Exercise 8, Grammar Development

For this exercise, base yourselves on gramar8.lfg. This grammar already contains a rule for CP and for infinitive VPs as well as some control verbs.

It also has been changed so that its top node is a category ROOT, rather than the S you have been working with (note also the change in the configuration file under ROOTCAT). This conforms to the ParGram grammars and allows for the introduction of different types of main clauses (questions, imperatives, etc.).

Long Distance Dependencies: Functional Uncertainty

Expand your grammar to deal with long-distance dependencies. (you can read up on them some more in Chapter 14 the Dalrymple textbook).

Introduce an extra Stop (stands for S topic) (Stop --> NP (COMMA) S) and annotate the topicalized constituent as shown below.

Functional Uncertainty Annotation

Add the functional uncertainty equation below to the NP preceding the S.

(^ TOPIC) = ! 
(^ {XCOMP|COMP}* {OBJ|OBJ2}) = !

You should be able to parse (at least) the following sentences.

  1. Kim likes beans.
  2. Beans, Kim likes.
  3. Beans, Kim wants Mary to like.
  4. Beans, John persuaded Mary to want to eat.
  5. Beans, John wanted Mary to think that Bill persuaded Kim to eat.
  6. Beans, John thought that Mary wanted Bill to think that Kim wants to eat.


Now add some imperatives to your grammar. The following sentences should work.

  1. Eat the beans!
  2. Promise me to eat the beans!
  3. Think a creative thought!
The following sentences should not work.
  1. Eats the beans!
  2. Promised me to eat the beans!

You will need to make (at least) the following changes to your grammar:

South Asian Languages

Please submit your exericses and your testsuite to Miriam Butt (at uni-konstanz dot de) by Sept. 11th, 2014 at 9 am.

Relevant Reading Material

Dalrymple (2001), Relevant parts of Chapter 14.

Functional Uncertainty in the XLE Documentation.

Empty Strings and Nodes in the XLE Documentation.