Use of proverbs in Swahili texts

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Hurskainen , A 2022 ' Use of proverbs in Swahili texts ' Technical reports on language technology , no. 85 , SALAMA - Swahili Language Manager , Helsinki . < >

Title: Use of proverbs in Swahili texts
Author: Hurskainen, Arvi
Contributor organization: Department of Languages
Publisher: SALAMA - Swahili Language Manager
Date: 2022-07-09
Language: eng
Number of pages: 24
Belongs to series: Technical reports on language technology
ISSN: 2670-1391
Abstract: The use of proverbs is common in African eloquent conversation, regardless the local languages in question. Swahili is not an exception, and a large number of Swahili proverbs have been collected and published in various ways. From the viewpoint of language technology, proverbs are just one instance of the larger linguistic phenomenon called multi-word expressions. While many multi-word expressions inflect, proverbs are frozen units. In other words, although they can fit into normal text, they are in fixed form within the text, at least in theory. Therefore, they are easier to isolate than many other types of multi-word expressions. However, their isolation is not without problems, because there is sometimes variation in spelling. I have used Constraint Grammar rules in isolating proverbs. There is currently a total of 2173 proverbs in the system. These were collected from various sources. Because the rules make use of stem forms of the words and of linguistic tags, it is possible to formulate the rules so that they allow certain variation in surface form. This report is a survey of the use of proverbs in various types of texts of Helsinki Corpus of Swahili 2.0. The corpus contains about 25 million words, and it represents texts from books, news media, and Tanzanian parliament speeches.
Subject: 6121 Languages
113 Computer and information sciences
Rights: cc_by_nc
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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