Computational Tools in Language Description and Documentation

Don Killian donald.killian at HELSINKI.FI
Fri Jul 9 14:54:22 UTC 2010

*** apologies for cross-postings ***

Dear all,

I'm currently researching computer-assisted language documentation, to 
encourage more cooperation between field linguists and computational 
linguists and to give specific direction for developing more tools in 

Thus, I was hoping to find out from field linguists and researchers 
directly what kind of software tools you've been using and how adequate 
you've found them, as well as what you'd like to see most.

If you'd be willing to answer a few questions, I'd be very grateful.

1. What software do you use in language documentation or description? 
This can be for a variety of areas, such as specific to phonology, 
phonetics, morphology, etc., or it could be just general software such 
as toolbox, fieldworks, and ELAN.

2. How adequate do you find it?  What are the strengths and what areas 
do you find to be lacking?

3. What kind of programs are completely missing which you would like to 
see?  E.g., is there some specific need which you've felt to be lacking 
and there is nothing to fill in the gap?

4. Is there software which you've used and found to be ineffective in 

5. What do you feel would help you most for future projects?

Thanks for your time and help in responding!  Please feel free to pass 
along the questions to anyone you think would be interested in responding.

All the best,


Don Killian
Researcher in African Linguistics
Department of World Languages
PL 24 (Unioninkatu 40)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki
+358 (0)44 5016437

More information about the Lingtyp mailing list