Research on Language and Computation

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 133-158

First online:

Modular Grammar Engineering in GF

  • Aarne RantaAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science and Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology and Göteborg University Email author 

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The Grammatical Framework GF is a grammar formalism designed for multilingual grammars. A multilingual grammar has a shared representation, called abstract syntax, and a set of concrete syntaxes that map the abstract syntax to different languages. A GF grammar consists of modules, which can share code through inheritance, but which can also hide information to achieve division of labour between grammarians working on different modules. The goal is to make it possible for linguistically untrained programmers to write linguistically correct application grammars encoding the semantics of special domains. Such programmers can rely on resource grammars, written by linguists, which play the rôle of standard libraries. Application grammarians use resource grammars through abstract interfaces, and the type system of GF guarantees that grammaticality is preserved. The ongoing GF resource grammar project provides resource grammars for ten languages. In addition to their use as libraries, resource grammars serve as an experiment showing how much grammar code can be shared between different languages.