'Tour de CLARIN: Austria' blog post written by Darja Fišer and Jakob Lenardič
The Austrian CLARIN group is part of CLARIAH-AT, a network of Austrian institutions participating in the two European research infrastructure consortia CLARIN and DARIAH. The network comprises of eleven research departments at leading Austrian universities and heritage institutions, the full list of which can be found here. The Austrian network has been a founding member of CLARIN ERIC and is being coordinated by Karlheinz Mörth, director of the Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities at the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
The main Austrian infrastructure for language resources is CLARIN Centre Vienna, which is hosted by the Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Operating as a B-certified repository that received the Data Seal of Approval in 2014, CLARIN Centre Vienna is a language-resource portal that offers researchers the opportunity to deposit and host language resources, language data and tools. The repository is currently being reimplemented and will go online and apply for reassessment in October 2017.
The focus of many activities of the group have been non-standard and historical language varieties. Among the corpora that can be accessed through the centre are the historical Mecmua corpus, which consists of language data from the early modern Ottoman period, the VICAV corpus, which pools language data for the research of Modern Spoken Arabic, and the Austrian Baroque Corpus, which is a specialized historical corpus of German texts from the memento mori genre written in the Baroque period.
Additionally, the Centre also hosts DictGate, a platform for exchanging lexicographic tools and freely accessible lexical data such as small dictionaries of vernacular Arabic and a bilingual Persian-English dictionary that is still in development.
State-of-the-art tools that have been developed at the Austrian consortium can be freely obtained from the Centre as well. One such tool is the Viennese Lexicographic Editor, an XML-based dictionary writing system which serves as a user-friendly and dynamic tool for compiling and editing digital dictionaries. Another one is the SMC browser, which is a web application that offers users the ability to efficiently explore the Component Metadata Infrastructure by visualizing its data.
As a very successful user involvement activity, the Austrian consortium hosts the ACDH Tool Galleries three times a year. The Tool Galleries are workshops in which established scholars give lectures on the usage of digital tools relevant in digitally grounded humanities research. The consortium thereby promotes knowledge-sharing among its participants and propagates a multifaceted approach to research that is crucial when working in the Digital Humanities.
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