From Glottopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Metarules are used in Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar to capture structural generalizations in a similar way transformational rules did in earley transformational grammar. Unlike transformational rules they don't map structural description onto (new) structural descriptions, but generate new lexical ID rules on the basis of given ones.


The Passive Metarule is used to generate for each VP-rule introducing a transitive verb a new lexical ID rule which introduces a passive verb form accompanied by the same phrases, except that the direct object replaced by an optional PP:

VP \rightarrow W, NP \Rightarrow VP[PAS] \rightarrow W, (PP[by])

The Complement Omission Metarule deletes the complements of a noun,

[+N, BAR 1] \rightarrow N, W \Rightarrow [+N, BAR 1] \rightarrow N

accounting for the fact that (in English) the arguments of a noun are optional.

W is a variable ranging over a multiset of categories.


  • Uszkoreit, H. 1986. Constraints on Order. Linguistics 24, 883–906.
  • Volk, M. 1988. Parsing German with GPSG: The Problem of Separable-Prefix Verbs. Diss. Univ. of Georgia.
  • Weisweber, W. 1992. Direct Parsing with Metarules. KIT-Report 102, TUB [& Internationale Konferenz für Computerlinguistik (COLING), Nantes 1992, S. 1111–1115].

Other Languages