LINGUIST List 23.2760

Mon Jun 18 2012

Software: Linguist's Assistant - A Multilingual NLG

Editor for this issue: Justin Petro <>

Date: 18-Jun-2012
From: Tod Allman <>
Subject: Linguist's Assistant - A Multilingual NLG
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Linguist's Assistant (LA) is a multilingual natural language generatorbased on linguistic universals, typologies, and primitives. LA enableslinguists to build lexicons and grammars for a wide variety of languages,particularly minority and endangered languages. After a lexicon and grammarhave been developed for a language, LA uses that information to produceinitial draft translations of numerous community development articles.These articles teach people how to prevent the spread of various diseasessuch as AIDS and Avian Influenza. These texts are intended to improve thequality of people's lives, and enable the speakers of these languages toparticipate in the larger world. The initial draft translations produced byLA are always easily understandable, grammatically correct, and atapproximately a sixth grade reading level. When experienced mother-tonguetranslators use the drafts generated by LA, their productivity is typicallyquadrupled without any loss of quality. LA has been tested with English,Korean, Kewa (Papua New Guinea), Jula (Cote d'Ivoire), and North Tanna(Vanuatu), and proof-of-concept lexicons and grammars have been developedfor Spanish, Urdu, Tagalog, Chinantec (Mexico), and Angas (Nigeria).

LA is freeware which runs in Windows XP or later. You may download it fromthe project's web site: For furtherinformation, please contact Tod Allman at

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics                             Computational Linguistics                             Language Documentation                             Lexicography                             Translation

Page Updated: 18-Jun-2012