Bridging Languages, Building Understanding

Research Tools

Esperanto Corpus

Corpus-based research has become a vital tool in several areas of linguistics and literary studies. This project seeks to provide a basic research corpus for Esperanto. In the first phase of the project, a corpus of approximately 2 million words was produced, including the major part of Zamenhof's work and a selection of literary and journalistic texts.

The technical specifications for the corpus follow the guidelines of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). This project is currently available online and is equipped with a powerful set of search functions. Plans are also underway to expand the corpus significantly and incorporate a wider range of genres and authors.To access the Corpus, click here.

EPAK Project (Spoken Esperanto Corpus Project)

Since 2007, researcher Christer Lörnemark has been compiling a spoken corpus of Esperanto.   
Phase I produced a corpus of approximately 100,000 words. A future goal of this project is to expand the resource to over one million words.

Mr. Lörnemark has identified several potential uses for such a corpus:

  • it will assist with the creation of frequency lists for roots, words, and collocations. These lists could be used for comparisons with the written Esperanto corpus, for various Esperanto language courses, and for studies on Esperanto phraseology;
  • it will help us to better understand the most frequent differences between the written language norm and spoken Esperanto as it actually is in transcriptions;
  • it will help us to understand the use of Esperanto in different activities;
  • it will help us to understand the influence of a native language on an individual’s use of Esperanto (lexical choices, grammar, pronunciation);
  • it may help with the investigation of non-verbal behaviours: e.g., the interplay between verbal and non-verbal behaviour among Esperanto speakers;
  • finally, Esperanto’s status as a language continues to be debated by some linguists and non-linguists. In both cases, it is evident that there is a lack of knowledge about Esperanto and its daily use in the world. The existence of a spoken Esperanto corpus may help to inform experts and non-experts alike that Esperanto is quite similar to almost any other language; it is expressive, continues to be used around the world, and could be a subject of serious linguistic research.

Phase II of this project involved an expansion of the database to 150,000 words. Scientific articles and a book about the corpus project are also slated for publication.

Hector Hodler Library

The Hector Hodler Library is among the three most important collections in the world specializing in literature in and about the international planned language Esperanto and about the wider field of interlinguistics. Comparable are the International Esperanto Museum (Internacia Esperanto-Muzeo) in Vienna (linked to the Austrian National Library) and the library of the Esperanto Association of Great Britain (Esperanto-Asocio de Britio) in London. Among these three, the Hodler Library stands out not only for its attempt to be exhaustive but also because the UEA and the CRD have taken on the responsibility of assuring the continuity and usefulness of this high quality collection. The Library has been and continues to be a documentation resource used in the course of the editing of the UEA's official journal (Esperanto magazine), for other work carried out by its Central Office staff, and for international research on interlinguistics. No other library in the world receives practically every new publication in or about Esperanto.

The Library consists of around 15,000 books and pamphlets, including bound volumes of journals. In addition, it has a great number of unbound journals, chiefly complete volumes. It also houses manuscripts, correspondence, photos, audio discs and cassettes, videotapes, printed music, tourist items (prospectuses, maps, postcards), posters, insignia, and postage stamps.

ESF is supporting the preparation of a long-range plan for preserving the library and making its holdings more readily accessible to researchers, including the preparation of a comprehensive catalogue.

The library is currently located in Rotterdam. For more information, click here.

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