Publication details

Saarland University Computer Science

Extensible Dependency Grammar --- A Modular Grammar Formalism Based On Multigraph Description

Ralph Debusmann

PhD Thesis, 2006

This thesis develops Extensible Dependency Grammar (XDG), a new grammar formalism combining dependency grammar, model-theoretic syntax, and Jackendoff's parallel grammar architecture. The design of XDG is strongly geared towards modularity: grammars can be modularly extended by any linguistic aspect such as grammatical functions, word order, predicate-argument structure, scope, information structure and prosody, where each aspect is modeled largely independently on a separate dimension. The intersective demands of the dimensions make many complex linguistic phenomena such as extraction in syntax, scope ambiguities in the semantics, and control and raising in the syntax-semantics interface simply fall out as by-products without further stipulation.
This thesis makes three main contributions:
1. The first formalization of XDG as a multigraph description language in higher order logic, and investigations of its expressivity and computational complexity.
2. The first implementation of XDG, the XDG Development Kit (XDK), an extensive grammar development environment built around a constraint parser for XDG.
3. The first application of XDG to natural language, modularly modeling a fragment of English.

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