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Solving Headswitching Translation Cases in LFG-DOT

Andy Way


It has been shown that LFG-MT (Kaplan et al., 1989) has difficulties with Headswitching data (Sadler et al., 1989, 1990; Sadler & Thompson, 1991). We revisit these arguments in this paper. Despite attempts at solving these problematic constructions using approaches based on linear logic (Van Genabith et al., 1998) and restriction (Kaplan & Wedekind, 1993), we point out further problems which are introduced.

We then show how LFG-DOP (Bod & Kaplan, 1998) can be extended to serve as a novel hybrid model for MT, LFG-DOT (Way, 1999, 2001), which promises to improve upon the DOT model of translation (Poutsma 1998, 2000) as well as LFG-MT. LFG-DOT improves the robustness of LFG-MT through the use of the LFG-DOP Discard operator, which produces generalized fragments by discarding certain f-structure features. LFG-DOT can, therefore, deal with ill-formed or previously unseen input where LFG-MT cannot. Finally, we demonstrate that LFG-DOT can cope with such translational phenomena which prove problematic for other LFG-based models of translation.

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