Dafydd Gibbon: Recent projects

ModeLex ProjectTheory and Practice of the Multimodal Lexicon (DFG-Forschergruppe, Bielefeld)
Concepts such as "lexicography" and "speech" tend to be used in isolation from the rest of linguistics and the modelling of written text. In the ModeLex project, a sign-based integrated approach to the inclusion of conversational gesture has been developed, based on the null hypothesis that the semiotic value of conversational gestures are the same kind of sign. A subset of conversational gestures was formalised; the formalisations were used to check annotations of gestural video data and to drive a gesture-capable avatar.
LLSTI ProjectLocal Languages Speech Technology Initiative (Bangalore, Bielefeld, Bristol, Nairobi).
Starting with lengthy experience in and discussions with many colleagues about applications of computational linguistics in both speech technology and in linguistic fieldwork (cf. the research overview), the "Local Languages Speech Technology Initiative" was started by Dr. Roger Tucker and Dr. Ksenia Shalonova, Outside Echo Ltd., Bristol, together with colleagues from South Africa, Kenya, India and the Gibbon group in Bielefeld. The aim of the ongoing project is to develop practical applications of speech technology, in particular speech synthesis, for use in technologically under-resourced communities with requirements for efficient communication infrastructures. One of the significant outcomes of the Bielefeld contribution was a speech synthesiser prototype for Ibibio, a language of South-Eastern Nigeria.
PROBRAL ProjectComputational Processing of Large-Scale Corpora.
The PROBRAL DAAD project in cooperation with the University of Campinas, Brazil, aims to develop standardised procedures for annotation speech and text corpora for the purpose of creating sustainable and interoperable speech and text databases, and to use these databases for speech and text mining in research linguistic and human language technology issues. Publications from the project (cf. also publications) include:
Trippel / Paixao de Sousa, Gut / Milde, Gibbon / Fernandes.
ABUILD ProjectDesign and Implementation of M.A. "Documentation of Local Languages" (Abidjan, Bielefeld, Uyo)
The DAAD funded ABUILD (Abidjan-Bielefeld-Uyo) project is a tri-cornered cooperative project involving three different language communities: Germany, Ivory Coast (French and indigenous languages) and Nigeria (English and indigenous languages), with the goal of developing a cooperative M.A. course for training local African M.A. students in the documentation of local languages. The results of the project have attacted the attention of many organisations, including UNESCO (see recent publications).
E-MELD ProjectElectronic Metadata for Endangered Languages Documentation
The E-MELD project (Electronic Metastructures for Endangered Languages Documentation), funded by the NSF (US National Science Foundation) is a large collaborative project run by colleagues at Eastern Michigan and Wayne State Universities, involving many leasding linguists, computational linguists and computer scientists from every continent. The aim of the project is to coordinate the development of standard specifications for the interchange of knowledge about languages, particularly in the context of the many languages which are, currently and in the foreseeable future, threatened with extinction. The role of the Gibbon is as model data provider for West African languages and as computational and as consultant in computational linguistics and text technology.