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1 Towards a Methodology for Constructing and Annotating Historical Corpora Martin Durrell, Paul Bennett & Astrid Ensslin.

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Präsentation zum Thema: "1 Towards a Methodology for Constructing and Annotating Historical Corpora Martin Durrell, Paul Bennett & Astrid Ensslin."—  Präsentation transkript:

1 1 Towards a Methodology for Constructing and Annotating Historical Corpora Martin Durrell, Paul Bennett & Astrid Ensslin

2 2 Talk outline A.Background to corpus B.Early Modern German newspapers C.Methodology

3 3 A. Background to corpus

4 4 GerManC project Pilot ( ): corpus of German newspapers ; ; NG, WCG, ECG, WUG, EUG 2,000 word samples ca. 100,257 words in total ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) Feasibility of Text compilation TEI annotation Lemmatising and POS tagging software usage / modification Possible utilisation for other historical languages

5 5 Preliminary findings Data retrieval successful – Abundance in NG – Difficulties with WUG / Catholic regions Regional text distribution does not reveal corresponding regional variation / linguistic norms – Cf. correspondents from elsewhere, un-edited contributions NG newspapers more supraregional than SG Clearly marked regional variants (Samstag vs. Sonnabend) in same text

6 6

7 7 Polenz II: 18 „Zeitungen wurden so – nach der Luther-Bibel – auch zum wirksamsten Mittel der Popularisierung und Verbreitung einheitlicher Sprachvarianten auf dem Wege zur nationalen Schriftsprache“ (Newspapers thus came to be, after Luther’s Bible translation, the second most effective means of popularising and disseminating linguistic variation during the standardisation of German)

8 8 B. Early Modern German newspapers

9 9 Early developments Aviso, Wolfenbüttel: 1609 Official postal system Rapid growth: – 1648: ca. 48 – 1700: – 1750: – 1789: ca. 200 Mainly weekly; first daily: 1660 (Leipzig)

10 10 A new ‘genre’ By 1700: consistent features – distinct register Informative / objective -> personal / commenting Dissemination: local; mostly urban middle classes and tradespeople (but awareness amongst manual classes) Read aloud to groups Weber, 2005

11 11 Lexis Abundance of loan words – Military and warfare: French/Italian (attaquiren, mainteniren, susteniren..) – Education, religion and law: Latin Appropriations Quotations Inflections => Mostly educated readers

12 12 Syntax Admoni (1980: 35): ‘abperlend’ Information structure > syntactic coherence Subclauses: verb-final Auxiliaries omitted Future research: (shallow) parsing Cf. Demske et al., 2004; Demske, 2006; Demske-Neumann, 1990

13 13 Register No time for editing Sequentialisation (non-chronological) Compressed into huge, complex sentences Only common denominator of all subclauses: provenance of report Wide range of topics within individual sentences

14 14 ‘Orthography’ Major challenge for electronic processing Extremely variable (esp ) Variation decreases Not random: ey-ei (beym), ff-f (auff), Londen- London

15 15 Punctuation Virgula tends to replace comma / full stop / colon / semicolon Non-syntactic, prosodic, rhetoric Non-systematic (e.g. full stop not always marking sentence boundaries) Example:…

16 16 Die Zeitungen Der Gelehrten Auß dem Schweitzerlande, Zürich/Schaffhausen 1722, Num. XI, p. 183 Das andre bemühet seyen der ihrigen nachzudencken, ist wahr/ denn obschon die Glieder der Gesellschaft an sich bisher verborgen gewesen/ so hat doch Melissantes ihren Humor und ihre Conduite kräfftig entworffen; aber positiv ist noch nicht zu sagen/ wie Geistreich die Personen seyen/ die euch mit eben so lebhafften Gedancken betrachten, als ihr andre vorzustellen fähig, denn eure Fähigkeit ist uns noch nicht genugsam bekannt; Man hat schon viel davon erfahren/ hoffet gleichwol allezeit/ das Beste werde noch folgen/ und die werden schlecht bestehen/ die euch nicht wol wollen.

17 17 C. Methodology

18 18 Breslau 1683 Vienna 1780

19 19 Halle 1724 Frankfurt 1750 Munich 1702 Lindau 1685

20 20 Digitisation: raw corpus Manual transcription (scanning infeasible) Double-keying Text comparison Omitting – long passages in foreign languages and non-prose (verse, tables, graphs) – illegible / damaged passages Normalised: superscript-e, nasal bar, long/final ‘s’ Corpus documentation (throughout)

21 21 XML-annotation TEI U5 standards (Burnard & Sperberg-McQueen, 2002) Exchanger XML Editor CLaRK: automatic conformance checking Header data (administrative metadata) Markup (see example): – Loans / foreign languages – Names / referring strings – Numbers / dates / times – Graphic features (images, lines, ornaments etc.) – Header / footer – Abbreviations incl. expansions – Special characters (nasal bar, superscript-e), ligatures, diacritics – Formatting (fonts, paragraphs, sentences, quotes, line/page breaks)

