The Development of Dutch and Afrikaans Language Resources for Compound Boundary Analysis

Abstract

In most languages, new words can be created through the process of compounding, which combines two or more words into a new lexical unit. Whereas in languages such as English the components that make up a compound are separated by a space, in languages such as Finnish, German, Afrikaans and Dutch these components are concatenated into one word. Compounding is very productive and leads to practical problems in developing machine translators and spelling checkers, as newly formed compounds cannot be found in existing lexicons. The Automatic Compound Processing (AuCoPro) project deals with the analysis of compounds in two closely-related languages, Afrikaans and Dutch. In this paper, we present the development and evaluation of two datasets, one for each language, that contain compound words with annotated compound boundaries. Such datasets can be used to train classifiers to identify the compound components in novel compounds. We describe the process of annotation and provide an overview of the annotation guidelines as well as global properties of the datasets. The inter-annotator agreement between the annotators was considered highly reliable. Furthermore, we show the usability of these datasets by building an initial automatic compound boundary detection system, which assigns compound boundaries with approximately 90% accuracy.

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