Information and discussion about the "slavic.tdl" project.
PaGES: parallel grammar engineering for Slavic languages in DELPH-IN
Our long-term goal is to build grammatical resources for Slavic languages and to make them freely available for the purposes of research, teaching and natural language applications. A major objective in this direction is to develop and implement a core Slavic grammar whose components can be commonly shared among the members of the Slavic language family and thus facilitate the creation of new linguistically motivated computational grammars. Our grammar engineering activities contribute to the on-going international collaborative effort in deep linguistic processing with Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar (DELPH-IN, http://www.delph-in.net), and thus have strong affinity to the Grammar Matrix project initiated by the Linguistic Grammars Online (LinGO) Lab at Stanford University and continued by the Computational Linguistics Group at University of Washington. Yet, our approach is innovative in that we focus on a *closed set* of related but extremely diverse languages about which Corbett (1998) has legitimately observed: "Slavic languages are sufficiently similar and sufficiently different to provide an attractive research laboratory."
A decision on the proper set-up along with a commitment to a reliable infrastructure right from the beginning are essential for such an endeavor because the implementation of linguistically precise grammars for natural languages draws on a combination of engineering skills, sound grammatical theory, and software development tools. From grammar engineering viewpoint, all Slavic grammatical resources we develop are based on a starter-kit for rapid prototyping of precision grammars and extensively utilize the DELPH-IN software, in particular, the Linguistic Knowledge Builder (LKB) with the evaluation and benchmarking tools [incr tsdb()] as a grammar development platform.
We based our Slavic grammar development on the recent LOGON release, as most of the Cyrillic supports are already there. We use UTF-8 as encoding for the Russian Grammar. The visualization tools occasionally have problems on some installations but can usually be fixed rather quickly. In principle, we would recommend to use the LOGON environment for the Bulgarian grammar too, and in particular the setup at coli (Computational Linguistics Department, Saarland University). Also, the coli system can be used as shared repository for all grammars (including, at the initial sage of the project, both the Russian and the Bulgarian resources) so that we can follow each other's progress easily. Local accounts have to be set up for external partners to use the centralized installations at coli. These accounts will be included in the special user group working with DELPH-IN tools at Saarland University.
The Russian Resource Grammar (RRG) is being developed under the following major design features: (i) precision: it delivers accurate, linguistically grounded information on natural language sentences; (ii) deep processing: besides information on the major syntactic dimensions of grammatical constituency and dependency, the grammar delivers (and generates from) fully-fledged logical representation of the meaning of natural language sentences; (iii) large-scale: it is planned not to leave out any sort of regular grammatical construction or phenomena; (iv) multipurpose: it is intended to make available as much linguistic information as can be made explicit by automatic means, given the current state of the art in language technology, with the goal of offering itself to support the largest possible range of language technology applications. The grammar can be obtained from http://www.coli.uni-saarland.de/~tania/rrg/.