Melbourne Working Group on Language Technology Meeting

Tuesday 24 June, 2003     2.00 - 4.00pm
Dept Computer Science & Software Engineering
ICT Building, University of Melbourne, 111 Barry St, Carlton

In attendance

Steven Bird, Cathy Bow, Baden Hughes, Nick Thieberger, Simon Musgrave, Heather Bowe, Linda Barwick, Nick Evans, Leila Behrens, Bruce Birch, Birgit Hellwig.


The first presentations related to the EMELD Workshop 2003 - Digitizing and Annotating Texts & Field Recordings.   Cathy Bow and Steven Bird (University of Melbourne) presented the Bow, Hughes, Bird paper "Toward a General Model of Interlinear Text", which was later expanded in the demonstration by Baden Hughes on "Interlinear text facilities", focusing on implementing the resulting model into a tool that can be used by linguists to manipulate interlinear text data. The website he referred to is still under construction, and may be found at

Nick Thieberger (University of Melbourne) demonstrated the "Audiamus" program developed for working in a number of audio files simultaneously, and reported on some of the issues raised.

Simon Musgrave (Monash University) presented his paper "Typology, Technology and Language Data" for the workshop on Typological Databases at CIL17 (XVII International Congress of Linguists in Prague), which included a demonstratio of the Spinoza database.

Heather Bowe (Monash University) reported briefly on Anna Patterson’s Honours project on "Using Shoebox & Praat for Pitjantjatjara stories" – looking at issues raised in the process of inputting a glossed text into Shoebox then analysing syntactic information linked to prosodic boundaries and discourse features.

Linda Barwick briefly reported on the progress of Paradisec, with their aims of becoming part of an international consortium of digital archiving, plus a national digital humanities network.

Baden Hughes also launched the MU Language Technology Seminar series, which will begin with a presentation by Lawrence Cavedon on 24 July.  Though this series will be of most interest to computer scientists interested in language technology, less technically-inclined linguists are warmly invited to join the mailing list.

Unfortunately due to lack of time, discussion was limited to a few issues.  The group was encouraged to provide interesting examples of interlinear text for further investigation, and the meeting ended on a warning note that there are linguists who believe interlinear texts are “out of date” and that this particular research is “setting linguistics back ten years.”

While no further meeting was scheduled, it is suggested that we meet again around October this year.   The Melbourne Working Group now maintains a website at  Any other names to be added to the mailing list should be referred to Cathy Bow.