Verbus is a technical platform/framework for building linguistic applications centered around verbs, their grammar and most importantly, their conjugations. The first concrete implementation being currently considered for Verbus is an application (a.k.a “app”) for mobile devices (such as smartphones and tablets).
The framework is to be feature-rich so as to be used for several languages that exhibit conjugations, from the simplest forms to the most complex ones. In the first version of the framework, Portuguese will be the demonstration language.
Components of the framework
Database model with Boyce-Codd normalization level
API (Application Programming Interface) giving access to all features of the framework
Administration interface for defining the contents of the application
Beyond standard features that can be found in various applications and programs that have a similar use (e.g. conjugation tables and possibly a list of verbs that follow a specific conjugation model), Verbus is to offer the following features :
indication of the “dialects” or variants in which a verb is “legal” (Portugal, Brazil…; France, Canada, Western Africa countries…; Spain, Mexico, latin America…);
support of the most exhaustive possible list of verbs;
support of multiple spellings of the conjugated forms;
search of a conjugated form of a verb;
graphical representation of the conjugation rules of tenses when such rules exist;
rules and real examples of how and when to uses tenses;
statistics and frequency data of irregular forms for each tense, each verb and each conjugation rule;
user-defined “bookmarks” and custom groups of verbs;
support of user notes;
multilingual user interface, meaning full support of internationalization and localization;
support of several languages in implementing the framework.
The portuguese language has been chosen as a test language. It exhibits features that appear ideal for a technical foundation framework such as Verbus; the features of the language make the platform more complete and richer with regard to the soundness of its technical foundation. Portuguese has:
verbs that are specific to dialects/variants;
numerous modes and tenses;
regular verbs and irregular verbs ;
verbs that are irregular in a varied number of tenses;
regular endings for each tense;
irregular forms on multiple tenses;
variations even inside the same tense of a single mode (imperativo afirmativo and imperativo negativo) ;
a person (second plural person) absent from some dialects or rarely used;
a large number of irregular verbs conjugation models;
formation rules applicable to all tenses and all verbs of the language;
tenses that exhibits no irregularity with respect to formation rules;
verbs that exhibit pseudo-radices;
exceptions to multiple formation rules.
This section lists the technical configurations for which the Verbus framework is thought.
Technical implementation details
The administration interface will be developed in two versions, one using Java EE, for the richness of its ecosystem and toolset, and PHP and the Symfony 2 framework, in order to support the systems that can't, or won't, support Java.
The proof-of-concept application uses AngularJS, Bootstrap and jQuery, knowing that technical specifics will help aim for a platform as agnostic and universal as possible.