Developing a computational grammar for Bengali using the HPSG formalism
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This paper describes the first phase of developing a computational grammar for Bengali using the Head- Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG) formalism. The HPSG formalism is a highly developed framework that combines computational and psycholinguistic research to provide a tool with which the features particular to a language can be captured and simultaneously provide information about language universals i.e. linguistic phenomena common to diverse languages. The grammar is implemented on a Linguistic Knowledge Building (LKB) system that has both a syntactic and a semantic level. The system is a powerful tool that allows the user to build a parser along with a generator by using the formalism to code in linguistic rules through feature structures and feature unification. This paper provides a set of instructions for using the formulation of HPSG to parse as well as generate grammatical sentences of Bengali. This paper will enable linguists to interpret and formulate features and types with which Bengali or a structurally similar language can be coded in HPSG. It provides a stepping-stone towards the development of a full computational grammar for Bengali which will also provide useful information as a computational description for its sister languages.