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Parser and Writer for Syntax Starter Kit

Info updated: 2016-07-05
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Parser and Writer for Syntax

The Parser And Writer for Syntax Starter Kit is affectionately also called PAWS.

As the name of the starter kit indicates, the Parser and Writer for Syntax (PAWS) has two purposes and four outputs:

  • The Writer produces a rough draft of a grammar of the syntax of your language, based on the answers to the questions in each section of PAWS. This output file is in XLingPaper xml format. (See http://www.xlingpaper.org.)  There are three possible formats for the grammar write-up:
    • A practical grammar in English.
    • A practical grammar in Spanish.
    • A comparative grammar (to English).
  • The Parser produces all the files needed for using the PC-PATR syntactic parser for parsing and disambiguation within CARLA Studio.

The task of writing a grammar for a language can seem so overwhelming that many give up without even trying. Completing and revising a draft is a much less daunting task, and the PAWS Starter Kit can provide that needed head start.

The PAWS Starter Kit takes advantage of XML technologies to create “actionable” knowledge which can be turned into a draft of a grammar write-up as well as a draft of a grammar file that can be used by the PC-PATR syntactic parsing program. If you are not interested in doing syntactic parsing, you can merely ignore that part of the PAWS Starter Kit and just work on producing the written grammar draft. (See Black and Black (2012) and Black and Black (2009) for explanations; see also Simons and Black (2008) and Black (2008)).

The PAWS Starter Kit consists of a series of web pages that explain and illustrate the syntactic issues to be covered by the section and then has a series of multiple-choice questions about what happens in the language the user is studying. The user is also requested to provide example sentences and words.