Basics for a Grammar Engine to Verbalize Logical Theories in isiZulu

  • C. Maria Keet
  • Langa Khumalo
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8620)


The language isiZulu is the largest in South Africa by numbers of first language speakers, yet, it is still an underresourced language. In this paper, we approach the grammar piecemeal from a natural language generation approach, and viewed from a potential utility for verbalizing OWL ontologies as a tangible use case. The elaborate rules of the grammar show that a grammar engine and dictionary is essential even for basic verbalizations in OWL 2 EL. This is due to, mainly, the 17 noun classes with embedded semantics and the agglutinative nature of isiZulu. The verbalization of basic constructs requires merging a prefix with a noun and distinguishing an ‘and’ between a list and linking clauses.


Logical Theory African Language Noun Class Bantu Language Discourse Representation Structure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Maria Keet
    • 1
  • Langa Khumalo
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Cape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Linguistics Program, School of ArtsUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalSouth Africa

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