Some Reflections on the Database of Medieval Chinese Texts as a Multi-Purpose Tool for Research, Teaching, and International Collaboration
This paper gives an introduction to a Digital Humanities project at the Department of Languages and Cultures (Ghent University), the Database of Medieval Chinese Texts (DMCT), a collaborative project with several international partners. The structure of the DB is multi-modular, consisting of reference modules in the form of XML marked-up medieval non-canonical Chinese Buddhist texts, as well as analytical modules such as the Variants, Syntax, and Sentence Analysis modules. The architecture is ‘open’ and modules can be added, modified, and interlinked based on specific research requirements. The DB is multifunctional and not only provides information on key texts and their linguistic features, but also constitutes a research tool (featuring sophisticated online input masks and analytical tools) with which researchers can input and process data. In addition to its function in a research environment, it is also used in advanced master classes, in the framework of master thesis and PhD projects, as well as for internships. The DB has also an important ‘socio-institutional’ function, being situated at the intersection of Buddhological and historical linguistic studies, two of the main fields of research at the department.