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minusOne
Member since Nov 2017
13 posts
Subject: First GF Assignment
Dear all,

I hope you had a nice winter break so far.
We finally have the first GF assignment for you.


Part 1

Write an abstract grammar for representing sentences like the following ones:
  • 'a big elephant is dangerous'
  • 'the zebra is fast'
  • 'the big dangerous lion sleeps'
  • 'a slow giraffe yawns'

In other words, you have
  • animals (lion, zebra, giraffe, elephant)
  • animal properties (fast, slow, big, dangerous)
  • animal actions (run, sleep, yawn)

These can be used to build sentences like the ones above.


Part 2

Write a concrete English grammar for the abstract grammar you designed in part 1. This should be relatively straight-forward. But be careful: it's 'an elephant', not 'a elephant', but 'a big elephant'!


Part 3

Write a concrete German grammar for the abstract grammar. This is a bit trickier. You might want to start without the indefinite article ('ein'/'eine').

Tip: You probably will have to keep two different strings for an animal, one for definite articles and one for indefinite articles. (for 'slow elephant' you need '(der) langsame Elefant' and '(ein) langsamer Elefant').

German adjectives are tricky. Here are a few test cases:
  • 'ein Elefant ist gefährlich'
  • 'die große Giraffe rennt'
  • 'der langsame Elefant gähnt'
  • 'ein großer Elefant gähnt'
  • 'eine langsame Giraffe rennt'
  • 'ein großes gefährliches Zebra rennt'


Part 4

In case you haven't done so yet, create operations in the German grammar that make it easy to add more animals and animal properties.
You should be able do something like:

lion = mkAnimal "Löwe" Masc;
zebra = mkAnimal "Zebra" Neut;
    -- etc.

fast = mkAdj "schnell";
    -- etc.


Helpful resources are:
  • The slides (of course)
  • The example we worked on in the last lecture (attached)
  • This forum! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask here!
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