Year of Publication

2017

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Linguistic Theory and Typology (MALTT)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department/School/Program

Linguistics

First Advisor

Dr. Andrew Hippisley

Second Advisor

Dr. Gregory Stump

Abstract

In this thesis I attempt to model, that is, computationally reproduce, the natural transmission (i.e. inflectional regularities) of twenty present tense Amharic verbs (i.e. triradicals beginning with consonants) as used by the language’s speakers. I root my approach in the linguistic theory of network morphology (NM) and model it using the DATR evaluator. In Chapter 1, I provide an overview of Amharic and discuss the fidel as an abugida, the verb system’s root-and-pattern morphology, and how radicals of each lexeme interacts with prefixes and suffixes. I offer an overview of NM in Chapter 2 and DATR in Chapter 3. In both chapters I draw attention to and help interpret key terms used among scholars doing work in both fields. In Chapter 4 I set forth my full theory, along with notation, for generating the paradigms of twenty present tense Amharic verbs that follow four different patterns. Chapter 5, the final chapter, contains a summary and offers several conclusions. I provide the DATR output in the Appendix. In writing, my main hope is that this project will make a contribution, however minimal or sizeable, that might advance the field of Amharic studies in particular and (computational) linguistics in general.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2017.222

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