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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: Computer-Assisted Translation of English Scientific Texts into Arabic: Designing a computer prototype for cohesive ties Add Dissertation
Author: Sa'ad Al-Asali Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Al-Mustansiriya University, Department of Translation
Completed in: 2000
Linguistic Subfield(s): Computational Linguistics; Translation;
Subject Language(s): Arabic, Standard
Director(s): Majeed Al-Mashta
Akram Othman

Abstract: The present study focuses primarily on translation problems related to semantic ambiguities of conjunctions which are, in most cases, solved through adapting a textual analysis. It aims at designing a computerised semantic analyser for MT purposes and examining the possibility of incorporating linguistic models into this analyser. To achieve these tasks, certain theoretical and practical approaches are followed in the present work. They can be divided into two: linguistic and computational.

The former involves the exploration of conjunctive ties on two textual levels: intersentential and interclausal. To set up the framework of this exploration, two interrelated models of cohesive patterns are adapted. The first is Halliday and Hasan’s model of lexico-grammatical relations (1976); the second is Hallidayan model of logico-semantic relations (1985).

This study is built on the assumption that the adoption of the above models of cohesion can cope with ambiguities related to choosing appropriate target language (TL) equivalents since the textual ties have an essential cohesive effect due to the continuity of meaning in the text. Hence, translation problems can partially be solved through textual processing. A frequent problem that may occur is related to the misinterpretation and the subsequent misrepresentation of text cohesion; that is, the misinterpretation of the ties or conjunctions within a text and which partially provide the semantic unity of that text.

Computationally, the rendition of cohesive devices for the purposes of the computer-assisted translation (CAT) requires a proper programmable model which operates both intersententially and interclausally. For this aim, a prototype parser, equipped with such a powerful grammar as definite clause grammar (DCG), is developed to carry out the analysis of the SL syntactic cohesion. The parser employs a set of DCG formalisms with newly adapted approaches to overcome the syntactic or semantic ambiguities of conjunctions.

Having to decide on a primary criterion for arranging the colourful mixture of multidisciplinary topics involved in this work, the current thesis is grouped into four chapters, ranging from cohesion-based conjunctions to MT systems.

In the first chapter, a major linguistic-oriented subject on textual ties in scientific English represented by conjunctions is described. It also reviews main characteristics of scientific English.

The next chapter surveys artificial intelligence (AI) concepts, NLP methods and MT systems. It describes a variety of different computational techniques which can be applied to NLP, in general, and MT, in particular.

Chapter three discusses the prototype in action. It demonstrates current problems in the MT area, especially those that overlap with textual ties. It focuses on the components of the programs and outlines the work of the parser developed to this project.

The final chapter presents conclusions and recommendations.