Pangloss comes from Greek pan ‘all’ and glossa ‘language’, and means ‘all languages’.
The -gloss part also evokes glossing, one of the activities of linguists when trying to render the original meaning of words in an unknown language.
As of october 2016, the Pangloss Collection contains data in 132 different languages. But the collection keeps growing regularly.
Our collection has a total of 2669 media resources, usually audio recordings from linguistic fieldwork. The primary function of Pangloss is to archive these recordings, by providing them with metadata (see under each title) and to diffuse them online.
Most of our recordings are oral stories [example from India], but a few recordings are wordlists or similar elicited material [examples from Vietnam, from Yunnan]; quite a number of our resources are also musical in nature [examples from Vanuatu, from Laos].
A fair portion of our archived resources is made accessible to the public, even in the absence of transcription or translation, as a way to make these valuable recordings accessible to all (see example from French Guyana). These purely audio resources are identified with the icon .
Yet among the 2669 resources, about one third (917 exactly) are also accompanied by a text, called an annotation; these are identified in our website through the icon . Depending on what the expert has been able to provide at this point, this text annotation can go from simple to quite complex:
Alongside these audio recordings and texts, a more recent feature of the Pangloss Collection is our collection of online dictionaries.
The recordings archived in the Pangloss Collection were made by a large array of people – usually linguists. Originally, the Pangloss Collection was meant to archive the field recordings of the researchers of LACITO (CNRS), and these still account for the majority of our recordings.
However, Pangloss also includes recordings made by other French researchers (e.g. L. Fontaine, G. Jacques, M. Ferlus…) or even from international research institutions (e.g. W. Breu from Germany; Trần Đỗ Đạt, from Vietnam…). We remain open to new contributions.
Pangloss also features some legacy materials, such as the historical recordings made by Georges Dumézil with Tevfik Saniç, the last speaker of Ubykh (including, sometimes, with Dumézil’s own handwritten notes).