LINGUIST List 4.77

Sun 07 Feb 1993

FYI: Chinese Linguistics; Dissertations; Alvey NL Tools

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. , Intl Assn of Chinese Linguistics
  2. John Goldsmith, Chicago Dissertations
  3. , Announcement - Alvey NL Tools Release 4

Message 1: Intl Assn of Chinese Linguistics

Date: Wed, 3 Feb 93 14:43:57 PSIntl Assn of Chinese Linguistics
From: <>
Subject: Intl Assn of Chinese Linguistics

 The world's first International Association of Chinese
Linguistics (IACL) was created in June 1992 in Singapore. The
Association sponsors an annual International Conference on Chinese
Linguistics (ICCL), publishes occasional newsletters, and provides
other services to its members. ICCL-1 was held in Singapore.
ICCL-2 will be held on June 23-25, 1993, in Paris, France under the
auspices of the Centre de Recherches Linguistiques Orientale of the
C.N.R.S. and University of Paris VII. ICCL-3 will be held in Hong
Kong in 1994. Newsletter #1 has been published and sent to all
IACL members. The IACL is headquartered at the Department of
Linguistics, University of California, Irvine. If you are
interested in becoming an IACL member or in obtaining a
complimentary copy of IACL newsletter #1, please send your request
to All other inquiries should be directed to:

 IACL Secretariat
 Department of Linguistics
 University of California, Irvine
 Irvine, CA 92717
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Message 2: Chicago Dissertations

Date: Thu, 4 Feb 93 13:48:41 GMTChicago Dissertations
From: John Goldsmith <>
Subject: Chicago Dissertations

The Department of Lingustics at the University of Chicago has
initiated distribution of a number of recent dissertations.

Two recent dissertations have just become available:

Dynamic Computational Networks and the Representation of Phonological
Information, by Gary N. Larson (November 1993)
Phonotactics at the Level of the Phonological Word by Anna Bosch
(August 1990)

Also available are:
Syllabification and Rule Application in Harmonic Phonology, by
Caroline Wiltshire (Augsut 1992)
Theoretical Foundations of American Sign Language Phonology, by Diane
Brentari (August 1990)

These can be obtained for $10, to cover production and mailing costs,

Occasional Papers, Department of Linguistics, 1010 East 59th Street,
Chicago IL 60637
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Message 3: Announcement - Alvey NL Tools Release 4

Date: Fri, 5 Feb 93 10:56:33 GMTAnnouncement - Alvey NL Tools Release 4
From: <>
Subject: Announcement - Alvey NL Tools Release 4


A fourth (and final) release of the Alvey Natural Language Tools
(ANLT) is now available. The UK Alvey Programme originally funded
three projects at the Universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh and
Lancaster to provide tools for use in natural language processing
research. The DTI and SERC has funded their continued support and
enhancement. The tools, a MORPHOLOGICAL ANALYSER, PARSERS and a
GRAMMAR and LEXICON, are usable individually as well as together
(integrated by a GRAMMAR DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENT) forming a complete
system for the morphological, syntactic and semantic analysis of a
considerable subset of English.


The ANLT system is available by anonymous FTP from Cambridge
University, Computer Laboratory. The files containing grammars,
lexicons and source code are encrypted, however, reports describing
the system, specimen licence agreement and other information is not.
If after examining the documentation, you wish to purchase a licence
for use of the system for research purposes, you should complete and
sign the specimen agreement and return it together with a cheque for
the amount specified in the agreement (currently 500 ECU -- 100 ECU
upgrade -- or local currency equivalent) to:

Lynxvale WCIU Programs
20 Trumpington St.
Cambridge, CB2 1QA, UK
Fax: +223 332797

On receipt Lynxvale will send you (by letter) the key which can be
used in conjunction with the software provided to decrypt the
remaining files. If you do not have access to anonymous FTP, you can
write to Lynxvale for further details and obtain the system on
magnetic tape or cartridge. We are currently negotiating with Longman
Group UK Ltd, who have an interest in the large lexicon, to provide a
commercial licence for use of the ANLT system. A specimen commercial
licence agreement will be deposited in the files shortly.


