Documenting Endangered Languages with Linguist’s Assistant

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ISSN: 1934-5275

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Beale, Stephen
Linguist's Assistant; documentation technology; computational paradigm
article description
The Linguist’s Assistant (LA) is a practical computational paradigm for describing languages. LA contains a meaning-based elicitation corpus that is the starting point and organizing principle from which a linguist describes the linguistic surface forms of a language using LA’s visual lexicon and grammatical rule development interface. This paper presents a brief overview of the semantic representation system that we have designed and discusses the meaning-based elicitation methodology. Next it describes the process by which the linguist enters lexical and grammatical information, then it discusses the ancillary functions of LA that allow for an efficient and accurate language description as well as the facilities for producing written documentation of the language. Videos are included to demonstrate the major functionality of LA.