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(update part 2)
(Tag Order)
Line 51: Line 51:
det: _.<def>.number;
det: _.<def>.number;
At present, chunk tags must also be listed in the rules like so:
NP.number -> n adj {2 _1 1};
But this redundancy will hopefully be removed soon.
=== Patterns ===
=== Patterns ===

Revision as of 20:53, 13 June 2019

A proposal for a recursive transfer rule formalism.


Basic Rule Syntax

Rules consist of a node type, an optional weight, a pattern, and an output.

NP -> 2.7: det adj.m n.*.sg {3 _2 2 _1 1} ;
VP -> 1.0: NP vblex {2 _1 1} |
      NP vblex adv {2 _2 3 _1 1} ;

The arrow can be written as either -> or .

The first rule matches lexical units or chunks with the sets of tags beginning with <det>, <adj><m>, and <n><*><sg>, respectively. It will then produce a chunk with the part-of-speech tag <NP> which contains those three nodes and the blanks between them in reverse order (n, adj, det).

The second and third rules both produce <VP> chunks, so that output is written only once and the other components are separated by a pipe character.

Patterns are matched LRLM in stages. This is equivalent to applying all rules which can be applied before any rules can be applied to the outputs (see User:Popcorndude/Recursive_Transfer/Bytecode for the actual algorithm).

NP -> n {1} |
      NP adj {1 _1 2} ;
AP -> adj {1} ;

If these rules were applied to an input of n adj, the first rule would match the noun and the third rule would match the adjective and the second rule would never apply because by the time it can match an NP, the next available token is not an adj but an AP.

When there are multiple rules of the same length which all match, the one with the highest weight is applied. If there is a tie, the one that appears first in the rules file is applied. Due to the way the patterns are compiled, if two rules have identical patterns, the first one will always be applied, regardless of weight. If the weight is omitted, it will default to 0. User-defined weights cannot be negative.

Attribute Lists

A list of attributes can be defined like this:

gender = m f GD ;
number = sg pl ND ;

An attribute list can also specify undefined and default values:

gender = (GD m) m f GD;

This defines the gender category as before, but with the addition that if any rule tries to read the gender of a node that doesn't have a gender tag, the result will be <GD> rather than the empty string. It also creates a rule which will run last (the weight is -1.0) that will replace <GD> with <m>.

Tag Order

The order of tags for each type of node must be defined like this:

n: _.gender.number;
adj: _.gender;
NP: _.number;

Where _ represents the lemma and the part of speech tag. Currently these patterns can only be defined based on a single part of speech tag, though it may eventually be possible to match based on multiple tags or to specify a different pattern for particular nodes.

To specify a literal tag in a pattern, put it in angle brackets:

det: _.<def>.number;


An element of a pattern must match a single, literal part of speech tag. In order to match multiple part of speech tags, create a separate rule which matches each of them:

NOM -> n {1} | np {1};

To match a lemma or pseudolemma, place it before the part of speech tag, separated by @:

NP -> the@det n {2 _1 1};

It is also possible to match a category of lemmas:

days = sunday monday tuesday wednesday thursday friday saturday;
date -> $days@n the@det num.ord {2 _2 3 _1 1};

Tags besides part of speech can be matched as shown above.

Pattern elements can also specify values for the tags of the chunk being output by the rule.

number = (ND sg) sg pl sp ND;
NP.number -> n.$number adj {1};

This rule specifies that the number tag of the NP chunk should be copied from the noun. It will use the target language side if that is available. If not, it will proceed to the reference side, and then the source side. If all three of these are empty, it will use the default value <ND>. To require that a particular variable be taken from a particular side, put the side after a slash:

NP.number -> det.$number/ref n {1 _1 2};

/sl refers to the source language, /tl to the target language, and /ref to anything added by anaphora resolution.

If a pattern element is contributing several tags to the chunk, the following shortcut is available:

NP.number.gender -> %n adj {2 _1 1};

The % indicates the noun is the source of all chunk tags not elsewhere specified.

