Blok 4: March-April 2001
Trans 10, kamer 2.18
3512 JK Utrecht
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
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).
Unification grammars, formal grammars, features, syntax.
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
Pollard C. and I. Sag (1987)
Information based syntax and
Pollard C. and I. Sag (1994)
Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar. Stanford:
Sag I. and T. Wasow (1999)
Syntactic Theory. A formal introduction. Stanford:
(Appendix on the development of Generative Grammar)
Shieber S. (1986)
An introduction to unification-based approaches to
Various grammar formalisms- webpages
HPSG papers on Phonology and Morphology
HPSG papers on Semantics
Various HPSG papers discussed in class
Various grammar implementation tools - webpages
||Trans 10, 2.04
|| from 15-3
Onderwijsvorm: 4 uur hoorcollege en 2 uur werkcollege
||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.
||Features to represent linguistic information. Way
features are used in various grammar
formalisms. Feature theory. Unification. Subsumption.
||HPSG - general description. Linguistic signs as
typed feature structures. The use of types and
||Features used to represent linguistic information
in HPSG. Different kinds of features: atomic,
complex. Lexical entries in HPSG.
||The schemas of immediate dominance and the
principles that govern the good formation of the
NO TEST !!!!
|| Modifiers and determiners.
|| More on modifiers. Generalizations in the
lexicon. Morphology in HPSG.
|| Raising vs. Control
|| Long distance dependencies.
||HPSG large coverage grammars and industrial
applications - Presentation by Gosse Bouma
||HPSG vs. other grammar formalisms (LFG/TAG)
|| 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.
||Drift 21, 003
||12.00 - 15.00
Here is a copy of the exam (3-5-01).
which can be used as proeftentamen.
Evaluation 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
Please save the document in PDF format.
eindnota for a similar summary.
A style file for making AVMs in latex can be found
here and here
is an example.
Deadline: May 14th
De uitslag van het tentamen vind je
De uitslag van het hertentamen vind je
||do, 30 Augustus
||14.00 - 17.00
Check het rooster op de CKI web-pagina.