Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar

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The Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar (GPSG) is a theory describing the syntax and semantics of natural languages . It is a phrase structure grammar (= constituent grammar ) and therefore not a dependent grammar . The GPSG was initially developed by Gerald Gazdar in the 1970s . Other significant contributions came from Ewan Klein , Ivan Sag and Geoffrey Pullum . Her book Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar , published in 1985 , is the central monograph on the GPSG - with a special focus on English syntax.

One of the central goals of the GPSG is to show that the syntax of natural language can be described by context-free grammars . To this end, some helpful conventions have been introduced to simplify such descriptions of grammars for syntacticians. The GPSG supports syntactic descriptions through semantic annotations that can be used to calculate the meaning of a sentence from its syntax tree.

The GPSG is in part a response to the transformational grammars . The notational extensions of the context-free grammars in the GPSG are intended to make transformations redundant . Most of the syntactic innovations of the GPSG were subsequently incorporated into the head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar .


  • Gerald Gazdar, Ewan H. Klein, Geoffrey K. Pullum, Ivan A. Sag: Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar . Blackwell, and Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, Oxford 1985, ISBN 0-674-34455-3 .
  • Stefan Müller: Chapter 4: Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar . In: Grammar Theory  (= "Stauffenburg Introductions" series No. 20). Stauffenburg Verlag, Tübingen 2010, ISBN 978-3860572948 .
  • Hans Uszkoreit: Word Order and Constituent Structure in German . CSLI Publications, Stanford 1987, ISBN 0-937-07310-5 .