In SLP, DBMSs should be used for speech corpora of any size.
The special requirements of SLP, namely
cannot be met with the hierarchical and network data models.
Even the relational data model in its pure form is not well suited for SL corpora because it lacks support for bit-stream data and complex data structures. However, all current commercial relational DBMS implementations support binary large objects and a richer type system, which makes them candidate DBMSs for SL corpora. The major advantage of relational DBMSs is that they are now a standard and proven technology.
Object-oriented DBMSs, especially in conjunction with object-oriented programming languages, and persistent logic programming languages provide both a rich inventory of data types, full computational power, and a good support of the basic DBMS functionality. They are thus well suited for SL corpora.
The major drawback of object-oriented DBMSs is that there is not yet a common standard object-oriented database language. The major drawback of persistent logic programming languages is that there exist only a few implementations of such systems. However, the logic based formalism is basically the same as in phonology and linguistics, and thus it is possible to use a single formalism on all levels from phonetics to linguistics.
The major advantages of a DBMS can thus be summarised as follows:
DBMSs are, for instance, applied in the GRECO project (cf. Carre (1992), or the Alvey STA project described in Thomas & Winski (1987)), or the PHONDAT-VERBMOBIL database of spoken German (cf. Draxler (1995)).
It will be clear that only the basic characteristics of DBMSs are mentioned above. The interested reader should consult Elmasri & Navathe (1989), or Ceri, Gottlob & Tanca (1990) or any other recent database introductory text book.