Grammar Extraction from Treebanks for Hindi and Telugu

Grammars play an important role in many Natural Language Processing (NLP) applications. The traditional approach to creating grammars manually, besides being labor-intensive, has several limitations. With the availability of large scale syntactically annotated treebanks, it is now possible to automatically extract an approximate grammar of a language in any of the existing formalisms from a corresponding treebank. In this paper, we present a basic approach to extract grammars from dependency treebanks of two Indian languages, Hindi and Telugu. The process of grammar extraction requires a generalization mechanism. Towards this end, we explore an approach which relies on generalization of argument structure over the verbs based on their syntactic similarity. Such a generalization counters the effect of data sparseness in the treebanks. A grammar extracted using this system can not only expand already existing knowledge bases for NLP tasks such as parsing, but also aid in the creation of grammars for languages where none exist. Further, we show that the grammar extraction process can help in identifying annotation errors and thus aid in the task of the treebank validation
Published in 2010