Natural Language Theory and Technology

Intelligent Systems Laboratory

Palo Alto Research Center

The Natural Language Theory and Technology group develops broad-coverage theories and technologies for efficiently converting between natural language expressions and machine-interpretable canonical representations. This ability is required for machines to perform such tasks as content analysis, fact-finding, question answering, inference, translation, and sense making, and to communicate naturally with people.

Our approach involves investigating the features that all human languages have in common and developing universal theoretical and computational frameworks that apply easily to languages of widely varying types. The theories of Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG) and Finite-State Morphology are examples of frameworks that we originated and that linguists and computational linguists around the world have adopted and are extending. We and our close collaborators also construct broad-coverage linguistic databases (grammars, lexicons, morphologies, semantics) that describe the distinctive characteristics of particular languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, Japanese, Turkish, Urdu, ...). Finally, we investigate and implement efficient algorithms for processing text and meaning and embed those algorithms in prototypical applications. The research disciplines in NLTT include linguistics, computer science, logic, and statistics.


[picture of Annie Zaenen
Annie Zaenen
[picture of Danny Bobrow]
Danny Bobrow
[picture of Bob Cheslow]
Bob Cheslow
[picture of Cleo Condoravdi]
Cleo Condoravdi
[picture of Ji Fang]
Ji Fang
[picture of Lauri Karttunen]
Lauri Karttunen
[picture of John Maxwell]
John Maxwell


Lucas Champollion

Liz Coppock

Administrator Associates
[picture of Bev Ringeline]
Bev Ringeling
[picture of Lottie Price]
Charlotte Price
[picture of Ron Kaplan]
Ron Kaplan
[picture of Martin Kay]
Martin Kay

List of previous members and associates

Research Activities

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