Bootstrapping a Runyankore CNL from an isiZulu CNL

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9767)


Runyankore is one of the top five languages spoken in Uganda. It is a Bantu language, thus it possesses the characteristic agglutinative structure, known to be challenging for the development of computational resources. It is also computationally under-resourced, which compounds the problem further. Given the recent progress in verbalization (writing the semantics expressed in axioms as CNL) of most constructors in the Description Logic \(\mathcal {ALC}\) in isiZulu, we take a bootstrapping approach to verbalization of similar constructors in Runyankore. The key variables affecting verbalization in isiZulu indeed also hold for Runyankore, allowing us to build on existing background theory. We present verbalization patterns for most \(\mathcal {ALC}\) constructors, also covering the ‘hasX’ role naming. Evaluation of text generated with 18 non-linguists found a clear preference for verbalization in the singular for subsumption (as with isiZulu), existential quantification, and negation in the context of subsumption; but the plural form of verb negation.


Bootstrapping Runyankore isiZulu Verbalization \(\mathcal {ALC}\) constructors CNL 



This work is based on the research supported by the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) Research School in CS4A at UCT and the National Research Foundation of South Africa (Grant Number 93397).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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