[good] Re: [MUD-Dev] Parser engines

Manuel Lanctot pacu at sympatico.ca
Fri Mar 12 03:29:05 CET 2004

On March 11, 2004 06:48 pm, Mike Rozak wrote:

> Speaking of other languages, does anyone have experience with GOOD
> parsers that work with languages whose grammar/origin is very
> different from English? (Has anyone ever tried?)

> For example: Japanese (3 character sets, no spaces, verb at end,
> enter text with an IME), Chinese (2 character sets, no spaces,
> enter text with an IME), Arabic (non-Roman character set, enter
> text with an IME, ???), or even Finnish (which I've been told
> likes to combine verbs and nouns, or something of the sort). The
> Inform designers guide discusses porting to English's cousins like
> French and German, but not the more distant language groups.

Well, I wouldn't call French a cousin of English since it has Latin
roots but anyway... There's MultiMUD which is all from French. I
didn't spend a lot of time there but the parser seemed to work with
general French particularities. They say they've been inspired by
Circle but I would guess the parser is original.

  MultiMUD: valinor.no-ip.org:6022

>   d) The more "correct" your parsing solution is, the more parts
>   you'll be able to use when going from concept to sentence, such
>   as verb/noun agreement in "<name> is too big to fit in your
>   bag." If <name> is "the piano" your text is ok, but if <name> is
>   "the gold ingots" you need to change "is" to "are". Other
>   languages have it far worse. The more NLP information your app
>   has around, the better it can resolve these issues.

That's the biggest challenge IMO. The English language is absurdly
simple compared to some others. Sticking with French, this language
has two possible genders for every noun: "masculin" (male) and
"feminin" (female). Some nouns, like table, chair, river, etc. are
"feminine" - which changes the pronoun in front of it. I simply
can't imagine a dynamic parser recognizing which word is which
gender. And I'm not even talking about singular/plural - there are
of exceptions. Basically, you'd need a dictionnary database with all
the exceptions (I think there are around 10,000 syntax exceptions in
French). And I guess French is not the worst language.

My point is: My MUD will be in English because I'm too lazy to write
a completely new parser based on another language. But I figure
coding one for Esperanto could be even easier than one in
English. ;)

Manuel Lanct=F4t
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