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LINGUIST List 17.1779

Tue Jun 13 2006

Software: MiniJudge: Judgment Collecting Software

Editor for this issue: Svetlana Aksenova <svetlanalinguistlist.org>

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        1.    James Myers, MiniJudge: Judgment Collecting Software

Message 1: MiniJudge: Judgment Collecting Software
Date: 12-Jun-2006
From: James Myers <lngmyersccu.edu.tw>
Subject: MiniJudge: Judgment Collecting Software

MiniJudge: Software for 'minimalist' experimental syntax

The recent rapid growth of the experimental syntax literature, in both size
and sophistication, suggests that the theoretical syntax community is
finally starting to acknowledge the empirical unreliability of judgments
collected in an overly informal way. Unfortunately, syntacticians
interested in improving the quality of their data rarely have the time or
training needed to conduct full-fledged experiments.

MiniJudge is a free, open-source software tool designed to allow
syntacticians without any training in psycholinguistics or statistics to
perform quick and reliable tests of empirical hypotheses on native-speaker
judgments. Though designed specifically for syntax judgment experiments,
MiniJudge may also be used for collecting judgments relating to pragmatics,
semantics, morphology or phonology. So far it has been used to run syntax
and morphology experiments on English, Chinese, and Taiwan Sign Language
(the last by having the experimenter sign printed survey forms for judges).
It has also been used to run pilot studies and to help teach basic concepts
in experimental design. There is much more about MiniJudge on the info
page, accessible via the above address.

Currently the only incarnation of MiniJudge is MiniJudgeJS, which is simply
an HTML Web page containing JavaScript (a fuller-featured Java version is
in the works). It runs the statistics by interfacing with R, the world's
foremost free, open-source statistical package (http://www.r-project.org/).

Feedback of any and all sorts is most welcome:

* Incompatibility reports (it's only been tested in Firefox and Internet
Explorer in Windows XP, though in theory it should work on any post-1997
* Other bug reports.
* Requests for new features.
* Reports of errors, lack of acknowledgments, and other problems with the
online text.
* Criticism from syntacticians, psycholinguists, statisticians, and
* Questions (eventually there will be a FAQ).

The current version number of MiniJudgeJS is 0.9.9 (essentially 'beta'),
and it will stay there for a while. Updates can be identified by changes in
the dateline.

Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics
General Linguistics
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