Assignment 6: Esperanto nouns and adjectives
Starting with the lexicon for Esperanto nouns that you already have
(Assignment 5), the task here is to augment it with adjectives and
some new types of nouns.
Your grammar should now start like this:
|! Esperanto lexicon|
+Acc ! accusative
+Adj ! adjective
+ASuff ! adjective suffix
+Aug ! augmentative
+Dim ! diminutive
+Fem ! feminine
MF+ ! male-female
Op+ ! opposite
Neg+ ! negative
+Noun ! noun
+NSuff ! noun suffix
+Pl ! plural j
+Sg ! singular
- Esperanto adjectives can begin optionally with onr of the following
|ne||(negation of the root)|
|mal||(opposite of the root)|
- Every adjective must contain a root, and an adjective can begin with the
A root like long is not a valid word by itself. A prefix by
itself is not a valid word, and neither is a prefix plus root.
- All Esperanto adjectives must have an a suffix,
e.g. bona and grava, which are valid words.
- Like nouns, adjectives can be optionally marked as augmentative or
- As with nouns, the eg or et must come after the root but
before the a ending. The augmentative and diminutive co-occur,
and it is not clear if there are any rules to limit their mutual order
or co-occurrence. For this exercise, allow any number of these suffixes
to appear inside an adjective.
- Unlike nouns like hundo/hundino, adjectives cannot be
marked feminine with the in suffix.
- To mark an adjective as plural, add the j suffix, which, if
present, must appear immediately after the a suffix. E.g.
longaj. Adjectives not overtly marked as plural are singular.
- To mark an adjective as accusative, the n suffix appears
just after the j plural suffix (if present) or else just after
the o suffix (which is always present).
Augment your Esperanto lexicon for nouns with adjectives taking
into account the above simplified facts.
Put your grammar in a file named something like
esperanto2.lexc, compile and test it with the same
methods as in Assignment 5.
The lexicon should include the following strings:
The lexicon should not include strings such as:
Now go back into your source file and add the following new adjective
It is now time to introduce a bit of Esperanto derivational
- In Esperanto, noun roots, and noun roots concatenated with
augmentative, diminutive and feminine suffixes, can continue to take
adjective suffixes, as in hunda (``canine''), hundina
(``bitchlike''), elefantega (``big-elephantine''), etc. Fix
your grammar to handle such words.
- Esperanto noun roots denoting higher animals with masculine and feminine
sexes can take the ge prefix denoting ``male and female''. Fix
your grammar to accept words such as gehundoj (``male and female
dogs''), geelefantegoj (``male and female big elephants''), and
gekatetoj (``male and female kittens''). (Do not worry about
overgeneration at this stage. In reality, when ge is present,
the plural suffix j is perhaps required and the in
feminine suffix is forbidden. We'll fix this overgeneration in later
- Adjectives can be nominalized with the ec suffix, which then
continues on to take nominal suffixes, e.g. boneco
(``goodness''), alteco (``height''), juneco
(``youth''), malbonegecon (``extreme evil[ACC]''), etc.
Test your enhanced grammar. It should accept
|hundo hundino hundetoj hundeginojn gehundoj|
hunda hundaj hundinajn
bona bonaj bonan boneco bonecojn
malbona malbonecoj malbonega neboneco
elefanto elefantinojn geelefantoj
elefanta elefantaj elefantajn
Your grammar should reject
|bon elefant alt|
bono geelefant hundeco gealtaj
In fact, our grammar is still far from complete, and some of the
rejected words, especially hundeco, may in fact be valid words
of the real Esperanto language. Your challenge as a linguist is to try
to make your formal language, described in your lexc grammar,
as much like the target language as possible, minimizing both
undergeneration and overgeneration.
This excercise is from Beesley & Karttunen Finite-state
Copyright © 1997 Xerox Corporation.