To specify a literal value for a chunk tag, put it in square brackets after the pattern like this:

NP.gender.number -> 0: NP cnjcoo NP [$gender=m, $number=pl] {1 _1 2 _2 3} |
                    1: NP.f cnjcoo NP.f [$gender=f, $number=pl] {1 _1 2 _2 3} |
                    2: NP.*.sg or@cnjcoo NP.*.sg [$gender=m, $number=sg] {1 _1 2 _2 3} |
                    3: NP.f.sg or@cnjcoo NP.f.sg [$gender=f, $number=sg] {1 _1 2 _2 3} ;

That is, treat the gender of the phrase as masculine unless both elements are feminine and the number as singular unless the conjunction is "or" and both elements are singular.

The pattern only looks at the source language, but it is possible to add constraints:

conj_list = and or;
NP.gender.number -> %NP cnjcoo NP ((2.lem/tl in conj_list) and ~(3.gender = 1.gender)) {1 _1 2 _2 3};

This will only match the pattern if it is also the case that the target language lemma of the conjunction is "and" or "or" and the two NPs have different genders. The outermost parentheses are required and order of operations is not guaranteed to make any sense, so please put parentheses around everything.


Output elements are written between curly braces and may be any of the following:


An underscore represents a single space. An underscore followed by a number represents the superblank after that position, so 1 _ 2 is elements 1 and 2 separated by a space while 1 _1 2 is elements 1 and 2 separated by whatever separated them in the input.

Matched Elements

A number represents the input element in that position with its tags arranged according to the defined output pattern for its part of speech tag. It can be followed by a specification of where those tags should come from.

! the first input element

! the first input element with the gender tag <f>

! the first input element with the gender tag of the reference side of the second input element

! the first input element with the gender tag set to a placeholder to be filled on output with the gender tag of its parent chunk

These elements can also be prefixed with % to specify that as many tags as possible should be placeholders for tags of the parent chunk.

Literal Lexical Units

A new lexical unit can be inserted like this:


Placeholders can be included using $:


And clips from other elements can be placed in square brackets:


Output Conditionals

It is possible to have multiple output clauses with conditions for which one to use. These conditions are written the same way as those in the patterns.

mood = ind opt nec inf;
VP -> vblex {should@vaux _ 1(mood=inf)} (1.mood = opt)
            {could@vaud _ 1(mood=inf)} (1.mood = nec)
            {1} ;

Here the third option has no condition and thus functions as an elsewhere case. If multiple conditions are satisfied, the first one will be used.

Attribute Maps (not yet implemented)

This would be a way to convert certain sets of tags, either between two languages that have different sets of tenses, or between something like object agreement and number marking. (The following syntax is entirely provisional.)

object_agr = o1sg o1pl o2sg o2pl o3sg o3pl ;
number = sg pl ;
person = p1 p2 p3 ;

object_agr > person.number: o1sg p1.sg, o1pl p1.pl, o2sg p2.sg, o2pl p2.pl, o3sg p3.sg, o3pl p3.pl ;

VP -> @v NP {2(object_agr=1.object_agr) _1 1} ;

In this example, if the verb had <o2sg>, the noun would get object_agr=o2sg, person=p2, number=sg, with the first two tags probably being discarded on output.

tense = farpst nearpst pst prs fut nonpst ;

tense > tense: farpst pst, nearpst pst, prs nonpst, fut nonpst ;

In this example, no explicit assignment needs to take place and the 4 tenses of the source language (farpst, nearpst, prs, fut) would be automatically converted to the 2 of the target language (pst, nonpst).

Converting from 4 to 3 with something like
tense > tense: farpst pst, nearpst pst ;

should also work, the unchanged tags not needing to be explicitly mentioned.

Interpolation (not yet implemented)

Parsing clitics, such as User_talk:Popcorndude/Recursive_Transfer#Serbo-Croatian_clitics can be done using multiple output units

vbser n -> @n @vbser {2} {1} ;
NP -> @n @det {2 _1 1} ;
! should be able to handle "noun clitic determiner"

Outputting them, however, is more difficult. My current idea is to do something like this:

NP -> @det @n {2 _1 1};
VP -> NP @vbser {(_1 2)>1};

Where (_1 2)>1 means "put the space between the elements and element 2 after the first word of element 1". The corresponding syntax for a right-aligned clitic would be 1<(2 _1). New lexical units could also be put in the parentheses (even if there's only one thing being inserted, the parentheses should, I think, be mandatory for clarity).

I'm not sure whether this will cover all cases, but it should at least cover a lot of them.

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