6.0575 SW: CALL; Bibliographic Databases (2/68)

Fri, 12 Mar 1993 14:54:56 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 6, No. 0575. Friday, 12 Mar 1993.

(1) Date: Wed, 3 Mar 93 13:46:21 GMT (20 lines)
From: DJT18@hull.ac.uk
Subject: ReCALL Software Guide

(2) Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1993 08:51:11 -0500 (48 lines)
From: <matsuba@writer.yorku.ca>
Subject: Bibliographic Databases

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 93 13:46:21 GMT
From: DJT18@hull.ac.uk
Subject: ReCALL Software Guide

Issue No. 3 of the ReCALL Software Guide (February 1993) is now available.
It lists around 530 items of software for use in language learning, indexed
under languages and under 8 categories (e.g. dictionaries & translation
tools; language for specific purposes). The price is:

7 pounds sterling within the UK
9 pounds sterling in Europe
12 pounds sterling elsewhere

Prices include postage. Cheques should be made payable to the University of
Hull - sorry, no credit cards.

Contact: June Thompson
CTI Centre for Modern Languages
University of Hull, Hull HU6 7RX, UK
Fax 0482 473816
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------59----
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1993 08:51:11 -0500
From: <matsuba@writer.yorku.ca>
Subject: Bibliographic Databases

I would be interested in hearing about people's experiences using
electronic bibliographic databases--particularly the MLA both on line
and on CD-ROM. I'm writing a paper for the MLA in Toronto looking at
how the technology has changed and needs to change.

My feeling is that the the weakness of the database lies in its
reliance on keyword catagories for subject searches. While they are
useful, they cannot catch the ways in which an article/book may be
useful in areas outside the discipline for which it was written. This
situation is, I think, particularly problematic now that
interdisciplinary studies is moving into the forefront of studies
in the humanities.

My own experience in working on my dissertation is an example. I've
been looking at how critics determine allusion in a selction of
Shakespeare's plays. My goal is to understand the processes that
enter in determining what is an allusiona nd what is not. I combine
intertextual theory (a la Riffaterre and others) with computational
lingusitics to come up with my models of how allusion works. But I
have been discovering that there are related materials that never
showed up in my original MLA searches. Things like game theory (in
both the mathematical construction and Lyotardian mode), cognitive
science, and the philosophy of language. My decision to pursue these
other lines of approach came because of backgrounds in computer
science and linguistics that I have acquired over time. But I could
not rely on the computerized bibliography to point me in these
directions. But I noticed that in a number of cases, articles in the
these "new" areas did include items in their bibliographies that were
in my other sources. I began to think that it might be possible to
use the bibliographies of articles and books as the basis for an
expert system that would expand the capabilities of electronic
bibliographic databases.

At the same time, there also has to be a balance by which we can avoid
being flooded by too much information. I believe that a hierarchical
system that combines keyword searches with something based on the
bibliographic references in each work may be a viable solution to the

I'd be interested in hearing what other HUMANISTS have to say.

Stephen Naoyuki Matsuba
Graduate Programme in English
York University, Canada