Skip to main content

A constituency grammar parser with support of morphology and word embeddings

Project description


This package implements a context-free grammar parser with rather flexible matching of terminals. The supported matching modes are:

  • standard exact matching (like e.g. in NLTK);
  • regex matching (like e.g. in Lark);
  • lemma matching (like e.g. in Yandex Alice);
  • word embedding matching (no known Python implementation).

The mission of this package is to enable easy creation of custom grammars for various NLU problems, such as sentence classification or extraction of semantic slots.

It is called "word mover grammar", because, just like word-mover-distance, it applies word embeddings to sentence templates, but in a more structured way.

Table of Contents

  1. Installation
  2. Basic parsing
  3. Ambiguous phrases
  4. Inexact matcing
  5. Forms and slots
  6. Future plans


pip install word-mover-grammar

Basic parsing

WMG production rules can be described in a text file with the following syntax:

  • Lowercase tokens represent terminals, and capitalized tokens - terminals. You can also prepend non-terminals with $ symbol and/or put terminals into single brackets.
  • Left- and right-hand sides of productions can be separated with : or -> tokens.
  • Different right-hand-sides of the same production can be separated with | symbol or with newline followed by several whitespaces. In the latter case, each RHS can be prepended with -, which makes the format YAML-compatible.
  • One-line comments can start with # symbol.

The snippet below shows how to create a simple grammar and parser:

import word_mover_grammar as wmg
rules = """
NP: N | A NP
N: fruit | flies | bananas
A: fruit
V: like | flies | are
P: like
grammar = wmg.text_to_grammar.load_granet(rules)
parser = wmg.earley.EarleyParser(grammar, root_symbol='S')

The main inference method is parser.parse(tokens), where tokens is a list of strings. This method returns a ParseResult object, that stores the parse trees.

result = parser.parse('bananas are fruit'.split())
for tree in result.iter_trees():
    wmg.earley.print_tree(tree, result.final_state)

The output of the code above is given below. The parser has correctly inferred that the sentence "bananas are fruit" consists of the noun phrase "bananas" and the verb phrase "are fruit", which in turn consists of the verb "are" and the noun "fruit".

|                     .                      |
|                     S                      |
|      NP      |             VP              |
|      N       |      VP      |      NP      |
|   bananas    |      V       |      N       |
|              |     are      |    fruit     |
|   bananas    |     are      |    fruit     |

If the phrase cannot be parsed, result.success will be False - e.g. here:

result = parser.parse('bananas bananas bananas'.split())
print(result.success)  # False

Ambiguous phrases

Some phrases can be parsed in more that one way. In this case, result.success will still be True, but the number of trees will be more than one.

result = parser.parse('fruit flies like bananas'.split())
for tree in result.iter_trees():
    wmg.earley.print_tree(tree, result.final_state)

The phrase above can be understood in two ways:

  • that particular insects are fond of bananas;
  • that the style of flying of some fruit resembles that of bananas. The parsing result has trees for both interpretations:
|                             .                             |
|                             S                             |
|      NP      |                     VP                     |
|      N       |      VP      |             PP              |
|    fruit     |      V       |      P       |      NP      |
|              |    flies     |     like     |      N       |
|              |              |              |   bananas    |
|    fruit     |    flies     |     like     |   bananas    |
|                             .                             |
|                             S                             |
|             NP              |             VP              |
|      A       |      NP      |      VP      |      NP      |
|    fruit     |      N       |      V       |      N       |
|              |    flies     |     like     |   bananas    |
|    fruit     |    flies     |     like     |   bananas    |

Inexact matching

By default, WMG uses only exact matching of tokens. However, several more matching ways can be activated by special directives:

  • %w2v: words are considered equal, if the dot product of their embeddings is above the threshold (default one is 0.5). If this mode is used, parser constructor requires one more argument w2v - a callable that transforms a word into a vector.
  • %lemma: words are considered equal, if at least some of their normal forms coincide. If this mode is used, parser constructor requires one more argument lemmer - a callable that transforms a word into a list of normal forms.
  • %regex: a word is matched, if it can be parsed by the regular expression.
  • %exact: words are considered equal, only if they are the same word.

If a directive is inserted within a non-terminal, it is active until the end of this non-terminal. If a directive is inserted outside of non-terminals, it is active until the next directive outside of non-terminals, but can be temporarily overridden within non-terminals.

The code below shows an example of inexact matching for a simple Russian grammar.

grammar = wmg.text_to_grammar.load_granet("""
    включи $What $Where
    свет | кондиционер
    в $Room
    на $Room
    ванна | кухня | спальня

As a lemmer, we can use pymorphy2

from pymorphy2 import MorphAnalyzer

analyzer = MorphAnalyzer()

def lemmer(text):
    return [p.normal_form for p in analyzer.parse(text)]

For embeddings, we can use a compressed FastText model

import compress_fasttext

small_model = compress_fasttext.models.CompressedFastTextKeyedVectors.load(

def w2v(text):
    return small_model.word_vec(text, use_norm=True)

The parser combines all the objects from above:

parser = wmg.earley.EarleyParser(grammar, w2v=w2v, w2v_threshold=0.5, lemmer=lemmer)

The phrase below contains an OOV word пылесос, but its embedding is close to that of вентилятор, so the match succeeds. Another problem is that спальне is not equal to спальня, but their normal forms coinside and therefore match is possible.

tokens = 'включи пылесос в спальне'.split()
result = parser.parse(tokens)
for tree in result.iter_trees():
    wmg.earley.print_tree(tree, result.final_state, w=16)

The output is following:

|                               .                               |
|                             root                              |
|    включи     |     $What     |            $Where             |
|               |  кондиционер  |       в       |     $Room     |
|               |               |               |    спальня    |
|    включи     |    пылесос    |       в       |    спальне    |

Forms and slots

In dialogue systems, phrases are often viewed as forms - containers of information. Each meaningful piece of information can be stored in a typed slot. You can think of them as of named groups in regular expressions, or as extended named entities.

In WMG, each slot is associated with some non-terminal symbol. This association can be configured in the same file as the production rules.

import word_mover_grammar as wmg
cfg = """
    turn the $What $Where on
    turn on the $What $Where
$What: light | conditioner
$Where: in the $Room
$Room: bathroom | kitchen | bedroom | living room
        source: $What                   
        source: $Room
grammar = wmg.text_to_grammar.load_granet(cfg)
parser = wmg.earley.EarleyParser(grammar)
result = parser.parse('turn on the light in the living room'.split())

The result will be a yandex-compatible map of slot names to the slots found in the phrase.

{'what': {'type': 'string', 'value': 'light', 'text': 'light', 'tokens': {'start': 3, 'end': 4}},
 'room': {'type': 'string', 'value': 'living room', 'text': 'living room', 'tokens': {'start': 6, 'end': 8}}}

A few caveats:

  • currently, in ambiguous prhases the slots are taken just from the first parse tree. If you want to extract slots from an arbitrary tree, you can call result.extract_slots(tree).
  • each slot is filled only once. If the non-terminal occurs several times in the phrase, the corresponding slot will be filled with the first occurrence.

Future plans

In the future, we plan to enhance the library in the following ways:

  • Conversion to and from NLTK grammars
  • Support of quantifiers and brackets
  • Probabilistic parsing
  • Extraction of intents and slots from parse trees
  • Full compatibility with Yandex Alice syntax
  • You name it!

Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Source Distribution

word-mover-grammar-0.0.2.tar.gz (14.5 kB view hashes)

Uploaded source

Supported by

AWS AWS Cloud computing and Security Sponsor Datadog Datadog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN Google Google Download Analytics Microsoft Microsoft PSF Sponsor Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Sentry Sentry Error logging StatusPage StatusPage Status page