Research Article

User studies on the Sepedi Copulative Decision Tree

DOI: 10.2989/16073614.2020.1858124
Author(s): Daniel J. Prinsloo, South Africa


User studies on the Sepedi Copulative Decision Tree is an evaluation of the value of a writing assistant for the copulative constructions in Sepedi (Northern Sotho). It reflects on the different static and dynamic constructions of the identifying, descriptive and associative copulative in the different verbal moods. The aim of this article is to determine to what extent the use of the Tree assisted users to express copulatives correctly. Data collection was done by means of a questionnaire completed by 36 second-year students at a tertiary institution. Analysis of the data includes the identification of the most problematic copulatives, an evaluation of the contribution made by the Tree, typical errors made by the students and their comments and feedback on the virtues and shortcomings of the Tree. The Tree entails a step-by-step sequence of mostly binary choices mainly in a text production situation. The results of the investigation indicate that the tool meets its stated aims, i.e. correction of errors, confirmation of correct responses and identification of the most problematic copulatives and common errors made by learners of Sepedi. It is concluded that utilisation of the tool resulted in a substantial increase in the production of correct copulatives.

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