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POLLEX-Online: The Polynesian Lexicon Project Online

From: Oceanic Linguistics
Volume 50, Number 2, December 2011
pp. 551-559 | 10.1353/ol.2011.0014



The Polynesian lexicon project, POLLEX, was initiated in 1965 by Bruce Biggs in order to provide a large-scale comparative dictionary of Polynesian languages. Since then, POLLEX has grown to include over 55,000 reflexes of more than 4,700 reconstructed forms in 68 languages. These data have enabled many fundamental advances in Polynesian linguistics and prehistory. At almost half a century old, POLLEX is one of the longest-standing databases of linguistic information, and has moved through various incarnations, from typewriter and edge-punched cards, through microfiche to mainframe computer. In the last few years, online databases of linguistic information have become increasingly more prevalent, representing a major shift in the way linguistics is conducted. Online databases provide many advantages over the older forms of data distribution, including high availability, more robust data storage, and easy data manipulation and searching, and they also facilitate the replication of previous studies. This paper announces the latest reincarnation of the POLLEX database as an online resource, POLLEX-Online (http://pollex.org.nz), and describes the technical implementation details.

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