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A Robust Finite-State Grammar for French

Pasi Tapanainen, Jean-Pierre Chanod
This paper describes a robust finite-state parser implemented for French. The parser attaches morpho-syntactic tags to cach word and determines clause boundaties. It is a reductionist parser based on finite state networks and their intersection. We describe essential elements of the rule writing system, and show how it is actually applied to solve various phenomena, such as argument uniqueness, agreement or apposition. We show some results which indicate that the parser can parse technical manuals with high accuracy (in a test sample 95% of part-of speech and fuctional tags were correct). The average number of parses per sentence is very low , more than 92% of sentences produce less than 4 parses, including the correct one. A test on very long sentences from newspaper corpora and a discussion of errors provide more insight into the parser.
ESSLLI'96 Workshop on Robust Parsing, August 12-16, 1996, Prague, Czech Republic.