The Restriction Language for Computer Grammars of Natural Language

Naomi Sager, Ralph Grishman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the past few years, a number of systems for the computer analysis of natural language sentences have been based on augmented context-free grammars: a context-free grammar which defines a set of parse trees for a sentence, plus a group of restrictions to which a tree must conform in order to be a valid sentence analysis. As the coverage of the grammar is increased, an efficient representation becomes essential for further development. This paper presents a programming language designed specifically for the compact and perspicuous statement of restrictions of a natural language grammar. It is based on ten years’ experience parsing text sentences with the comprehensive English grammar of the N.Y.U. Linguistic String Project, and embodies in its syntax and routines the relations which were found to be useful and adequate for computerized natural language analysis. The language is used in the current implementation of the Linguistic String Parser.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-400
Number of pages11
JournalCommunications of the ACM
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 1975


  • grammar
  • natural languages
  • parsing
  • programming languages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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