From "hand-written" to computationally implemented HPSG theories

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The process of turning a "hand-written" head-driven phrase structure grammar (HPSG) theory into a working computational grammar requires complex considerations. Two leading platforms are available for implementing HPSG grammars: The LKB and TRALE. These platforms are based on different approaches, distinct in their underlying logics and implementation details. This paper adopts the perspective of a computational linguist whose goal is to implement an HPSG theory. It focuses on ten different dimensions, relevant to HPSG grammar implementation, and examines, compares, and evaluates the different means which the two approaches provide for implementing them. The paper concludes that the approaches occupy opposite positions on two axes: expressiveness and computational accessibility. The choice between them depends largely on the "style" of the "hand-written" grammar and the grammar writer's preferences regarding those properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-236
Number of pages38
JournalResearch on Language and Computation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments I am grateful to Shuly Wintner for his continuous support and constructive comments and to Gerald Penn for his valuable input. Many thanks are also due to four anonymous reviewers, for detailed and insightful comments which helped to improve this article, and to the audiences at the 2nd International Workshop on Constraint-Based Grammar in Bremen, Germany and 12th International Conference on HPSG in Lisbon, Portugal for their thought-provoking discussions. This research was supported by the Israeli Science Foundation (grant no. 136/01) and by The Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Foundation Institute for Interdisciplinary Applications of Computer Science at the University of Haifa.


  • Grammar implementation
  • HPSG
  • LKB


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