Grammaticamodellen in de Taaltechnologie
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Blok 4: Maart-April 2002

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

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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 HDrug, which has been developed at the University of Groningen for formalization and visualisation of constraint-based grammars.

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

[ Dutch version ]

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 - Logical foundations

HPSG Projects

Various grammar implementation tools - webpages

Material for making slides for the presentation

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Weekdag: Datum: Plaats: Tijd:
Tuesday from 12-3 Trans 1 (Uithof), 0.32 11.00-13.00
Thursday from 14-3 Kromme Nieuwe gracht 80, 2.05 11.00-13.00

Onderwijsvorm: 4 uur hoorcollege en 2 uur werkcollege


Week 1: Tuesday 12/3 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 14/3 Features to represent linguistic information. Way features are used in various grammar formalisms. Feature theory. Unification. Subsumption.
Week 2: Tuesday 19/3 HPSG - general description. Linguistic signs as typed feature structures. The use of types and inheritance.
Thursday 21/3 Features used to represent linguistic information in HPSG. Different kinds of features: atomic, complex. Lexical entries in HPSG.
Week 3: Tuesday 26/3 Generalizations in the lexicon. Morphology in HPSG.
Thursday 28/3 The schemas of immediate dominance and the principles that govern the good formation of the phrases. Complementizers, modifiers and determiners.
Week 4: Tuesday 2/4 Raising vs. control
Thursday 4/4 Long distance dependencies.
Week 5: Tuesday 9/4 HPSG vs. other grammar formalisms (TAG and LFG)
Thursday 11/4 Discussion HPSG papers
Week 6: Tuesday 16/4 Discussion HPSG papers
Thursday 18/4 Talk by G. Bouma about Alpino, a large coverage grammar of Dutch
Week 7: Tentamen

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Weekdag:   Plaats: Tijd:
Thursday KNG80 0.09-0.11-0.12 13.00 - 15.00

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

Week: Werkgroep: Onderwerp: Te bespreken op werkgroep: Verplichtte opdracht:
Week 1: Thursday 14/3 Introduction to HDrug. How to use the system. Exercises with types and simple grammars. *Opgaven ##* *Opgaven ##*
Week 2: Thursday 21/3 Write a small grammar for dutch with intrasitive, transitive and ditransitive verbs. *Opgaven ##* *Opgaven ##*
Week 3: Thursday 28/3 Add principles, schemas and macros. Analysis of determiners. *Opgaven ##* *Opgaven ##*
Week 4: Thursday 4/4 The analysis of wh-movement *Opgaven ##* *Opgaven ##*
Week 5: Tuesday 11/4 Add complement clauses and verb clusters *Opgaven ##* *Opgaven ##*
Week 6: Tuesday 18/4 A large coverage Dutch HPSG grammar. Demo by Gosse Bouma. *Opgaven ##* *Opgaven ##*

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Datum 2 Mei
Plaats Trans, 0.17
Tijd 12.00 - 15.00


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

What do I need to know for the exam ???

  • The relevant chapters from Pollard and Sag 1994 to be found by the secretary office CKI;
  • slides (online);
  • articles presented by students (online), in particular:
    • van Noord and Bouma (1994);
    • Monachesi (1998);
    • Rentier (1994);
    • van Noord and Bouma (1997)
  • article related to Gosse's presentation (will be online);
  • grammars developed during the practicum.
If you have questions about the practicum or about the proeftentamen, you can come to the spreekuur, Do 25-4 from 11:00 til 13:00 in my room (Trans 10, 2.18).


70% exam, 30% practicum exercises


De uitslag van het tentamen vind je hier .

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Datum 20 augustus
Plaats KNG 29, zaal 0.22
Tijd 9.00-12.00
De uitslag van het hertentamen vind je hier .

Check het rooster op de CKI web-pagina.