Grammaticamodellen in de Taaltechnologie
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Blok 4: March-April 2001

Docent Paola Monachesi
tel: 030-2536653
Computationele Linguistiek
Trans 10, kamer 2.18
3512 JK Utrecht
Spreekuur: Wednesday 14.00-15.00  

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This course provides an introduction to the techniques and tools that are necessary for the implementation of precise and extensible grammars which are required both in research and in industrial applications. Computational grammars constitute an essential component of text understanding systems, spell-checkers, grammar-checkers, machine translation systems and communication tools for disabled individuals.

The course will combine background lectures with practical exercises on how to formalize linguistic knowledge working within the framework of Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG) (Pollard and Sag 1987, 1994). This framework has the advantage of being well suited both for theoretical linguistic work and for computational implementations.

HPSG can be defined as a constraint-based, lexicalist approach to grammatical theory. It is based on the assumption that human linguistic sentence processing has a powerful lexical basis. It is for this reason that its notion of phrase structure is built around the concept of a lexical head which encodes information that determines crucial grammatical properties of the phrase it projects. Furthermore, HPSG is a surface-based grammar formalism in that it provides a direct characterization of the actual surface order of string elements in a sentence. It can also be viewed as a declarative approach to grammar since the association between strings and informational elements are defined in terms of what associations are possible and not how they are computed. The HPSG informational elements are feature structures, which are partial function from features to their value.

The implementation of HPSG grammar fragments will be conducted within the processing system ConTroll, which has been developed at the University of Tuebingen for the formalization of constraint-based grammars.

The course will compare HPSG to other grammatical models such as Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG) and Tree Adjoining Grammar (TAG).

Algemene thematiek:

Unification grammars, formal grammars, features, syntax.

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Books and papers

The books/papers listed below are meant for reference. Only selected chapters will be used during the course.

Abeille' A. 1993. Les Nouvelles Syntaxes, Grammaires d'unification et analyse du francaise. Paris: Armand Colin.
(Introduction contains an overview of the development of unification grammars).

Pollard C. and I. Sag (1987) Information based syntax and semantics. Stanford: CSLI.

Pollard C. and I. Sag (1994) Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar. Stanford: CSLI .

Sag I. and T. Wasow (1999) Syntactic Theory. A formal introduction. Stanford: CSLI .
(Appendix on the development of Generative Grammar)

Shieber S. (1986) An introduction to unification-based approaches to grammar. Stanford: CSLI.

Relevant Links

Various grammar formalisms- webpages

HPSG papers on Phonology and Morphology

HPSG papers on Semantics

Various HPSG papers discussed in class

HPSG Projects

Various grammar implementation tools - webpages


Necessary Tools

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Weekdag: Datum: Plaats: Tijd:
Tuesday from 13-3 Trans 10, 2.04 11.00-13.00
Thursday from 15-3 KNG80, 2.05 11.00-13.00

Onderwijsvorm: 4 uur hoorcollege en 2 uur werkcollege


Week 1: Tuesday 13/3 Introduction to unification grammars. History: unification grammars as a criticism to Transformational grammars and a way to formalize grammars. Development: DCG,FUG,PATR. Different types of formal grammars.
Thursday 15/3 Features to represent linguistic information. Way features are used in various grammar formalisms. Feature theory. Unification. Subsumption.
Week 2: Tuesday 20/3 HPSG - general description. Linguistic signs as typed feature structures. The use of types and inheritance.
Thursday 22/3 Features used to represent linguistic information in HPSG. Different kinds of features: atomic, complex. Lexical entries in HPSG.
Week 3: Tuesday 27/3 The schemas of immediate dominance and the principles that govern the good formation of the phrases.
Thursday 29/3 Complementizers
NO TEST !!!!
Week 4: Tuesday 3/4 Modifiers and determiners.
Thursday 5/4 More on modifiers. Generalizations in the lexicon. Morphology in HPSG.
Week 5: Tuesday 10/4 Raising vs. Control
Thursday 12/4 Long distance dependencies.
Week 6: Tuesday 17/4 HPSG large coverage grammars and industrial applications - Presentation by Gosse Bouma (Groningen University)
Thursday 19/4 HPSG vs. other grammar formalisms (LFG/TAG)
Week 7: Tentamen

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Weekdag:   Plaats: Tijd:
Tuesday KNG80, 0.13-1.08 13.00 - 15.00

In the werkcollege we will have hands-on sessions to get acquainted with the implementation of HPSG grammars. The system ConTroll will be adopted to implement the phenomena discussed during the hoorcollege.

Week: Werkgroep: Onderwerp: Te bespreken op werkgroep: Verplichtte opdracht:
Week 1: Tuesday 13/3 Introduction to ConTroll. How to use the system. *Opgaven ##* *Opgaven ##*
Week 2: Tuesday 20/3 The HPSG signature. The use of types and inheritance. *Opgaven ##* *Opgaven ##*
Week 3: Tuesday 27/3 Lexical entries in HPSG. Expand the grammar. *Opgaven ##* *Opgaven ##*
Week 4: Tuesday 3/4 The way principles work in HPSG. Sentential complementation. Expand the grammar. *Opgaven ##* *Opgaven ##*
Week 5: Tuesday 10/4 Determiners and modifiers. Expand the grammar. *Opgaven ##* *Opgaven ##*
Week 6: Tuesday 17/4 Alpino , a large coverage Dutch HPSG grammar. Demo by Gosse Bouma (Groningen University) *Opgaven ##* *Opgaven ##*

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Datum 3 Mei
Plaats Drift 21, 003
Tijd 12.00 - 15.00


Here is a copy of the exam (3-5-01). which can be used as proeftentamen.


70% exam, 30% practicum exercises + eindnota.

You are supposed to write a short summary of the 5 exercises you did as part of the practicum.

In the nota you should include the solution/answers to the questions posed in the various exercises. You could include also the signature/theory when relevant and a printout of the structures obtained for the various sentences analyzed.

Please save the document in PDF format.

See eindnota for a similar summary.

A style file for making AVMs in latex can be found here and here is an example.


May 14th


De uitslag van het tentamen vind je hier .

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Datum do, 30 Augustus
Plaats BG 465
Tijd 14.00 - 17.00
De uitslag van het hertentamen vind je hier .

Check het rooster op de CKI web-pagina.