Robert Forkel


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CLDFBench: Give Your Cross-Linguistic Data a Lift
Robert Forkel | Johann-Mattis List
Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

While the amount of cross-linguistic data is constantly increasing, most datasets produced today and in the past cannot be considered FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reproducible). To remedy this and to increase the comparability of cross-linguistic resources, it is not enough to set up standards and best practices for data to be collected in the future. We also need consistent workflows for the “retro-standardization” of data that has been published during the past decades and centuries. With the Cross-Linguistic Data Formats initiative, first standards for cross-linguistic data have been presented and successfully tested. So far, however, CLDF creation was hampered by the fact that it required a considerable degree of computational proficiency. With cldfbench, we introduce a framework for the retro-standardization of legacy data and the curation of new datasets that drastically simplifies the creation of CLDF by providing a consistent, reproducible workflow that rigorously supports version control and long term archiving of research data and code. The framework is distributed in form of a Python package along with usage information and examples for best practice. This study introduces the new framework and illustrates how it can be applied by showing how a resource containing structural and lexical data for Sinitic languages can be efficiently retro-standardized and analyzed.


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Concepticon: A Resource for the Linking of Concept Lists
Johann-Mattis List | Michael Cysouw | Robert Forkel
Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'16)

We present an attempt to link the large amount of different concept lists which are used in the linguistic literature, ranging from Swadesh lists in historical linguistics to naming tests in clinical studies and psycholinguistics. This resource, our Concepticon, links 30 222 concept labels from 160 conceptlists to 2495 concept sets. Each concept set is given a unique identifier, a unique label, and a human-readable definition. Concept sets are further structured by defining different relations between the concepts. The resource can be used for various purposes. Serving as a rich reference for new and existing databases in diachronic and synchronic linguistics, it allows researchers a quick access to studies on semantic change, cross-linguistic polysemies, and semantic associations.