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 09:48.

Present: Ciprian, Sjur, Thomas, Tomi, Trond

Absent: Børre, Maja

Agenda accepted as is.

Updated task status since last meeting









Ciprian is still learning a lot.

Preparing for Bodø seminar:

Trond and Lene are writing a prequalification application for Norgesuniversitetet

Meeting memos can be found at []


Corpus gathering


Promoting Divvun

Question about the download log. Do we have it? yes, but the public listing isn’t up-to-date. Børre will update it.


Future plans, directions and ideas

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

Northern areas project

Trond and Sjur went to Oslo last week to present the project for three ministeries.



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



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

Adj->verb derivations is the next topic. Verb -> adj -derivations (some) already written in, tentatively. This topic probably needs more consideration than A -> V.

Maja had a meeting with Ove Lorentz about loan words in sma, and their proper orthography. It is a complex issue.


Name lexicon/ infrastructure

Tomi has played with couchdb as a replacement for eXist in and general dictionary-related work. Seems much lighter and easier to work with.

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. send eXist log files to Ciprian (Sjur)
  2. fix i18n bug in (so they will work without the proper locale request) (Sjur)
  3. fix bugs in lexc2xml; add comments to the log element (Saara)
  4. finish first version of the editing (Sjur)
  5. test editing of the xml files. If ok, then: (Sjur, Thomas, Trond)
  6. 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)
  7. convert propernoun-($lang)-lex.txt to a derived file from common xml files (Sjur, Tomi, Saara)
  8. 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)
  9. start to use the xml file as source file
  10. clean terms-sme.xml such that all names have the correct tag for their use (e.g. @type=secondary) (Thomas, linguists)
  11. merge placenames which are errouneously in different entries: e.g. Helsinki, Helsingfors, Helsset (linguists)
  12. publish the name lexicon on (Sjur)
  13. add missing parallel names for placenames (linguists)
  14. add informative links between first names like Niillas and Nils (linguists)



Proofing tools

HFST-based proofing tools



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


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



Autumn planning

Text to speech


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

We should discuss with the SD, and before that we need a working Autshumato ITE. It only needs to work on Windows at the moment. Next week: Windows situation assessment.


Open source

The repository is properly closed/open now, and the availability of the source code should be announced.


Next meeting, closing

The next meeting is 7.9.2009, 9.30 Norwegian time.

The meeting was closed at 11:42.

Appendix - task lists for the next five days