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

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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