The National Research Council of Canada and Indigenous experts celebrate software for verb conjugation, predictive text, and other technologies developed together
Indigenous Languages Technology Project – Information about subprojects
- Project to develop Mohawk verb conjugator and other technologies for Indigenous languages
- The NRC project team released WordWeaver in 2019, an open source code and graphical user interface to create online verb conjugation tools for Iroquoian languages.
- Working closely with experts from the Onkwawenna Kentyohkwa immersion school on the Six Nations of Grand River reserve, the team used Wordweaver to build Kawennón:nis, a web-based verb conjugator for Ohswé:ken, the western dialect of Mohawk.
- The next phase of the project includes working with other Mohawk communities to expand WordWeaver to the Kahnawà:ke (eastern) dialect, to make it easier for more Mohawk speakers to tackle verb conjugation in this structurally complex language.
- Extending the tool to other Iroquoian languages, such as Wendat and Algonquian languages, is planned for 2020.
- Project to create predictive text software
- In 2019 the NRC project team also delivered a predictive text software for SENĆOŦEN, released as part of Keyman 12.
- Mobile device users have enjoyed predictive text suggestions for years when typing in English and other high-resource languages. Now, people typing in SENĆOŦEN can benefit from the same speed and ease of having predictive text at their fingertips.
- The aim is to help engage young people in learning Indigenous languages and increase language use in everyday contexts.
- Next year, the team hopes to help expand predictive text capabilities to other West Coast languages.
- Project to segment and index audio recordings of Indigenous languages
- Another aim of the project is to enable keyword search of audio recordings in Inuktitut, Cree, and other Indigenous languages.
- Using audio files from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Indigenous experts from the Pirurvik Centre are providing transcriptions of stories told by their Elders in Inuktitut.
- Collaborators at the Computer Research Institute of Montreal (CRIM) are using these transcriptions to index and segment the audio files.
- CRIM released 5 audio processing tools in 2019, and is working toward accessible keyword search in 2020.
- Project to update the Algonquian dictionaries, linguistic atlas, and other learning tools for Indigenous languages
- The NRC project team welcomed visiting scholar Dr. Marie-Odile Junker, Full Professor at Carleton University, to work on web-based Algonquian dictionaries, spell checkers, verb conjugators and a linguistic atlas.
- Project to create Inuktut language software and perform new text alignment of the Nunavut Legislative Assembly proceedings
- The NRC initiated a project with the Nunavut Legislative Assembly and the Pirurvik Centre to develop technologies for Inuktut language learners and professionals that reinforce Inuktut’s status as an official language.
- Project to create online Indigenous language courses
- The NRC is contributing to the creation of 4 online language courses for Kwak’wala, Michif, Mi’kmaw, and Naskapi, through 7000 Languages.
A second wave of projects launched in fall 2019 will be also added to the NRC’s website in 2020.