Yannick Parmentier

Date: Wednesday, 6th December 2017 at 2pm
Place: LORIA, room A008
Speaker: Yannick Parmentier, (LORIA, Synalp team)

Title: From Description Languages to the Description of Description Languages


Having a fine-grained description of natural language is a prerequisite for many NLP applications such as dialogue systems or machine translation. Such descriptions were originally hand-crafted, and thus costly to build and extend. In the late 90ies, some attempts were made to semi-automatically generate these linguistic descriptions. Among these attempts, one may cite the metagrammar approach which consists in describing a linguistic description using a formal language. The XMG language and related compiler were designed in this context. XMG offers means to abstract over redundant lexicalised linguistic descriptions. While limited to tree-based linguistic description, it opened up new perspectives in linguistic resource engineering.
In this talk, we introduce XMG2, a modular and extensible tool for various linguistic description tasks. Based on the notion of meta-compilation (that is, compilation of compilers), XMG2 reuses the main concepts underlying XMG, namely logic programming and constraint satisfaction, to generate on-demand XMG-like compilers by assembling elementary units called language bricks. This brick-based definition of compilers permits users to design description languages in a highly flexible way. In particular, it makes it possible to support several levels of linguistic description (e.g. syntax, morphology) within a single description language.