PORTULAN CLARIN is the Research Infrastructure for the Science and Technology of Language.
Its mission is to support researchers, innovators, citizen scientists, students, language professionals and users in general whose activities resort to research results from the Science and Technology of Language by means of the distribution of scientific resources, the supplying of technological support, the provision of consultancy, and the fostering of scientific dissemination.
It supports activities in all scientific and cultural domains with special relevance to those that are more directly concerned with language — whether as their immediate subject, or as an instrumental mean to address their topics —, including among others, the areas of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Artificial Intelligence, Computation and Cognitive Sciences, Healthcare, Language teaching and promotion, Cultural creativity, Cultural heritage, etc.
It serves all those whose activity requires the handling and exploration of language resources, including language data and services:
- in all sorts of modalities – spoken, written, sign, multimodal, etc.
- in all types of representations – audio, text, video, records of brain activity, etc.
- and in all types of functions – instrument for communication, symbolic object, cognitive ability to be stimulated through formal education in native language, knowledge vehicle, ability to be exercised in the acquisition of a second language, reflection of mental activity, natural form of interaction with artificial agents and devices, etc.
The infrastructure is used when it is necessary, for example:
- to use a language processing tool – e.g. conjugators, terminology extractors, concordancers, part-of-speech taggers, deep linguistic processing grammars, etc.
- to access data sets – e.g. linguistically interpreted corpora, terminology data bases, EEG records of neurolinguistic experiments, collections of literary texts, etc.
- to obtain a data sample – e.g. video recording of deaf children sign language, words for concepts in the Organization subontology, etc.
- to use specific research support applications – e.g. lemma frequency extractors, treebank annotators, etc.
- to use an appropriately equipped online workbench – to support field work on the documentation of endangered languages, to do research on translation, etc.
PORTULAN CLARIN ensures the preservation and fostering of the scientific heritage regarding the Portuguese language, supporting the preservation, promotion, distribution, sharing and reuse of language resources for this language, including text collections, lexicons, processing tools, etc.
It represents an asset of utmost importance for the technological development of the Portuguese language and to its preparation for the digital age, contributing to ensure the citizenship of its speakers in the information society.
PORTULAN CLARIN belongs to the Portuguese National Roadmap of Research Infrastructures of Strategic Relevance and is part of the international research infrastructure CLARIN ERIC.
It fosters Open Science practices by supporting its users in making their results and resources accessible to all sectors of an inquiring society.
November: CLARIN European Research Infrastructure Consortium (CLARIN ERIC) is presented as on of the two highlighted use cases in the launching ceremony of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC)
June: joint organization with AMA — Agency for the Digital Transformation of Public Administration and DGT-PT — Portuguese Language Department of the Directorate-General for Translation of the Lisbon Workshop of the European Language Resources Consortium
April: CLARIN ERIC constituency reaches 20 members
February: upon the definition of the regulatory framework for scientific employment being concluded by the national authorities, implementation activities of PORTULAN CLARIN intensify
November: successful application, jointly wiht AMA — Agency for the Digital Transformation of Public Administration and other partners, for a European project for the gathering of language resources, under the CEF program
July: joint organization with META — Multilingual Europe Technology Alliance of the Lisbon METAFORUM conference on language technologies
June: grant contract for the implementation project of PORTULAN CLARIN is signed
April: agreement with INCD — National Infrastructure of Distributed Computation to support PORTULAN CLARIN with compute-intensive services
March: application proposal for the implementation project is successful and the national funding for the implementation of PORTULAN CLARIN is approved
July: joint organization with DGT-PT — Portuguese Language Department of the Directorate-General for Translation of the Workshop on Corpora and Tools for Processing Corpora
July: application of CLARIN PORTULAN submitted to the national competitive call for the funding of implementation projects of research infrastructures
March: FCT — Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, the Portuguese national funding agency for research, proceeds with an analysis of design and preparation maturity of the infrastructures proposed in the national Roadmap of Research Infrastructures, and PORTULAN CLARIN undergoes a most successful analysis
November: Portugal becomes the 11th member of the European distributed research infrastructure CLARIN ERIC after its request for membership being accepted by the CLARIN ERIC General Assembly
October: joint development with Camões — Institute for Cooperation and Language of the online service for the categorization of texts according to their level of proficiency
February: obtaining the top score from the evaluation committee, the application of PORTULAN CLARIN is successful and this infrastruture is an inaugural member of the first National Roadmap of Research Infrastructures of Strategic Relevance
September: application proposal of PORTULAN CLARIN is submitted to the competitive call for the roadmap of national research infrastructures, by 3 proponent partners and 19 implementation partners, including Camões IP, the national body for the promotion of the Portuguese Language
August: IILP — International Institute for the Portuguese Language, a body of CPLP endorses the application proposal of PORTULAN CLARIN
August: ELRA — European Language Resources Association endorses the application proposal of PORTULAN CLARIN
December: the international workshop “New Technologies and the Future of Languages” is organized in Lisbon by the CLARIN network for the Portuguese language
September: the CLARIN network for the Portuguese language responds to the call of interest to becoming part of the future National Roadmap of Research Infrastructures issued by FCT — Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia
April: the joining to CLARIN ERIC is recommended by IILP — International Institute of the Portuguese Language, a body of the international organization CPLP — The Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries
February: CLARIN ERIC is founded, starting with 8 member countries, and becomes part of the first European Roadmap of Research Infrastructures promoted by European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI)
June: European preparatory project of CLARIN is successfully concluded, with the CLARIN network for the Portuguese language, with 18 members, being the largest one in CLARIN
September: after a commonly signed letter, seven Brazilian universities become members of the CLARIN network for the Portuguese language, following a positive response to their request
March: Portugal is invited to be founding member of the future CLARIN ERIC
March: workshop supported by FCT — Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia to form the CLARIN national network successfully takes place in Lisbon, gathering 17 research units accredited by FCT
January: European preparatory project for CLARIN starts, funded by the European Commission: the University of Lisbon team, coordinated by António Branco, is the consortium partner representing Portugal
the European language research community submits a proposal to be an inaugural member of the first European Roadmap of Research Infrastructures being designed by ESFRI, and another proposal to a competitive call in the FP7 Framework Program for projects to prepare the design of European infrastructures
Scientific knowledge is grounded on falsifiable predictions and thus its credibility and raison d'être relies on the possibility of repeating experiments and getting similar results as originally obtained and reported. Scientific knowledge is also cumulative, with more recent advancements originating from developments obtained over previous breakthroughs.
Crucial for the scientific endeavor, and for science-based activities, it is the availability of data and of companion analytical devices. Also crucial, it is the moral, and many times physical, courage to challenge the status quo, together with the altruism to share the research results.
While seeking to foster this scientific ethos, this research infrastructure is named "portulan", the term designating the maps where discoveries by courageous sailors were documented such that these discoveries and associated data could subsequently be confirmed or corrected, the originating travel could be repeated with increased efficiency, and new discoveries and routes could be reached beyond those already known.
If you are interested to know more about portulan maps, you can start here.