Grail Tutorial - Main Page


These pages are a tutorial to writing (multimodal) categorial grammars using Grail. This tutorial begins by covering the basics of multimodal categorial grammars, especially in the form of the graphs (called proof nets in the literature) used by Grail during analysis of a phrase, then moves on to covering the more advanced features.

Grammar writers familiar with neither proof nets nor multimodal categorial grammars are recommended to read the first two sections carefully. People familiar with proof nets and/or multimodal categorial grammars can skip those sections with which the already feel familiar. The section on graphs and formulas is a good starting point for people familiar with multimodal categorial grammars but not with the proofs nets for them.

This tutorial is still under construction and some of the later sections are still either incomplete or missing altogether. However, feel free to send me a message about any inaccuracies in the current document.

Section 1 - Getting Started

This section covers the basics of Grail, introducing the lexical graphs used by Grail during the analysis, the parser, the facilities for inspecting and editing grammars while illustrating each of these features with examples.

Section 2 - Multimodal Grammars

The second section introduces new features to the basic engine. Though these are powerful features which give a lot of additional flexibility with respect to NL, they are easily understood to be simple extensions of the features discussed in Section 1.

Section 3 - Advanced Features

This third main section is for users who want to get maximum mileage out of Grail. It introduces manual file editing, the many parameters which the astute user can use to enhance the performance of his grammars. Note that care has to be taken using the optimization parameters, since they can prevent valid proofs from being found if used without care. The section on debugging grammars helps you with identifying problems with your grammar. Finally, the section on semantics shows how to add lambda term semantics to Grail's lexical entries.


The Bibliography lists foundational texts, textbooks, background reading and papers written about the algorithmic side of Grail.

Appendices - Selected Topics
Last modified: Tue Feb 24 01:20:00 CET 2009