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Language and Linguistics conference underway

Winneba (C/R) Aug. 5, GNA – The 30th
West African Languages Society and 10th Linguistics Association of
Ghana, is underway at Winneba.

The five-day event on the theme: “The Role of
language in the integration and development of West Africa,” is being attended
by 280 participants in Africa, Europe and United States universities.

The conference is aimed at creating awareness
about the relevance of education in the local languages.

Professor Annie Rialland of the L’universite
de Paris 5, France, gave the key note address on Breaking the Unwritten
Language Barriers: The Bulb project (Overview and Perspectives}.

The Bulb project is aimed at supporting
documentation and the provision of computerised resources for unwritten
languages (or languages without texts) with the help of Automatic Speech
Recognition and Machine Translation Technology.

The project relies on a French-German
co-operation involving both linguists and computer scientists, she stated.

According to Prof Rialland the main steps of
the project was to collect corpora, using a three step methodology, following
the work ok of S. Bird and M. Liberman in collecting a large oral corpus
(Linguistically oriented corpus-lists of words, conjugations, exploration of
syntactic construction and spontaneous speech).

The Computerised resources are essential for
development of African language-based technology, she added.

Dr Samuel A. Atintono a Senior Lecturer of
Colleges Languages and a member of Linguistics Association of Ghana, said in an
interview that language was very important tool in the development of every
human being.

He said if language was used properly people
would understand what they learnt better and also to be able to project
development.

“We expect that today… Parliament uses the
local language in their deliberations for the constituents to understand what
they are doing and hope this course should be supported and embraced for the
way forward,” he added.

GNA

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