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Describing Verbs in Disjoining Writing Systems

  • Arvi Hurskainen
  • Louis Louwrens
  • George Poulos
Conference paper
  • 505 Downloads
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4002)

Abstract

Many Bantu languages, especially in Southern Africa, have a writing system, where most verb morphemes preceding the verb stem and some suffixes are written as separate words. These languages have also other writing conventions, which differ from the way they are written in other related languages. These two systems are conventionally called disjoining and conjoining writing systems. Disjoining writing can be considered simply as an under-specified way of writing, but for computational description it is a challenge, especially if the system allows only continuous sequences of characters to be recognised as units of analysis. In order to reduce unnecessary ambiguity, verb morphemes should be isolated from such strings of characters that are real words.

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References

  1. 1.
    Beesley, K., Karttunen, L.: Finite State Morphology. CSLI Studies in Computational Linguistics. Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford (2003)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hurskainen, A., Halme, R.: Mapping between disjoining and conjoining systems in Bantu languages: implementation on Kwanyama. Nordic Journal of African Studies 10(3), 399–414 (2001)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Poulos, G., Louwrens, L.J.: A linguistic analysis of Northern Sotho. Via Afrika Ltd., Pretoria (1994)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arvi Hurskainen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Louis Louwrens
    • 1
    • 2
  • George Poulos
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Asian and African StudiesUniversity of HelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.University of South AfricaPretoriaSouth Africa

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