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Typed Feature Formalisms as a Common Basis for Linguistic Specification

Hans-Ulrich Krieger
In: Petra Steffens (Hrsg.). Proceedings of the 3rd International EAMT Workshop, April 26-28. Annual Conference of the European Association for Machine Translation (EAMT), Heidelberg, Germany, Pages 101-119, Machine Translation and the Lexicon, Springer Verlag, 1995.


Typed feature formalisms (TFF) play an increasingly important role in CL and NLP. Many of these systems are inspired by Pollard and Sag's work on Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG), which has shown that a great deal of syntax and semantics can be neatly encoded within TFF. However, syntax and semantics are not the only areas in which TFF can be beneficially employed. In this paper, I will show that TFF can also be used as a means to model finite automata (FA) and to perform certain types of logical inferencing. In particular, I will (i) describe how FA can be defined and processed within TFF and (ii) propose a conservative extension to HPSG, which allows for a restricted form of semantic processing within TFF, so that the construction of syntax and semantics can be intertwined with the simplification of the logical form of an utterance. The approach which I propose provides a uniform, HPSG-oriented framework for different levels of linguistic processing, including allomorphy and morphotactics, syntax, semantics, and logical form simplification.

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