Ludger Paschen


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Building a Time-Aligned Cross-Linguistic Reference Corpus from Language Documentation Data (DoReCo)
Ludger Paschen | François Delafontaine | Christoph Draxler | Susanne Fuchs | Matthew Stave | Frank Seifart
Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Natural speech data on many languages have been collected by language documentation projects aiming to preserve lingustic and cultural traditions in audivisual records. These data hold great potential for large-scale cross-linguistic research into phonetics and language processing. Major obstacles to utilizing such data for typological studies include the non-homogenous nature of file formats and annotation conventions found both across and within archived collections. Moreover, time-aligned audio transcriptions are typically only available at the level of broad (multi-word) phrases but not at the word and segment levels. We report on solutions developed for these issues within the DoReCo (DOcumentation REference COrpus) project. DoReCo aims at providing time-aligned transcriptions for at least 50 collections of under-resourced languages. This paper gives a preliminary overview of the current state of the project and details our workflow, in particular standardization of formats and conventions, the addition of segmental alignments with WebMAUS, and DoReCo’s applicability for subsequent research programs. By making the data accessible to the scientific community, DoReCo is designed to bridge the gap between language documentation and linguistic inquiry.