John Carroll

in The Oxford Handbook of Computational Linguistics

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780199276349
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics


More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Linguistics
  • Computational Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology



This article introduces the concepts and techniques for natural language (NL) parsing, which signifies, using a grammar to assign a syntactic analysis to a string of words, a lattice of word hypotheses output by a speech recognizer or similar. The level of detail required depends on the language processing task being performed and the particular approach to the task that is being pursued. This article further describes approaches that produce ‘shallow’ analyses. It also outlines approaches to parsing that analyse the input in terms of labelled dependencies between words. Producing hierarchical phrase structure requires grammars that have at least context-free (CF) power. CF algorithms that are widely used in parsing of NL are described in this article. To support detailed semantic interpretation more powerful grammar formalisms are required, but these are usually parsed using extensions of CF parsing algorithms. Furthermore, this article describes unification-based parsing. Finally, it discusses three important issues that have to be tackled in real-world applications of parsing: evaluation of parser accuracy, parser efficiency, and measurement of grammar/parser coverage.

Keywords: natural language parsing; shallow analyses; context-free power; semantic interpretation; CF parsing algorithms; unification-based parsing; speech recognizer

Article.  5407 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Computational Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »