Joint Grammar Development by Linguists and Computer Scientists

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2008

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Maxwell, Michael, and Anne David. 2008. Joint Grammar Development by Linguists and Computer Scientists. Workshop on NLP for Less Privileged Languages, Third International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing, Hyderabad, India.

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Abstract

For languages with inflectional morphology, development of a morphological parser is often a bottleneck for further development of computational linguistic capabilities. We focus on two difficulties: first, finding people with expertise in both computer programming and the linguistics of a particular language, and second, the short lifetime of software such as parsers. We then describe a methodology we have developed to split the task of building a parser for a language into two tasks, descriptive grammar development and formal grammar development. The two grammars are combined into a single document using Literate Programming. The formal grammar is designed not to be dependent on a particular parsing engine’s programming language, so that it can be readily ported to a new parsing engine, thus helping solve the software lifetime problem.

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