New development phase for the AfWN


Linguists from the Sotho language group (Sesotho, Setswana and Sesotho sa Leboa) assessing examples from the OERTB.

The South African Centre for Digital Language Resources (SADiLaR) recently awarded funding for a new development phase in the African Wordnet project. This phase will see 6 000 new synsets including usage examples and definitions, as well as 5 000 new usage examples for existing synsets being added to the AWN. Two more African languages will also be included in the project during a 2 year period from 2017 to 2019. The project will continue to be hosted by the Department of African Languages at the University of South Africa (UNISA).

A hands-on workshop at UNISA on 9 February 2018 aimed at providing linguists with important skills in writing effective definitions and was facilitated by Dr Mariëtta Alberts, author of Terminology and terminography principles and practice: A South African Perspective [1]. 31 Linguists from UNISA, Tshwane University of Technology, University of Pretoria and the University of Venda attended the workshop and represented all 9 South African languages involved in the project. Dr Alberts led the linguists through the theory behind constructing definitions before they tried their hand at assessing some example definitions from the Open Educational Resource Term Bank [2] in smaller groups. During the feedback session, linguists working in different language groups could share specific pitfalls and suggest improvements to the examples.

We would like to thank Dr Alberts for sharing her expertise and experience with our project team, as well as Prof. Phaahla, CoD of the Department of African Languages at UNISA for sponsoring the venue for this event.

[1] Alberts, M. 2017. Terminology and Terminography: Principles and Practice. A South African Perspective. Milnerton: MLA Publications. 483 pages. ISBN 978-0-9947129-0-5

[2] See for more information on the resource.

This article first appeared in the SADiLaR internal newsletter, February 2018

Written by Marissa Griesel

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