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, Ciprian, David, Jovsset, Maja, Sjur, Tomi

Absent: Thomas, Trond

Agenda accepted as is.

Updated task status since last meeting












Pedagogical software online

Meeting memos can be found at []


Corpus gathering

David: one student text, more than expected (a few pages); have also started to OCR-read another book. Also progress regarding bible texts.

Maja: recevived the contract from Fritz Jakobsen, more details above.


Promoting Divvun

Next tour de Divvun in week 18. Per-Eric will go alone to Sámij åhpadusguovdásj in Jokkmokk.


Future plans, directions and ideas

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

Northern areas project



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. use HFST as alternative to XFST
  9. corpus content moved to Max Planck repositories? Norsk språkbank?
  10. update infrastructure to allow content-restricted spellers for special target groups

SVN issues:

SVN strategies:



We need a more fine-grained system for denoting morphological boundaries. Here’s what Sjur suggests:

  1. word boundary: ## (# makes .#. unusable in twolc)
  2. inflection: <, >
  3. compound-like inflection: <#, #> (cf -gujmie) (lexc %<#, #%>)
  4. derivation: «, »
  5. compound-like derivation: «#, #» (cf -aktig, -skap in nob, swe, etc)
  6. clitica: ‹, › - muorak and muorage but only muorasge and not muorask
  7. opaque compounds (bringebær): *#, #* - * on the side of the opaque part

The multichar sequences should be defined as Multichar_Symbols.

It might be possible to distinguish, but do we need them?

the suffix -goahti- behaves:

Motivation for the new border symbols:

The guiding principle behind the symbols is that they provide more information in the transducer, and it is easy to discard the information later. The opposite is not true. Also, there is relatively little work involved in adding the symbols.

North Sámi

(nothing new, see proofing bugs below)

Lule Sámi

(nothing new, see proofing bugs below)

South Sámi


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)


Sma-nob/swe ready in a first version, with some words from the Gærjiste vaalteme (4342 of the 6759 words, to be precise). Thus, 2417 words are still not added.

There has also been glimpses of a sjd-rus dictionary as well, with quite decorative results. Ciprian and Trond have done some work on the Unicode representation, and Ciprian has made a test version.

As an alternativ e to StarDict on Windows, we could license a software package from a company like Polderland or Morphologic. That will cost us money, but will give a much nicer interface (both technically and UI wise) than StarDict.


Proofing tools

HFST-based proofing tools



Børre has released beta7, with working clitics, negation verb and copula.


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

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



Permanent Divvun

The report was discussed with the project board, which formulated their own suggestion to the Sámediggi board. The report and the main points were presented to the board Thursday April 16, and the board approved on the suggestion by the project board with one small addition (mainly for clarification).

South Sámi seminar follow-up

We should make a final list of who went to the hotel when, to check the final bill from the hotel. Sjur will discuss this with David.

Now done, and Sjur should send the list to the travel agency.

Travelling plans in the coming months

Text to speech

To be started relatively soon. May?

MT and CAT

These are the next things forward. Two things to do before doing MT/CAT:

  1. Makefile redo
  2. xml transition of lexica

Corpus contracts + open source

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

FSMNLP Pretoria 21-24 July

We won’t go there.

Next meeting, closing

The next meeting is 27.4.2009, 9.30 Norwegian time.

Trond away then.

The meeting was closed at 12:11.

Appendix - task lists for the next five days