Annotating a low-resource language with LLOD technology: Sumerian morphology and syntax

Published in Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute on 2018

Recommended citation: Chiarcos, Christian, Ilya Khait, Émilie Pagé-Perron, Niko Schenk, Jayanth, Christian Fäth, Julius Steuer, William Mcgrath, and Jinyan Wang. "Annotating a low-resource language with LLOD technology: Sumerian morphology and syntax." Information 9, no. 11 (2018): 290.

This paper describes work on the morphological and syntactic annotation of Sumerian cuneiform as a model for low resource languages in general. Cuneiform texts are invaluable sources for the study of history, languages, economy, and cultures of Ancient Mesopotamia and its surrounding regions. Assyriology, the discipline dedicated to their study, has vast research potential, but lacks the modern means for computational processing and analysis. Our project, Machine Translation and Automated Analysis of Cuneiform Languages, aims to fill this gap by bringing together corpus data, lexical data, linguistic annotations and object metadata. The project’s main goal is to build a pipeline for machine translation and annotation of Sumerian Ur III administrative texts. The rich and structured data is then to be made accessible in the form of (Linguistic) Linked Open Data (LLOD), which should open them to a larger research community. Our contribution is two-fold: in terms of language technology, our work represents the first attempt to develop an integrative infrastructure for the annotation of morphology and syntax on the basis of RDF technologies and LLOD resources. With respect to Assyriology, we work towards producing the first syntactically annotated corpus of Sumerian.

Download paper here