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Research Projects of the University of Cologne‘s Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Three Yurakaré speakers work with the Family Problems Picture Task. Image: Sonja Gipper


Knowledge-Centre for Linguistic Diversity and Language Documentation

Project leaders: Prof. Dr. Andreas Witt | Institute for Digital Humanities; Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Himmelmann | Institute for Linguistics

Funded by CLARIN-D

The CLARIN Knowledge Center for Linguistic Diversity and Language Documentation (CKLD) is a decentralized competence center that supports researchers from the early planning phase to the realization of language documentation projects or other field-research-based projects.
The CKLD provides information and support related to fieldwork and data-related methodological issues especially regarding equipment, digital tools and methods. In addition, the center supports researchers in finding relevant datasets and provides access to expertise on specific regions and language families.
At this center, the main European data centers that focus on audiovisual data and documentation are pooling their user support activities, thereby harmonizing their offerings.
The Knowledge Center is part of the European digital research infrastructure Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure (CLARIN). The Data Center for Humanities (DCH) and the Institute for Linguistics (IfL) of the University of Cologne are involved in the centre. In addition to these Cologne institutions, the Hamburg Center for Language Corpora (HZSK) and the Academy Project Grammatical Descriptions, Corpora, and Language Technology for Indigenous Northern Eurasian Languages (INEL) of the University of Hamburg, the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR) and the SOAS World Languages Institute (SWLI) in London, as well as a co-opted partner, the Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (ZAS) are also involved.
Due to the broad set-up, the collaborative center provides a focal point for researchers, where they can provide their expertise and gather information on current best practice models, available resources and tools. In addition, it advises on technological and methodological questions of the research fields.
The Cologne partner operates the CKLD web portal (, which communicates the services of the center to the public and provides information about activities of the center. The central helpdesk can be used to send inquiries to the center, which are directed internally to the right contact persons. The web portal also provides information on training courses and workshops organized by the center partners who teach basic and specialized skills.
The center was founded in August 2017 and certified in March 2018 by the European Research Infrastructure Consortium CLARIN.

Text: Felix Rau


Institute for Digital Humanities
Prof. Dr. Andreas Witt, Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Himmelmann

Researchers: Felix Rau, Jonathan Blumtritt

E-mail f.rau(at)