Speaker: Prof Aarne Ranta Department of Computer Science, Chalmers University, Gothenburg
Date: Tuesday 4 April, 1500-1700hrs
Venue: CT Lab (Level -1 BLK B RM1), Faculty of ICT
GF (Grammatical Framework) and UD (Universal Dependencies) are two different approaches using shared syntactic descriptions for multiple languages. GF is a categorial grammar approach using abstract syntax trees and hand-written grammars, which define both generation and parsing. UD is a dependency approach driven by annotated treebanks and machine-learned parsers. In closer study, the grammatical descriptions in these two approaches have turned out to be very similar, so that it is possible to map between them, to the benefit of both. The talk will show a conversion algorithms that can generate synthetic UD treebanks from GF trees to 32 languages in parallel (Maltese included). We will also show the opposite direction: how to interpret UD trees as GF trees, which gives access to GF functionalities such as translation and logical semantics.
About the speaker
Aarne Ranta made his doctoral studies at the University of Stockholm and defended his Ph.D. at the University of Helsinki in 1990. After seven years as Junior Fellow of the Academy of Finland, he worked at Xerox Research Centre Europe in Grenoble in 1997-1999, after which he joined the Department of Computing Science of Chalmers University of Technology and University of Gothenburg. Ranta’s research started theoretically with constructive type theory and its applications to natural language semantics. This evolved gradually to computational applications, leading to the implementation of GF (Grammatical Framework) at Xerox. The mission of GF is to formalize the grammars of the world and make them available for computer applications. It enables the processing of natural language with the same precision as programming languages are processed in compilers. Ranta has supervised ten Ph.D. graduates and written three books. GF has developed into an open-source community with over 200 contributors on five continents, producing software for over 30 languages. As a spin-off of his research, Ranta is co-founder and CEO of the start-up company Digital Grammars AB.