Some notes on UTL's syntax


A paramount feature of the UTL language is that it should be easy to analize (both syntactically and morphologically), and this analysis should be accurate and unambiguous.  The computerized analysis of a sentece begins with a morpholexical identification of its individual elements, which are grouped in bigger unities, which at the same time make up the parts of the sentence. These structures are represented in a formal grammar, in which for every non-unitary element of a sentence its constitutive elements are given. You can see below a "toy" formal grammar for the UTL language covering some simple declarative sentences.



Note on the markers: elements in brackets are optional; curled brackets indicate zero or more of that kind, and a vertical bar | indicates "or".

    sentence ::= (subject) verb (objects) {adverbial} 
     | subject attributive_verb direct_object object_complement {adverbial}
     | subject copulative_verb subject_complement {adverbial}
     | subject copulative_verb {adverbial}
    subject ::= noun_phrase | "ke" sentence | infinitive_sentence
    objects ::=  direct_object ("al" noun_phrase)
    direct_object ::= accusative_noun_phrase | "ke" sentence
     | infinitive_sentence
    infinitive_sentence ::= infinitive (objects) {adverbial}
    object/subject_complement ::= modified_adjective | noun_phrase 
     | relative_clause
    adverbial ::= adverb_phrase | prepositional_phrase | adverb_clause
    adverb_phrase ::= modified_adverb
     | {modified_adverb} verbal_adverb (objects) {adverbial}
    modified_adverb ::= {modified_adverb} adverb {adverbial}
    prepositional_phrase ::= preposition noun_phrase
    noun_phrase ::= modified_noun | relative_pronoun sentence 
     | (demonstrative) pronoun (number)
    modified_noun ::= (specifier) (number) {adjective} noun 
     (modified_adjective) {prepositional_phrase} (relative_clause)
    modified_adjective ::= (modified_adverb) adjective (adverbial)
     | {modified_adverb} verbal_adjective (objects) {adverbial}
    specifier ::= article | demonstrative | possessive | quantifier
    relative_clause ::= relative_possesive modified_noun sentence
      | relative_pronoun sentence
      | (adverbial) relative_adverb sentence 
    adverb_clause ::= (adverbial) relative_adverb sentence 


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(c) Marcos Franco, 1999-2000.