Program of

The Second Swiss Estonian Workshop on Computational and Theoretical Linguistics

University of Zurich, June 23.-28. 1997

"The Second Swiss Estonian Workshop on Computational and Theoretical Linguistics" is a workshop with participants from the University of Tartu/Estonia and the University of Zurich. Its goals are to exchange research results, teaching experiences, project ideas, and to come to a better understanding of the learning cultures in different parts of Europe.

9:30 - 12:459:15 h Opening of the Workshop
Talk Session 1
Talk Session 2ExcursionTalk Session 3Talk Session 4Plenary Session
14:15 - 16:15Project SessionProject SessionProject Session Project Session
16:30 - 18:00

System Demos

EveningGuided City Tour

Cultural Event

Talk Sessions

The talks by the Tartu students deal with their current research in various projects. The talks by the Zurich students center around the evaluation of Machine Translation (MT) system since this has been the topic of their seminar in summer semester 97.

We would like to thank Dr. Bearth and H. Hirzel of the Seminar for General Linguistics for presenting one of their projects.

Talk Session 1 (Monday)

Session Chair: Martin Volk

Epp Toomsalu: Computer Lexicons and Hypertext
Rene Prillop: Language Technology in Internet
Dr. Bearth and H. Hirzel (Seminar for General Linguistics): Computer Aided Lexicography in extra-European languages: The Akan project
Dominic A. Merz: Probing the lexical coverage of MT systems

Talk Session 2 (Tuesday)

Session Chair: Mare Koit

Heili Orav: Directive Verbs in Estonian WordNet
Kadri Vider: Some problems in Estonian WordNet
Kadri Pettai: Role Constellations of Estonian
Melchior Amgarten: Comparing the lexicon extension modules of MT systems

Talk Session 3 (Thursday)

Session Chair: Michael Hess

Mirjam Oberholzer: Can MT systems translate compounds?
Frank David: Evaluating and measuring the efficiency of MT in companies
Signe Cousins: Parallel Corpus of Estonian and Swedish
Leho Paldre: Negation in universally quantified sentences

Talk Session 4 (Friday)

Session Chair: Urve Talvik

Angela Niederbäumer: Checking Word Order in MT systems
Ralph Rickenbach: Methods for measuring translation quality
Lumme Erilt: Entropy in Language
Tiina Puolakainen: Inducing Constraint Grammar from Corpora (25 Min.) and Kaili Müürisep: Syntactic Analysis of Natural Language using Constraint Grammar and Corpus-based Patterns (25 Min.)

Projects: Using the WWW for linguistic research

During the week we will work in groups on small projects trying to build linguistic tools for WWW pages. The following projects are currently being prepared.

1. Training a tagger for Estonian

Project leader: Gerold Schneider

Abstract: After deciding on a suitable tagset for Estonian and a specific text genre to use we will start training Eric Brill's tagger for Estonian.

The preliminary results of our training look promising, therefore try the online version of this Estonian tagger.

2. Interfacing a bilingual SGML-Dictionary to the WWW

Project leader: Dominic A. Merz

Abstract: In this project we will first build up a small German - Estonian dictionary of some 40 to 50 words. The entries will then be structured with SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language) tags according to the spirit of the TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) guidelines. We will then plan and realize a flexible WWW interface to this dictionary.

3. Interfacing a DCG-Parser to the WWW

Project leaders: Mattia Mastropietro and Martin Volk

Abstract: Writing DCG (definite clause grammar) parsers in Prolog is an integral part in training students in Computational Linguistics. In this project we will briefly revisit DCG parsing. Then we will write a small grammar for English in DCG rules. We will then hook this program to an HTML interface so that the parser can be accessed via the WWW.

Try the resulting DCG-Parser for English.

System Demos

In this session we will demonstrate some CL systems that have been developped, trained, evaluated, employed, ... at the University of Zurich.

  1. Norbert Fuchs, Uta Schwertel, Rolf Schwitter: Attempto - translating controlled natural language into a formal specification
  2. Gerold Schneider: A tagger for German
  3. Dominic A. Merz: Langenscheidts T1: A machine translation system (English - German)
  4. Martin Volk: GTU - a grammar workbench (University of Koblenz and University of Zurich)


On Wednesday, June 25th, there will be a day excursion with the following stops:

Meeting Point: 9:30 h at the Irchel Campus Taxi Stop (Level D below the mensa)

  1. the monastery of Einsiedeln
  2. the Ibergeregg pass (1406 m) with a short walk into the mountainside
  3. the town of Schwyz
  4. the Wilhelm Tell Chapel at Lake Lucerne
  5. optionally: scenic view from mount Bürgenstock
  6. the city of Lucerne


We gratefully acknowledge financial and administrative support for the Workshop from

Martin Volk <>
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