Cynthia Buckley (University of Texas, Austin), 'Health and Social Inequality in Contemporary Afghanistan'
Richard Strand (Independent Scholar, Cottonwood, AZ), 'Real-time Depiction of Meaning in Two Languages of Afghanistan'
The proposed project targets two languages of Afghanistan, Kâmviri (a language of eastern Nurestân Province) and Pashto, as languages to be depicted by the computer program. The proposed project expands on the applicant’s previous and on-going linguistic and computer-program-development work (Strand 1985, 1991, 1999-2000, 2006), by increasing the verisimilitude of depiction through the use of video-game software technology and by increasing the number of morphemes in Kâmviri and Pashto that can be recognized and depicted.
The recognition of morphemes and subsequent depictional processing are controlled by a plug-in dictionary program-module, which must be designed individually for each language that is input. The proposed project will accordingly be implemented in two concurrent phases: development of the computer program and development of dictionary modules for the two targeted languages.
As of May 2009, the Speech Depicter program will have the capability to depict the actions of simple sentences in the target language, properly handling and depicting such grammatical processes as pronoun reference, verbal aspect and mode, prepositional and postpositional specification of spatial relationships among objects, and adverbial specification of the temporal relationships of events. The Speech Depicter program has multi-user, multilingual capability, so that users speaking any of the target languages can communicate through a common visual scene. The project’s second phase will produce a crucial increase in the verisimilitude of the depiction, by depicting more grammatical forms and by expanding the dictionary modules for each of the targeted languages to depict more types of verbs and more kinds of motion for human characters participating in verbal action.