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Automatic Parsing of Parent-Child Interactions

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journal contribution
posted on 01.02.2004, 00:00 by Kenji Sagae, Brian MacwhinneyBrian Macwhinney, Alon Lavie
To evaluate the major theoretical proposals regarding the course of child language acquisition, researchers need to rely on the processing of large numbers of syntactically parsed utterances, both from children and their parents. However, hand parsing is an exceedingly difficult and unreliable process. Using the MOR tagger, a rule-based parser, and statistical disambiguation techniques, we developed a set of automatic procedures that can obtain nearly 80% correct parses for the sentences spoken to children. To achieve this level, we had to construct a particular processing sequence that minimizes problems caused by the cover age/ambiguity trade-off in parser design. These procedures are particularly appropriate for use with the CHILDES database, an international corpus of transcripts. The data and programs are made freely available over the Internet.




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