The Icelandic LT group receives a Grant of Excellence

5 06 2009

The Icelandic LT research group has recently received a relatively large Grant of Excellence from the Icelandic Research Fund to the project Viable Language Technology beyond English – Icelandic as a test case. Our primary objective is to make it realistic to develop three particular types of LT modules with limited resources without sacrificing the quality of the work. The three types of modules are a database of semantic relations, a machine translation system, and a treebank. These modules are chosen because they are central to current LT work and prerequisites for further research and development in Icelandic LT. The project will emphasize the following points:

  • Developing methodologies for creating resources for new languages more efficiently, with focus on semi-automatic/ machine assisted resource generation;
  • An inquiry into linguistic issues that are of little relevance for English LT but crucial for many other languages, with a special focus on general methods to deal with morphological richness and morphological ambiguity;
  • A case study of Icelandic where we use the tools and methods developed to build a treebank, a database of semantic relations and a machine translation system;
  • Evaluation of the tools and methods developed – focusing on quality of output as well as the output/manpower ratio;
  • Writing and publishing guidelines for creating similar LT modules for less-resourced and/or morphologically rich languages;
  • Enhancing research training in the field by giving graduate students the opportunity to work on research projects, as it is vital for the fu­ture of Icelandic LT to educate and train young researchers in the field.

In short, the project emphasizes the development of viable research methods and practical solutions that will strengthen Icelandic LT and serve as a model for other less-resourced languages.

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