A Computational Approach to Zulu Verb Morphology within the Context of Lexical Semantics

  • Sonja E. Bosch Department of African Languages, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
  • Laurette Pretorius School of Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Keywords: Zulu verb morphology, verb extensions, lexical semantics, computational morphological analysis, ZulMorph, Zulu lexical knowledge base, bitext


The central research question that is addressed in this article is: How can ZulMorph, a finite state morphological analyser for Zulu, be employed to add value to Zulu lexical semantics with specific reference to Zulu verbs? The verb is the most complex word category in Zulu. Due to the agglutinative nature of Zulu morphology, limited information can be computationally extracted from running Zulu text without the support of sufficiently reliable computational morphological analysis by means of which the essential meanings of, amongst others, verbs can be exposed. In this article we describe a corpus-based approach to adding the English meaning to Zulu extended verb roots, thereby enhancing ZulMorph as a lexical knowledge base.