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English as a formal specification language

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1 Author(s)
Schwitter, R. ; Centre for Language Technol., Macquarie Univ., Sydney, NSW, Australia

PENG is a computer-processable controlled natural language designed for writing unambiguous and precise specifications. PENG covers a strict subset of standard English and is precisely defined by a controlled grammar and a controlled lexicon. In contrast to other controlled languages, the author does not need to know the grammatical restrictions explicitly. ECOLE, a look-ahead text editor, indicates the restrictions while the specification is written. The controlled lexicon contains domain-specific content words that can be defined by the author on the fly and predefined function words. Specifications written in PENG can be deterministically translated into discourse representations structures to cope with anaphora and presuppositions and also into first-order predicate logic. To test the formal properties of PENG, we reformulated Schubert's steamroller puzzle in PENG, translated the resulting specification via discourse representation structures into first-order predicate logic with equality, and proved the steamroller's conclusion with OTTER, a standard theorem prover.

Published in:

Database and Expert Systems Applications, 2002. Proceedings. 13th International Workshop on

Date of Conference:

2-6 Sept. 2002

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