Noob Academic

Toward a knowledge-to-text controlled natural language for isiZulu by Maria Keet & Langa Khumalo

February 23, 2016 | 4 Minute Read

Namhlanje siqhubekeka nokuqwalasela eliphepha lika Keet noKhumalo.

IsiZulu lelona lwimi lithethwa ngabantu abaninzi eMzantsi Afrika. Iincwadi ezibhalwe ngesiZulu azinqabanga, incwadi yokuqala yesiZulu yabhalwa ngonyaka we-1837. Igama lalencwadi lithi “Incwadi yokuqala yabafundayo”. IsiZulu lulwimi eluyingxenye zeelwimi zesiNguni. Ezilwimi zithethwa kakhulu emazantsi we-Afrika. Ezilwimi zinento eziyenzayo efanayo : amagama ayadityaniswa. Kwi-linguistics kuthiwa ezilwimi zine-morphology e-aglutinating. Le nto ibangela ukuba ububanzi bezilwimi bubalasele kwaye zohluke kakhulu kunelwimi ezifana nesiNgesi. Ezinye iilwimi ezenza into enye neelwimi zesiNguni xa zisikha amagama, ziilwimi ezifana ne-Turkish, isi-Hungarian kunye nesi-Finnish. U-Durrant[1] uthetha ngazo ezilwimi kwiphepha lakhe. Eyona nto itsala amehlo kodwa kwisiZulu nezinye iilwimi neziNguni ngamahlelo ezibizo. Zonke izibizo zinamahlelo, kwaye ihlelo nganye lineezimaphambili kunye nezinye izinto zazo. IsiZulu sinamahlelo ali-17. Amahlelo ahamba ngobubini. Kubakho ihlelo elidishana nezibizo ezikwisimo sesinye, kuphinde kubekho elidilishana nezibizo ezikwisimo sesininzi.

Isibizo kwisiZulu sakhiwa ngezinto ezimbini; isimaphambili kunye nesiqu sesibizo. Isimaphambili, kumanye amaxesh, siveza okanye sibonakalisa inani lezinto othetha ngazo kunye nehlelo leso sibizo. Kukho intlobo ezimbini zezimaphambili. Isimaphambili esipheleleyo kunye nesingaphelelanga. Isimaphambili esipheleleyo sesi senziwa liceba kunye nesisekelo. Esingaphelelanga asinalo isisekelo. Ukudibanisa amagama kwisiZulu kubangela ukuba izimaphambili ezininzi zifane xa zifundwa. Zikhona nezibhalwa ngohlobo olunye kodwa sifundwa ngohlobo oluhlukileyo kwaye zithetha izinto ezingafaniyo. Izimaphambili zamagama kwisivakalisi zixhomekeke kwisibizo esiyi-subject. Lo mzekelo ungezantsi usuka kwiphepha lika-Keet kunye noKhumalo[2].

Abafana abadala bagijimisa inja emnyama [aba]-fana [aba]-dala [ba]-gijim-is-a [i]-nja [e]-mnyama

‘The big boys are chasing a black dog’

Ubuxhaka-xhaka obenziwa kokusebenzisana kwezimaphambili zamagama kwisivakalisi yenza kubenzima ukwenza ii-technologies ezisebenza nesiZulu. Ihlelo lokuqala liyelene nehlelo lesithathu kwisiZulu. Isimaphambili kulamahlelo sithi:

Um(u)-

Xa isiqu sesibizo sine-syllable enye usebenzisa u-“umu”. Kwezinye iziqu usebenzisa u-“um”.Kubalulekile ukuqwalasela ukuba kumaxesha amaninzi ungayazi ukuba isibizo sikweliphi ihlelo. UNgcobo[3] unephepha elizama ukuqonda ukuba ingaba amehlelo asthetha ukuthini. Iziqu zezibizo ezininzi zinamahlelo amabini (elesinye kunye nelesininzi). Zikhona iziqu ezinamahlelo angaphezulu koku, umzekelo omhle ngu “-ntu”.

