A short history
Since the mid eighties, groups of researchers and students at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have explored the use of formal and computational linguistic methods for natural language applications. The formalisation and encoding of morpho-syntactic and semantic information, both at lexical and phrasal level, has been a central theme for a group which in 2004 took the name LingLab. This then became the Research Group in Digital Linguistics
At present the group has two focal areas: grammar engineering and the support for linguistic work with lesser-described languages. In this context we have started to explore Semantic Web Technologies.
In Grammar Engineering the main application developed by LingLab is the Norwegian computational grammar NorSource (Norwegian HPSG grammar NorSource). Together with partners in the DELPH-IN network LingLab applies Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (Pollard and Sag (1994) and Minimal Recursion Semantics (MRS)(Copestake et.al.2005) to advance deep natural language processing.
As part of this work Pavel Mihaylov developed for LingLab an LKB multi-script interface called Trollet.
A further effort to represent lexical and construction level information is the Construction Labeling Project Verbconstructions cross-linguistically - Introduction, a system for encoding construction types across languages Lars Hellan.
Support for lesser-described languages
Between 1996 - 2009 the former linguistic department at NTNU and the linguistic departments at the University of Ghana, Legon cooperated in a project that was sponsored by the Norwegian NUFU programme, which is mp longer maintained. The project became known as The Legon Trondheim Linguistics Project, while its official name was Computational Lexicography, Typology and Adult Literacy. The Ghanaian coordinator was the Head of the Linguistics Department in office. For more information about this over years very influential, and extremely productive project consult also the following page.
As part of this project the TypeCraft development started in 2005. Its goal was to allow a better project internal management for linguistic data. We had the wish to create a tool that was suited for the creation of morpheme-level glossed data, but that unlike other well-known systems allowed a distributed use, and the easy exchange of data. The idea was that the tool should be tailored to the needs of groups of researchers and students from the North and the South working together on the description of lesser-described languages. The first prototype of the system was developed in cooperation with Businesscape, an NTNU spin-off IT-company, led by Atle Prange]
TypeCraft itself is a product of LingLab's effort in supporting data-driven language description and analysis. After an early prototype of TypeCraft, presented at the University of Ghana, Legon and at the Texas Linguistic Society in Austin in 2006. TypeCraft v.1.0 was developed as a joint-effort of Pavel Mihaylov and Dorothee Beermann. In August 2014, TypeCraft v.2.0 was presented which is a co-development of the TypeCraft team and CIDLeS, the Interdisciplinery Centre of Social and Language Documentation
A short description of TypeCraft
TypeCraft is an online application consisting of a natural language database and a linguistic editor for interlinear glossing. The user adds linguistic annotation to written material which is stored in a relational database from where it can be retrieved using multiple views. The system is wrapped into a customised mediawiki which serves as an entrance port to the system.
Texts as well as annotations are in Unicode. Annotated data can be exported to standard text editors (WORD, Open Office and LaTex)as well as to XML format. TC has been designed for projects on minority languages. TypeCraft features an intuitive user interface and allows distributive usage. The application is written in Java using PostgreSQL database. It is hosted at a server owned by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.
TypeCraft can be freely used. To use the TypeCraft Editor the user needs to be logged in. Please consult the main page of the TypeCraft wiki for a more direct introduction to the system.