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SFB 340 - project B12
"Methods for extending, maintaining and optimizing a large grammar of German"


The two main focuses of this project are

  • the development and extension of a broad-coverage LFG grammar of German, and
  • methodological issues of grammar development.

The project cooperates closely with the Pargram project, also using the Xerox Linguistic Environment as its development platform.

In the past, pressure of time has often kept projects of broad-coverage grammar development from going into the assessment of different alternatives of analyzing a particular phenomenon, or the refinement and publication of methods for extending, maintaining, testing and optimizing grammar code.

The B12 project addresses these issues explicitly. For selected phenomena, the effect of adapting different analyses is investigated: which linguistic generalizations are captured, how maintenance is affected, what interactions occur, etc.

Closely related to such experiments is the work on providing tools and procedures to technically ensure controlled comparisons, and for evaluating the results. This includes among other things

  • a specialized scheme of revision control, taking care of modules of grammar code, morphological analyzers, or reference corpora etc.,
  • testsuite organization in a database scheme (cf. work in the TSNLP project),
  • lexicon organization and issues of lexicon aquisition,
  • annotation of test data with target expressions for regression testing,
  • diagnostics for quantitative evaluation of interaction effects (i.e., well-directed comparison of parsing times for particular phenomena).


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