes.

    Microsoft Academic used to be great for finding more specialist resources — you could actually find useful, targeted material without the usual popular but useless dross — but it was retired at the end of 2021.

    In their parting message they recommend that you should try the following alternatives:
    Semantic Scholar

  11. David Eddyshaw says

    “Next Steps for Microsoft Academic – Expanding into New Horizons”

    Wonderful corporate gobbledegook for “We’re withdrawing the service.”

  12. New Horizons of Nothingness.

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