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XML and Multilingual Document Authoring : Convergent Trends

Marc Dymetman, Veronika Lux, Aarne Ranta
Typical approaches to xml authoring view a xml document as mixture of structure (the tags) and surface (text between the tags). We advocate a radical approach where the surface disappears from the xml document altogether to be handled exclusively by rendering mechanisms. This move is based on the view that the author's choices when authoring xml documents are best seen as language neutral semantic decisions, that the structure can then be viewed as interlingual content, and that the textual output should be derived from theis content by language specific realization mechanisms, thus assimilating xml authoring to multilingual document authoring. However, standard xml tools have important limitations when used for such a purpose :(1) they are weak at propagating semantic dependencies between different parts of the structure, and, (2) current XML rendering tools are ill-suited for handling the grammatical combination of textual units. We present two related proposals for overcoming these limitations : one (GF) originating in the tradition of mathematical proof editors and constructive type theory, the other (IG), a specialization of Definite Clause Grammars strongly inspired by GF.
Proceedings of the The 18th International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING 2000), pp. 243-249, Saarbruecken, 2000.