[developers] Fwd: HPSG implementations

Stefan Müller Stefan.Mueller at fu-berlin.de
Mon Feb 8 12:05:49 CET 2010

Hi Emily (and DELPH-IN developers by cc),

Thanks for all the pointers! I am really impressed how much is done in
HPSG in terms of implementations.

The point that I am trying to make in the book is that 50 years of
Chomskian linguistics (in the narrow sense) did not result in a single
implementation that reflect the ideas one by one. If you know of such a
thing I would be happy to learn more about it. Currently I mention the
following GB-inspired systems:

author = {Steven Abney and Jennifer Cole},
title  = {A Government-Binding Parser},
booktitle = {Proceedings of North Eastern Linguistic Society 16. GLSA},
address = {University of Massachusetts, Amherst},
pages = {1--17},
year = 1986,

  author      =	{Mitchell P. Marcus},
  title	      =	{A Theory of Syntactic Recognition for Natural Language},
  address     =	{London, England -- Cambridge, Massachusetts},
  publisher   =	{The MIT Press},
  year	      =	1980

  author      =	{Sandiway Fong},
  title	      =	{Computational Properties of Principle-Based Grammatical
  school      =	{MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab},
  url = {http://www.neci.nec.com/homepages/sandiway/pappi/index.html},
url_checked =	{\urlchecked{10}{10}{2002}},
  year	      =	1991

crossref = {acl87},
author = {Nelson Correa},
title = {An Attribute-Grammar Implementation of {Government-Binding
url = {http://acl.ldc.upenn.edu/P/P87/P87-1007.pdf},
url_checked = {31.03.2008},
pages = {45--51},

author = {Torbj{\o}rn Nordg\r{a}rd},
title  = {{E-parser}: An Implementation of a Deterministic {GB}-Related
Parsing System},
journal = {Computers and the Humanities},
volume  = 28,
Number = {4--5},
pages = {259--272},
year = 1994

However, these systems are only loosely based on Chomsky's ideas. That
is, they do not use transformations.

My point is that Chomsky explicitly refused further formalization of
linguistic theory in publications like this:

  Author         = {Chomsky, Noam},
  Title          = {On formalization and formal linguistics},
  Journal        = {Natural Language and Linguistic Theory},
  Volume         = {8},
  Pages          = {143--147},
  year           = 1990

I think that this is one reason for the lack of implementations in this
area of linguistics.

So what I am looking for are examples that show that there is a fruitful
interaction between theory building and theory verification by
implementation (for whatever purposes the implementation was done,
sometimes the implementation may be even useful in practical systems =;-).

Since the whole thing may cause some discussion, it is important to
point to fragments of a relevant size and to fragments that are
well-documented. The best thing is of course journal papers or high
profile conference papers.

In the discussion in the book, I mention the Matrix, but this was not
posted to the HPSG-L since the question was about individual languages.

You will find the updated list here at the first page of Chapter 8:


If you read German and happen to have time, I would be happy to get
general comments.

I am still working on it, especially the Nativism, Language Acquisition
and Psycholinguistics stuff takes a lot of time ...

I hope to finish everything in March.

Thanks again and best wishes


Stefan Müller       Tel: (+49) (+30) 838 52973
                    Fax: (+49) (030) 838 4 52973
Institut für Deutsche und Niederländische Philologie
Deutsche Grammatik
Habelschwerdter Allee 45
14 195 Berlin



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