Generic Quantifier Labels?

I’m looking for some generic quantifier labels for my generation project. I tried digging around in the SEMI but couldn’t quite figure it out. I’d like the following types of labels:

  1. A generic quantifier label that’s underspecified between all quantifiers, so if my referring expression uses this label as the quantifier I’ll get back a huge number of phrases with all sorts of quantifiers

  2. A generic quantifier label that’s “less generic,” and only gives me back a more “reasonable” set of things (e.g. ‘the’, ‘a’, and maybe a few others)

  3. A quantifier label for implicit quantification that won’t show up as an explicit token in the final generated phrase but still allows me to generate

I think at one point I had something like #1 but I can’t remember if there was an existing label for it or if I had to create one and I can’t find what I did before. Any help would be appreciated!

I think you’ll find what you want in erg.semi.

@bond is right to point you to the file erg/etc/erg.smi, which contains a section introduced by “predicates:”, where you’ll find several useful abstract predicates defined. For your #1, try using the predicate abstract_q (which will give you a lot of outputs), and for number #2, try def_udef_a_q (which also produces bare plurals). For #3, I think you want implicit_q which will give you bare plurals for count nouns as in “cats appeared” and no-determiner NPs for mass nouns as in “rice appeared”.

Thanks! abstract_q did indeed give me a lot of outputs, but def_udef_a_q didn’t seem to work.

I think it might be an issue with PyDelphin so maybe @goodmami has some insight.

When I tried to generate with def_udef_a_q I get the following error:

delphin.semi.SemIError: no valid synopsis for def_udef_a_q()

And I think the issue is that def_udef_a_q, while it is mentioned in erg.smi is indeed not one of the listed predicates in abstract.smi so it may be unable to find the synopsis as a result of this. Not sure, though.

I did, however, see def_udef_some_a_no_q in abstract.smi so I tried just using that, but got a different error:

NOTE: EP 'def_udef_some_a_no_q' is unknown in the semantic index
WARNING: EP 'def_udef_some_a_no_q' is not covered

I can’t really tell if this is a PyDelphin issue or something deeper with the ERG.

These abstract quantifiers were added to erg.smi for the 2023 release of the ERG, so I guess you’re probably still using the 2020 release. If you can easily upgrade (via SVN), it may be worthwhile.

If you want to use the predicate hierarchy for some underspecifications of quantifiers, you might read how we solved the problem for my dissertation work in Section 2.5 (p27) and Appendix A.2. Actually the def_udef_a_q that @Dan mentioned is the one we were adding manually (I was working with an earlier version of the grammar).

I think that’s basically it. If you got that error message, then PyDelphin recognized the predicate you gave it, but could not find any synopses. If the predicate were not recognized at all, you’d get a different message. PyDelphin does not infer synopses through the hierarchy and instead only returns those specified directly for a predicate, so you’ll need some custom code to deal with that.