Deconstructing descriptive grammars
Much work within digital linguistics has focused on the problem of developing concrete methods and general principles for encoding data structures designed for non-digital media into digital formats. This work has been successful enough that the field is now in a position to move past "retrofitting" digital solutions onto analog structures and to consider how new technologies should actually change linguistic practice. The domain of grammaticography is looked at from this perspective, and a traditional descriptive grammar is reconceptualized as a database of linked data, in principle curated from distinct sources. Among the consequences of such a reconceptualization is the potential loss of two valued features of traditional descriptive grammars, here termed coverage and coherence. The nature of these features is examined in order to determine how they can be integrated into a linked data model of digital descriptive grammars, thereby allowing us to benefit from new technology without losing important features intrinsic to the structure of the traditional version of the resource.