Tod J. Allman, PhD


Tod Allman

Contact Info

Email: todallman@yahoo.com
Phone: (214) 587-0721

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About Tod


Tod first became interested in Bible translation during his final year at Talbot Theological Seminary. During that year he took a class about Bible translation and learned about the millions of people who don’t have the Bible in a language they can understand.  Being a software engineer, he began developing a computer program to help cross cultural workers who are translating the Bible into other languages. After graduating from Talbot, he studied linguistics in order to further develop the Bible translation software. He then spent approximately 20 years developing the software.  Then he went back and completed a Doctorate in linguistics in order to further refine the translation system.  The software is now able to generate drafts of portions of the Bible in many different languages.  Tod is currently living in the Philippines where he’s developing lexicons and grammars for several of the languages there.  He hopes to use the software to produce initial draft translations of parts of the Bible in as many languages as possible.

Curriculum Vitae


Education

University of Texas at Arlington

Arlington, Texas

Ph.D., Linguistics, December 2010

Dissertation: The Translator’s Assistant: A Multilingual Natural Language Generator based on Linguistic Universals, Typologies, and Primitives.

I developed software which enables linguists to build lexicons and grammars for a wide variety of languages. I also developed a semantic representational system specifically for minority and endangered languages. I then tested the software with English, Korean, Jula (Cote d’Ivoire), and Kewa (Papua New Guinea). In each test language the generated texts more than quadrupled the productivity of experienced mother-tongue translators.

M.A., Linguistics, May 1989

Thesis: Machine Translation of a Greek Parable into English, Spanish, Angas and Chinantec.

I developed software which assists linguists who are translating the New Testament into minority languages. After a linguist has built a target lexicon and grammar, the program generates a draft of the target text using the Friberg Annotated Greek New Testament as the source.

Talbot Theological Seminary

LaMirada, California

Master of Divinity, May 1986

Emphasis in Bible translation.

Harvey Mudd College

Claremont, California

Master of Engineering, May 1982

Emphasis in microcomputer system design.

B.S., General Engineering, May 1981

Emphasis in systems engineering.

Appointments

2013-present: Visiting Professor, Computer Science Department, De La Salle University,Manila, Philippines. I teach a language documentation course which introduces students to the software I developed for documenting endangered languages.

2012-present: Adjunct faculty member, Department of Applied Linguistics, Dallas International University, Dallas, TX. I teach an online course which introduces students to the natural language generator I developed for translating the Bible into minority languages.

2012-present: Adjunct faculty member, Computational Linguistics Department, De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines. I teach an online course which introduces students to the software I developed for documenting endangered languages.

2010-present: President and Co-founder, The Bible Translator’s Assistant Inc. (nonprofit) www.TheBibleTranslatorsAssistant.org We’re a group of computational linguists who help people who are translating the Bible and community development documents into minority and endangered languages.

Publications

Papers in Refereed Journals

Allman, Tod. 2004. A Natural Language Generator for Minority Languages. Word & Deed, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 25-30.

Allman, Tod and Stephen Beale. 2004. An environment for quick ramp-up multi-lingual authoring. International Journal of Translation, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 73-85.

Papers in Refereed Proceedings

Allman, Tod, Stephen Beale and Richard Denton. 2014. Toward an Optimal Multilingual Natural Language Generator: Deep Source Analysis and Shallow Ta rget Analysis. In Proceedings of the 10 th National Natural Language Processing Research Symposium (10th NNLPRS), De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines.

Allman, Tod, Stephen Beale and Richard Denton. 2012. Linguist’s Assistant: A Multi-
Lingual Natural Language Generator based on Linguistic Universals, Typologies, and
Primitives. In Proceedings of 7th International Natural Language Generation Conference
(INLG 2012), pp. 59-66, Utica, IL.

Beale, Stephen and Tod Allman. 2011. Linguist’s Assistant: a resource for linguists. In
Proceedings of 5th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (IJCNLP-11), The 9th Workshop on Asian Language Resources, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Allman, Tod and Stephen Beale. 2006. A Natural Language Generator for Minority
Languages. In Proceedings of 5th SALTMIL 2006 workshop: Strategies for developing machine translation for minority languages, pp. 39-46, Genoa, Italy.

