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Title: European Language Equality (ELE) - report on the Maltese language
Authors: Borg, Claudia
Rosner, Michael
Keywords: Computational linguistics -- Malta
Natural language processing (Computer science)
Electronic data processing
Human-computer interaction
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: ELE Consortium
Citation: Borg, C. & Rosner, M. (2022). European language equality (ELE) - report on the Maltese language. ELE Consortium.
Abstract: This report is an update to The Maltese Language in the Digital Age (Rosner and Joachimsen, 2012b), a previous report that formed part of the META-NET White Paper Series on Europe’s languages. The present report, which also forms part of a series, is structured into six major sections. Section 1 introduces the scope of the series in general and the nature of the European Language Equality (ELE) project which gave rise to it. Section 2 documents the status of Maltese from different perspectives: its national status; its general typology as a language, and its current usage in the digital sphere. Section 3 provides a brief, language-independent overview of Language Technology (LT) in general, covering six major application areas that are deemed to be reflective of the state-of-the-art. Section 4 then presents a highly language-dependent view on the state of LT for Maltese, starting with an examination of its special characteristics, a brief history of LT for Maltese to date, an assessment of what is currently available for Maltese in the catalogue of the European Language Grid (ELG) platform, and finally, a sketch of projects, initiatives and LT providers. Chapter 5 then attempts to provide a comparative analysis of the status of Maltese LT with respect to all other EU languages. The final Section 6 is a summary taking the form of a SWOT analysis of the status of LT for Maltese and conclusions based on what the authors perceive as serious gaps that need to be addressed urgently. The main points here are that if LT for Maltese is to progress alongside LT for neighbouring European languages, it is crucial to address not only current gaps in tools and resources, but gaps in national support for LT that recognises the important cultural, social and scientific role that it plays.
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