Best place for documentation about predicates in ERG?

Are the predicates used by ERG all documented somewhere? I would love to know, for example, what the quantifier “pronoun_q” is doing. I have found docs for some predicates (like loc_nonsp) by doing a full text search on, but not all.

Any help is appreciated!

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Sadly, I think there isn’t full documentation for most of the predicates.

You can see where they fit in the grammar using the ltdb:


It should show example sentences (and if there is any inline documentation it will show that).

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Good point @EricZinda! That is the man thing blocking my work on treebaking some sentences. Many times I miss documentation about the symbols. The link above from @bond is not very informative for me…

@bond, any chance we can get an LTDB compiled for ERG 2018?

And here’s a few more sources of information:

  • You can find information about ERG analyses in terms of the MRSs at, but it isn’t complete, and even if it were it wouldn’t comprehensively cover all predicates, but it usefully describes how we describe linguistic phenomena semantically.

  • The SEM-I (the .smi files in the etc/ subdirectory of the ERG) is an exported resource that lists all known predicates and their usage synopsis (like a frame). I’ve advocated making this a curated resource that the grammar conforms to rather than a snapshot of the current grammar, but the idea found no traction. In any case you might find this useful for seeing, e.g., what prediates are available and what are their core arguments.

  • You might also try reading the comments in the ERG’s TDL files, but sometimes they are on a higher type than the one you’re interested in. grep often helps here.

Thanks @bond and @goodmami. The SEM-I has a lot of great information about the shapes of predicates, that will be really helpful.

Please feel free to keep asking questions here, too!

Awesome, thanks @ebender. The folks on this Discourse have been very helpful!