Marissa Griesel


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Navigating Challenges of Multilingual Resource Development for Under-Resourced Languages: The Case of the African Wordnet Project
Marissa Griesel | Sonja Bosch
Proceedings of the first workshop on Resources for African Indigenous Languages

Creating a new wordnet is by no means a trivial task and when the target language is under-resourced as is the case for the languages currently included in the multilingual African Wordnet (AfWN), developers need to rely heavily on human expertise. During the different phases of development of the AfWN, we incorporated various methods of fast-tracking to ease the tedious and time-consuming work. Some methods have proven effective while others seem to have little positive impact on the work rate. As in the case of many other under-resourced languages, the expand model was implemented throughout, thus depending on English source data such as the English Princeton Wordnet (PWN) which is then translated into the target language with the assumption that the new language shares an underlying structure with the PWN. The paper discusses some problems encountered along the way and points out various possibilities of (semi) automated quality assurance measures and further refinement of the AfWN to ensure accelerated growth. In this paper we aim to highlight some of the lessons learnt from hands-on experience in order to facilitate similar projects, in particular for languages from other African countries.


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Thinking globally, acting locally – Progress in the African Wordnet Project
Marissa Griesel | Sonja Bosch | Mampaka Lydia Mojapelo
Proceedings of the 10th Global Wordnet Conference

The African Wordnet Project (AWN) includes all nine indigenous South African languages, namely isiZulu, isiXhosa, Setswana, Sesotho sa Leboa, Tshivenda, Siswati, Sesotho, isiNdebele and Xitsonga. The AWN currently includes 61 000 synsets as well as definitions and usage examples for a large part of the synsets. The project recently received extended funding from the South African Centre for Digital Language Resources (SADiLaR) and aims to update all aspects of the current resource, including the seed list used for new development, software tools used and mapping the AWN to the latest version of PWN 3.1. As with any resource development project, it is essential to also include phases of focused quality assurance and updating of the basis on which the resource is built. The African languages remain under-resourced. This paper describes progress made in the development of the AWN as well as recent technical improvements.


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African Wordnet: facilitating language learning in African languages
Sonja Bosch | Marissa Griesel
Proceedings of the 9th Global Wordnet Conference

The development of the African Wordnet (AWN) has reached a stage of maturity where the first steps towards an application can be attempted. The AWN is based on the expand method, and to compensate for the general resource scarceness of the African languages, various development strategies were used. The aim of this paper is to investigate the usefulness of the current isiZulu Wordnet in an application such as language learning. The advantage of incorporating the wordnet of a language into a language learning system is that it provides learners with an integrated application to enhance their learning experience by means of the unique sense identification features of wordnets. In this paper it will be demonstrated by means of a variety of examples within the context of a basic free online course how the isiZulu Wordnet can offer the language learner improved decision support.


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Taking stock of the African Wordnet project: 5 years of development
Marissa Griesel | Sonja Bosch
Proceedings of the Seventh Global Wordnet Conference