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Development of a virtual laboratory for natural language processing from a functional paradigm (FFI2014-53788-C3-1-P)

The purpose of this project aims at converting ARTEMIS (Automatically Representing TExt Meaning via an Interlingua-based System) - currently a laboratory prototype which allows the automatic generation of a conceptual logical structure (CLS) on the basis of a reduced sample of sentences, into a semantic and syntactic analyser which operates in real scenarios, beyond the stage of simulation.

This project can be described as an original contribution at the following levels:

(i) at linguistic level, this research intends to compile a complete computational grammar of the English language based on the functional model of Role and Reference Grammar (RRG);

(ii) in the same vein, it provides the formal representation systems (attribute-value matrices) and specifies the mechanisms of unification (or constraints) between lexical units and constructional schemata in the framework of a computational implementation;

(iii) at the level of natural language processing, this project also offers an application based on a model of linguistic representation for information retrieval and extraction in multilingual settings, which differentiates it from other proposals founded on stochastic approaches;

(iv) moreover, it offers solutions to the ambiguity problem raised by a unification grammar, where the constraints help to determine the structural preference and the semantic plausibility. More specifically, two fundamental cases about ambiguity which will be dealt with are anaphora resolution and semantic disambiguation;

(v) and finally, it implements a virtual lab, FunGramKB NLP Lab, which helps the linguists, who normally do not possess knowledge about computer programming, to develop specific tools for their research as well as to apply the components of this virtual lab to the implementation of an intelligent system for teaching English as a foreign language.

In essence, once this project has been implemented, we will have a fully developed system capable of analyzing syntactically and semantically an input text. In conclusion, ARTEMIS can be described as the first computational system that may offer an enriched semantic representation of a sentence in the framework of a functionalist theory, as it is the case of RRG.