University of California, Santa Barbara - Department of Linguistics
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University of California, Santa Barbara -- June 23 - August 1, 2008  

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June 24 - June 27, 8:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
Life Science Computing Facility B

Andrea Berez, PhD Student
University of California, Santa Barbara


Course Overview
In this class we will learn how to use the ELAN software to link transcriptions to audio and video media. We will also talk extensively about how to conceptualize tiers (layers of linguistic analysis and glossing in your transcription) so that you can create annotations flexible enough for a range of configurations of speakers and languages.

This class will be useful for anyone working with extended spontaneous speech recordings, including narratives and conversation.

If you have recordings and transcriptions you'd like to work on during this class, please bring them along! If you don't, I'll provide some for you to practice with.

Course Materials

Relevant Links

What is ELAN?
"ELAN (EUDICO Linguistic Annotator) is an annotation tool that allows you to create, edit, visualize and search annotations for video and audio data. It was developed at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, with the aim to provide a sound technological basis for the annotation and exploitation of multi- media recordings. ELAN is specifically designed for the analysis of language, sign language, and gesture, but it can be used by everybody who works with media corpora, i.e., with video and/or audio data, for purposes of annotation, analysis and documentation." (Hellwig and van Uytvanck 2006)

By the way, ELAN is free and available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

What are the advantages to using ELAN?
ELAN has several advantages. First, it creates an archival XML document that links your annotations (text) to the timeline of the media in a way that is long-lasting and not reliant on proprientary software for recovery (meaning that your transcription will be available well into the future). Second, ELAN is flexible enough to be used when you have a recording of one speaker, or five speakers, or several languages at once, etc. Third, ELAN allows import from and export to a range of other popular linguistic software and format (like Transcriber, Toolbox, CHILDES, etc.).

Why do we need a workshop in using ELAN?
ELAN is highly specialized software, and it can take a while to learn how to set up your files. This workshop will help you climb over the learning curve, and you'll see that ELAN isn't difficult once you know how to use it!


This page was last modified on 8 June 2008.
Institute on Field Linguistics and Language Documentation - Dept. of Linguistics, UCSB