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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Can anyone overtake Syntax in the Subfield Challenge ?

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FYI: Grammar Software,Syntax Student's Companion

Author: Ann Copestake

FYI Body: The LKB system, a development environment for constraint-based grammar
frameworks, is now available for free download from
http://www-csli.stanford.edu/~aac/lkb.html The LinGO project's
computational grammar for English, which uses the HPSG framework, is
available from the same site. The LinGO grammar can be used for
parsing and generation with the LKB system. Other smaller grammars,
primarily intended for teaching purposes, are also downloadable. The
LKB system is distributed as Common Lisp source code and as a
standalone executable for Linux and Solaris. Detailed documentation
for the LKB system, including an introduction to typed feature
structure formalisms, is also available online, a
http://www-csli.stanford.edu/~aac/doc5-2.pdf Please see the
documentation and the LKB Website for further details.

Ann Copestake

Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI)
Stanford University

Not to long ago there was a posting announcing a freeware Java program
called the Syntax Student's Companion.

I'm sure that more than one person was put off by having to link this
program to a Java virtual machine (I certainly was--I know nothing
about Java or programming).

Anyway, installing the program is not really that difficult. Here are
some pointers:

(1) Get the following file:


It can be found at:


Then, unzip the file in (e.g.) c:

(2) Get the latest Java Developer's Kit (JDK 1.2.2) and install i
on your machine. The file name is:


and can be downloaded from various sites:


It's a big file (approx. 20 Mb), so it might be wise to run
an FTP search for a reasonably close site. (BTW, don't use
JDK 1.2.1--I did and got pretty poor results.)

(3) With Notepad, make a file called (e.g.) SYNTAX.BAT and inser
the following commands:

REM This file is SYNTAX.BAT
path C:\jdk1.2.2\bin;%path%
java -classpath %CLASSPATH%;SSC.jar SSCFrame

Make sure to place this file in the same directory as the
Student's Syntax Companion program. You can make a shortcu
from SYNTAX.BAT if need be.

(4) Click on SYNTAX.BAT to use the program.

Hope this helps. If anyone knows of a better way to do it, please
let me know. Like I said, I know nothing about Java, so please
(pretty please) don't hold me responsible if I've said something

Joe Hilferty
Home page: http://lingua.fil.ub.es/~hilferty/homepage.html

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