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IIIT-H researcher develops largest computational version of Telugu dictionary

Starting out with a mind-numbing task of typing out 21,000 odd Telugu words along with their meanings from an authentic dictionary, Sreekavitha Parupalli, a researcher from the Centre for Exact Humanities IIIT Hyderabad has built a database of Telugu words in their usage as verbs, adverbs and adjectives.

It also happens to be the largest computational version of Telugu dictionary. Sreekavitha has contributed 8,483 verbs, 253 adverbs and 1673 adjectives to OntoSenseNet — a verb-centric ontological resource for Indian Languages. "With the Telugu dictionary, native speakers can now perform better annotation tasks as both the word and its meaning are in a language they are familiar with. And any computer science expert or researcher can design algorithms that can work on the annotated language data. My research work has added numerous words to the existing resources such as the Telugu WordNet", she said.

While researchers working in the areas of language processing, machine translation, word sense disambiguation, culture studies, language teaching, dictionary compilation, and other areas of linguistics and language technology have plenty of online English language resources, for vernacular languages this is a challenge. This coupled with encouragement from her late Professor Navajyoti Singh paved way for Sreekavitha's research.

She has published five papers till date. "All of this is new and pioneering work. And the multiple papers I published are basically experiments that adopt the dictionary developed and the ontology proposed by Prof Navjyoti," said Sreekavitha. The dictionary has also improved the accuracy of sentiment analysis task in Telugu. Speaking about the prospects of further research, Sreekavitha, currently working as a product engineer in Gurugram, said more work needs to be done on the Ontology proposed for adjectives and adverbs.

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