Paul Trilsbeek


Displaying 1 - 5 of 5
  • Drude, S., Trilsbeek, P., & Broeder, D. (2012). Language Documentation and Digital Humanities: The (DoBeS) Language Archive. In J. C. Meister (Ed.), Digital Humanities 2012 Conference Abstracts. University of Hamburg, Germany; July 16–22, 2012 (pp. 169-173).


    Overview Since the early nineties, the on-going dramatic loss of the world’s linguistic diversity has gained attention, first by the linguists and increasingly also by the general public. As a response, the new field of language documentation emerged from around 2000 on, starting with the funding initiative ‘Dokumentation Bedrohter Sprachen’ (DoBeS, funded by the Volkswagen foundation, Germany), soon to be followed by others such as the ‘Endangered Languages Documentation Programme’ (ELDP, at SOAS, London), or, in the USA, ‘Electronic Meta-structure for Endangered Languages Documentation’ (EMELD, led by the LinguistList) and ‘Documenting Endangered Languages’ (DEL, by the NSF). From its very beginning, the new field focused on digital technologies not only for recording in audio and video, but also for annotation, lexical databases, corpus building and archiving, among others. This development not just coincides but is intrinsically interconnected with the increasing focus on digital data, technology and methods in all sciences, in particular in the humanities.
  • Drude, S., Broeder, D., Trilsbeek, P., & Wittenburg, P. (2012). The Language Archive: A new hub for language resources. In N. Calzolari (Ed.), Proceedings of LREC 2012: 8th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (pp. 3264-3267). European Language Resources Association (ELRA).


    This contribution presents “The Language Archive” (TLA), a new unit at the MPI for Psycholinguistics, discussing the current developments in management of scientific data, considering the need for new data research infrastructures. Although several initiatives worldwide in the realm of language resources aim at the integration, preservation and mobilization of research data, the state of such scientific data is still often problematic. Data are often not well organized and archived and not described by metadata ― even unique data such as field-work observational data on endangered languages is still mostly on perishable carriers. New data centres are needed that provide trusted, quality-reviewed, persistent services and suitable tools and that take legal and ethical issues seriously. The CLARIN initiative has established criteria for suitable centres. TLA is in a good position to be one of such centres. It is based on three essential pillars: (1) A data archive; (2) management, access and annotation tools; (3) archiving and software expertise for collaborative projects. The archive hosts mostly observational data on small languages worldwide and language acquisition data, but also data resulting from experiments
  • Seifart, F., Haig, G., Himmelmann, N. P., Jung, D., Margetts, A., & Trilsbeek, P. (Eds.). (2012). Potentials of language documentation: Methods, analyses, and utilization. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press.


    In the past 10 or so years, intensive documentation activities, i.e. compilations of large, multimedia corpora of spoken endangered languages have contributed to the documentation of important linguistic and cultural aspects of dozens of languages. As laid out in Himmelmann (1998), language documentations include as their central components a collection of spoken texts from a variety of genres, recorded on video and/or audio, with time-aligned annotations consisting of transcription, translation, and also, for some data, morphological segmentation and glossing. Text collections are often complemented by elicited data, e.g. word lists, and structural descriptions such as a grammar sketch. All data are provided with metadata which serve as cataloguing devices for their accessibility in online archives. These newly available language documentation data have enormous potential.
  • Trilsbeek, P., & Wittenburg, P. (2005). Archiving challenges. In J. Gippert, N. Himmelmann, & U. Mosel (Eds.), Essentials of language documentation (pp. 311-335). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Wittenburg, P., Skiba, R., & Trilsbeek, P. (2005). The language archive at the MPI: Contents, tools, and technologies. Language Archives Newsletter, 5, 7-9.

Share this page