Technical Reports (CIS)

Document Type

Technical Report

Date of this Version

March 1990


University of Pennsylvania Department of Computer and Information Science Technical Report No. MS-CIS-90-24.


This paper presents a sizable grammar for English written in the Tree Adjoining grammar (TAG) formalism. The grammar uses a TAG that is both lexicalized (Schabes, Abeillé, Joshi 1988) and feature-based (Vijay-Shankar, Joshi 1988). In this paper, we describe a wide range of phenomena that it covers.

A Lexicalized TAG (LTAG) is organized around a lexicon, which associates sets of elementary trees (instead of just simple categories) with the lexical items. A Lexicalized TAG consists of a finite set of trees associated with lexical items, and operations (adjunction and substitution) for composing the trees. A lexical item is called the anchor of its corresponding tree and directly determines both the tree's structure and its syntactic features. In particular, the trees define the domain of locality over which constraints are specified and these constraints are local with respect to their anchor. In this paper, the basic tree structures of the English LTAG are described, along with some relevant features. The interaction between the morphological and the syntactic components of the lexicon is also explained.

Next, the properties of the different tree structures are discussed. The use of S complements exclusively allows us to take full advantage of the treatment of unbounded dependencies originally presented in Joshi (1985) and Kroch and Joshi (1985). Structures for auxiliaries and raising-verbs which use adjunction trees are also discussed. We present a representation of prepositional complements that is based on extended elementary trees. This representation avoids the need for preposition incorporation in order to account for double wh-questions (preposition stranding and pied-piping) and the pseudo-passive.

A treatment of light verb constructions is also given, similar to what Abeillé (1988c) has presented. Again, neither noun nor adjective incorporation is needed to handle double passives and to account for CNPC violations in these constructions. TAG'S extended domain of locality allows us to handle, within a single level of syntactic description, phenomena that in other frameworks require either dual analyses or reanalysis.

In addition, following Abeillé and Schabes (1989), we describe how to deal with semantic non compositionality in verb-particle combinations, light verb constructions and idioms, without losing the internal syntactic composition of these structures.

The last sections discuss current work on PRO, case, anaphora and negation, and outline future work on copula constructions and small clauses, optional arguments, adverb movement and the nature of syntactic rules in a lexicalized framework.



Date Posted: 22 August 2007