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Light Parsing as Finite-State Filtering

Greg Grefenstette
or a number of language processing tasks, such as information retrieval and information extraction tasks, pertinent information can be extracted from text without doing a full parse of the individual sentences. The most common restriction of the parser is to adopt a non-recursive model of the language treated, which allows an implementation of the parser using efficient finite state tools at the cost of missing some coverage. These light parsers allow the successive introduction of symbols into the input string wherever specified regular expressions of words and/or part-of-speech tags match. Recent advances in finite state expression compilation make writing mark up transducers simpler, leading to quicker implementations of layered finite state parsers. The resulting parsers are easier to create and maintain. In this article, we describe a light parsing method using recently created finite state operators. Two applications of this parser are described: grouping adjacent syntactically related units, and extracting non-adjacent n-ary grammatical relations. A system for evaluating the parser over a large corpus is described.
Extended Finite State Models of Language.Editor: Andras Kornai. Cambridge University Press, 1999.