A prototype system for machine translation from English to South African Sign Language using synchronous tree adjoining grammars

Welgemoed, Johan (2007-03)

Thesis (MSc)--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Machine translation, especially machine translation for sign languages, remains an active research area. Sign language machine translation presents unique challenges to the whole machine translation process. In this thesis a prototype machine translation system is presented. This system is designed to translate English text into a gloss based representation of South African Sign Language (SASL). In order to perform the machine translation, a transfer based approach was taken. English text is parsed into an intermediate representation. Translation rules are then applied to this intermediate representation to transform it into an equivalent intermediate representation for the SASL glosses. For both these intermediate representations, a tree adjoining grammar (TAG) formalism is used. As part of the prototype machine translation system, a TAG parser was implemented. The translation rules used by the system were derived from a SASL phrase book. This phrase book was also used to create a small gloss based SASL TAG grammar. Lastly, some additional tools, for the editing of TAG trees, were also added to the prototype system.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Masjienvertaling, veral masjienvertaling vir gebaretale, bly ’n aktiewe navorsingsgebied. Masjienvertaling vir gebaretale bied unieke uitdagings tot die hele masjienvertalingproses. In hierdie tesis bied ons ’n prototipe masjienvertalingstelsel aan. Hierdie stelsel is ontwerp om Engelse teks te vertaal na ’n glos gebaseerde voorstelling van Suid-Afrikaanse Gebaretaal (SAG). Ons vertalingstelsel maak gebruik van ’n oorplasingsbenadering tot masjienvertaling. Engelse teks word ontleed na ’n intermediˆere vorm. Vertalingre¨els word toegepas op hierdie intermediˆere vorm om dit te transformeer na ’n ekwivalente intermediˆere vorm vir die SAG glosse. Vir beide hierdie intermediˆere vorms word boomkoppelingsgrammatikas (BKGs) gebruik. As deel van die prototipe masjienvertalingstelsel, is ’n BKG sintaksontleder ge¨ımplementeer. Die vertalingre¨els wat gebruik word deur die stelsel, is afgelei vanaf ’n SAG fraseboek. Hierdie fraseboek was ook gebruik om ’n klein BKG vir SAG glosse te ontwikkel. Laastens was addisionele nutsfasiliteite, vir die redigering van BKG bome, ontwikkel.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/19892
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