Lab 3 (due 1/25)

Updated 1/23/08 I have updated the write up and formatting instructions in the Lab 2 instructions to give more precise requirements. Please reread them and use them for Lab 3. The write-up changes are also in this lab, but the formatting changes are only in lab 2.

Short instructions this time. Referring to the instructions for Lab 2, do an additional 6 phenomena. You do not have to stick to the list given if there are not 11 total phenomena that make sense for your language (or if there are other phenomena that you feel must be covered in a grammar for you language). Your write up (see below) should justify your choice of phenomena.

I would like all of the grammars to cover these topics:

  1. Basic word order
  2. Pronouns
  3. The rest of the NP
  4. Argument optionality
  5. Negation
  6. Main clause yes-no questions
  7. Embedded clauses
  8. Modals
  9. Tense/aspect

If your language has any of these, they should be covered:

  1. Agreement
  2. Case

The customization system already has pretty good coverage of coordination, so it is nice to have, but not strictly necessary.

In addition, I may request revisions to your test suite from lab 2. Please try to include those revisions in lab 3.

Finally, you should add translations of the 17 MMT test sentences to your test suite:

  1. Dogs sleep.
  2. Dogs chase cars.
  3. I chase you.
  4. These dogs sleep.
  5. Dogs eat.
  6. I can eat glass.
  7. It doesn't hurt me.
  8. The dogs chase cars.
  9. I think that you know that dogs chase cars.
  10. I ask whether you know that dogs chase cars.
  11. Cats and dogs chase cars.
  12. Dogs chase cars and cats chase dogs.
  13. Cats chase dogs and sleep.
  14. Do cats chase dogs?
  15. Chase the dog!
  16. Hungry dogs eat.
  17. Hungry dogs eat quickly.

Note that in some languages, some pairs of sentences might not be distinct, e.g., (1) and (4). In that case, you should just have the same string twice.

Looking ahead: Next week, we'll be configuring starter grammars, building out the vocabularly, and running an initial test suite.


Here are links to the phenomena descriptions from last week.

  1. Basic word order
  2. Pronouns
  3. The rest of the NP
  4. Argument optionality
  5. Agreement
  6. Case
  7. Negation
  8. Main clause yes-no questions
  9. Embedded clauses
  10. Modals
  11. Coordination
  12. Tense/aspect
  13. Adjectives, or...

And the formatting instructions

Write up

Again, this write up will be relatively long. For each grammatical phenomenon in the list, you should describe what you discovered about your language. If you have any questions about any of them (that you haven't yet asked or even if you have), please include that as well. Indicate any places where you were uncertain about what the language actually does, and describe any assumptions you made in order to create test suite examples.

Your write up should have separate sections for each phenomenon, and include examples pasted in from the test suite to illustrate the points you are talking about. For example:

1. Basic Word Order

The basic word order in my language is AUX-S-V-O. In the example below, xua is the auxiliary. It is followed by the subject tcejbus, then the verb, then the object.

xua      tcejbus  brev  tcejbo
xua      tcejb-us brev  tcejb-o
3sg.PRES dog-NOM  chase cat-ACC
`(a/the) dog chases (a/the) cat'

Most sentences have an auxiliary, but in some tenses, there is the only the main verb. In these cases, the main verb bears the tense inflection, and appears initially in the sentence. The subject still precedes the object, giving VSO order:

brevd	     tcejbus  tcejbo
brev-d       tcejb-us tcejb-o
case-PST.3sg dog-NOM  cat-ACC
`(a/the) dog chased (a/the) cat'

Finally, you should (in a paragraph or so each) explain why you chose not to do the phenomena you chose not to do.

In general, I prefer for the write-ups to be plain text. If you want to submit something with formatting, please create a pdf.

Submit your assignment

Back to course page

ebender at u dot washington dot edu
Last modified: Fri Dec 29 2006