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Constructions at Work! Visualising Linguistic Pathways for Computational Construction Grammar

Book Contribution - Book Chapter Conference Contribution

Computational construction grammar combines well known concepts from artificial intelligence, linguistics and computer science into fully operational language processing models. These models allow to map an utterance to its meaning representation (comprehension), as well as to map a meaning representation to an utterance (formulation). The processing machinery is based on the unification of usage-patterns that combine morpho-syntactic and semantic information (constructions) with intermediate structures that contain all information that is known at a certain point in processing (transient structures). Language processing is then implemented as a search process, which searches for a sequence of constructions (a linguistic pathway) that successfully transforms an initial transient structure containing the input into a transient structure that qualifies as a goal. For larger grammars, these linguistic pathways become increasingly more complex, which makes them difficult to interpret and debug for the human researcher. In order to accommodate this problem, we present a novel approach to visualising the outcome of constructional language processing. The linguistic pathways are visualised as graphs featuring the applied constructions, why they could apply, with which bindings, and what information they have added. The visualisation tool is concretely implemented for Fluid Construction Grammar, but is also of interest to other flavours of computational construction grammar, as well as more generally to other unification-based search problems of high complexity.
Book: Proceedings of the 29th Benelux Conference on Artificial Intelligence
Pages: 224-237
Publication year:2017