The Language Archive -
RELISH: RENDERING ENDANGERED LANGUAGES LEXICONS INTEROPERABLE THROUGH STANDARDS HARMONIZATION
When a lexicon constitutes the only record of a dying or already extinct language, it can contribute unique linguistic and cultural information to our store of scientific knowledge. And making it interoperable with other lexical data becomes a critical research priority. However, despite the support accorded to initiatives to develop digital standards for language documentation within both the US and Germany, there still exist major barriers to lexicon interoperability. The most significant barrier is that standards-setting bodies have arrived at different standards for format and markup on the two sides of the Atlantic. Additionally, within each national community, divergences exist in lexicon format and markup, in part because field linguists have hitherto relied on software which does not offer the linguist adequate support in choosing structural or linguistic categories.
The project proposed here will promote language-oriented research by addressing a two-pronged problem: (1) the lack of harmonization between digital standards for lexical information in Europe and America, and (2) the lack of interoperability among existing lexicons of endangered languages, in particular those created with the Shoebox lexicon- building software. The project will harmonize key European and American digital standards whose divergence has hitherto impeded international collaboration on language technology for resource creation and analysis, as well as web services for archive access. Focusing on six to eight lexicons of endangered languages, the project will establish a unified way of referencing lexicon structure and linguistic concepts, and develop a procedure for migrating these heterogeneous lexicons to a standards-compliant format. Once developed, the procedure will be generalizable to the large store of lexical resources involved in the LEGO and DoBeS projects.
- RELISH meets LOEWE, Frankfurt, Germany, October 10, 2011
- RELISH Workshop on Lexicon Tools and Lexicon Standards, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, August 4-5, 2010
- Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, The Language Archive
- Goethe University Frankfurt, Vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft
- Eastern Michigan University, Institute for Language Information and Technology
- project files (internal)