GEORGIAN GRAMMAR PROJECT.

I continue to love serendipity. I was googling the name Kita Tschenkéli to try to fill in the biographical information on his LibraryThing author page (this is one of my pastimes), and one of the hits was the Georgian Grammar Project (whose “lexicon has been compiled on the basis of Kita Tschenkéli’s ‘Deutsch-Georgisches Wörterbuch’”). The project “consists of a Morphological analyser, a Georgian LFG Grammar, a demo treebank…, and an (un-annotated) corpus of non-fictional (mainly newspaper) and fictional texts.” What really excited me was the list of freely available resources from which their corpus was compiled: the electronic newspaper archive Opentext (“it comprises approximately 100 million words and is by far the largest collection of Georgian texts available online”), the text archive of the Georgian service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty with around eight million words, and the “largest archive of fictional texts (both prose and poetry)”: the UNESCO Project digital collection of Georgian classical literature (both prose and poetry) with three million words. When I get around to wrestling with Georgian for the third time (I seem to make the attempt at ten-year intervals), this will be invaluable—and maybe by then the creators of the site will have fulfilled their promise to switch from “a proprietary encoding where each Georgian character is mapped to an ASCII character” (!) to Unicode.

Comments

  1. I’m probably not the only one who read the header and thought this might be a project to document the “might could” construction, or the pair of opposites “exact same” and “whole ‘nother”, or . . . you kin fill in the rest for yo’sef.

  2. http://translate.ge/ is a nice English-Georgian dictionary (has all the words I’ve ever looked for at least), see also http://aclweb.org/aclwiki/index.php?title=Resources_for_Georgian

  3. Many thanks! Here‘s the direct link for the dictionary, and here are the resources.

  4. Christopher Culver says:

    I amassed a number of Georgian materials from a certain pirated linguistics books website before I went to Georgia for several weeks last month. To my surprise, they were pointless over a large portion of the country: much of the western half of Georgia actually has Mengrelian or Svan as their native language. Of course, everyone there learns Georgian in school and can speak it, but I’d somehow feel bad if I was trying to learn a foreign language from them instead of respecting their native languages.
    As it happened though, pretty much everyone answered me in Russian anyway. This is the only former Soviet republic I’ve been to where the non-Russians have absolutely no hangups about using Russian.

  5. Interesting! Are there materials for learning Mingrelian?

  6. Christopher Culver says:

    A linguaphile I met in Svaneti said there were a handful of Soviet-era resources for Svan, but all of them had serious weakness. I don’t know about Mingrelian.
    I was told by a number of people that the Georgian government discourages writing in Mingrelian and Svan to avoid the rise of separatism (as if Abkhazia and South Ossetia weren’t enough for poor Georgia). Speaking these languages is perfectly acceptable and indeed most of the population in those regions converses all day in their language, but all writing is in Georgian.

  7. Sad. Thanks for the clarification!

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