Language Technology for Language Communities: An Overview based on Our Experience with Basque

Basque is a language with almost one million speakers within a territory that spans across part of Northern Spain and Southern France. Basque language has been immersed in a process of revitalisation since 1968 that has faced formidable obstacles. Nonetheless, despite these challenges, significant progress has been made in numerous areas. Together, these advances have fostered the necessary conditions for the successful development and dissemination of Language Technology (LT), including two important prerequisites: a language community that can construct LT tools and a widely accepted standardised language that facilitates the effective uptake of novel Language Technology. This course of events is noteworthy because LT is now recognised as a powerful aid in enabling low-resource language communities to revitalise and support their languages. After thirty years of collaborative work among several groups, research has resulted in state-of-the-art technology and robust, broad-coverage LT for Basque. However, a dramatic difference remains between Basque and other European languages in terms of both the maturity of research and the size of language resources.
Iñaki Alegria
Kepa Sarasola
Kepa Sarasola
University of Reykjavik (26.4.2023), Háskólinn í Reykjavík Lecture by Dr. Kepa Sarasola in room M104 12:00-13:00