How to Make an Interlinear Glossed Text

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Making an IGT

This section of the site walks you through the beginning of an IGT of one phrase of a Kayardild narrative. The IGT is first displayed in a presentation format so that the purpose of each line can be better explained. It is then shown in XML, which is the preferred archival format for IGTs.

Presentation and Working IGTs

In XML format, an IGT is interoperable and can be rendered in various ways. However, it is difficult for humans to interpret raw XML data. It is also impractical for linguists to write field notes in XML. A field linguist will, therefore, be well acquainted with a simple presentation of an IGT. The text presented here has five levels:

Phonetic form:
wámagʊɺʈ ɖátìnɐ ɖʊlkɐ wáràːɟàrI béɖìja ɖʊlk béɖìjɐ ɖʊlʔ

Phonemic form:
wamakuɺʈ ʈatina ʈulka waraːcari piʈiya ʈulk piʈiya tul...

Practical orthography:
Wamakurlda. dathin-a dulk-a warra-a-jarri, birdi-ya dulk birdi-ya dul...

Interlinear gloss:
(place name) that-NOM place-NOM go-M-NEGACT bad-NOM place(NOM) bad-NOM place(NOM)

Free translation:
'Wamarkuld. That place was never gone to, it's a bad place. A bad pla...'


In a typical IGT, these will be displayed as follows:

wámagʊɺʈ ɖátìnɐ ɖʊlkɐ wáràːɟàrI béɖìja ɖʊlk béɖìjɐ ɖʊlʔ...
wamakuɺʈ ʈatina ʈulka waraːcari piʈiya ʈulk piʈiya tul...
Wamakurlda dathin-a dulk-a warra-a-jarri, birdi-ya dulk birdi-ya dul...
(place name) that-NOM place-NOM go-M-NEGACT bad-NOM place(NOM) bad-NOM place(NOM)
'Wamarkuld. That place was never gone to, it's a bad place. A bad pla...'

While not an archival format, this rendition of the data is useful for transcribing texts with speakers and for analyzing the data. Note that, by applying XSL stylesheets to an XML document, you can render XML data in this way.

IGT in XML

The following XML document describes the beginning of this phrase and represents the practical orthography and English gloss. The document is commented throughout to communicate the significance of each element of the IGT.


Learn more about applying XML to IGT


More on XML


The content of this page was developed from the research of Dr. Nicholas Evans, Dr. Baden Hughes, Ms. Cathy Bow and Dr. Steven Bird.

User Contributed Notes
E-MELD School of Best Practice: IGT How-to
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