Linguistic Attributes in User Dictionaries

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Word Class
3. Inflection
4. Gradation
5. Semantic Actor
6. Subcategory

1. Introduction

This document outlines the linguistic attributes that you can use when adding terms to English-Finnish user dictionaries. Correct linguistic attributes help the translator to produce correct and fluent translations (e.g. inflect Finnish words correctly). In the most cases there is no need to set linguistic attributes for terms because the translator can produce a correct translation using its default values.

You can set linguistic attributes using the Dictionary Editor which is available both in the web interface of the translation service and in the translation applications. If you export a user dictionary to an external file (e.g. Excel file), you can view and edit linguistic attributes also in the exported file.

2. Word Class

In English-Finnish dictionaries the word class of a term can be Noun, Proper noun, Adjective, Adverb or Verb. The following chapters introduce the linguistic attributes that can be set for nouns, proper nouns, adjectives and verbs. In Finnish-English dictionaries the word class of a term is always Noun.

3. Inflection

This attribute contains information about how the Finnish translation of a term is inflected. In most cases, the translator can automatically inflect Finnish words correctly and then there is no need to set the Inflection attribute. The possible values of this attribute are listed below.

Partitive form for words ending with 'a':

OJA: A->OJA (kirja ⇒ kirjoja, vanha ⇒ vanhoja)
OITA: A->OITA (idea ⇒ ideoita)
IA: A->IA (kuja ⇒ kujia, luja ⇒ lujia)

Genitive form for words ending with 'e':

EEN: E->EEN (kappale ⇒ kappaleen, terve ⇒ terveen)

Genitive form for words ending with 'i':

EN: I->EN (kivi ⇒ kiven, pieni ⇒ pienen)
DEN: I->DEN (kausi ⇒ kauden, uusi ⇒ uuden)

Genitive form for words ending with 's':

DEN: S->DEN (yhteys ⇒ yhteyden)
KSEN: S->KSEN (kerros ⇒ kerroksen)

For words that don't inflect: No inflection.

Inflecting attributive adjectives

If the Finnish translation of a term includes an inflecting attributive adjective, you can mark it by adding # to the end of the adjective (e.g. "public network" ⇒ "julkinen# verkko"). This ensures that the translator inflects the attributive adjective.

4. Gradation

This attribute is very rarely needed because the translator can usually handle the gradation of Finnish words automatically. The possible values are:

Normal: default value
No gradation: used if the translator incorrectly produces gradation for a word that doesn't have gradation: e.g. 'ohje' ⇒ 'ohjeen' (not 'ohkeen')
Irregular: can be used if the two above-mentioned values produce an incorrect gradation (very rare)

5. Semantic Actor

This attribute defines whether a term represents an active or inactive actor. It can have the following values:

Inactive: an inactive object or thing
Human: a human or other thing that can perform human-like actions
Organization: an organization (e.g. company or agency) that can perform human-like actions
Animal: living beings other than humans
Machine: machine or computer program

If this attribute is set to Default, the translator uses a default value which is usually Inactive.

6. Subcategory

Usually, this attribute is not set. The only possible value is Title. It means that the term can function as a pre-attribute for proper nouns. For example the term "chief executive officer / toimitusjohtaja" should have this value because the term can be followed by a person name for which the term is a pre-attribute.

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