Cancelled workshop: Ontology of morphemic categories

Developing an online ontology of standardized Bantu morphemic categories

 Convenors: Gertrud Faaß (University of Hildesheim), Sonja Bosch, (University of South Africa), Elsabé Taljard (University of Pretoria)


The theme of this workshop is an ontology of Bantu morphemes, which is currently assumed to be comprehensive for Northern Sotho and Zulu. This ontology is available online at We are interested in ascertaining whether the system is capable of accommodating the morphemes of other closely and even not so closely related Bantu languages.

We plan a “shared task”: To this call, we attach a set of 13 parallel sentences in Zulu, Northern Sotho and English which are fully annotated according to our current system based on Faaß, Bosch and Taljard (2012) and Taljard, Faaß and Bosch (forthcoming, see URL

We request interested experts to perform the following tasks:

  • translate each of the sentences into their Bantu language of specialization;
  • attempt to annotate the sentences using the categories available (and thereby evaluate the system for the specific language) while noting challenges and shortcomings;
  • suggest changes or extensions to the system.

The results of these activities should then be described in an abstract to be submitted (note: guidelines for its structure are supplied here).

The reviewing process will not be blind. Apart from quality issues, it will focus on whether the tasks have been performed according to the call and whether the suggestions are constructive. If you plan to submit an abstract, please let us know so that we can keep you informed about the latest developments concerning the structure and content of the ontology.

During the workshop, participants will make short presentations and the results will be compared and discussed in detail. The feedback will then be used to modify and/or improve the ontology in order to make it useful / suitable for the storage of linguistic data of as many Bantu languages as possible.

For more information, please contact the organizers.


  1. Faaß, S.E. Bosch, and E. Taljard. Towards a Part-of-Speech Ontology: Encoding Morphemic Units of Two South African Bantu languages. Nordic Journal of African Languages (NJAS), 21(3):118-140, 2012.

S.E. Bosch, G. Faaß, E. Taljard. Implementation of a Part-of-Speech Ontology: Morphemic Units of Bantu languages. (SEE URL