LINGUIST List 4.1062

Thu 16 Dec 1993

FYI: Unification Software available

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Carlos Ruiz Anton, Unification Software available

Message 1: Unification Software available

Date: Fri, 10 Dec 93 15:52:54 MEUnification Software available
From: Carlos Ruiz Anton <>
Subject: Unification Software available

 Experimental Package for Unification-based grammars

I would like to announce the existence of a PC-based environment for
writing and testing Unification-based grammars (for any kind of natural
language, in principle). It is available by anonymous ftp from

 Site name:
 Sub directory: /linguistics

The package ( includes a stand-alone executable, two
documentation files and a demonstration grammar of Yaqui (a uto-aztecan
language spoken in Arizona and Mexico). The file README should be read

 Features of the System

The system -called GFU-LAB- is reminiscent of Lexical-Functional Grammar
(LFG), but including some other facilities from other unification formalisms:
templates (from PATR), hierarchical inheritance lexica and default rules
for phrases.

The description of a language in GFU-LAB is made by writing a grammar and a
lexicon (in different files). The grammar should include a set of Phrase-
Structure Rules, annotated with feature constraints. For instance, the
following rule should be fine for Spanish:

 S --> &NP : U/(subj|obj) = D

(U and D stand for the 'mother' and 'self' metavariables in LFG,
respectively. So, the rules reads as: 'A sentence is made of an
optional (&) Noun Phrase and a Verb Phrase. The NP can be the subject of
the object of S; The VP should unify with S).

The lexicon (which is partially organized on a class hierarchy) contains all
relevant wordforms, with no morphological component (for the time being).
A typical lexical entry looks as:

 eats = V : U/head=eat
 U/subcat=<subj &obj>

Co-description of syntax and semantics can be made, in a way similar to
Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar.


Please send your comments and suggestions to
Thanks in advance.

J. Carlos Ruiz

Department of Languages and Literature
Section of General Linguistics
Universitat Jaume I |
Castello' (SPAIN)
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