-- LauriCarlson - 2011-10-10

Resource Pages for Chinese GF Resource Grammar

How to get it

There's a repository at Google code. I need to add you to the list of committers before you can do any changes. But anyone can download the files.



You should have GF installed. Go to the directory gf-chinese and start gf:

> gf TestChi.gf TestEng.gf

(you can also just start it by writing gf and then import the files with

import TestEng.gf TestChi.gf

Make sure your environment variable GF_LIB_PATH is correct. You can test is by typing echo $GF_LIB_PATH

In Hippu, write the following:

export GF_LIB_PATH=/fs/proj1/lcarlson/modules/gf/3.2/share/gf-3.2/lib/alltenses

If you have GF in your own machine, the command is probably this:

export GF_LIB_PATH=/usr/local/share/gf-3.2/lib/alltenses

Or whatever version of GF you have, this is just for 3.2.


If you want to parse a sentence from English:

Test> p -lang=Eng "the waiter loves the wine ." | l
  • the 侍应生 爱 the 酒 .
  • the waiter loves the wine .

If you want to generate random sentence:

Test> gr -cat=S | l
  • these cheese 不 stink today
  • these cheeses don't stink today

You have to put "-cat=S" for some reason, even though it has a startcat specified as Phr in


What it does

Function words are still in English, and the grammar still has number category and other English stuff in phrase types, they are just not used.

Adjective as complement

the 侍应生 新鲜的 . ('the waiter is fresh')

PhrS (UseCl PPos (PredVP (DetCN theSg_Det (UseN waiter_N)) (ComplAP (UseA fresh_A))))

the 侍应生 不 新鲜的 . ('the waiter isn't fresh')

PhrS (UseCl PNeg (PredVP (DetCN theSg_Det (UseN waiter_N)) (ComplAP (UseA fresh_A))))

the 侍应生 新鲜的 吗 ? ('is the waiter fresh')

PhrQS (UseQCl PPos (QuestCl (PredVP (DetCN theSg_Det (UseN waiter_N)) (ComplAP (UseA fresh_A)))))

the 侍应生 不 新鲜的 吗 ? ('isn't the waiter fresh')

PhrQS (UseQCl PNeg (QuestCl (PredVP (DetCN theSg_Det (UseN waiter_N)) (ComplAP (UseA fresh_A)))))

Transitive verbs

the 侍应生 爱 the 酒 . ('the waiter loves the wine')

PhrS (UseCl PPos (PredVP (DetCN theSg_Det (UseN waiter_N)) (ComplV2 love_V2 (DetCN theSg_Det (UseN wine_N)))))

the 侍应生 不 爱 the 酒 . ('the waiter doesn't love the wine')

PhrS (UseCl PNeg (PredVP (DetCN theSg_Det (UseN waiter_N)) (ComplV2 love_V2 (DetCN theSg_Det (UseN wine_N)))))

the 侍应生 爱 the 酒 吗 ? ('does the waiter love the wine')

PhrQS (UseQCl PPos (QuestCl (PredVP (DetCN theSg_Det (UseN waiter_N)) (ComplV2 love_V2 (DetCN theSg_Det (UseN wine_N))))))

the 侍应生 不 爱 the 酒 吗 ? ('doesn't the waiter love the wine')

PhrQS (UseQCl PNeg (QuestCl (PredVP (DetCN theSg_Det (UseN waiter_N)) (ComplV2 love_V2 (DetCN theSg_Det (UseN wine_N))))))

Language resources




We already have translations, no need to do these for now

I have generated some random sentences, please provide idiomatic translations. Don't do word-by-word, translate the meaning in a way that sounds good in Chinese. If something can't be said, please explain why. The domain is pretty limited, but don't care about the semantic weirdness -- except if that is a major syntactical difference, like for example classificators, active and stative adjectives, human vs. non-human. But if there is no grammatical difference in saying "the waiter is warm", "the wine is warm" and "the fish is warm", that should not be a concern now.

New sentences in grammar

Are these correct? If not, please specify why.

two 盤 披萨 今天 臭 (two pizzas stink today)

这 瓶 葡萄酒 不 臭 (this wine doesn't stink)

the 个 customer 今天 不 臭 (the customers don't stink today)

这 条 鱼 不 是 新鲜 (these fish aren't fresh)

Currently not in abstract syntax

This is not even near a comprehensive list, just something I thought.

Context: we are in a restaurant, and I make a comment about our waiter, to whom I refer to "the waiter".

  • The waiter loves El tiempo -- a specific wine
  • The waiter loves wine -- in general; the waiter is a big drinker
  • The waiter loves this wine
  • The waiter loves that wine
  • The waiter loves these wines
  • The waiter loves those wines
  • The waiter loves these wines

Are there any other nearness distinctions besides this, that, these and those? What?

  • The waiter eats pizza every day
  • The waiter ate fish today -- in general, for lunch or something, probably just a slice of fish
  • The waiter ate a fish today -- unspecified whole fish.
  • The waiter ate the fish today -- specified whole fish.

Are these two latter sentences in any way meaningful, or just weird and artificial?

  • This fish is delicious.
  • Is this fish delicious?
  • This fish is not delicious.
  • Is this fish not delicious? -- What does this mean? Is there some pragmatic function, such as being more or less polite?

Are some questions more natural with negation after the verb (是不是) and others with 吗 after the sentence, or is this more like free variation or dialectal difference?

  • Mary talks about John.
  • Mary talks about John to/with Kate. -- is there a difference between to and with? Like "giving a lecture to" vs. "chatting with"?
  • Mary talks to/with John.

(Feel free to translate the names, if there are similar really generic Chinese names. :P It's common in GF examples that we have John and Mary, or Giovanni and Maria etc.)

  • The fish is fresh and warm
  • The waiter is handsome and Italian

Can we coordinate adjectives like this? What if one adjective needs copula 是 and other doesn't?

  • The fish is good and the waiter is rude
  • The fish is good but the waiter is rude
  • The fish is good, although the waiter is rude

  • Mary stinks
  • Mary may stink
  • Mary must stink
  • The fish stinks
  • The fish may stink
  • The fish must stink
  • (other modal auxiliaries)

  • Mary loves John
  • Mary loved John
  • Mary has loved John
  • What other times there are? Okay, I'll see this from a grammar book as well.
Topic revision: r14 - 2012-08-26 - InariListenmaa
This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform Powered by PerlCopyright © 2008-2019 by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding TWiki? Send feedback