22 22 Erfurt1769.xml

23 23 Software development Previous research – VARD (English) (Rayson et al., 2005) – Mercurius Treebank (EMG) (Demske et al., 2004; Demske, 2006) – Variant retrieval (Ernst-Gerlach; Fuhr; Pilz; Hauser…) GerManC work in progress – TreeTagger adaptation (tokenisation, lemmatisation, POS) Adding to lexicon Abbreviation tokeniser – Variant normalisation program (VARD-based) with stoplist – Example:…

24 24 TreeTagger output for Altonaischer Mercurius, 15 November 1698 Tagger: ca. 85% accuracy Lemmatiser: ca. 80% accuracy – Spelling! Unknown words can easily be added to the tagger’s lexicon. (extract)

25 25 Further software development Lexical searches 1. Word lists + source file(s)

26 26 Further software development 2. Frequency lists (also for bi-/trigrams) 3. First/last dates of usage 4. All words occurring in one file only

27 27 Applications Historical sociolinguistics – ‘Tracing variation in standardisation: a corpus- based approach’ Cultural/media studies – Anglo-German linguistic relations – ‘”Im Unterhause groß Getöse”: representations of 18th century British parliamentary democracy in Early Modern German newspaper discourse’

28 28 GerManC2 – future plans + 700,000 words + 7 genres – ‘oral’: personal letters, drama, sermons – ‘written’: academic writing, legal documents, prose fiction, medical texts Multi-layer stand-off annotation / relational database architecture Representation / visualisation / web interface Feasibility of parsing (e.g. shallow parsing)

29 29 References Admoni, Wladimir (1980) Zur Ausbildung der Norm der deutschen Literatursprache im Bereich des neuhochdeutschen Satzgefüges ( ). Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Gestaltungssystems der deutschen Sprache. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag. Burnard, Lou & Sperberg-McQueen, C.M. (2002) TEI U5: Encoding for Interchange: an introduction to the TEI (10/11/06). Demske, Ulrike (2006, forthcoming) ‘Das Mercurius-Projekt. Eine Baumbank für das Frühneuhochdeutsche’, in: G. Zifonun & W. Kallmeyer (eds) Jahrbuch des Instituts für deutsche Sprache Berlin: de Gruyter. Demske, Ulrike, Frank, Nicola, Laufer, Stefanie & Stiemer, Hendrik (2004) ‘Syntactic Interpretation of an Early New High German Corpus’, in S. Kübler et al. (eds) Proceedings of the Third Workshop on Treebanks and Linguistics Theories (TLT 2004), pp Tübingen, available at (10/11/06). Demske-Neumann, Ulrike (1990) ‘Charakteristische Strukturen von Satzgefügen in den Zeitungen des 17. Jh.‘, in A. Betten (ed) Neuere Forschungen zur historischen Syntax des Deutschen. Referate der Internat. Fachkonferenz Eichstätt 1989, pp Tübingen: Niemeyer. Ensslin, Astrid, Durrell, Martin & Bennett, Paul (2006) ‘Tracing Variation in Standardisation: a Corpus-based Approach’, available at (27/11/06) Ernst-Gerlach, Andrea & Fuhr, Norbert (2006) ‘Generating Search Term Variants for Text Collections with Historic Spellings’, in Proceedings of the 28th European Conference on Information Retrieval Research (ECIR 2006), available at (13/04/06).

30 30 References ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) (10/11/06). Kytö, M. (1996) ‘Manual to the Diachronic Part of the Helsinki Corpus of English Texts’, 3rd edition. University of Helsinki: Department of English (10/11/06). Pilz, Thomas, Luther, Wolfram, Ammon, Ulrich & Fuhr, Norbert (2005) ‘Regelbasierte Suche in Textdatenbanken mit nichtstandardisierter Rechtschreibung’, in Proceedings ACH/ALLC 2005, Victoria, Jun 2005, available at (13/04/06). Polenz, Peter von (1994) Deutsche Sprachgeschichte vom Spätmittelalter bis zur Gegenwart, Band II, 17. und 18. Jahrhundert, Berlin: de Gruyter. Rayson, Paul, Archer, Dawn & Smith, Nicholas (2005) ‘VARD versus Word: A Comparison of the UCREL Variant Detector and Modern Spell Checkers on English Historical Corpora’, in Proceedings of Corpus Linguistics 2005, Birmingham University, July 14-17, Proceedings from the Corpus Linguistics Conference Series on-line e-journal, vol. 1, no. 1, available at (13/04/06). Stolt, Birgit (1990) ‘Redeglieder, Informationseinheiten: Cola und Commata in Luthers Syntax’, in A. Betten (ed) Neuere Forschungen zur historischen Syntax des Deutschen. Referate der Internat. Fachkonferenz Eichstätt 1989, pp Tübingen: Niemeyer. Weber, Johannes (2005) ‘Straßburg 1605: Die Geburt der Zeitung’, in H. Böning, A. Kutsch & R. Stöber (eds) Jahrbuch für Kommunikationsgeschichte, vol.7, pp. 3 – 26, Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.


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