Grammar Engineering for the Ekegusii Language in Grammatical Framework


  •   Benson Kituku

  •   Wanjiku Nganga

  •   Lawrence Muchemi


The knowledge-driven economy uses technology, thereby increasing the demand for language tools and resources to acquire and distribute the knowledge. Such tools and resources are scarce for the under resourced, spoken Bantu languages. This paper develops a computational grammar for the Ekegusii language in the Grammatical Framework (GF) to bridge the gap. The grammar development uses a bottom-up and modular-driven approach. A machine translation experiment was set up to evaluate the grammar resulting in BLEU and PER of 55.95% and 19.49%, respectively. This work contributes by providing computational grammar for an under-resourced language, thus providing a platform for analysis and synthesis, plus a machine translation within the GF ecosystem.

Keywords: Ekegusii, Grammar Engineering, grammar, Grammatical Framework, Under resourced language


Ghilic-Micu, B., Mircea, M., & Stoica, M. (2011). Knowledge based economy–technological perspective: implications and solutions for agility improvement and innovation achievement in higher education. Amfiteatru Economic Journal, 13(30), 404-419.

Bender, E. M., Flickinger, D., & Oepen, S. (2008). Grammar engineering for linguistic hypothesis testing. In Proceedings of the Texas Linguistics Society X Conference: Computational linguistics for less-studied languages (pp. 16-36).

Krauwer, S. (2003). The basic language resource kit (BLARK) as the first milestone for the language resources roadmap. Proceedings of SPECOM 2003, 8-15.

Guthrie, M. (1948). The classification of the Bantu languages. Pub. For the International African Institute by the Oxford Univ. Press.

Wagner, G. (1970). The Bantu of Western Kenya: with special reference to the Vugusu and Logoli. Oxford University Press.

Otiso, Z. (2008). The morpho syntactic analysis of Ekegusii verb derivations in the Minimalist program. Masters Dissertation Kenyatta University, Kenya.

Ranta, A., El Dada, A., & Khegai, J. (2009). The GF resource grammar library. Linguistic Issues in Language Technology, 2(2), 1-63.

Ranta, A. (2011). Grammatical Framework: Programming with multilingual grammars (Vol. 173). Stanford: CSLI Publications, Center for the Study of Language and Information.

Paikens, P., & Gruzitis, N. (2012, May). An implementation of a Latvian resource grammar in Grammatical Framework. In LREC (pp. 1680-1685).

Angelov, K. (2011). The mechanics of the Grammatical Framework. Doctoral Dissertation, Chalmers University, Sweden.

Ljunglöf, P. (2004) Expressivity and Complexity of the Grammatical Framework. Doctoral Dissertation, Chalmers University, Sweden.

Ranta, A.. (2006). Type Theory and Universal Grammar. Philosophia Scientiæ. Travaux d'histoire et de philosophie des sciences, (CS 6), pp.115-131.

Détrez, G., & Ranta, A. (2012, April). Smart paradigms and the predictability and complexity of inflectional morphology. In Proceedings of the 13th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (pp. 645-653).

Ranta, A. (2007). Modular grammar engineering in GF Research on Language and Computation, 5(2), 133-158.

Kituku, B., Nganga, W., & Muchemi, L. (2019). Towards Kikamba computational grammar. Journal of Data Analysis and Information Processing, (pp 250-275).

Kituku, B. (2019). Grammar engineering for Swahili. International Journal of Computer and Information Technology (pp 194-200).

Bamutura, D., Ljunglöf, P., & Nebende, P. (2020, May). Towards Computational Resource Grammars for Runyankore and Rukiga. In Proceedings of The 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (pp. 2846-2854).

Ombui, E., & Wagacha, P. W. (2014, June). InterlinguaPlus Machine Translation Approach for Local Languages: Ekegusii & Swahili. In Proceedings of the 2014 Workshop on the Use of Computational Methods in the Study of Endangered Languages (pp. 68-72).

Elwell, R (2008). Finite state methods for Bantu verb morphology. Proceedings of Texas Linguistic.

Ombui, E. O., & Muchemi, L. (2015). Wiring Kenyan languages for the global virtual age: An audit of the human language technology resources.

Osinde, K.N. (1988). Ekegusii morphophonology: an analysis of the major consonantal process. Masters Dissertatiom. Nairobi University.

Basweti, N.O.(2005). A morphosyntactic analysis of agreement in Ekegusii in the minimalist program. Masters Dissertation. Nairobi university. Kenya

Ongarora,D,O. (2008). Bantu Morphostmtax: a study of Ekegusii. Doctoral Dissertation, Iawaharlal Nehru University. India.

Ashton, E.O. (1947). Swahili grammar, Including Intonation. 2nd Edition. London:Longmans.

Reichenbach, H. (1947). The tenses of verbs. Time: From Concept to Narrative Construct: a Reader, pp.1-12.

Munyao, K.M. (2006) The Morph Syntax of Kikamba Verb Derivations: A Minimalist Approach. The University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya.

Whiteley W.H (1965) An Introduction to the Kisii. Nairobi: EALB.

Bitutu, T. (1991). The Syntactic Patterns of Code Switching in Ekegusii-English. Nairobi: Unpublished MA Thesis. Kenyatta University.

Rugemalira, J.M. (2007) The Structure of the Bantu Noun Phrase. SOAS Working Papers in Linguistics , 15, 135-148.

Carr, M., & Verner, J. (1997). Prototyping and software development approaches. Department of Information Systems, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 319-338.

Hammarström, H., & Ranta, A. (2004, March). Cardinal Numerals Revisited in GF In Workshop on Numerals in the World’s Languages, Leipzig, Germany.

Mbuvi, M.K. (2005) The Syntax of Kikamba Noun Modification. Unpublished Master’s Dissertation, University of Nairobi, Kenya.

Vilar, D., Xu, J., Luis Fernando, D.H. and Ney, H. (2006) Error Analysis of Statistical Machine Translation Output. LREC 2006, Genoa, Italy, 697-702.

Koehn, P. (2004) Statistical Significance Tests for Machine Translation Evaluation.Proceedings of the 2004 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing , Barcelona, Spain, July 2004, 388-395.

Levenshtein, VI (1966) Binary Codes Capable of Correcting Deletions, Insertions and Reversals. Soviet Physics Doklady, 10, 707-710.

Costa, Â., Ling, W., Luís, T., Correia, R., & Coheur, L. (2015). A linguistically motivated taxonomy for Machine Translation error analysis. Machine Translation, 29(2), 127-161.

Bojar, O. (2011). Analyzing error types in English-Czech machine translation. The Prague Bulletin of Mathematical Linguistics, 95(1), 63-76.


Download data is not yet available.


How to Cite
Kituku, B., Nganga, W. and Muchemi, L. 2021. Grammar Engineering for the Ekegusii Language in Grammatical Framework. European Journal of Engineering and Technology Research. 6, 3 (Mar. 2021), 20–29. DOI: