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Spell Checking for Non European Languages, and for Conlangs

From:Chris Bates <christopher.bates@...>
Date:Tuesday, March 30, 2004, 11:52
I've been reading with interest recently about the efforts of several
groups in africa especially to make spell checking dictionaries (usually
for Open Office) for their native language, where Microsoft has refused
to support or help them develop dictionaries for Microsoft Word etc in
the past. The latest story is
about a kiswahili dictionary developed (in a day supposedly... I suspect
they might be fibbing Lawrence of Arabia style) at an african conference
recently. I think most of the work done apart from this dictionary has
been on African languages spoken in South Africa (including Afrikaans,
although its african only in the sense that most of its speakers are
african... the language itself isn't native to africa).
Has anyone considered making a spell checking dictionary for one of
their conlangs? It might be fun to have it spell checked in open office
as you write examples... if you can make your own font and write in
that, you could even have it done in your own script. I've tried to make
perl spellcheckers for my conlangs before, but sadly my perl isn't very
good... I've made some simple prolog grammars (grammar checkers) too,
but generally I found prolog tiring to work with when you're dealing
with an agglutinating rather than an isolating language. When your
language glues bits together, a prolog solution isn't as neat and simple
as when the language is (relatively) isolating.
 I think we need a good programmer among us to go out and write an
interpreter for a programming language specially designed for language
parsing... Lisp is supposedly good for that sort of thing too, but it
suffers from serious bracket addiction a la C. Not elegant at all.



Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>