Authors Nikola Ikonomov, Milena Dobreva

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Nikola Ikonomov
Milena Dobreva

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Nikola Ikonomov and Milena Dobreva. CREATION OF A DIGITAL CORPUS OF BULGARIAN DIALECTS. In Digital Historical Corpora- Architecture, Annotation, and Retrieval. Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings, Volume 6491, pp. 1-4, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2007)


The paper presents our considerations related to the creation of a digital corpus of Bulgarian dialects. The dialectological archive of Bulgarian language consists of more than 250 audio tapes. All tapes were recorded between 1955 and 1965 in the course of regular dialectological expeditions throughout the country. The records typically contain interviews with inhabitants of small villages in Bulgaria. The topics covered are usually related to such issues as birth, everyday life, marriage, family relationship, death, etc. Only a few tapes contain folk songs from different regions of the country. Taking into account the progressive deterioration of the magnetic media and the realistic prospects of data loss, the Institute for Bulgarian Language at the Academy of Sciences launched in 1997 a project aiming at restoration and digital preservation of the dialectological archive. Within the framework of this project more than the half of the records was digitized, de-noised and stored on digital recording media. Since then restoration and digitization activities are done in the Institute on a regular basis. As a result a large collection of sound files has been gathered. Our further efforts are aimed at the creation of a digital corpus of Bulgarian dialects, which will be made available for phonological and linguistic research. Such corpora typically include besides the sound files two basic elements: a transcription, aligned with the sound file, and a set of standardized metadata that defines the corpus. In our work we will present considerations on how these tasks could be realized in the case of the corpus of Bulgarian dialects. Our suggestions will be based on a comparative analysis of existing methods and techniques to build such corpora, and by selecting the ones that fit closer to the particular needs. Our experience can be used in similar institutions storing folklore archives, history related spoken records etc.
  • Phonology
  • corpus
  • corpus linguistics
  • audio archive
  • digitization
  • restoration
  • metadata
  • alignment


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