UD, yet another unification device

  • R. Johnson
  • M. Rosner
Part of the Linguistica Computazionale book series (LICO, volume 9)


This article1 describes some of the features of a sophisticated language and environment designed for experimentation with unification-oriented linguistic descriptions. The system, called UD, has to date been used successfully as a development and prototyping tool in a research project on the application of situation schemata to the representation of real text, and in extensive experimentation in machine translation.

While the UD language bears close resemblances to all the well-known unification grammar formalisms, it offers a wider range of features than any single alternative, plus powerful facilities for notational abstraction which allow users to simulate different theoretical approaches in a natural way.

After a brief discussion of the motivation for implementing yet another unification device, the main body of the article is devoted to a description of the most important novel features of UD.


Machine Translation Computational Linguistics Unification Device Grammar Formalism Single Alternative 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    Bresnan J., ed. The Mental Representation of Grammatical Relations, Cambridge, Ma.: MIT Press, 1982.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    D’orre, J. and A. Eisele. “A comprehensive unification-based grammar formalism”, DYANA deliverable R3.1.B, Centre for Cognitive Science, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, January 1991.Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    Estival, D. “ELU user manual”, Technical Report, ISSCO, University of Geneva, 1990.Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    Fenstad J-E., P-K. Halvorsen, T. Langholm and J. van Benthem, Situations, Language and Logic, Reidel, 1987.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    Gunji T., Japanese Phrase Structure Grammar,Reidel, 1987.Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    Johnson, R. and C. J. Rupp. “Evaluating complex constraints in linguistic formalisms”, In Trost, H., editor, Feature Formalisms and Linguistic Ambiguity. Ellis Horw000d, Chichester, 1993. To appear.Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    Kaplan R., J. Maxwell and A. Zaenen, “Functional Uncertainty”, in CSLI Monthly, January 1987.Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    Sag I. and C. Pollard, “Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar: an Informal Synopsis”, CSLI Report no.CSLI-87–79, 1987.Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    Rupp, C. J. Semantic Representation in a Unification Environment, PhD thesis, University of Manchester, 1990.Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    Rupp, C.J., R. Johnson and M. Rosner, “Situation schemata and linguistic representation”, in M. Rosner and R. Johnson (eds.), Computational Linguistics and Formal Semantics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    Shieber S., “The design of a computer language for linguistic information”, Proceedings of Coling 84, Stanford, 1984.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Johnson
    • 1
  • M. Rosner
    • 1
  1. 1.IDSIALuganoSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations