An Empirical Evaluation of Annotation Practices in Corpora from Language Documentation

LREC 2020  ·  Kilu von Prince, Sebastian Nordhoff ·

For most of the world{'}s languages, no primary data are available, even as many languages are disappearing. Throughout the last two decades, however, language documentation projects have produced substantial amounts of primary data from a wide variety of endangered languages... These resources are still in the early days of their exploration. One of the factors that makes them hard to use is a relative lack of standardized annotation conventions. In this paper, we will describe common practices in existing corpora in order to facilitate their future processing. After a brief introduction of the main formats used for annotation files, we will focus on commonly used tiers in the widespread ELAN and Toolbox formats. Minimally, corpora from language documentation contain a transcription tier and an aligned translation tier, which means they constitute parallel corpora. Additional common annotations include named references, morpheme separation, morpheme-by-morpheme glosses, part-of-speech tags and notes. read more

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