Language Technology at UiT The Arctic University of Norway

The Divvun and Giellatekno teams build language technology aimed at minority and indigenous languages

View GiellaLT on GitHub divvungiellatekno/

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Meeting setup


Cf. one of the following, depending on context:

Opening, agenda review, participants

Opened at 10:13.

Present: Børre, David, Jovsset, Maja Lisa, Sjur, Thomas, Tomi, Trond

Absent: Ciprian

Agenda accepted as is.

Updated task status since last meeting












Pedagogical software online

Released Thursday last week. There’s a bug now for the CG part, Trond and Saara are working on it. Otherwise the release was a big success:)

Also good coverage in the Sámi news, see this link.

The PR process for the Oahpa! release:

Things to learn from the press coverage of the events we have had so far - use the professionals! That is, the PR people at UiT or SD. Don’t write the press release ourself.

Meeting memos can be found at []


Corpus gathering

Clarin document: []

Clarin deadlines:


Promoting Divvun

We need more promotions of the Divvun tools. Making a movie demonstrating its use (screencast), and put it up on Youtube.


Future plans, directions and ideas

See a separate document in plan/strat/5year.jspwiki.


Børre has installed giza++, mosesdecoder, srilm, mkcl etc on the XServe, which will facilitate statistically based machine translation. There are experiments with the two ways of doing MT:

To accomodate future enhancements in different directions (in rough order of importance):

  1. test bench for all parts of our language technology efforts
    1. test bench enhanced, but not yet complet
  2. set up the Leopard Server features for collaborative support:
    1. permanent chat rooms
    2. stored (and indexed) chat transcripts of the chat rooms
    3. iCal server / group calendars
    4. wiki
  3. wiki? on G5 (is part of Leopard Server) or other web-based documentation
  4. improve Forrest stability and i18n support ( the divvun crashes)
    1. Sjur has been working on better i18n and pdf rendering
    2. Børre has some ideas for getting back to serving static html files
  5. reorganise the documentation:
    1. differ between target groups
    2. get better grouping
    3. decide what to write in forrest and what in wiki (cf. Apertium and []) for a similar split)
    4. update/add missing parts
  6. migrate lexc lexicons to XML, splitting the task
    1. Name lexica (the Name project)
    2. Dictionaries (already in XML, task is to integrate them)
    3. At least migrate the lexc open POSes (Komi as a pilot case)
  7. change the look of the documentation web
  8. sfst?
    1. replacement for xfst -> see [omorf |], omorf wiki and omorfi
    2. replacement for hunspell/open-source proofing tools
  9. investigate the NSIS installer, potentially replacing the InstallShield package from Polderland
  10. corpus content moved to Max Planck repositories? Norsk språkbank?
  11. update infrastructure to allow content-restricted spellers for special target groups

SVN issues:



North Sámi

(nothing new, see proofing bugs below)

Lule Sámi

(nothing new, see proofing bugs below)

South Sámi

Possible linguists to be invited to the seminar:

We should arrive such that we are ready to start Monday morning.


Name lexicon/ infrastructure

Instead of building our own webforms and back-end update scripts, use XForms with a premade connection to our xml db. Orbeon XForms is such a tool (open source).

From the meeting with the terminology and IT teams last week:

This means the following tasks:


  1. fix i18n bug in (so they will work without the proper locale request) (Sjur)
  2. fix bugs in lexc2xml; add comments to the log element (Saara)
  3. finish first version of the editing (Sjur)
  4. test editing of the xml files. If ok, then: (Sjur, Thomas, Trond)
  5. make terms-smX.xml <=== automatically from propernoun-sme-lex.xml (add nob as well) (the morphological section should be kept intact, in e.g. propernoun-sme-morph.txt) (Sjur, Saara)
  6. convert propernoun-($lang)-lex.txt to a derived file from common xml files (Sjur, Tomi, Saara)
  7. implement data synchronisation between and the cvs repo, and possibly other servers (ie the G5 as an alternative server to the public - it might be faster and better suited than the official one; also local installations could be treated the same way)
  8. start to use the xml file as source file
  9. clean terms-sme.xml such that all names have the correct tag for their use (e.g. @type=secondary) (Thomas, linguists)
  10. merge placenames which are errouneously in different entries: e.g. Helsinki, Helsingfors, Helsset (linguists)
  11. publish the name lexicon on (Sjur)
  12. add missing parallel names for placenames (linguists)
  13. add informative links between first names like Niillas and Nils (linguists)


Our first electronic dictionary was released together with Oahpa! last week. There are certain problems on the Windows side for StarDict. Mainly, we need to improve our user documentation, but it is too short at the moment. And the StarDict download for Windows need to be a zip file, not tar.

The dictionary works well on Linux as well, Børre tested it with QStarDict. But the documentation is lacking (missing?) for Linux.

There are other dictionaries available for StarDict on []


Proofing tools


Making compounding work correctly in Hunspell is too much work, the formalism is too cumbersome and different from what we have. We are looking at alternatives to Hunspell, and will return to this issue later.

The version we have at the moment (beta6) will be our last one for a while.


Working everywhere (almost) in MacOS X applications, provides Sámi spell checking system-wide through a hunspell back-end. OpenXSPell

As a middle-man between Enchant and MacOS X speller API, this is still interesting. As a direct Hunspell front-end it is not, cf above.


Spelling Error Markup


Speller testing


Testing open-source Norwegian spellers

Sjur has invited the open-source group to test their spell-checker using our test bench. The response has been positive, we’ll see what happens.

We should go to their developer meetings, and present our work and how to work with language technology.

Speller bugs

New lexicons compiled by Tomi.

List of bugs returned from Polderland:

Open issues based on test results:


Version: Davvisámi, version 1.1, 2008-12-17


Version: Julevsáme, version 1.1, 2008-12-17


Hyphenator bugs

Open issues based on test results :


Lexicon version: Davvisámi, version 1.1, 2008-12-17


Lexicon version: Julevsáme, version 1.1, 2008-12-17


Installer changes


User documentation


1.2 release



Winter holidays

Who When
Sjur 16-20.2.
David 19-20.2.
Børre nothing
Maja nothing
Thomas nothing
Trond not holiday, but going to Greenland 16.2.-10.3.
Tomi nothing
Jovsset nothing

School in Troms have second week in mars

Sámi week in Tromsø

The Oahpa! release was awesome, see above. Also the dictionary release. The library presentation had too few attendees:/

The meeting with the minority language watch-dog was ok. Trond reported on several points, especially the lack of support for the Sámi letters in governmental registries.

Text to speech

The TTS meeting with Antti was held (without Maja and Thomas). Topics:


TNC, rikstermbanken and Sámi terms

It should be ok, but they need to send a formal request, to From there it will be forwarded to the relevant person.

Corpus contracts + open source

Postponed until the svn repository is fully functional (it is too open now).

Other issues

Next meeting, closing

The next meeting is 2.3.2009, 9.30 Norwegian time.

The meeting was closed at 12:38.

Appendix - task lists for the next five days