Documentation for the Grammar Matrix Customization Other Features Library


This document explains how to fill out the Other Features page and presents background information on the Other Features library of the Grammar Matrix Customization System (Bender et al., 2002; Bender and Flickinger, 2005; Bender et al., 2010). For more information about Other Features page please refer to Section 5.4.2 in Drellishak 2009 and Section 5.4 in Poulson 2011.

General instructions on using the questionnaire can be found here.

Citing the Other Features Library

The standard references for the Other Features library and its implementations are Drellishak 2009 and Poulson 2011. The full references and .bib entries can be found here.


The Other Features page of the Grammar Matrix Customization questionnaire allows you to add the features beyond the ones that you have already defined in the rest of the questionnaire. For every feature you add, you will define a type hierarchy, which consists of a root type (e.g. pernum, gendnum, etc.) and a series of other value types. You can place these features either on syntactic HEAD or on semantic INDEX.

After defining the feature name for the root type, you will be asked to describe this feature in more detail based on the following questions:

After defining whether this feature is syntactic or semantic, as well as whether it applies to nominals, verbs, or both categories, you will be asked to define the values in the feature hierarchy. You can either use an existing value type (previously defined in the questionnaire and available in the drop-down menu) and/or define new value types. If you need to add a new value type that was not previously defined in the questionnaire, you will need to add the name of the value and its supertype. Its supertype can be the root type that you defined above or any other value type that you decide to add.

Some of the examples of features that can be added on this page include merged features, additional syntactic/semantic features, additional tense and aspect features, discussed in more detail in the Motivation section below.


The Other Features page was developed to provide users with enough flexibility to cover the additional grammar phenomena, otherwise not covered in the questionnaire. The examples covered below are just a few examples of why Other Features can be very useful to a linguist user:

These are just a few examples of the additional features that can be added on the Other Features page. The number of the features and their values that you can add to your grammar on Other Features page is unlimited.


Based on the answers you provide on the Other Features customization page page, your starter grammar will either place your new feature(s) under syntactic HEAD or semantic INDEX.

The values you define on this page will determine the values available on the Lexicon and Morphology pages.

The choices you make on the Other Features customization page, will also affect the lexical types (your_language_name.tdl file), lexical rules (lrules.tdl file), and inflectional rules (irules.tdl file).

Upcoming Work

Overall, the main direction of the future work in the Other Features implementation in the Matrix Customization system is to extend the overall coverage across languages, expanding the range of feature paths and allowing the user to define more types of features. For more information on further work in Matrix customization system please refer to section 5.7 in Poulson 2011.


Drellishak, Scott. 2009. Widespread but Not Universal: Improving the Typological Coverage of the Grammar Matrix. PhD thesis, University of Washington.

Kathol, A. (1999). Agreement and the Syntax-morphology Interface in HPSG. In R. Levine and G. Green (Eds.), Readings in HPSG, pages 223–274, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pollard, C., & Sag, I. A. (1994). Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar. Stanford: CSLI.

Poulson, L. (2011). Meta-modeling of Tense and Aspect in a Cross-linguistic Grammar Engineering Platform. UW Working Papers in Linguistics, 28.

MatrixDoc/OtherFeatures (last edited 2013-02-24 05:04:11 by VaryaGracheva)

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