A four-level model for interlinear text

Catherine Bow, Baden Hughes, SG Bird

Research output: Working paper


Interlinear text has long been a valuable device in language documentation and linguistic description. However, the task of creating, editing and publishing interlinear text is an onerous one. Interlinear text is governed by simple rules, yet laborious manual formatting in a word processor is the norm. A handful of specialized software tools facilitate the creation of interlinear text, permitting customizable views and alignment to audio and video. However, word processors and specialized software alike fail to deliver on a key promise of digitization, namely reusability. In order to facilitate reusability, we have developed a general-purpose conceptual model of interlinear text consisting of four levels: text, phrase, word and morph. The details of the model are informed by our analysis of a representative sample of current practice. We have implemented the model using standard XML technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


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