[RNLD] importing/exporting between ELAN and FLEX

Kate Horrack khorrack at STUDENT.UNIMELB.EDU.AU
Wed Sep 11 05:57:30 UTC 2013

Hi all,

I'm also working with both programs, and it's all working well for me so
far. In ELAN, I'm currently starting out with my tiers set up as follows:

- Transcription tier: transcription of the target language (without
morpheme breaks)
- Blank tier (with Transcription tier as its parent): The export to
flextext requires this for some reason (I've tried exporting with a single
line transcription but ELAN won't allow me to do this)

Then, I export to FLEx file and import this file into FLEx for
morphological analysis (and the automatic parser appears to be working for
me). I've also tested exporting this file from FLEx after doing
morphological analysis and then importing it back into ELAN, and this all
works fine too (and everything is nicely time aligned!).

So, overall I'm having quite a positive experience using these programs

If you want any further details, let me know!


On Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 2:33 PM, Brighde Clare Collins <
brighdec at student.unimelb.edu.au> wrote:

> Hi all,
> I am also relatively new to ELAN and FLEX, and have recently attempted to
> export my ELAN files to FLEX to use the automatic parser for my glossing.
> Through trial and error I was able to move through the four steps required
> to export the file, and created a .flextext file which was easily imported
> into FLEX.
> I was able to view the exported text in FLEX, but I difficulty with the
> morpheme breakdown. Usually with a text (for example, one I directly type
> into FLEX in the 'baseline' area), morpheme breakdown is easy as one just
> clicks the dropdown box in the morpheme row, and chooses 'Edit Morpheme
> Breaks'. However, with my text imported from ELAN, this dropdown box
> doesn't exist, which means that although I have a text in FLEX, I can't do
> anything further with it. It is though FLEX doesn't recognise the words
> that are in the text as units that can be broken down.
> I thought that part of my problem was that my tier heirarchy in ELAN is
> possibly different from what should convert to FLEX: I have two speakers,
> and am translating from one language into both Kriol and English. However,
> I have just tried to create a simpler hierarchy with only one tier (with
> one language in it), and now find that although I am able to create a
> .flextext file, FLEX is unable to import it - well, it says that it has
> imported it, but there are no words in the text I've created.
> So, sorry Jonathon, but I don't really have any suggestions to make, but
> would be interested to hear if anyone has had these problems! And perhaps
> more interested to hear if anyone has had any successful communication
> between the two programs.
> Best regards,
> Brighde
> On Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 12:03 PM, Jonathon Lum <lum.jonathon at gmail.com>wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> The latest versions of ELAN and FLEX are supposed to support importing
>> and exporting between the two. In theory at least this should speed up the
>> glossing process if it is possible to export a basic transcription with
>> morpheme breakdown from ELAN to FLEX, then gloss it in FLEX using the
>> automatic parser (and perhaps also add a free translation tier), before
>> exporting back to ELAN for the final product, where one can view/listen to
>> the original video/audio file with all the tiers. This would mean you don't
>> have to gloss every single morpheme manually in ELAN, since the parser in
>> FLEX is doing much of the work instead.
>> Does anyone have any experience with this sort of workflow? Unfortunately
>> I am quite new to both ELAN and FLEX, and most people seem unfamiliar with
>> using the two programs together. There is a brief description in the
>> manuals about how to import and export files, but unfortunately the windows
>> I get look different to the screenshots in the manual. The problem might
>> have something to do with the ELAN tiers template I am using, or maybe
>> there's something else I'm missing here in terms of settings. I'm also
>> curious as to whether a different program like ANVIL might be better for
>> what I have in mind.
>> I look forward to hearing any suggestions.
>> Thanks and regards,
>> Jonathon

Kate Horrack
PhD Candidate
Language Documentation Lab
School of Languages and Linguistics
University of Melbourne
Phone: 0428463670
Email: khorrack at student.unimelb.edu.au
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