Braiding Language (by Computer): Lushootseed Grammar Engineering
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This dissertation describes the beginnings of the t̕əbšucid project. t̕əbšucid, literally the braiding of language, is a way to refer to "grammar" in Lushootseed (also known as Puget Salish, ISO-639-3:lut). The t̕əbšucid project has three overlapping goals: (1) to advance linguistic science via grammar engineering methods with a specific focus on Lushootseed; (2) to package and distribute linguistic results in a way which is useful for people involved in the development of language-related applications which may serve a role in the documentation and revitalization of endangered languages; (3) to highlight the inherent value of the traditional language of the Puget Sound. To those ends, I began to build a system which could process Lushootseed texts. I implemented an initial morphophonological analyzer which can map Lushootseed orthography to a regularized morphophonemic representation. This representation is one which can serve as input to a syntactico-semantic grammar which provides semantic analyses for input sentences. I then implemented an initial syntactico-semantic grammar which maps the morpheme-regularized form to sentence-level semantics, via an explicit syntactic representation. In doing so, I address the first and third motivations listed above by presenting a series of case studies which emerged from the initial implementation work. In connection to the second motivation, this dissertation describes both the overall architecture and the context of the system, in the hope that the work I've carried out to-date can be is something which can be built upon by others.
- Linguistics