Interlinear gloss

Interlinear gloss

In linguistics and pedagogy, an interlinear gloss is a gloss placed between a line of running text (or its transliteration) and its translation, so that each line of the original text acquires multiple lines of transcription known as an interlinear text or interlinear glossed text (IGT), or interlinear for short. Such glosses help the reader follow the relationship between the text and its translation and the structure of the language being glossed. In its simplest form, an interlinear gloss is simply a literal, word-for-word translation that may not be coherent in the language of translation.

An interlinear text will commonly consist of some or all of the following, usually in this order, from top to bottom:
*The original orthography,
*a conventional transliteration into the Latin alphabet,
*a phonetic transcription,
*a morphophonemic transliteration,
*a word-by-word or morpheme-by-morpheme gloss, where morphemes within a word are separated by hyphens or other punctuation,and finally
*a free translation, which may be placed in a separate paragraph or on the facing page if the structures of the languages are too different to allow it to follow the text line by line.

As an example, the following Taiwanese clause has been transcribed with five lines of text:
#the standard "pe̍h-ōe-jī" tranliteration,
#a gloss using tone numbers for the surface tones,
#a gloss showing the underlying tones in citation form (before undergoing tone sandhi),
#a morpheme-by-morpheme gloss in English, and
#an English translation: [Example from "A Basic Vocabulary for a Beginner in Taiwanese" by Ko Chek Hoan and Tan Pang Tin]

1. goa iau-bòe khóat-tèng tãng-sî bóeh tńg-khì.2. goa1 iau1-boe3 khoat2-teng3 tang7-si5 boeh2 tng2-khi3.3. goa2 iau2-boe7 khoat4-teng7 tang1-si5 boeh4 tng2-khi3.4. I not-yet decide when want return.5. "I have not yet decided when I shall return."

In linguistics, it has become standard to align the words and to gloss each transcribed morpheme separately. That is, "khóat-tèng" in line 1 above would either require a hyphenated two-word gloss, or be transcribed without a hyphen, for example as "khóattèng." Grammatical terms are commonly abbreviated and printed in SMALL CAPITALS to keep them distinct from translations, especially when they are frequent or important for analysis. Varying levels of analysis may be detailed. For example, in a Lezgian text using standard romanization, [Haspelmath 1993:207]


Here the gloss is word for word; rather than setting off Lezgian morphemes with hyphens, the English words in the gloss are joined with periods when more than one is required to translate a Lezgian word.

A semi-standardized set of parsing conventions and grammatical abbreviations is explained in the [ Leipzig Glossing Rules] .


External links

* [ The Leipzig Glossing Rules: Conventions for interlinear morpheme-by-morpheme glosses]
* [ Interlinear Glossed Text Standards] (E-MELD)
* [ Interlinear Glossed Text Levels] (E-MELD)
* [ Toward a General Model of Interlinear Text] (E-MELD)
* [ Interlinear Morphemic Glosses]
* [ Online Interlinear of Biblical Greek Scriptures (New Testament) text - Requires Adobe Acrobat]
* [ ODIN - The Online Database of INterlinear text]

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