LINGUIST List 3.17

Tue 07 Jan 1992

Sum: Macintosh Tree-Drawing Utilities

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  1. Toshiyuki Kumashiro, A Summary of Macintosh Tree-Drawing Utilities

Message 1: A Summary of Macintosh Tree-Drawing Utilities

Date: Mon, 6 Jan 92 16:13:26 PSTA Summary of Macintosh Tree-Drawing Utilities
From: Toshiyuki Kumashiro <kumashibend.UCSD.EDU>
Subject: A Summary of Macintosh Tree-Drawing Utilities

About a month ago, I posted a query on Macintosh utility programs which help
you draw tree diagrams. I thank all those who responded to it and apologize
for being late for posting this summary to the linguist. It looks like there
is no dedicated tree-drawing program, and tree drawing is only a "feautre" of
a more comprehensive package.

1. Expressionist

Expressionist is an equation-writing program, but it also lets you draw trees.
I could only test the very old demo version (1.0), which does not seem to be
capable of drawing nonbranching nodes (e.g., putting the label "NP" above
"dog" is not possible). But the most recent version must be more usable. It
also lets you export formulas in the Word or TeX format.

	Allan Bonadio Associates
	814 Castro Street #60
	San Francisco, CA 94114
	(415) 282-5864
	Price:	Version 2.03 (1988) costs $129.95

2. AV Parser v. 1.3

AV Parser is a parser program based on Macintosh Allegro Common Lisp version
1.3.2. Even though the program runs rather slow, it would be very useful if
you need to put features, not just nodes labels, in the diagram. It comes with
examples for "LEG-Style Grammar" and "Categorical- Style Grammar". An excerpt
from the abstract file follows:

"The AV Parser is a syntactic chart-based parser for attribute-value or 'pure
unification' grammars of the kind described in Stuart Shieber's An
Introduction to Unification-based Approaches to Grammar and Gazdar and
MellishUs Natural Language Processing books. It is written in Apple's
Macintosh CommonLisp 1.3.2, and while the parser engine will run in any
CommonLisp, the graphics use the Mac interface. The complete application will
run on any Mac Plus with a hard disk and system 6.0.4 or better, but a MacJII
with a large screen and at least 2Mb is recommended. It is intended primarily
for teaching and research purposes, and comes with several sample grammars
that demonstrate some of the variety of syntactic approaches that can be
formalized and implemented in an attribute-value framework. The parser has
tree and matrix drawing capabilities, and the graphics can be copied into
other MacIntosh applications in the usual manner. The tree-drawing
capabilities and the LALR(1) parser-generator (which allows customization of
the grammar format) in this program are also useful own their own. The source
code is available via anonymous ftp from, and a stand-
alone application with source code is available from the author (800k diskette
and return SASE requested)."

The source code, which requires MACL to run, is available by anonymous FTP (/pub/MACL/CONTRIB/av-parser.hqx)

The stand-alone version is available directly from the author (send him a
blank 800k disk and SASE):

	Mark Johnson
	Cognitive Sciences, Box 1978
	Brown University
	Providence, RI 02912
	(401) 863-1670
	Fax (401) 863-2255

3. Syntax WorkBench

This is a tool for teaching transformational grammar developed by Peter Sells
and others at Stanford Currently only the demo version is available, but the
commercial version will be available through CSLI. One nice feature of this
program is its ability to let you change the vertical and horizontal spacing
between nodes. I wish the program let you also specify the font used in the
tree (currently the Geneva font is used and if you want to use a different
font, you have to first export files to a drawing program).
To request a demo copy send e-mail to:

4. An LPA Prolog Program

Steve Harlow developed an LPA Prolog program which "will take a bracketed
string (represented as a Prolog list) and will draw a nicely proportioned tree
which can be exported via the clipboard to other applications." In order to
run the program, however, you need a copy of LPA Prolog, which costs you about
100 pounds in Great Britain (the program is also available from an American
company, but I have no information on pricing).

Steve can send you a binhexed and stuffit file via e-mail:

5. Others

Bob binnick is in the process of developing a package of syntactic tools with
the tree-drawing capability which help students learn syntax. If you want to
be added to his mailing list, send e-mail to

Michel Eytan mentioned two programs which are rather old, but still
functional: "Hands on" by John Glenn, Dartmouth (Aug. 84) and "Think'n Time"
from Mainstay (87). For further information send email to mesuzuka.u-
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