Corpus-driven models of lexicography and Mesopotamian cultural heritage preservation at the CDLI

Justin Johnson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Since its inception in 2000, the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI) has worked for the documentation and dissemination of the primary data for the huge number of cuneiform tablets that are today scattered around the globe. The project has consistently emphasised the non-proprietary, public character of primary data and one of its primary methods of encouraging the public availability of data has been to encourage collective authorship and/or partially anonymous dissemination of primary data. Therefore I would like to emphasise that all the efforts that I describe herein were collective in nature and I report them here primarily in order to inform the larger Assyriological community about some of the underlying premises and goals of ongoing work at CDLI and other similar projects such as the Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary (PSD) and the Digital Corpus of Cuneiform Lexical Texts (DCCLT). Although my presentation at the Rencontre dealt with a broader range of topics, in the following I limit myself to three areas where the efforts of CDLI are of particular interest: (i) the development of transliterational corpora for the periods between the Late Uruk and Ur III periods, (ii) first-order markup in which relatively simple ASCII transliterations are transformed into XML format, and (iii) the lemmatization of the XML transliterations, the first substantial example of second-order markup to be applied to CDLI corpora, yielding a primary resource for both the preservation of Mesopotamian cultural heritage and the emergent lexicography of the PSD.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 51st Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale
Subtitle of host publicationHeld at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago July 18-22, 2005
EditorsRobert Biggs, Jennie Myers, Martha Roth
Place of PublicationChicago
PublisherThe Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-1-885923-54-7
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Publication series

NameStudies in Ancient Oriental Civilisation


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