LRNLP 01: Towards Predicate Driven Grammar

Artikel-Nr.: ISBN 9783895865671
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Towards Predicate Driven Grammar

Jörg Schuster
Centrum für Informations- und Sprachverarbeitung
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

This book is about "Predicate Driven Grammar" (PDG), a new type of linguistic grammar. PDG is strongly influenced by the Sense-Text-Model and by the writings of Zellig Harris and Maurice Gross. Unlike most other grammars, PDG presupposes a language to be a relation over the Cartesian product of a set of texts and a set of meanings. A PDG assigns to each text the set of its meanings and to each meaning the set of its texts and, therefore, relates each two texts that are paraphrases, no matter if they are texts of the same or of different languages. In other words, a PDG is a theory of intralingal and interlingual paraphrasing (also known as translating).

A PDG is supposed to achieve this by respecting certain fundamental properties of language: ambiguity (the property of texts to have several meanings), polymorphism (the property of meanings to have several texts), predicate-basedness and non-modularity. The term "predicate-basedness" is supposed to refer to that fact that each predicate of a natural language comes with its very own set of syntax rules. The term "non-modularity" is supposed to refer to the fact that each syntax rule of a natural-language predicate comes with its very own semantics.

ISBN 9783895865671. Linguistic Resources for Natural Language Processing 01. 240pp. 2009.


Applications of natural language processing in a growing variety of technical, industrial and ecommerce domains have become common place. Yet there is still little agreement among theoretically and practically minded computational linguists about the basic assumptions and working principles. The monographs in this series address the role and the form of linguistic resources in all areas and applications for natural language processing. Even though it is widely admitted that such resources are an important prerequisite for serious progress in the construction, there has been little consensus about the details of these resources. There have also been very few systematic attempts to outline and to pursue large-scale programs in this field. In addition to the enumeration of all the morphological forms of a language, the central resources are still outstanding, in particular the widely underestimated greater need for very large dictionaries of "complex forms". These range from dictionaries of nominal compounds to dictionaries of predicate-argument schemas as expressed by verbs, predicative nouns and adjectives for instance. And in particular , specific attention needs to be directed towards the construction of exhaustive dictionaries of "frozen predicates" which in fact outnumber the other types. On the basis of such dictionaries even more adequate representative structures in the form of local grammars and transducers that can deal with the ubiquitous variations of these predicate-argument structure schemas can be envisaged. Once such extensive linguistic databases are available, we will be able to benefit from the insight that the central goal of linguistic analysis is to identify linguistic units of different degrees of complexity on the basis of pre-exisiting lexico-grammatical structures. Only then will we be able to tackle the challenging tasks concerning language learning by humans and machines in an adequate way.

Franz Guenthner
CIS, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität

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