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An experimental interpreted international auxiliary language.

Project description

Powered by Wikidata. and by Open Multilingual Wordnet

0.2.0: Added Open Multilingual Wordnet synset as node type and as rel type

davar

An experimental interpreted international auxilliary language that aims to be extremely easy to translate into other languages, through the use of external databases (currently Wikidata and Open Multilingual Wordnet) for translation strings and very minimal grammar. This package contains both a class for containing writing in davar and describing[1] it in other languages and a command line tool which can do the same.

Purpose

Currently there is no reliable way to communicate cross-linguistically. Machine translation tries to solve this, but often runs into fundamental issues explained well here. Rather than by solving that with a constructed auxilliary language like Esperanto or Volapük, davar aims to solve this by creating a notation for simple statements that is language-neutral, and that a computer can easily describe in any language. This is achieved through the minimization of grammar and use of external data sets as a source of translation strings.

Syntax

The basic building blocks of davar are Nodes and Rels:

Nodes

Nodes represent items or ideas, and can currently be Wikidata items, Open Multilingual Wordnet (OMW) synsets, or davar statements, which will be explained later.

  • Wikidata items are written with Wikidata item identifiers, ex: Q42.
  • OMW synsets are written using a WordNet locator and offset, ex: 02084071-n.

Rels

Rels represent a specific type of relationship that can be had between nodes, and can currently either be Wikidata properties or OMW synsets. Note that OMW synsets can be both nodes and rels, to allow for flexibility. This may be changed in later releases of davar.

  • Wikidata properties are written as Wikidata property identifiers, ex: P828

Wikidata item and properties can be found by searching Wikidata, and OMW synsets can be found on the OMW search interface.

Nodes and rels can be combined to make Statements, of which there are currently three types:

Singleton Statement

Singleton statements are the most basic type of statement:

(Subject)

where Subject is either a Node or another Statement. This statement is not very meaningful, but means something along the lines of " Subject exists". For example, (Q2013) will be described in English as Wikidata. , which can be understood as "consider Wikidata" or "Wikidata exists."

Edge

Edges are statements that connect an Subject to an Object :

(Subject Object)

where Subject and Object can either be a Node or a Statement. This statement encodes an unspecified relationship between the Subject and the Object . For example, (Q2 00217728-a) will be described in English as Earth → beautiful which can be understood as "there is a relationship between Earth and beauty" or "Earth is beautiful".

Labeled Edge

Labeled Edges are statements that connect an Subject to an Object in a way specified by a Relationship :

(Relationship Subject Object)

where Subject and Object can either be a Node or a Statement and Relationship is a Rel. This statement encodes a specified relationship between the Subject and the Object . For example, (P31 Q42 Q5) will be described in English as Douglas Adams → human (instance of) , which can be understood as "Douglas Adams is a human."

Note that statements can themselves be nodes in other statements: (Subject1 (Relationship Object Subject2)) is a valid construction.

Examples

Some examples of more complex davar writing:

Self-Description

davar:

(Q28865 (P31 Q3236990 Q5482740))

English Description:

Python → [self → programmer (instance of)]

Meaning:

When it comes to Python, I am a programmer.

or

I am a python programmer.

Analogy

davar:

(02664769-v (Q9128 Q204170) (Q11461 Q502261))

English Description:

[light → darkness] → [sound → silence] (equal).

Meaning:

The relationship between light and darkness is the same as the relationship between sound and silence.

or

light is to darkness as sound is to silence

Fiction:

davar:

(00060632-r (02612762-v Q3236990 Q8460327))
(00048475-r (P108 Q3236990 Q2599656))

English Description:

previously → [self → Unseen University (attend)].

nowadays → [self → Twoflower (employer)].

Meaning:

In the past I went to Unseen University. Now I am employed by Twoflower.

Usage

Note: On first run of either the command line tool or the package, around 100mb of data will be downloaded to ./nltk_data in order to allow OMW to be used.

Command Line Tool

To describe a string of davar in a language, use

 python -m davar DAVARTEXT -l LANG

where LANG is a two character language code and DAVARTEXT is a string consisting of statements written in davar. This will cause errors if the LANG is in the wrong format or isn't available for the given Wikidata item, which I will get around to handling later.

Package

To change a string of davar into a Davar object, use d = Davar.from_davartext(davartext) . Then, to describe the Davar object in a readable language, use d.describe(lang) where lang is a string containing a two character language code.

Footnotes

1: We call it describing rather than translating because the output is not anything close to natural language. Rather, it is a mix of symbols and words that conveys the relationships described in the corresponding davar statements.

Citations:

Powered by Wikidata.

Francis Bond and Kyonghee Paik (2012)
    A survey of wordnets and their licenses In Proceedings of the 6th Global WordNet Conference (GWC 2012). Matsue. 64–71
Francis Bond and Ryan Foster (2013)
    Linking and extending an open multilingual wordnet. In 51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-2013. Sofia. 1352–1362 

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