Beale, Stephen and Tod Allman. 2005. Document Authoring the Bible for Minority
Language Translation. In Proceedings of MT-Summit. Phuket, Thailand.

Invited Papers

Beale, Stephen, Tod Allman, Rachel Roxas and Joel Ilao. 2012. A preliminary report on the Linguist’s Assistant implementation of Tagalog. Invited paper for the 12th Philippine Computing Science Congress (PCSC-12), Laguna, Philippines. Draft available at: http://onyxcons.com/LA/papers/pcsc-12.pdf

Invited Conference Presentations

“Linguists Assistant: In Search of the Source” 14th Philippine Computing Society Congress (PCSC-14), Davao, Philippines. March 7th, 2014. (http://pcsc2014.csp.org.ph/program) “Toward an Optimal Multilingual Natural Language Generator: Deep Source Analysis and Shallow Target Analysis” 10th National Natural Language Processing Research Symposium (NNLPRS-14), De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines. February 21st, 2014. (http://www.dlsu.edu.ph/conferences/nlp/2014/)

Conference Presentations

“Linguist’s Assistant: Deep Source Analysis and Shallow Target Analysis” 5th Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex Linguistics Conference, Dallas International University, Dallas, TX. November 26th, 2013.

“Linguist’s Assistant: A Multi-Lingual Natural Language Generator based on Linguistic Universals, Typologies, and Primitives”

International Natural Language Generation (INLG-12), Utica, IL. June 1st, 2012.
“Natural Language Generation and the Typology of Relative Clauses”

Annual Celebration of Excellence by Students. Arlington, TX. March 26th, 2009.
“A Natural Language Generator for Minority Languages”

The Eleventh Annual UTA Student Conference in Linguistics. Arlington, TX. Nov. 7th, 2003.

Conference Committees:

10th National Natural Language Processing Research Symposium (NNLPRS-14), De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines. February 21-22, 2014.

11th Annual UTA Student Conference in Linguistics. Arlington, TX. Nov. 6-7, 2003.

Teaching Experience

De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines. Applied Linguistics Department. 2014 to present. I teach a graduate course called Special Topics in Natural Language Processing: Developing Computational Tools for Documenting Languages. This course introduces students to several software tools for documenting endangered languages.

Dallas International University, Dallas, TX. Applied Linguistics Department. 2012 to present. I teach an online course called Introduction to The Bible Translator’s Assistant. This course introduces students to the natural language generator which I developed and designed specifically for Bible translators.

Biola University, La Mirada, CA. Math and Computer Science Department. 1984-1986.
Courses include Introduction to Computer Science, Business Calculus, and Advanced Algebra.

University of Oregon, Eugene, OR. Linguistics Department. Summers of ’89, ’90, ’93, ’95, ’96. Professor’s assistant. Courses include Functional Typological Grammar and Morphology and Syntax.

Professional Experience

1986 to 2009, 2012 to 2013: Senior software consultant for Rain Bird. I helped develop software that controls golf course irrigation systems and commercial irrigation systems throughout N. America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
2004 to 2006, 2010 to 2012: Senior software consultant for Onyx Consulting. I helped develop a semantic analyzer that consists of a preprocessor, Stanford’s syntax parser, a heuristic based linker, and a semantic constraint engine. This semantic analyzer parses English texts and produces text meaning representations.

Fellowships

Union Oil Fellowship (1981-1982)
Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2010)

Research Interests

My primary field of research is in language documentation and preservation through natural language generation. For the past twenty years I’ve been developing a natural language generator which assists linguists who are documenting minority and endangered languages. This software enables linguists to build lexicons and grammars for languages, and then it generates initial draft translations of texts in those languages. The generated texts are of sufficient quality that they typically quadruple the productivity of experienced mother-tongue translators. I’ve tested this software with English, Korean, Jula (Cote d’Ivoire), and Kewa (Papua New Guinea), and proof-of-concept grammars and lexicons have been developed for Spanish, Urdu, North Tanna (Vanuatu), Angas (Nigeria), and Chinantec (Mexico). This system enables linguists to simultaneously document endangered languages and translate texts into those languages. The texts serve to preserve these languages, as well as educate and empower the speakers of these languages. My current research is in the development of a system that will semi-automatically acquire the necessary lexical and grammatical data so that this system can very quickly produce initial draft translations of these texts.