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Description of the project

The overall objective of the project PAISÀ (Piattaforma per l’Apprendimento dell’Italiano Su corpora Annotati) is to overcome the technological barriers currently preventing web users from having interactive access to and use of large quantities of data of contemporary Italian to improve their language skills. The project is particularly targeted to second generation emigrants from Italy who keep Italian as a native language, but in severely limited usage, and third generation emigrants who have Italian as a second language (L2).

To achieve this goal a large and richly annotated corpus of Italian web texts is created. The novelty of the project is using, for the corpus, a freely distributable sample of texts (Creative Commons license), automatically harvested from the web. Subsequently different annotation layers (morphosyntactic information, dependency relations, etc.) are added to the corpus by applying NLP (natural language processing) tools, which get adjusted and improved in the course of the project by integrating manual annotation data.

Raw and annotated versions of the corpus are freely made available for download. In addition, direct access to the data will be provided via a multifaceted query interface for learners and users of Italian, thus fostering free online access to concrete contexts of use of contemporary Italian.

The project is running from June 2009 to June 2012.