Izenzi kwilwimi zabantu (Bantu languages)

Kwiilwimi zabaBantu izenzi aziyonto ilula. Umzekelo, izenzi zine-tense ezintlanu. - Remote kunye ne-Recent past - Present - Future kunye ne-Remote future

Ngaphezulu koku, uyakwazi ukutshintsha isenzi ngenxa yenzinye imeko. Isenzi kumaxesha amaninzi siyavumelana ne-subject kwisivakalisi. Kodwa ngamanye amaxesha siyakwazi ukuhambelena ne-object yesivakalisi ngokwenani kunye nesini/ubuntu. Ngenxa yezizathu ezininzi, izenzi kwilwimi zaBantu zenziwa zii-morphemes ezininzi. Indlela ekokhiwa ngayo izenzi kwiilwimi zaBantu ibonisa ukubalasela ekudibaniseni amagama, utsho u-Wald[3, p. 291] kwiphepha lakhe. Isenzi, kumaxesha amaninzi, sakhiwa oluhlobo:

> SC - TM - Root -FV

Kulomakhiwo ungentla, SC yi-subject concord. TM yi-tense, aspect kunye ne-mood. Root sisiqu sesenzi. FV sisikhamiso ekupheleni kwesenzi. Kumaxesha amaninzi, isikhamiso sokugqibela ibangu-“a”.

Isenzi kwisiZulu

Isimaphambili sesenzi kwisiZulu siveza uvelwano phakathi kwe-subject kunye ne-object kwisivakalisi. Isimaphambili sihlala sisemva kwesiqu sesenzi. Izimaphambili kwisiZulu, njenge zinje ilwimi zaBantu, zinolwazi nge-tense, aspect, negation kunye ne-modality. Izimamva zezenzi nazo zinendima eziyidlalayo enkulu. Zonke izinto iziba phambi kwesiqu sesenzi zaziwa ngokuba zii-clitics ngesiNgesi. Khangela lo mzekelo ulandelayo, kulo mzekelo sizokuqwalasela esisivakalisi : “ngimbona kusasa”

> Ngi[SC] - m[OC] - bon[Root] - a[FV] kusasa

Ii-clitics kusoloko zisemva kwesiqu, azikwazi ukuhamba zodwa. Kubalulekile ukuba uyazi asikwazi ukuzijonga ngokungathi zingamagama ngokwazo. Amagama amaninzi kwilwimi zaBantu ane-syllable ezimbini ukwenyuka. Eliphepha lithi kunyanzelekile ukuba igama libenee-syllable ezimbini ukwanyukela, andiqondi ukuba yinyani le. EsiXhoseni kukho igama elithi “Nqo!”. Ligama eli kwaye line-syllable enye. Ayikacaci ukuba le nto iyinyani na. Mhlwawumbi lo mzekelo siwunikileyo nguye yedwa apho lo mthetho ungasebenzi khona. Ngaphezulu koku, enye into endifuna ukuyazi kukuba ingaba zinjani ezi-verbal suffixes sithetha ngazo Umzekelo uyadingeka.

Verbal suffixes

Kubalulekile ukuba sicacise ukuba yintoni i-clitic. Ii-clitics zizimaphambili kunye nezimamva zesenzi ezixhomekeke kumanye amagama kwisivakalisi.

Xa sifuna ukwakha isenzi, kubalulekile sizazi ukuba senzwa njani. Into ebekhe sayibuza kukuba singawufumana phi umzekelo we-verbal suffixes. Sinentlobo ezininzi zee-verbal suffixes. Ukusukela ngoku sizokuthi zii-extentions. Intlobo ezikhoyo zezi zilandelayo:

1. Causative
2. Applicative
3. Reciprocal
4. Passive, etc

Ii-extentions zisemva isiqu, ngamanye amazwi zilandela isiqu. Zingaphambili kwesikhamiso sokugqibela kodwa. Umzekelo esinawo usebenzisa esisenzi : “bona”.

1. bon - is - a (bonisa)
2. bon - le - a (bonela)
3. bon - an - a (bonana)

Kumele ukuba iyacaca ukuba sesiphi isiqu, i-extention kunye nesikhamiso sokugqibela.

  • [1] Durrant, P. (2013). Formulaicity in an agglutinating language: The case of Turkish. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory, 9(1), 1–38
  • [2] Keet, C.M. and Khumalo, L., Toward a knowledge-to-text controlled natural language of isiZulu. Language Resources and Evaluation, pp.4. Ngcobo, M. N. (2010). Zulu noun classes revisited: A spoken corpus-based approach. South African Journal of African Languages, 1, 11–21
  • [3] Wald, B. (1987). Swahili and the Bantu languages. In B. Comrie (Ed.), The World’s Major Languages (pp. 991–1014). Oxford: Oxford University Press.