The LinGO Grammar Matrix: Rapid Grammar Development for Hypothesis Testing

Tutorial at HPSG 2010

Paris, France; 7 July 2010

Emily M. Bender and Antske Fokkens


This tutorial provides an overview of the LinGO Grammar Matrix customization system (Bender et al., 2002; 2010), a free web-based tool that can be used as an easy entry point into developing machine-readable precision grammars for those unfamiliar with grammar engineering and as a time-saving device for those who are.

The Grammar Matrix customization system is a web-based service which elicits typological descriptions of languages and outputs customized grammar fragments suitable for sustained development into broad-coverage grammars. The created grammars use the formalism of Head Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (Pollard and Sag 1994, HPSG), provide bidirectional mappings between surface strings and semantic representations in the format of Minimal Recursion Semantics (Copestake et al. 2005, MRS), and can be run and further developed within the LKB grammar development environment (Copestake 2002).

Tutorial resources


The LinGO Grammar Matrix customization system is an on-line tool, but the grammars it creates are meant to be used with the LKB grammar development environment (Copestake 2002).

Step-by-step instructions for creating test suites and working with these software tools can be found in the lab directions on Emily Bender's course page:

Matrix users are encouraged to sign up for the matrix mailing list and to send questions to the matrix developers group:


Bender, Emily M. 2008. Grammar engineering for linguistic hypothesis testing. In Nicholas Gaylord, Alexis Palmer, and Elias Ponvert, editors, Proceedings of the Texas Linguistics Society X Conference: Computational Linguistics for Less-Studied Languages, pages 16-36, Stanford. CSLI Publications.

Bender, Emily M., Dan Flickinger, and Stephan Oepen. 2002. The Grammar Matrix: An Open-Source Starter-Kit for the Rapid Development of Cross-Linguistically Consistent Broad-Coverage Precision Grammars. In Procedings of the Workshop on Grammar Engineering and Evaluation at the 19th International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Taipei, Taiwan.

Bender, Emily M., Scott Drellishak, Antske Fokkens, Michael Wayne Goodman, Daniel P. Mills, Laurie Poulson, and Safiyyah Saleem. 2010. Grammar prototyping and testing with the lingo grammar matrix customization system. In Proceedings of the ACL 2010 Software Demonstrations.

Copestake, Ann. 2002. Implementing Typed Feature Structure Grammars. CSLI Publications, Stanford, CA.

Copestake, Ann., Dan. Flickinger, Carl. Pollard, and Ivan A. Sag. 2005. Minimal Recursion Semantics: An Introduction. Research on Language & Computation, 3(4):281-332.

Oepen, Stephan. 2001. [incr tsdb()] — Competence and performance laboratory. User manual. Technical report, Saarbrücken, Germany.

Pollard, Carl and Ivan A. Sag. 1994. Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. BCS-0644097. Additional support for Grammar Matrix development came from a gift to the Turing Center from the Utilika Foundation.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Last modified: Tue Jul 20 2010