LEXUS & ViCoS From lexical to conceptual spaces

Ringersma, J., Zinn, C., & Kemps-Snijders, M. (2009). LEXUS & ViCoS From lexical to conceptual spaces. In 1st International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC).
LEXUS and ViCoS: from lexicon to conceptual spaces LEXUS is a web-based lexicon tool and the knowledge space software ViCoS is an extension of LEXUS, allowing users to create relations between objects in and across lexica. LEXUS and ViCoS are part of the Language Archiving Technology software, developed at the MPI for Psycholinguistics to archive and enrich linguistic resources collected in the framework of language documentation projects. LEXUS is of primary interest for language documentation, offering the possibility to not just create a digital dictionary, but additionally it allows the creation of multi-media encyclopedic lexica. ViCoS provides an interface between the lexical space and the ontological space. Its approach permits users to model a world of concepts and their interrelations based on categorization patterns made by the speech community. We describe the LEXUS and ViCoS functionalities using three cases from DoBeS language documentation projects: (1) Marquesan The Marquesan lexicon was initially created in Toolbox and imported into LEXUS using the Toolbox import functionality. The lexicon is enriched with multi-media to illustrate the meaning of the words in its cultural environment. Members of the speech community consider words as keys to access and describe relevant parts of their life and traditions. Their understanding of words is best described by the various associations they evoke rather than in terms of any formal theory of meaning. Using ViCoS a knowledge space of related concepts is being created. (2) Kola-Sámi Two lexica are being created in LEXUS: RuSaDic lexicon is a Russian-Kildin wordlist in which the entries are of relative limited structure and content. SaRuDiC is a more complex structured lexicon with much richer content, including multi-media fragments and derivations. Using ViCoS we have created a connection between the two lexica, so that speakers who are familiair with Russian and wish to revitalize their Kildin can enter the lexicon through the RuSaDic and from there approach the informative SaRuDic. Similary we will create relations from the two lexica to external open databases, like e.g. Álgu. (3) Beaver A speaker database including kinship relations has been created and the database has been imported into LEXUS. In the LEXUS views the relations for individual speakers are being displayed. Using ViCoS the relational information from the database will be extracted to form a kisnhip relation space with specific relation types, like e.g 'mother-of'. The whole set of relations from the database can be displayed in one ViCoS relation window, and zoom functionality is available.
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