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Verb Morphology of Hebrew and Maltese - Towards an Open Source Type Theoretical Resource Grammar in GF.

Authors Dana Dannélls
John J. Camilleri
Published in Proceedings of LREC 2010. Workshop on Language Resources (LRs) and Human Language Technologies (HLT) for Semitic Languages Status, Updates, and Prospects.
Publication year 2010
Published at Department of Swedish
Department of Computer Science and Engineering (GU)
Language en
Subject categories Language Technology (Computational Linguistics), Linguistics, Bilingualism, Semitic languages


One of the first issues that a programmer must tackle when writing a complete computer program that processes natural language is how to design the morphological component. A typical morphological component should cover three main aspects in a given language: (1) the lexicon, i.e. how morphemes are encoded, (2) orthographic changes, and (3) morphotactic variations. This is in particular challenging when dealing with Semitic languages because of their non-concatenative morphology called root-and pattern morphology. In this paper we describe the design of two morphological components for Hebrew and Maltese verbs in the context of the Grammatical Framework (GF). The components are implemented as a part of larger grammars and are currently under development. We found that although Hebrew and Maltese share some common characteristics in their morphology, it seems difficult to generalize morphosyntactic rules across Semitic verbs when the focus is towards computational linguistics motivated lexicons. We describe and compare the verb morphology of Hebrew and Maltese and motivate our implementation efforts towards a complete open source type theoretical resource grammars for Semitic languages. Future work will focus on semantic aspects of morphological processing.

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