K. Ioannidou, E. Tziafa, R. Voskaki

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (GREECE)
Formalised linguistic data integrated in NLP tools can prove useful in enhancing learning of Modern Greek as a foreign/second language. Our research focuses on transitive non-locative constructions with a concrete direct object (CDO). For example:

(a) Η νοσοκόμα κλείδωσε την πόρτα
(The nurse locked the door)

We propose learning of CDO by means of Unitex (Paumier 2003), a corpus processing system based on automata oriented technology. For this purpose, we have elaborated a lexicon-grammar table that includes verbs used in simple phrases containing CDO in Modern Greek (Voskaki 2011). Lexicon-grammar is a syntactic model (Gross 1975), limited to the description of elementary phrases of a natural language. The description is given in the form of a binary matrix. In our research, this means that a verb has or not a certain property. Moreover, we created a parametrised automaton that constitutes the symbolic representation of a lexicon-grammar table, enriched by finite state automata that represent Greek noun phrases (Ioannidou, to appear). By noun phrases we mean the noun (noun substantive, pronoun or any other nominal) as a head of the noun phrase, along with all its modifiers (Holton, Mackridre & Filippaki-Warburton 2002: 243; Clairis & Babiniotis 2009: 127-128, 153-154). For example:

(b) Η νοσοκόμα κλείδωσε την πόρτα του δωματίου του ασθενή
(The nurse locked the door of the room of the patient) (Literal translation)
(The nurse locked the patient’s room)

We applied our linguistic data on various authentic corpora (in different domains, such as science, economics, culture, etc.), in the context of Content and Language Integrated Learning. We came up with a significant number of concordances, which allow the presentation of CDO within a bilateral context. The concordances are of great utility, since they provide the possibility to study the use of a construction in question in large-scale corpora. Therefore, they contribute to heuristic methods of teaching. Its worth mentioning, to be precise, that the proposed method, dealing with CDO learning, is recommended as a complement to learners of levels B2, C1, C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, set forth by the Council of Europe. Additionally, we have taken into account sample test, past papers and guides to the examinations for the Certificate of Attainment in Modern Greek, organised by the Centre for the Greek Language.

The present research work is part of the research activities of the Laboratory of Translation and Language Processing in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. This research has been co-financed by the European Union (ESF) and Greek national funds through the Operational Program “Education and Lifelong Learning” of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) – Research Funding Program: “Heraclitus II – Investing in knowledge society through the European Social Fund”.

Clairis, Ch. & Babiniotis, G. (2009). Grammar of Modern Greek. Structural-Functional-Communicative [in Greek]. Athens: Ellinika grammata.
Holton, D., Mackridge, P. & Filippaki-Warburton, E. (2002). Grammar of Greek language [in Greek]. Athens: Pataki.
Gross, M. (1975). Méthodes en syntaxe. Régime des constructions complétives, Paris : Hermann.
Ioannidou, K. (to appear). Noun phrases in Modern Greek: Morphological disambiguation during automatic text analysis with applications to translation, [in Greek]. Thesis, Thessaloniki, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
Paumier, S. (2003). De la reconnaissance de formes linguistiques à l'analyse syntaxique, Thèse de doctorat, Marne-La-Vallée, Université de Marne-la-Vallée.
Roche, E. & Schabès, Y. (1997). Finite-State Language Processing. Cambridge, MA & London: MIT Press.
Voskaki, O. (2011). Le lexique-grammaire des verbes du grec moderne : Les constructions transitives non locatives à un complément d’objet direct, Thèse de doctorat, Paris, Université Paris-Est.