Machine Translation

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 101–152 | Cite as

Morphological mismatches in machine translation

Article

Abstract

This paper addresses one of the least studied, although very important, problems of machine translation—the problem of morphological mismatches between languages and their handling during transfer. The level at which we assume transfer to be carried out is the Deep-Syntactic Structure (DSyntS) as proposed in the Meaning-Text Theory. DSyntS is abstract enough to avoid all types of surface morphological divergences. For the remaining ‘genuine’ divergences between grammatical significations, we propose a morphological transfer model. To illustrate this model, we apply it to the transfer of grammemes of definiteness and aspect for the language pair Russian–German and German–Russian, respectively.

Keywords

Machine translation Transfer Grammatical signification Morphological mismatch Deep-syntactic structure Meaning-Text Theory Definiteness Aspect 

Writing Conventions, Abbreviations, and Notations

BI

Bilingual index

DSyntA

Deep-syntactic actant

DSynt-CommS

Deep-syntactic communicative structure

DSyntS

Deep-syntactic structure

d

A particular derivateme

ECD

Explanatory combinatorial dictionary

g

A particular grammeme

GS

Grammatical signification

L

A particular lexeme

\({{\mathcal L}}\)

A particular language

LF

Lexical function

LU

Lexical unit

MT

Machine translation

MTT

Meaning-Text Theory

SAE

Standard Average European (language)

SSyntS

Surface-syntactic structure

XS/XT

Source/target X (with X being an LU, \({{\mathcal L}}\) , ...)–Lexical units are in CAPITALS; in the text, grammatical significations are in small capitals and ‘single quotes’; (quasi-)grammemes, when encoded as subscripts to LUs, are in small capitals without quotes. Linguistic examples are in ordinary italics; meanings, including glosses, are in ‘single quotes’.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Linguistics and TranslationUniversity of MontrealMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Department of Information and Communication TechnologiesPompeu Fabra UniversityBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA)BarcelonaSpain

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