Seminar in Computational Linguistics

  • Date: –15:00
  • Location: Engelska parken 7-0042
  • Lecturer: William Croft
  • Contact person: Miryam de Lhoneux
  • Seminarium

Linguistic Typology Meets Universal Dependencies: Issues in Teaching and Annotating Syntax

Language structures are incredibly diverse. But for practical purposes, we have to carve up this continuum of language phenomena. Two practical purposes are teaching typological syntax to undergraduates and the Universal Dependencies project, which are similar in their goals. In this talk I will describe principles to motivate a set of universal dependencies. These principles are: dependencies should be based primarily on universal construction types over language-specific strategies; syntactic dependency labels should match lexical feature names for the same function; dependencies should be based on the information packaging function of constructions, not lexical semantic types; and dependencies should keep distinct the “ranks” of the functional dependency tree. I will then focus on specific typological universals that can help in developing guidelines to apply UD to specific language constructions. In some cases, uniform guidelines are typologically well-motivated, but in other cases, it might be worth revisiting the inventory of UD dependencies.