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RE: [aymara] Aymara and Western Culture

Wow, Laura, your message left me fully amazed. Your machine
translation experience sounds catching to me. A question
arises to my mind (out of curiosity): When did you started
your Logos project? the 80's?

You probably do not ignore the machine translation project
that was carried out by Guzmán de Rojas. He called it
ATAMIRI and it even become operative but it had to be
put aside due to financial problems. Well, you probably
know the work of Guzman because it constituted some
machine translation pioneering (well, so to say, this
researching field has so much to achieve in the future
that everything is pioneering until now). It was real
translation, not just dictionary mapping. The sistem
had some degree of sophistication as to code semantical
(not just lexical) information to build its outputs.
In this way, the program did not mistake homonym words.
The remarkable thing here (to me, at least) is the fact
that Atamiri is developed on the theoretical basis
that Guzman created around the Aymara language
(or so is what he states). Jorge's Aymara Page keeps
an online copy of some Guzman's texts, out of which
I find most interesting that about logical sufixes
in Aymara. I consider that Guzman's logical sufixes
(3-valued ones)are actually modal suffixes, and yes,
verb modalities seem quite powerful in aymara. You
can take a look at Guzman's paper here:


I have some links also to information on the ATAMIRI
project. Unfortunately, this articles don't have
an Enlish language mirror. I'd translate 'em by
myself but I'm not very plenty of time lately.

El sistema Atamiri

El sistema Atamiri (II)

take care, Alex
(Awful English supplied by Alex Condori)

> Hi Jorge!  This is tremendously interesting - I bet that quote led to the
> first mention I saw of the perfection of Aymara.  As to the tertiary
> language, I think I can shed a little bit of light there.  Also as to
> the actual "translation" is done.  What we did in our system is first of
> totally parse the source sentence.  You know, decide which words are
> verbs, or what - another thing I was interested in in Aymaran is that the
> nouns are organized according to what they are.  We had such an
> organization, and our "semanto syntactic codes" that we gave to every word
> that went into our dictionary had a tremendous lot of information. The
> told if the item was human, information, a machine, etc. Then based on
> codes, which in effect *were* the meaning of the sentence, but in
> not as a natural language, we would make about 4 passes over the sentence,
> increasingly transforming it into the target sentence. For instance, in
> first pass we would get related elements together, such as prepositional
> phrases, which we would then group into a whole so the system would not
> again see that phrase as separate words, it would see it as a single
> element, identified as to its part of speech, whether it was adverbial or
> adjectival, for instance, and either at that time or in the next pass it
> would get stored with whatever it modified, so that in each pass the
> sentence became more and more schematic.  In the last pass about all you
> would see was SVO, but each of these elements would contain modifiers,
> phrases, even clauses, although I remember we found relative clauses a
> headache, I worked at Logos only intermittently, so whether they finally
> it straightened out or not I don't know, but another thing was that after
> left the system degraded terribly, I came back for a special job several
> years later.  It was actually an interesting job in terms of this
> discussion, because what I had to do was "break up" every grammatical
> into source information/code and target information/code.  My son said
> in the end they never utilized the work because it was too complex to keep
> the information in some place separate from yet related to its "partner"
> information.  I certainly think that had to be the case with the system as
> it was then, because I used to almost break down and weep at what they had
> done - I was like, my baby, my precious baby, what have they done to you?
> But theoretically physically separating source and target material would
> make it easier to develop many systems.  So what we thought at the time
> what I also think now is that this process of resolving the source
> (I think we did that in 2 passes) and then transforming it into its target
> equivalent in several passes (and in each pass there was also included a
> "side trip" so to speak out to a semantic module so if you had a word like
> "block" for instance we would figure out from the environment of the word
> whether it was a wooden block, a city block, a block of data, etc., and
> code for the correct term would be put in) so I think this process was
> really the tertiary "language" or metalanguage.  So this is my history,
> how it would apply to the possibility of Aymara serving as an interim
> language I'm not sure but certainly the precision of expression Aymara
> allows is a very remarkable feature.  You know, Jorge, do you think it
> be possible for me to come down and we could work further on this and also
> could read those tantalizing books, and learn Spanish in the process.
> There's no better way to learn a language than to have something you are
> dying to read - which exists only in that language!  This is my situation:
> I'm 69, my husband and I have 7 children and 22 grandchildren, so I am
> to travel because they visit him and keep him from being lonesome, and of
> course our children are all grown, the youngest is 36.  And I know that my
> Logos experience would be very valuable, because we were the first to
> actually do this.  There were other people getting into computerized
> language translation, but no one else came up with so much and such
> resolution as we did.  I don't need very much space, I travel with just a
> back pack and the bag for my laptop computer and my whole system,
> I have a tiny printer, and I take the whole thing everywhere with me.
> I would especially like to do is build some kind of proto-type and then
> it in the news to make the point how intelligent the aboriginal American
> people are!  And I have the connections for this, Ted Turner is part of
> group.  I asked him to buy Logos back for us, and what he did is get some
> his people to get material on where machine translation stands at
present -
> which is the prudent thing, of course, so I contacted the name, a
> Hovy, and learned from him that nowadays they let the computer do the
> translating.  They have to start with a source document and a target
> translation of it, which they feed to the computer, which says to itself,
> whenever I see this word "four" in English, for instance, it is "quatre"
> French.  But of course this isn't really "translation" it's just a
> dictionary lookup, with no grammatical resolution.  Say hi to Omar for me,
> he is also a very fine correspondent, I'd like to work with him also.
> to everyone, Laura  (And PS I'm going to order Eco's book from
> Amazon-dot-com)  Post post scriptum, I'm also interested in the Semitic
> connection.  What would this suggest as to where Americans come from?  I
> not interested in order to answer this question with finality, but again
> because of the way our books tend to denigrate Native Americans.  And I
> the Incas and others in that area performed feats of building, etc., that
> rival the Egyptian pyramids.  We need to find out about these things and
> the word out!