Parametrized Modules in Grammar Engineering
Colloquium in Honor of Gérard Huet, Paris 22-23 June 2007
A parametrized modules, also known as a functor,
is a program module that depends on a set of
parameters (a signature). By instantiating the parameters,
different programs can be obtained from the same code. Functors
are an important part of the ML programming language. In the grammar
formalism GF (Grammatical Framework), the functor system of ML has
been adapted to enable sharing of grammars between different
languages. The talk will introduce the module system of GF and
present two applications of parametrized modules.
In the first application, the signature is a system of
syntactic categories and rules, which despite differences
such as word order and agreement are realized in many different
languages. Functors depending on this signature can define
language-independent mappings from semantic structures to
expressions in natural language.
In the second application, the signature is a set of parameters
that mark the differences between languages in the Romance family.
The functor is a common grammar for Romance languages. From this,
the grammars of Catalan, French, Italian, and Spanish are obtained