Document Type

Conference Paper


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Publication Details

Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Arabic Language Resources and Tools (MEDAR 2009), Cairo, Egypt, April 2009.


Role and Reference Grammar (RRG) is a functional theory of grammar. The main features of Role and Reference Grammar are the use of lexical decomposition, based upon predicate semantics, an analysis of clause structure and the use of a set of thematic roles organized into a hierarchy in which the highestranking roles are Actor (for the most active participant) and Undergoer. The theory allows a sentence in a specific language to be described in terms of its logical structure and grammatical procedures. The lexicon in RRG takes the position that lexical entries for verbs should contain unique information only, with as much information as possible derived from general lexical rules. We use the RRG theory to motivate the architecture of the lexicon. The lexicon is designed to reflect the word categories in the Arabic language with as much information as possible derived from general lexical rules. The lexicon stores the Arabic words in categories; each category is stored in an XML format datasource file. In order to be able to analyse Arabic by computer we must first extract the lexical properties of the Arabic words. Our system (UniArab) uses the lexicon to construct a logical structure for Arabic input sentences, also represented in XML, which is then used for generating the target language translation. We show the structure of the UniArab lexicon, discuss how it is used in the system, and show the user interface used for adding to the lexicon.

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