Letter from the Editor

This work builds on a distinguished tradition at Oxford University Press of publishing authoritative reference works in our field, beginning with William Bright’s four-volume International Encyclopedia of Linguistics, published over thirty years ago.

Oxford University Press is also the leader in marshaling the resources of the modern electronic world to serve and enhance academic publishing, beginning with the pioneering conversion of the monumental Oxford English Dictionary to electronic form over a quarter-century ago. The OED online stands as the premier electronic resource for the study of language. I have had the privilege to serve as the Editor in Chief of the Oxford Bibliographies in Linguistics since its inception. That effort has only deepened my belief in the power of electronic publishing of reference works and I am honored to also be the inaugural Editor in Chief of this encyclopedia, which has entered its second decade.

The ORE of Linguistics has become the focal point of OUP’s electronic reference resources in linguistics, with seamless links to the Oxford Bibliographies in Linguistics and the Oxford Handbooks Online, which, as of this writing, contains over to twenty-five hundred articles drawn from seventy three print volumes. As both these resources have continued to grow, they have also added to the power of the encyclopedia.

As of this writing, the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics contains over five hundred articles covering a wide array of topics encompassing the entire breadth of the field. The Encyclopedia continues to grow with the field. Its online nature allows us the regularly update articles as scholarship grows and changes.

The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics adheres closely to OUP’s model for all its online research encyclopedias, to combine the best of digital publishing — dynamic, responsive, updateable, collaborative, living, discoverable — with the core tenets of academic publishing that OUP has upheld relentlessly since its founding in the sixteenth century – quality, reliability, and authority, ensured by a strong editorial board, peer review, commissioned articles, and a commitment to the highest standards of scientific inquiry and objectivity.

From its beginnings, modern linguistics has sought to describe and analyze the world's languages in a way that would bring out what unifies them, while also accounting for their vast diversity. This undertaking has always been deeply international in its scope, and electronic communication has only strengthened the bonds uniting scholars and their research enterprises, so that the field has become an even stronger community. The ORE of Linguistics has become a focal point of this community. To that end, we have assembled an Advisory Board of prominent scholars from around the globe. Through their work and dedication, the Encyclopedia fosters and will continue to encourage ongoing dialogue and communication amongst members of the linguistics community. Our articles provide overviews on a broad range of topics, and as a result, the Encyclopedia promotes continued knowledge growth amongst students and specialists alike.

We are in the midst of the greatest shift in the publishing environment since the advent of the printing press over five hundred years ago. The exciting possibilities afforded by this shift to the world of scholarship are just beginning to emerge but the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics is playing an important role in shaping the future of the field of linguistics.

Mark Aronoff
Trustees Distinguished Professor of Linguistics, SUNY Stony Brook
Editor in Chief, Oxford Bibliographies in Linguistics
Editor in Chief, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics