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A parser is an abstract machine designed to test the structural integrity of a linguistic unit. In contrast to a recognizer, a parser produces a structural description for all well-formed units.


The behavior of a parser is determined by the (parsing) algorithm and is based on certain linguistic information (grammar and lexicon in most cases). Most parsers have been developed for the syntactic analysis of sentences. But in general, a parser can be used to analyse the structure of any kind of linguistic unit: a single word, an arbitrary phrase or a complete text.



  • Naumann, S. 2005. Probabilistic Parsing. In: Köhler, R., Altmann, G. and Piotrowski, R.C. (eds.) 2005. Handbook of Quantitative Linguistics. Berlin: Springer, 847-56.
  • Sikkel, K. 1998. Parsing Schemata. A Framework for Specification and Analysis of Parsing Algorithms. EATCS Monographs. Berlin: Springer.

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