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 09:55.

Present: Børre, Ciprian, Maja, Sjur, Thomas (text only), Tomi, Trond

Absent: none

Agenda accepted as is.

Updated task status since last meeting









No problem to get the IP address of the users (client computers). Will give us valuable info about the user geography spread.

Trond made a transucer for numbers to dates and back for tts (sme-num.txt). These could be added to Oahpa, along the lines of the clock addition. The result would be 3 Numra:

Other areas of improvements:

Meeting memos can be found at []


Corpus gathering

Maja: another source of corpus material is the sma yearbooks. There are usually 1-3 articles in sma pr book, which over the years builds up to a sizeable text body.

Suggestion from Maja: Get all the now free teaching material from Sámediggi, the electronic manuscripts.


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



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

Snow Leopard: Sjur has installed it, here are some observations:



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)


Ciprian did a lot of work on Komi. The light is coming… :)


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



New “employee”

Employed by Kvensk institutt, Verena Schall, but working with us (“us” in the broad sense). Starting today, she will have her office in Tromsø, probably not at the Univ.

She will work mainly on the kven dictionary, but also a bit on a kven analyser, at least to the extent that we can produce a decent inflecting dictionary.

Autumn planning

Text to speech


MT and CAT


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 21.9.2009, 9.30 Norwegian time.

The meeting was closed at 11:33.

Appendix - task lists for the next five days