[developers] ICONS in DMRS and EDS

Michael Wayne Goodman goodmami at uw.edu
Thu Jul 26 07:34:55 CEST 2018

Hello again, developers,

With the upcoming ERG release including ICONS, I'd like to make sure
PyDelphin is ready to accommodate. Internally, PyDelphin has no trouble
storing ICONS for MRS and DMRS (I believe they are discarded in the
conversion to EDS, though), but I am only able to serialize them for MRS
representations (SimpleMRS, MRX, Prolog, and MRS-JSON).

The last I heard, Ann had settled on a way of representing ICONS in DMRS as
just a special kind of link, but I have not seen much as far as concrete
proposals;. Does anybody have a link (the URL kind, e.g., to a wiki or
presentation slides) that illustrates this method? The only thing I see is
a proposal by Stephan on this list in 2016:

If there is nothing "official" yet, can I just propose an adaptation of
Stephan's "variant (b)" that changes dmrs.dtd like this (following existing

    <!ELEMENT link (rargname, post, icons?)>
    <!ELEMENT icons (#PCDATA)>

This allows 'ICONS: < e2 topic x4 >' (in SimpleMRS) to be expressed as,

    <link from="10000" to="10001"><rargname /><post

Note: this allows icons to overlap with existing links; if there's no
existing link, <rargname> and <post> are empty, as above (or we could make
them optional on links).

In the "slashed" representation, we could add another slash only if ICONS
are present:

* regular link: 10001:ARG1/NEQ 10002
* overlapping link: 10001:ARG1/NEQ/topic 10002
* ICONS-only link: 10001://topic 10002

Also note: in the above, I'm making the assumption that there's only one or
zero ICONS between any two individuals. It would be trivial to allow
multiple <icons> elements in a <link> in the XML, but it's less clear how
to do that in the slashed representation (maybe just a second, ICONS-only
link). I also assume that the two ends of an ICONS are individuals that are
the ARG0s of some EPs (i.e., not dropped arguments using "i" variables).

Lastly, is ICONS something that EDS should care about? EDS ignores scope
(except during conversion), so maybe it doesn't worry about information
structure (or other uses of ICONS) either? But if it does, how might it be

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