The Slot Grammar Lexical Formalism

The purpose of this report is to describe a formalism, SLF, used for building Slot Grammar (SG) lexicons. SLF provides a rich descriptive language for lexical entries, with a system of defaults that also allows very simple entries in the cases where less detail is called for. Word sense specifications in entries can include any of the following ingredients, where only the first one is obligatory: (a) Part of speech, (b) (complement) slot frame, (c) features (both morphosyntactic and semantic), (d) subject area tests, (e) sense rewards or penalties (feeding into parse scoring), and (f) sense name. Lexical entries can also specify support verb constructions (or analogs for other parts of speech), and can provide idiosyncratic inflectional information. Index words of entries can be single words or multiwords. The slot frames of SLF lexical entries are the most distinctive and most powerful ingredients. Slots have a dual role – indicating logical arguments of word sense predicates, and acting as grammatical relations. A great deal of SG analysis is under the control of lexical slot frames. A slot specification in SLF includes the slot’s name plus optionally a list of options offering a disjunctive choice of ways the slot can be filled. Each slot option specifies tests on the filler, and there is an expressive sublanguage of SLF for describing these tests.

By: Michael C. McCord

Published in: RC23977 in 2006


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