Jeffery Martin


A Principle-based Parser for Foreign Language Training in German and Arabic
Joe Garman | Jeffery Martin | Paola Merlo | Amy Weinberg
Proceedings of the Third International Workshop on Parsing Technologies

In this paper we discuss the design and implementation of a parser for German and Arabic, which is currently being used in a tutoring system for foreign language training. Computer-aided language tutoring is a good application for testing the robustness and flexibility of a parsing system, since the input is usually ungrammatical in some way. Efficiency is also a concern, as tutoring applications typically run on personal computers, with the parser sharing memory with other components of the system. Our system is principle-based, which ensures a compact representation, and improves portability, needed in order to extend the initial design from German to Arabic and (eventually) Spanish. Currently, the parser diagnoses agreement errors, case errors, selection errors, and some word order errors. The parser can handle simple and complex declaratives and questions, topicalisations, verb movement, relative clauses — broad enough coverage to be useful in the design of real exercises and dialogues.