Digital historical lexicography in the Nordic languages

Time: Wednesday, 29/May/2024: 8:30 – 12:00
Organisers:  Tarrin Wills1, Simonetta Battista1, Johnny Lindholm1, Ellert Þór Jóhansson2

1University of Copenhagen, Denmark; 2University of Iceland

Target audience: The workshop is open to all interested in integrating digital lexicography, particularly historical lexicography of the Nordic languages (Icelandic, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and Faroese).

Anticipated number of participants: 10

Ideal length: Half-day, preferably close to the start of the conference

Technical requirements: Digital projector (powerpoint)

Expected learning outcomes: Participants will have gained an understanding of the digital landscape for Nordic historical lexicography and its challenges, as well as worked towards new models for interoperability for projects in this area.

Session 1: Review of existing projects and applications/technologies

Session facilitator/ chair: Simonetta Battista and Johnny Lindholm

Presentation of ongoing and recent digital dictionary projects.

The goal of this session is to gain an overview of digital projects and technologies in the field of historical Scandinavian lexicography in order to lay the foundation for developing methods and standards for interoperability.

Content will include scope, applications for editing, publishing and sharing data, technologies employed with an evaluation of benefits, issues and challenges.

1.1. Presentations (1 hour)

Projects presented will include:

  • Dictionary of Old Norse Prose, Copenhagen

  • Árnastofnun dictionaries: Ritmálssafn, Íslensk orðsifjabók, etc.

  • Digitised print dictionaries: ODS, Fritzner, Cleasby and Vigfusson, etc.

Additional participants may be invited to present their own projects.

1.2. Discussion (30 minutes)

Discussion topics for closing of session:

  • What do the projects have in common that can form the basis of future collaboration?

  • What technologies /standards are emerging as the dominant ones in this area of digital lexicography?

  • What methods and technologies provide potential obstacles for interoperability?

Break (30 minutes)

Session 2: Key challenges in digital integration of resources

In this session all participants will be invited to contribute to a discussion of specific issues relating to integration of resources. The outcome should be a roadmap and/or recommendations for different projects to begin work on technologies for integrating their digital materials.

2.1. Interoperability of word/lemma lists (30 minutes)

Discussion facilitator: Ellert Thor Johannsson

In order to enable cross-language searching of cognate words, methods will need to be developed for how cognate words in the different languages can be linked together, that is, older and younger versions of the various Scandinavian languages.

Discussion topics:

  • Is a common Scandinavian word/lemma list feasible?

  • What challenges emerge from the different projects’ approaches to their own lemma lists?

  • What are the linguistic challenges (definitions of homography etc.)?

  • What model could be used for linking the different projects’ lemma lists?

  • How could a resulting combined lemma list be managed and maintained?

2.2. General standards for interoperability (1 hour)

Discussion facilitator: Tarrin Wills

Linking of external resources requires common standards and technologies. We will start by reviewing some of the existing approaches that might be applicable here (TEI, Ontolex, Elexis, Wordnet, etc.) and then proceed with a discussion in these parts:

  1. Requirements: What is the primary goal of interoperability? To facilitate further lexicographic editing? To enable research, both quantitative and qualitative? To reach new audiences for historical lexicography and the languages they cover?

  2. End-user scenarios: Depending on the primary goal, how do we envisage an endþuser accessing lexicographic resources through interoperable applications? What would a web portal look like? How would existing resources be integrated into other, external applications? How could the resources be accessed digitally using programming languages (APIs)?

  3. Roadmap: Which standards should be deployed to begin working towards these scenarios? What features are missing from existing standards but required for integration of our resources?