The MORPHOLOGICAL ANALYSER provides a set of mechanisms for the
analysis of complex word forms. The analyser requires data files
specifying a lexicon of base morphemes, rules governing spelling
changes when concatenating morphemes, and rules describing valid
combinations of morphemes in complex words. The tools include a
description of English morphology in this form. The analyser should be
capable, though, when provided with the necessary linguistic analyses,
of being used for most European languages and many others. The
morphological analyser is now available independently of the rest of
the tools package by anonymous FTP from
[]:/pub/phonology/tools/MAP/MAP3.1.tar.Z Further
enquiries may be sent to Alan W Black (

There are two alternative PARSERS. The main one is an optimized chart
parser, incorporating a 'packing' mechanism (making it much more
efficient when parsing sentences containing multiple local
ambiguities). The other parser is a non-deterministic LALR(1) parser
which seems, in most cases, to be even more efficient than the chart

The GRAMMAR is a wide-coverage syntactic and semantic grammar of
English, written in a metagrammatical formalism derived from
Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar. The grammar pairs one or more
formulas of the lambda calculus with each syntactic rule and these
produce unscoped (mostly) first-order `event-based' compositional
semantic representations. Full coverage is provided of the following
constructions and their combinations:

 - all sentence types: declaratives, imperatives and questions (yes/no,
 tag and wh questions),
 - all unbounded dependency types: topicalisation, relativisation, wh
 - a relatively exhaustive treatment of verb and adjective complement
 - phrasal and prepositional verbs of many complement types,
 - passivisation, verb phrase extraposition,
 - sentence and verb phrase modification,
 - noun phrase complements,
 - noun phrase pre- and post-modification,
 - partitives,
 - coordination of all major category types,
 - nominal and adjectival comparatives.

The LEXICON contains 40,000 homonyms (63,000 entries in total) in the
form required by the morphological analyser.

The GRAMMAR DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENT gives access to all of the other
components of the tools, allowing grammars to be input, edited, and
browsed; it also compiles them into the base grammatical formalism
used by the parsers, and provides extensive grammar debugging
facilities. A simple quantifier scoping and post-processing module is
supplied as an example of how the result of parsing a sentence can be
converted into a representation suitable for further semantic and
pragmatic processing. In addition, an illustrative database management
application with a small database of wine merchants' stock is

All of the software components are written in Common Lisp and have
been tested in several implementations on a wide range of machines.

We have created a BULLETIN BOARD which we hope can be used to inform
existing users about developments, to provide some informal support,
and as a forum for discussion between people doing research with the
ANLT system. Submissions should be sent to
and requests to be added to or deleted from the distribution list
should be sent to If you are an
existing user and this message has come to you direct, your email
address has been added to the list already; unfortunately though, we
do not have up-to-date email addresses for all known users, so please
email alveynltools-request otherwise.

Two published REFERENCES to these projects are:

Briscoe, E., C. Grover, B. Boguraev & J. Carroll, 'A Formalism and
Environment for the Development of a Large Grammar of English',
Proceedings of 10th International Joint Conference on Artificial
Intelligence, Milan, 1987, pp. 703-708.

Ritchie, G., G. Russell, A. Black & S. Pulman, 'Computational
Morphology: Practical Mechanisms for the English Lexicon', MIT Press,

Technical reports describing the system in detail are available via
FTP as detailed in the file `instruct'. These contain many further
references to papers describing aspects of the ANLT system.


ANLT distribution arrangements and instructions, and a machine-readable
specimen licence agreement are available in files on the FTP server (

To fetch this information use anonymous FTP (login with user name
anonymous, and password your e-mail address), go to the directory
`nltools', and fetch the files

licence a machine-readable specimen licence agreement
instruct instructions on how to FTP technical reports and the ANLT itself

The following example shows how to fetch these files:

$ ftp
Connected to
220- FTP server (Version 5.60+UA) ready.
Name ( anonymous
Password ( <type your e-mail address here>
ftp> cd nltools
250 CWD command successful.
ftp> get licence
ftp> get instruct
ftp> quit
221 Goodbye.

(The $ is the Unix shell command prompt). If the FTP command does not
know about the address, try giving the command the
internet number ( instead.
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