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Instantiation and Implementation of a Corpus Query Lingua Franca

TitleInstantiation and Implementation of a Corpus Query Lingua Franca
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBingel J
Academic DepartmentDepartment of Computational Linguistics
Number of Pages78
Date Published02/2015
UniversityUniversity of Heidelberg

The present thesis introduces KoralQuery, a protocol for the generic representation of queries to linguistic corpora. KoralQuery defines a set of types and operations which serve as abstract representations of linguistic entities and configurations. By combining these types and operations in a nested structure, the protocol may express linguistic structures of arbitrary complexity. It achieves a high degree of neutrality with regard to linguistic theory, as it provides flexible structures that allow for the setting of certain parameters to access several complementing and concurrent sources and layers of annotation on the same textual data.
JSON-LD is used as a serialisation format for KoralQuery, which allows for the well-defined and normalised exchange of linguistic queries between query engines to promote their interoperability. The automatic translation of queries issued in any of three supported query languages to such KoralQuery serialisations is the second main contribution of this thesis. By employing the introduced translation module, query engines may also work independently of particular query languages, as their backend technology may rely entirely on the abstract KoralQuery representations of the queries. Thus, query engines may provide support for several query languages at once without any additional overhead.
The original idea of a general format for the representation of linguistic queries comes from an initiative called Corpus Query Lingua Franca (CQLF), whose theoretic backbone and practical considerations are outlined in the first part of this thesis. This part also includes a brief survey of three typologically different corpus query languages, thus demonstrating their wide variety of features and defining the minimal target space of linguistic types and operations to be covered by KoralQuery.