LINGUIST List 12.1199

Mon Apr 30 2001

Qs: Child Directed Speech, Language Documentation

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>

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  1. Christian Schmeer, child directed speech
  2. Steven Bird, language documentation and open source software

Message 1: child directed speech

Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 20:23:57 +0200
From: Christian Schmeer <>
Subject: child directed speech

Hi everyone,

I'm looking for research literature on gender differences in child 
directed directed speech, i.e. I'm trying to find out whether there are 
differences in mothers talking to boys or girls. I've already found some 
very good speech samples for analysis (thanks to links people sent me in 
a previous posting, thanks everyone who helped me there...), but for the 
theoretical framework of my paper I'd be very happy if somebody could 
give me some hints concerning literature on that field. I've already 
checked the internet and the library of my university, but I wasn't very 
lucky in finding anything so far.

thanks in advance for your help,

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Message 2: language documentation and open source software

Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 17:55:35 EDT
From: Steven Bird <>
Subject: language documentation and open source software

I would like to take stock of the computational support for linguistic
description. I'm seeking approximate statistics for the following:

1. The fraction of the world's 6000+ languages for which there is
a current project generating primary descriptive materials (texts,
wordlists, grammars, etc).

2. The number of linguists actively engaged in this primary descriptive

3. The number of open source software tools which are specifically
intended to support primary linguistic description. (What are they?)

4. The number of developers actively engaged in creating this open
linguistic software.

I'd be grateful for any guestimates, thanks.

I think that the potential demand for solid computational support is one or
two orders of magnitude greater than the supply of suitable developers and

Note that some relevant initiatives are listed on the Linguistic
Exploration page [].

Steven Bird

Assoc Director, LDC; Adj Assoc Prof, CIS & Linguistics
Linguistic Data Consortium, University of Pennsylvania
3615 Market St, Suite 200, Philadelphia, PA 19104-2608
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