A human language corpus for interstellar message construction

John Elliott*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of HuLCC (the human language chorus corpus), is to provide a resource of sufficient size to facilitate inter-language analysis by incorporating languages from all the major language families: for the first time all aspects of typology will be incorporated within a single corpus, adhering to a consistent grammatical classification and granularity, which historically adopt a plethora of disparate schemes. An added feature will be the inclusion of a common text element, which will be translated across all languages, to provide a precise comparable thread for detailed linguistic analysis for translation strategies and a mechanism by which these mappings can be explicitly achieved. Methods developed to solve unambiguous mappings across these languages can then be adopted for any subsequent message authored by the SETI community. Initially, it is planned to provide at least 20,000 words for each chosen language, as this amount of text exceeds the point where randomly generated text can be disambiguated from natural language and is of sufficient size useful for message transmission [1] (Elliot, 2002). This paper details the design of this resource, which ultimately will be made available to SETI upon its completion, and discusses issues 'core' to any message construction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-424
Number of pages7
JournalActa Astronautica
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


  • Corpus
  • Language
  • Message construction


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