The author of a new book on how to annotate manuscript speech exemplars has described how she has used the software to make the feat.
She described the process as “a lot like being a carpenter”.
Sarah Rafferty, an English language professor at the University of Maryland, has created a software program called Illuminated, which allows anyone to use it to annotates words, sentences and paragraphs.
The software is designed to help people do things like find missing syllables, add missing letters, mark up the meaning of words or make corrections.
Illuminated is available for free for use by anyone, including the author of the book.
Ms Raffery has used it to edit hundreds of chapters of a book on language and literature.
“The more you use it, the more you realise how much you can do,” she said.
Ms Ryberty said the software was developed by her mentor, a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The professor, Dr Christopher Ritchie, said it had been a lifelong ambition of hers to build software that would help people make the kind of annotations she has done.
“This was the first thing that came to my mind and I thought it was pretty cool that someone else has already made this software,” Dr Ritchie said.
“I was like, ‘Wow, that’s awesome, I think I’m going to get paid to make this’.” Dr Richey is a software developer by training, but she said she started out by learning about text analysis tools and was drawn to the field after she worked on a computer program that helped people find missing words in documents.
She said she wanted to make her own software to help other researchers.
“When I was a kid, I remember reading about text mining, and I just thought, ‘I want to do that too’,” she said, adding that she wanted a program that would allow her to do the same kind of work with other kinds of data.
She has also used it for her own research into speech in the past.
She found that people with a particular language ability tend to be more accurate in their annotations than those without it.
Dr Rincey said she had worked with about 150 people with different language abilities.
The project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, was originally developed for the US military, but was later expanded to include anyone in the United States.
The programme has since been used in other countries, including in Australia and Germany.
The researchers have published a paper in the journal Nature that describes how they had found that the most effective annotation tool was a speech analysis program called Linguistics 2.0.
“It was really hard to find a speech annotation that was just about the best at making a good annotation and not just a pretty one,” Ms Rybry said.
She and Dr Rich said they had also worked with a group of scientists at MIT to create an annotation tool that could help researchers improve their work.
Ms ryberty’s project has been published in the Journal of Computational Linguistic Methods.
“In order to make a good analysis, you need to understand what’s going on in a language,” she added.
“So we needed a program to do this for us, which we call Illuminated.”
The Illuminated annotation software can also be used to make corrections to a manuscript.
“We’re able to make annotations based on the context in which we’re working, and that’s a really powerful way of making annotations,” Ms Richety said.
Dr Rybert said she hoped the software would help more researchers in other disciplines, including linguistics and medicine, to understand how language can affect the way we understand the world.
“You need to be able to do a lot of work in a very short period of time to be really productive,” she told ABC Radio Melbourne.
The Australian National University has supported Ms Ryby’s work and has made her a PhD fellow.
“If you’re working on a research project, or an undergraduate research project you might have to work for several years,” Professor Michael Jansen said.