A Computational Approach to Yoruba Morphology

TitleA Computational Approach to Yoruba Morphology
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsFinkel, R., and Odejobi Odetunji Ajadi
BooktitleProceedings of the First Workshop on Language Technologies for African Languages (AfLaT 2009)
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics
LocationAthens, Greece
EditorDe Pauw, Guy, de Schryver Gilles-Maurice, and Levin Lori

We demonstrate the use of default default inheritance hierarchies to represent the morphology of Yoruba verbs in the KATR formalism, treating inflectional exponents as markings associated with the application of rules by which complex word forms are deduced from simpler roots or stems. In particular, we suggest a scheme of slots that together make up a verb and show how each slot represents a subset of the morphosyntactic properties associated with the verb. We also show how we can account for the tonal aspects of Yoruba, in particular, the tone associated with the emphatic ending. Our approach allows linguists to gain an appreciation for the structure of verbs, gives teachers a foundation for organizing lessons in morphology, and provides students a technique for generating forms of any verb.

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