ICEMorph: A Morphological Analysis Tool for Old Icelandic
ICEMorph is a second generation morphological analysis and look-up tool for the study of Old Icelandic / Old Norse, the most morphonologically complex of the Germanic
The analysis tool uses a second generation formal language, FM/Haskell, to tackle the problem of this complexity.
The look-up tool is based on two of the most important dictionaries for Old Icelandic / Old Norse study: Cleasby-Vigfusson An Icelandic-English Dictionary (1874), and Johan Fritzner's Ordbog over det gamle norske Sprog ( 1883-1896).
In its pilot phase, the look-up tool is based on Zoega's subset of Cleasby-Vigfusson, and this dictionary supplies the lexical set for the analysis tool.
The Current Project
The current project seeks to expand earlier work on Old Icelandic/Old Norse morphology and Old Icelandic/Old Norse texts. We are developing an accurate morphological analyzer that includes nearly the entire Old Icelandic lexical set (including the poetic vocabulary). The user of the morphological analysis and look-up tool will be able to input any word form, and for that form receive as output the word's "lemma" or dictionary headword, a dictionary definition either in English, Danish, or both, and a paradigm for that word, including all known forms of that word. For ambiguous words, the analyzer returns all possible lemmata with attendant information.
The analyzer is attached to Old Norse / Old Icelandic digital texts, allowing for researchers or students to query the analyzer / look-up tool directly from the text. Eventually, the study environment will allow the user to select information to appear on "roll-over." The underlying lexical set for the analyzer/look-up tool is designed to be extensible. Eventually, it will include all of the words in the Old Norse / Old Icelandic lexical set. A system is being designed for both easy batch import of dictionaries, and the easy addition of additional lemmata that inflect properly (including irregular forms).
Once completed, the goal is to integrate the morphological analysis and look-up tool with both normalized texts and diplomatic transcriptions of manuscripts in a rich study environment. This environment will allows for complex visualizations of textual relationships, such as those available in GDL 3.0, and sophisticated word searches and study tools that are not limited to form-only searches, such as those available in Perseus. Automated normalization routines will increase the scope of texts available to the system, while assisted disambiguation routines will increase the power of word study tools. In this sophisticated study environment, manuscript transcriptions will be coupled to images of the manuscripts on which they are based, and the scholarly community will be able to engage in ongoing annotation--as well as lively debate--over the work, including discussion of disambiguation of difficult forms. Ultimatelty, the goal is to provide wide access to Old Icelandic materials and sophisticated research tools, all within one integrated environment. This envirionment should be robust, scaleable and extensible to other early Indo-European languages.