Towards a Universal Grammar for Natural Language Processing

Universal Dependencies is a recent initiative to develop cross-linguistically consistent treebank annotation for many languages, with the goal of facilitating multilingual parser development, cross-lingual learning, and parsing research from a language typology perspective. In this talk, I outline the motivation behind the initiative and explain how the basic design principles follow from these requirements. I then discuss the different components of the annotation standard, including principles for word segmentation, morphological annotation, and syntactic annotation. I conclude with some thoughts on the challenges that lie ahead.