GiellaLT provides an infrastructure for rule-based language technology aimed at minority and indigenous languages, and streamlines building anything from keyboards to speech technology.

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The directory structure of the GiellaLT infrastructure

This is an overview of the file structure for each language catalogue found in the GiellaLT infrastructure, i.e. over the repositories giella-core and each of the lang-$ISO repositories.

The directory structure of the lang-XXX repositories

Each language has its own repository, named with a prefix lang- followed by the ISO 639-3 code, and possibly extended according to BCP47 if needed.

Each language repository contains the following directories:

Here’s a tree view of the structure, shown for the undefined language und (and thus the dir structure of all languages):

und$ tree -d
├── devtools
├── docs
├── m4
├── misc
├── src
│   ├── cg3
│   ├── filters
│   ├── fst
│   │   ├── affixes
│   │   └── stems
│   ├── hyphenation
│   ├── orthography
│   ├── phonetics
│   ├── tagsets
│   └── transcriptions
├── test
│   ├── data
│   ├── src
│   │   ├── morphology
│   │   ├── phonology
│   │   └── syntax
│   └── tools
│       ├── hyphenators
│       ├── mt
│       │   └── apertium
│       └── spellcheckers
└── tools
    ├── analysers
    ├── grammarcheckers
    ├── hyphernators
    ├── mt
    │   ├── apertium
    │   └── cgbased
    ├── shellscripts
    ├── spellcheckers
    └── tokenisers

Some directories are described in further detail below.

The fst folder under lang-XXX/src/

The fst/ folder itself might also contain some lexc files, like:


The file in src/fst/

The makefile defines two, perhaps four variables (the two first must be defined)

  1. GT_LEXC_ROOT=root.lexc (defining the root of lexc)
  2. GT_LEXC_SRC= (listing all the other source files, except generated ones)
  3. GENERATED_LEXC_SRCS= (listing lexc source files that originate as something else, e.g. xml)
  4. GT_XML_SRC= (defining possible xml source files)

We define all the source files we need to build the transducers. The build system will take care of putting them together and compiling them.

include $(top_srcdir)/../giella-core/am-shared/

This statement includes the majority of the build instructions. You should never need to touch the included file.

The orthography/ folder

Here we take care of initial capitalisation, of systematic spelling relaxation, and of alternative orthographies, if needed. Note that spellrelax now is language-specific.

The phonetics/ folder under lang-XXX/src/

This folder contains files for conversion to IPA.

The cg3/ folder under lang-XXX/src/

This folder contains disambiguation.cg3.

The files functions.cg3, dependency.cg3 for sma, sme, smj and smn are in giella-shared/smi/src/cg3/. Faroese also uses the common dependency.cg3, but has its own functions.cg3.

The test/ catalogue under langs-XXX/

Within it there are several subdirs for different tools to test. Each test is wrapped in a shell script that emits one of the following values, depending on the outcome of the test:

If you need a new test, just write a shell script that follows this convention, and add it to the TESTS variable in the file. That’s it.

Also take care that the shell script uses AM variables for all references to files and commands outside the script which can not be assumed to be universally available. This will make the test scripts portable.


What kind of and how many transducers we produce varies from language to language. The binary files are built in lang-XXX/src/, with the naming conventions described here.

For some languages (at least sme and sma) the content of and difference between the transducers is explained on the documentation page of each language

Language-independent repositories

The repositories giella-core and giella-shared are dependents of all other repositories. The former is for language-independent technical files and build instructions, and the latter is for language-independent filters, and linguistic resources shared among many or all languages.

Both are automatically checked out (svn) or cloned (git) when initially configuring a new language.


The repository giella-core contains scripts used for all languages.