Development of Cross-Linguistic Syntactic and Semantic Parameters for Parsing and Generation

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This document reports on research conducted at the University of Maryland for the Korean/English Machine Translation (MT) project. The translation approach adopted here is interlingual i.e., a single underlying representation called Lexical Conceptual Structure (LCS) is used for both Korean and English. The primary focus of this investigation concerns the notion of `parameterization' i.e., a mechanism that accounts for both syntactic and lexical-semantic distinctions between Korean and English. We present our assumptions about the syntactic structure of Korean-type languages vs. English-type languages and describe our investigation of syntactic parameterization for distinguishing between these two types of languages. We also present the details of the LCS structure and describe how this representation is parameterized so that it accommodates both languages. We address critical issues concerning interlingual machine translation such as locative postpositions and the dividing line between the interlingua and the knowledge representation. Difficulties in translation and transliteration of Korean are discussed and complex morphological properties of Korean are presented. Finally, we describe recent work on lexical acquisition and conclude with a discussion about two hypotheses concerning semantic classification that are currently being tested. (Also cross-referenced as UMIACS-TR-94-26)