Since the mid eighties, groups of researchers and students at the Linguistics Department at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have explored the use of formal linguistic methods for natural language applications. The formalization 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.
At present LingLab has two focal areas: Grammar Engineering and Language Documentation.
Grammar Engineering at LingLab
In Grammar Engineering the main application developed by LingLab is the Norwegian computational grammar NorSource (Lars Hellan, Dorothee Beermann and Ben Waldron). 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.
TypeCraft itself is a product of LingLab's effort in Language Documentation. A prototype of TypeCraft was developed in 2006 by Dorothee Beermann and Atle Prange at Businesscape. The present beta version of TypeCraft represents a joined effort by Pavel Mihaylov and Dorothee Beermann.
A short description of TypeCraft
TypeCraft is an INTERLINEAR GLOSSING EDITOR; the user adds linguistic annotation to written material which is stored in a relational database from where it can be retrieved using multiple views.
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. To avoid long training periods in projects that join linguists and native speakers, TypeCraft features an intuitive user interface and allows wide and distributive usage. The system uses PostgreSQL as database format. The database is hosted at a server owned by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. The application is written in Java.
TypeCraft can be freely used online with Mozilla Firefox.