The FCG Editor: An Integrated Development Environment for Computational Construction Grammars

Remi van Trijp, Katrien Beuls and Paul Van Eecke

Ever since Construction Grammar emerged in the 1980s (Fillmore, 1988), the potential of its basic premise – that all linguistic knowledge can be represented as conventional mappings between form and meaning known as constructions – has attracted the attention of formal and computational linguists. However, despite the development of various formalizations and implementations of construction grammar (e.g. Steels, 2004; Bergen and Chang, 2005; Michaelis, 2009), it remains difficult to implement broad-coverage constructional models of natural language processing, which is partly caused by the lack of user-friendly development tools. This paper therefore introduces the FCG Editor, a free IDE for the Fluid Construction Grammar formalism (, which offers students and language professionals a powerful tool for operationalizing and testing
their constructional analyses.

Compatible with all the major operating systems (Windows, MacOS and Linux), the FCG editor allows FCG constructs, such as constructions or linguistic inventories, to be written and executed from the editor pane. There is also a construction wizard available that is able to create templates of code that the user can then customize without having to remember all details of the syntax of the FCG formalism. Testing can be done manually in a test pane or in the command-line interface, but typically users will check the interactive web interface of the FCG editor, which provides a user-friendly graphical representation of constructions and constructional language processing, and ways to configure the grammar.

The FCG Editor helps to make it possible to transform the theoretical ideas of construction grammar into fully operational computational models. This in turn may have a major impact on both constructional research in linguistics, as well as in the development of large-scale construction grammars for NLP applications.

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