Aidan Pine


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The Indigenous Languages Technology project at NRC Canada: An empowerment-oriented approach to developing language software
Roland Kuhn | Fineen Davis | Alain Désilets | Eric Joanis | Anna Kazantseva | Rebecca Knowles | Patrick Littell | Delaney Lothian | Aidan Pine | Caroline Running Wolf | Eddie Santos | Darlene Stewart | Gilles Boulianne | Vishwa Gupta | Brian Maracle Owennatékha | Akwiratékha’ Martin | Christopher Cox | Marie-Odile Junker | Olivia Sammons | Delasie Torkornoo | Nathan Thanyehténhas Brinklow | Sara Child | Benoît Farley | David Huggins-Daines | Daisy Rosenblum | Heather Souter
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

This paper surveys the first, three-year phase of a project at the National Research Council of Canada that is developing software to assist Indigenous communities in Canada in preserving their languages and extending their use. The project aimed to work within the empowerment paradigm, where collaboration with communities and fulfillment of their goals is central. Since many of the technologies we developed were in response to community needs, the project ended up as a collection of diverse subprojects, including the creation of a sophisticated framework for building verb conjugators for highly inflectional polysynthetic languages (such as Kanyen’kéha, in the Iroquoian language family), release of what is probably the largest available corpus of sentences in a polysynthetic language (Inuktut) aligned with English sentences and experiments with machine translation (MT) systems trained on this corpus, free online services based on automatic speech recognition (ASR) for easing the transcription bottleneck for recordings of speech in Indigenous languages (and other languages), software for implementing text prediction and read-along audiobooks for Indigenous languages, and several other subprojects.


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Indigenous language technologies in Canada: Assessment, challenges, and successes
Patrick Littell | Anna Kazantseva | Roland Kuhn | Aidan Pine | Antti Arppe | Christopher Cox | Marie-Odile Junker
Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

In this article, we discuss which text, speech, and image technologies have been developed, and would be feasible to develop, for the approximately 60 Indigenous languages spoken in Canada. In particular, we concentrate on technologies that may be feasible to develop for most or all of these languages, not just those that may be feasible for the few most-resourced of these. We assess past achievements and consider future horizons for Indigenous language transliteration, text prediction, spell-checking, approximate search, machine translation, speech recognition, speaker diarization, speech synthesis, optical character recognition, and computer-aided language learning.

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Kawennón:nis: the Wordmaker for Kanyen’kéha
Anna Kazantseva | Owennatekha Brian Maracle | Ronkwe’tiyóhstha Josiah Maracle | Aidan Pine
Proceedings of the Workshop on Computational Modeling of Polysynthetic Languages

In this paper we describe preliminary work on Kawennón:nis, a verb conjugator for Kanyen’kéha (Ohsweken dialect). The project is the result of a collaboration between Onkwawenna Kentyohkwa Kanyen’kéha immersion school and the Canadian National Research Council’s Indigenous Language Technology lab. The purpose of Kawennón:nis is to build on the educational successes of the Onkwawenna Kentyohkwa school and develop a tool that assists students in learning how to conjugate verbs in Kanyen’kéha; a skill that is essential to mastering the language. Kawennón:nis is implemented with both web and mobile front-ends that communicate with an application programming interface that in turn communicates with a symbolic language model implemented as a finite state transducer. Eventually, it will serve as a foundation for several other applications for both Kanyen’kéha and other Iroquoian languages.


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Waldayu and Waldayu Mobile: Modern digital dictionary interfaces for endangered languages
Patrick Littell | Aidan Pine | Henry Davis
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on the Use of Computational Methods in the Study of Endangered Languages