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, Maja, Sjur, Thomas, Tomi, Trond

Absent: none

Agenda accepted as is.

Updated task status since last meeting









Oahpa! in Swedish - lexicon or interface, or both?

No money from Norgesuniversitetet, unfortunately.

Meeting memos can be found at []


Corpus gathering

Børre has finally got signed contracts from Harald Gaski - in Alta:). Also added texts from []. The sheet-feeder scanner has arrived. It works even under Linux:)


Promoting Divvun


Future plans, directions and ideas

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

Northern areas project



HFST issues

Sjur had discussions with Krister Linden on friday, KL working towards version hfst-3. The previous versions as follows: hfst-1 = a working version, hfst-2 = portable to other platforms. hfst-3 is planned jan 1st-ish. The main focus of hfst-3: abstraction and redesign in order to facilitate support for new transducer formalisms. Examples: support FOMA and/or other transducer formats. The point is to see hfst as an umbrella library framwork, where different compilers and libraries can be plugged in. This will give bigger flexibility. Hfst-3 will also be focusing upon speed. After this part (jan 1st) the focus will be upon implementing applications, e.g. spell checking

HFST installation issues:

To check out from svn:

svn co hfstsvn

Remove all old Fink (/sw/) and MacPorts (/opt/) installations, then compile under Snow Leopard.

VislCG 3

Everyone should have this one installed as well.

Missing installations:

Makefile + tag simplification

Present process:

  1. tailor the source files (remove lines containing SUB, GG, whatever)
  2. compile the tmp source files


  1. compile the source files
  2. tailor the resulting transducer (subtract the strings containing SUB, GG, whatever)

Also replace xfst script files with -e “action” statements.

Old version:

iclock.fst: $(TARGET)/bin/iclock-$(TARGET).fst
$(TARGET)/bin/iclock-$(TARGET).fst: $(TARGET)/bin/clock-$(TARGET).fst
	@echo "*** iclock-$(TARGET).fst ***"
	@printf "load < $(TARGET)/bin/clock-$(TARGET).fst \n\
	invert net \n\
	save stack $@ \n\
	quit \n" >> tmp/iclock-script-$(TARGET)
	$(XFST) < tmp/iclock-script-$(TARGET)
	@rm -f tmp/iclock-script-$(TARGET)

New version:

iclock.fst: $(TARGET)/bin/iclock-$(TARGET).fst
$(TARGET)/bin/iclock-$(TARGET).fst: $(TARGET)/bin/clock-$(TARGET).fst
	@echo "*** $(notdir $@) ***"
	@$(XFST) -e "load < $<" \
			 -e "invert net" \
			 -e "save stack $@" \


General list

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. corpus content moved to Max Planck repositories? Norsk språkbank?
  9. update infrastructure to allow content-restricted spellers for special target groups



North Sámi

(nothing new, see proofing bugs below)

Lule Sámi

(nothing new, see proofing bugs below)

South Sámi

Three types of problem areas:

We also seem to have problems with derivations:

jealadehtedh   jieliedehtedh	jieledh+V+Der1+Der/dehte+V+Inf
galmadehtedh   galmedehtedh	galmedidh+V+Der2+Der/ehte+V+Inf


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

South Sámi


HFST-based proofing tools

Voikko will be our near future proofing solution, using HFST as the language technology core.

Please join the libvoikko mailing list.

One article linked:




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:

Tag reordering for abbreviations have caused a lot of problems:

hr.	hr+ABBR+Acc
cand.philol.	cand.philol+ABBR+N+Acc
Per	Per+N+Prop+Mal+Sg+Attr

hr.	hr+N+ABBR+Acc
Per	Per+N+Prop+Mal+Sg+Attr

Open issues based on test results:


Version: Davvisámi, version 1.2, 2009-09-18


Version: Julevsáme, version 1.2, 2009-09-20


Hyphenator bugs

Open issues based on test results :


Lexicon version: Davvisámi, version 1.2, 2009-09-18

No known issues!


Lexicon version: Julevsáme, version 1.2, 2009-09-20


Command to test the hyphenator:

preprocess dev/corp/pressemelding.txt | lookup bin/hyph-sma.fst | cut -f2 | \
lookup bin/hyphrules-sma.fst | grep -v '^$' | cut -f2 | uniq | see


Installer changes


User documentation


1.2 release



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.


Christmas vacation / non-working days

SD: 24.12 and 31.12 are half days, and one of them off. One additional day in between is fully off.

UiT: all days in between are half days.

Who Days off
Børre off 30th and 31st
Ciprian no vacation planned
Maja XXX
Sjur no vacation planned, non-working days later
Thomas no vacation planned, non-working days later
Tomi no vacation planned
Trond no vacation planned (Sindre rehearsing for revue)

Next meeting, closing

The next meeting is 21.12.2009, 9.30 Norwegian time.

The meeting was closed at 12:08.

Appendix - task lists for the next week