LINGUIST List 6.1426

Sun Oct 15 1995

FYI: New List, New Web Page, Link Grammar

Editor for this issue: T. Daniel Seely <>


  2. Ari Solovyova, New WWW Page for Linguists and Others!
  3. , Link Grammar, version 2


From: Chris Brockett <>



WSJLCG Committee Chair: Leslie Birkland
Project Coordinator: Mari Maruyama
List Moderator: Chris Brockett

An e-mail discussion list has been set up to allow teachers to exchange
information and ideas about the document /A Communicative Framework for
Introductory Japanese Language Curricula in Washington State High Schools/,
and a series of study guides, recently written by high school teachers, to
accompany this document.

To keep discussion focused, the mailing list will be moderated. Appropriate
items for submission include questions and discussion about the curricular
instructional implications of the Washington Framework, queries about and
responses to the questions raised in the study guides, and other curricular
issues of concern to high school teachers of Japanese.

To subscribe to the discussion list, send an e-mail message to:

Leave the subject line blank, and insert the following one-line text
message in the body.

 SUBSCRIBE wafrmwrk

Majordomo will handle the rest. You should receive a response back
indicating that you have been added to the list. After that, you can
submit items to the list by simply e-mailing a message to:

A website has been set up to provide online access to the study guides and
to other materials as they are developed. Distributions on the mailing
list will be archived at this site. The URL is:

This project is sponsored by the Japan-America Society of Washington State.
It is funded by the United States-Japan Foundation and the Washington State
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (Chapter 2 Grants for
Innovative Projects of Statewide Significance).
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Message 2: New WWW Page for Linguists and Others!

Date: Sat, 14 Oct 1995 14:27:49 New WWW Page for Linguists and Others!
From: Ari Solovyova <>
Subject: New WWW Page for Linguists and Others!

Check out the Indiana University Library Electronic Text Resource
Service Home Page for links to language and linguistics
materials, free software and electronic texts:

LETRS Home Page

LETRS offers the researcher electronic texts in many languages
and genres -- and search programs to work with them. Here scholars can
identify a quotation from Balzac or Goethe, trace references to people or
events in historical and political documents, explore the Hebrew Bible or
a Spanish manuscript, analyze protocols from psychological experiments or
courtroom transcripts. Some of our CD-ROMs include digitized art
collections as well.
Trained consultants help people find the texts they need in LETRS
databases or on the Internet. They can also use the LETRS scanner to
digitize their texts.

See for more information!

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Message 3: Link Grammar, version 2

Date: Sat, 14 Oct 1995 17:59:23 Link Grammar, version 2
From: <sleatorBOBO.LINK.CS.CMU.EDU>
Subject: Link Grammar, version 2

In Spring 1992, we released version 1 of our "link grammar parser". This
is a syntactic parser for English, based on an original theory of syntax
related to dependency grammar. Several hundred people took copies of
the parser, and a number of people reported that they were using it or
were planning to use it for various projects. However, the parser had a
number of weaknesses, and its coverage was not sufficient for it to be
of much use to people.

With the help of Dennis Grinberg and John Lafferty, we have now released
version 2, which is significantly better than version 1. Some of the
advantages are described below. We have also created a web site about
the system:

This site contains a lot of information about the parser, and allows you
to experiment with it. The parser and its documentation are available
via anonymous ftp:

 /afs/cs/user/sleator/public/link-grammar on host

We think the parser could now be useful for a variety of applications
that involve recovering the syntactic structure of text. These might
include speech recognition, speech generation, grammar checking, machine
translation, and language understanding systems.

P.S. This message was sent to a mailing list consisting of 1230 people
who (1) have expressed interest in our work (as determined by a crude
analysis of our email, and other correspondence), or (2) are on mailing
lists whose subjects would indicate interest in this work. We have
attempted to eliminate all duplicates form the list. We apologize if
you receive this message twice, or if this information is of not of
interest to you.

 Davy Temperley Daniel Sleator


 Daniel Sleator Office: 412-268-7563
 Professor of Computer Science Fax: 412-268-5576
 Carnegie Mellon University Home: 412-362-8675
 Pittsburgh, PA 15213


1. The new version is "robust". The old version could not assign any
 syntactic structure to a sentence unless it could completely
 interpret the sentence. The new version is able to skip over portions
 of the sentence that it cannot understand, and assign some structure
 to the rest of the sentence.

2. Quite apart from the "robustness" feature, the parser's coverage is
 vastly improved. The old system could only fully parse about 30% of
 sentences in a typical Wall Street Journal article. The new version
 can find complete parses for 70-75% of such sentences.

3. The new version has a much larger dictionary. The old version had
 about 25000 words; the new version has about 59000. (Here we count
 individual forms of verbs and nouns: e.g., "chase", "chases",
 "chased", and "chasing" are counted as separate words. The number of
 "stem" words is probably about 30000.)

4. The new version has an "unknown word" feature. It has a general
 syntactic category which it assigns to any word which it does not
 recognize. (In the process, it labels the unknown word as a noun,
 verb, adjective, or adverb.)

5. The parser has a "two-stage" system. At the first stage, it considers
 common syntactic constructions; the "stage one" coverage is roughly
 comparable to the coverage of the earlier version. In the second
 stage, it considers many less common constructions. Here are a few
 examples of "stage-two" constructions:

 Plural nouns acting as noun modifiers ("He was booked on a weapons
 violations charge")

 Adjectival nouns preceding adjectives ("City clerical workers went on
 strike today")

 Prepositional phrases modifying verbs, but preceding the direct object
 ("She sold for five dollars the ring her mother gave her").

 Manner adverbs modifying adjectives ("The delicately quiet tone of the
 cello blended well with the fiercely percussive piano chords")

 Unusual cases of subject-verb inversion ("Also invited to the meeting
 were several prominent scientists")

 Auxiliaries without main verbs ("If you don't want to do it, you
 should find someone who will")

 Unusual uses of gerunds ("We have to talk about this sleeping in class
 and girl chasing")

 Noun-phrases introducing proper names ("The actress Whoopi Goldberg
 and the singer Michael Jackson attended the ceremony")

 Hyphenated expressions as noun-phrases ("The buy-out caused a
 free-for-all in the mid-afternoon")

6. The post-processing system released with the earlier version has been
 improved. There is now a "wild-card" character for post-processing,
 allowing rules to be expressed much more parsimoniously.

7. The new version has greatly improved documentation. We have compiled
 a "guide-to-links", describing every connector type and every
 syntactic construction covered by the parser. The guide also contains
 a complete description of post-processing. We also provide a general
 introduction (in a file called "manual") to the system, describing
 the general logic of link grammars and the post-processing system and
 the notational system we use for expressing them, as well as a number
 of special features of the parser. We hope this will allow people
 to modify the system substantially if they wish or design their own
 versions (e.g. dictionaries for other languages).

8. The dictionary is using a different (and much more logical) link
 naming scheme.
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