Parsing Hebrew CHILDES transcripts

Shai Gretz, Alon Itai, Brian MacWhinney, Bracha Nir, Shuly Wintner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a syntactic parser of (transcripts of) spoken Hebrew: a dependency parser of the Hebrew CHILDES database. CHILDES is a corpus of child–adult linguistic interactions. Its Hebrew section has recently been morphologically analyzed and disambiguated, paving the way for syntactic annotation. This paper describes a novel annotation scheme of dependency relations reflecting constructions of child and child-directed Hebrew utterances. A subset of the corpus was annotated with dependency relations according to this scheme, and was used to train two parsers (MaltParser and MEGRASP) with which the rest of the data were parsed. The adequacy of the annotation scheme to the CHILDES data is established through numerous evaluation scenarios. The paper also discusses different annotation approaches to several linguistic phenomena, as well as the contribution of morphological features to the accuracy of parsing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-145
Number of pages39
JournalLanguage Resources and Evaluation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2013

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


  • Child language
  • Dependency grammar
  • Parsing
  • Syntactic annotation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Library and Information Sciences


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