Torbjörn Westerlund


Bootstrapping Language Description: the case of Mpiemo (Bantu A, Central African Republic)
Harald Hammarström | Christina Thornell | Malin Petzell | Torbjörn Westerlund
Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'08)

Linguists have long been producing grammatical decriptions of yet undescribed languages. This is a time-consuming process, which has already adapted to improved technology for recording and storage. We present here a novel application of NLP techniques to bootstrap analysis of collected data and speed-up manual selection work. To be more precise, we argue that unsupervised induction of morphology and part-of-speech analysis from raw text data is mature enough to produce useful results. Experiments with Latent Semantic Analysis were less fruitful. We exemplify this on Mpiemo, a so-far essentially undescribed Bantu language of the Central African Republic, for which raw text data was available.