LINGUIST List 10.1361

Thu Sep 16 1999

FYI: Online syntax project, New language resource

Editor for this issue: Jody Huellmantel <>


  1. aurelien max, Online syntax project for students and teachers
  2. Susanne Lenz, ELAN Announcement

Message 1: Online syntax project for students and teachers

Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 11:42:56 +0200 (MET DST)
From: aurelien max <>
Subject: Online syntax project for students and teachers


I would like to introduce a syntax project which is now available
online. The 'Syntax Student's Companion' is a project first intended
for syntax students and teachers, which takes the form of a Java
applet/application. Because of this, any computer environment
supporting a Java Virtual Machine should be able to run the program,
and any Java-enabled browser to run the applet.

The SSC could be a support tool for introductory syntax courses, as
well as a tree editor to produce bitmaps for handouts or
assignments. The main feature of the program is to allow visual
syntactic tree building and manipulation. Context-free grammars can
also be edited and used to check the validity of trees. Trees and
grammars can be saved in XML packages with the application
version. The program also supports exercices from XML packages
(unambiguous tree drawing, ambiguous tree drawing, and

The project was developed with students in mind, thus it is entirely
free of use. In order to become really useful, it needs contributions
from people involved in Linguistics, under the form of exercices,
grammars and trees (detailed explanations on how to produce such
resources can be found on the website). The idea behind this would be
to have a repository of exercices as free material for students to
practice syntax exercices online. Practically, teachers could produce
their own exercices, add them to the repository and tell their
students to do the exercices contained in their package.

The program also supports language resource files so that it can be
run in any language that can be encoded into UNICODE (provided the
client system has the necessary fonts). It can now be used in English
and French, but any contributors who would like to take a bit of their
time to translate the template file would be very welcome.

The URL for the SSC website is . 
On the website, you can get more details about the program, see the
latest additions, run the applet, download the application, browse the
online manual, and learn more about how you can contribute to the
project. I sincerely wish that this project could be useful, so any
feedback on anything related to the project would be much appreciated.

Thanks for reading,
Aurelien MAX

| The Syntax Student's Companion homepage |
| |
| |
| Syntactic tree drawing and grammar checking on the web |
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Message 2: ELAN Announcement

Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 08:18:49 +0200
From: Susanne Lenz <>
Subject: ELAN Announcement


ELAN: European Language Activity Network (EU-funded MLIS 121 Project)

Dear All,

A new language resources internet service is to be launched soon: The
European Language Activity Network (ELAN).

What is new about this service?

For a user with network access to various linguistic resources,
exploration is often hampered by the fact that each provider grants
access to his data by means of an exploration environment that is
specifically designed for the local resources. The aim of the project
ELAN is to eliminate this problem by forming a convergence of the
technological achievements so far.

ELAN aims at the design of a common query language (ELAN-CQL) which
will reinforce or, where necessary, create international standards.

The Benefit.

That means ELAN will provide a userfriendly online service for
querying European language resources using a single uniform
interface. The default operating language of the graphical interface
will be English but translations of the operating terms into many of
the languages involved will be available, too, to enable members of
the User Community belonging to different language communities to do
research ON their language as well as IN their language.

Language Resources: the basis of ELAN.

ELAN will provide standardised resources of the following languages:
Belgian French, Bulgarian, Catalan, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English,
Estonian, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian,
Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovakian,
Slovene, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian.

They will comprise textual resources (corpora) ranging from 1 - 4
million words or more for each language, and lexical resources
(several kinds of lexicons) ranging from 5000 to 20 000 entries or
more for each language.

Service: ELAN User Community.

To guide the User through its various facilities and and help with any
problems or questions, ELAN will offer a User Community. Members of
this Community will have full access to the ELAN Network, an e-mail
user group, and a hotline they may turn to with questions and

More information?

Anyone interested in the new service who would like more information
or would like to become a member of the ELAN User Community, please
visit our website or send an
e-mail to .

Susanne Lenz 
Project Manager ELAN
Dept. for Lexical Studies 
Institut fuer deutsche Sprache 
R5, 6-13 
68161 Mannheim 
Tel: +49 621 1581 427
Fax: +49 621 1581 415 

Project Home:
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