An automatic part-of-speech tagger for Middle Low German
Syntactically annotated corpora are highly important for enabling large-scale diachronic and diatopic language research. Such corpora have recently been developed for a variety of historical languages, or are still under development. One of those under development is the fully tagged and parsed Corpus of Historical Low German (CHLG), which is aimed at facilitating research into the highly under-researched diachronic syntax of Low German. The present paper reports on a crucial step in creating the corpus, viz. the creation of a part-of-speech tagger for Middle Low German (MLG). Having been transmitted in several non-standardised written varieties, MLG poses a challenge to standard POS taggers, which usually rely on normalized spelling. We outline the major issues faced in the creation of the tagger and present our solutions to them.
Keywords: historical linguistics, part-of-speech tagging, conditional random fields, feature selection, normalization
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