Extending Prolog for Better Natural Language Analysis

Shaalan, K., "Extending Prolog for Better Natural Language Analysis", 1st Conference on Language Engineering, Cairo, Egypt, Ain Shams University, pp. 225–236, March, 1998. copy at www.tinyurl.com/oqh7xjl

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Prolog supports natural language parsing with a clean semantics and additional constructs such as definite clause grammars (DCGs). While it provides excellent computational support, we claim it does not provide good notation that increases the readability and maintainability of natural language analysis programming. In this paper we explore an alternative solution: a general notational extension to Prolog programs that provides for concise expression of definitions. This notational extension results in a powerful and convenient logic programming language that fits into natural language analysis programming. Programs translate to Prolog in a way similar to DCGs. That is to say, they have a specific syntax and can be loaded and expanded to Prolog code. This expansion is transparent to the user. To demonstrate the language capabilities, we present an example for an Arabic morphological analyzer.



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