Sabine Tittel


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Towards an Ontology for Toponyms in Nepalese Historical Documents
Sabine Tittel
Proceedings of the Workshop on Resources and Technologies for Indigenous, Endangered and Lesser-resourced Languages in Eurasia within the 13th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Nepalese historical legal documents contain a plethora of valuable information on the history of what is today Nepal. An empirical study based on such documents enables a deep understanding of religion and ritual, legal practice, rulership, and many other aspects of the society through time. The aim of the research project ‘Documents on the History of Religion and Law of Pre-modern Nepal’ is to make accessible a text corpus with 18 th to 20 th century documents both through cataloging and digital text editions, building a database called Documenta Nepalica. However, the lack of interoperability with other resources hampers its seamless integration into broader research contexts. To address this problem, we target the modeling of the Documenta Nepalica as Linked Data. This paper presents one module of this larger endeavour: It describes a proof of concept for an ontology for Nepalese toponyms that provides the means to classify toponyms attested in the documents and to model their entanglement with other toponyms, persons, events, and time. The ontology integrates and extends standard ontologies and increases interoperability through aligning the ontology individuals to the respective entries of geographic authority files such as GeoNames. Also, we establish a mapping of the individuals to DBpedia entities.


A Framework for Shared Agreement of Language Tags beyond ISO 639
Frances Gillis-Webber | Sabine Tittel
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

The identification and annotation of languages in an unambiguous and standardized way is essential for the description of linguistic data. It is the prerequisite for machine-based interpretation, aggregation, and re-use of the data with respect to different languages. This makes it a key aspect especially for Linked Data and the multilingual Semantic Web. The standard for language tags is defined by IETF’s BCP 47 and ISO 639 provides the language codes that are the tags’ main constituents. However, for the identification of lesser-known languages, endangered languages, regional varieties or historical stages of a language, the ISO 639 codes are insufficient. Also, the optional language sub-tags compliant with BCP 47 do not offer a possibility fine-grained enough to represent linguistic variation. We propose a versatile pattern that extends the BCP 47 sub-tag ‘privateuse’ and is, thus, able to overcome the limits of BCP 47 and ISO 639. Sufficient coverage of the pattern is demonstrated with the use case of linguistic Linked Data of the endangered Gascon language. We show how to use a URI shortcode for the extended sub-tag, making the length compliant with BCP 47. We achieve this with a web application and API developed to encode and decode the language tag.

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Towards an Ontology Based on Hallig-Wartburg’s Begriffssystem for Historical Linguistic Linked Data
Sabine Tittel | Frances Gillis-Webber | Alessandro A. Nannini
Proceedings of the 7th Workshop on Linked Data in Linguistics (LDL-2020)

To empower end users in searching for historical linguistic content with a performance that far exceeds the research functions offered by websites of, e.g., historical dictionaries, is undoubtedly a major advantage of (Linguistic) Linked Open Data ([L]LOD). An important aim of lexicography is to enable a language-independent, onomasiological approach, and the modelling of linguistic resources following the LOD paradigm facilitates the semantic mapping to ontologies making this approach possible. Hallig-Wartburg’s Begriffssystem (HW) is a well-known extra-linguistic conceptual system used as an onomasiological framework by many historical lexicographical and lexicological works. Published in 1952, HW has meanwhile been digitised. With proprietary XML data as the starting point, our goal is the transformation of HW into Linked Open Data in order to facilitate its use by linguistic resources modelled as LOD. In this paper, we describe the particularities of the HW conceptual model and the method of converting HW: We discuss two approaches, (i) the representation of HW in RDF using SKOS, the SKOS thesaurus extension, and XKOS, and (ii) the creation of a lightweight ontology expressed in OWL, based on the RDF/SKOS model. The outcome is illustrated with use cases of medieval Gascon, and Italian.