Christin Beck ; Miriam Butt - Visual analytics for historical linguistics: opportunities and challenges

jdmdh:6707 - Journal of Data Mining & Digital Humanities, December 21, 2020, Special issue on Visualisations in Historical Linguistics -
Visual analytics for historical linguistics: opportunities and challengesArticle

Authors: Christin Beck 1; Miriam Butt 1

In this paper we present a case study in which Visual Analytic methods for interactive data exploration are applied to the study of historical linguistics. We discuss why diachronic linguistic data poses special challenges for Visual Analytics and show how these are handled in a collaboratively developed web-based tool: HistoBankVis. HistoBankVis allows an immediate and efficient interaction with underlying diachronic data and we go through an investigation of the interplay between case marking and word order in Icelandic and Old Saxon to illustrate its features. We then discuss challenges posed by the lack of annotation standardization across different corpora as well as the problems we encountered with respect to errors, uncertainty and issues of data provenance. Overall we conclude that the integration of Visual Analytics methodology into the study of language change has an immense potential but that the full realization of its potential will depend on whether issues of data interoperability and annotation standards can be resolved.

Volume: Special issue on Visualisations in Historical Linguistics
Published on: December 21, 2020
Accepted on: December 11, 2020
Submitted on: August 11, 2020
Keywords: corpus linguistics,linguistic annotation,visual analytics,historical linguistics,syntactic change,[SHS]Humanities and Social Sciences,[SHS.LANGUE]Humanities and Social Sciences/Linguistics


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