Querying linguistic trees

Catherine Lai, Steven Bird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Large databases of linguistic annotations are used for testing linguistic hypotheses and for training language processing models. These linguistic annotations are often syntactic or prosodic in nature, and have a hierarchical structure. Query languages are used to select particular structures of interest, or to project out large slices of a corpus for external analysis. Existing languages suffer from a variety of problems in the areas of expressiveness, efficiency, and naturalness for linguistic query. We describe the domain of linguistic trees and discuss the expressive requirements for a query language. Then we present a language that can express a wide range of queries over these trees, and show that the language is first-order complete over trees.

Original languageEnglish
Article number53
Pages (from-to)53-73
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Logic, Language and Information
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Querying linguistic trees'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this