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A Multilingual Parser for the Principles-and-Parameters Framework

MacOS X Edition

Sandiway Fong

Acknowledgement: port by Keith Alcock.

This is a short guide to installing PAPPI on MacOS X and getting started with using PAPPI.


System Requirements

Unlike earlier versions of PAPPI, you do not require a separate (Quintus) Prolog license. Everything is free.

[A runtime interpreter version of Sicstus Prolog is bundled with MacOS X PAPPI.]

You'll need:

Download MacOS X PAPPI

Download the disk image file: pappi2.dmg (6MB)

[Released January 29th 2005. Release: January (r0.1). Built using Sicstus Prolog 3.12.0]

If the installer launches automatically and you are not installing PAPPI for the first time, quit the installer and follow the steps below.

If the installer launches automatically and you are installing PAPPI for the first time, go ahead and use the installer. Next, do step 1 below, and skip the rest of the section and go to Running and Testing PAPPI.


  1. Install X11 from Apple Computer.
    This is freeware.

    [Check to see if X11 is already installed on your computer. If so, X11 will be in your Utilities folder inside the Applications folder. Skip to the next step in the instructions.]

    Either install X11 directly from your OS X installation disks or download using the following instructions:

    [PAPPI's user interface and graphics are built around X11-based libraries.]

    Apple Menu -> Mac OS X Software ... Type X11 in the search downloads box

    direct link: here

  2. Remove any previous PAPPI installations
    If you have installed an earlier version of PAPPI, please uninstall it first.
    Uninstallation instructions can be found below.

    From the Applications folder, move pappi2 and pappi.command to the Trash.

  3. Install downloaded PAPPI
    1. Double-click Pappi2.dmg to mount the drive.
      Downloaded disk image file. Disk Pappi2 should show up in the Finder.

    2. Click the mounted Pappi2 drive and double-click Pappi2.pkg to run the installer.
      Follow the installer instructions to install PAPPI to your hard drive.

      The application pappi2 and a file pappi.command will be installed in your Applications folder.

      Note: Use the pappi2 icon to run PAPPI normally. For Unix-savvy users, in case of debugging, e.g. if PAPPI fails to start, or for passing command-line arguments, use the pappi.command terminal command.

    3. Eject the Pappi2 drive by clicking on the upward arrow next to the drive icon in the Finder.

      Pappi2.dmg is no longer required and can be erased.

Running and Testing PAPPI

  1. Start up X11.
    From the Utilities folder within the Applications folder, double-click the X11 icon.

    [PAPPI will not run unless X11 is started up first since it uses X11-based libraries.]

    Note: X11 also allows you to run PAPPI remotely, e.g. you could install PAPPI on one computer and display on others using X11 without installing PAPPI locally.

  2. Start up PAPPI.
    From the Applications folder, double-click on the pappi2 icon

    You should see the PAPPI window shown below come up.

    [By default, PAPPI comes up in English along with parser operations and parser This can be changed in the init/Nuser_defaults file.]

    [A small sample,, and a compiled LR(1)-based parser (state transition table), (shift/reduce actions), (shift/reduce action hooks and head movement rules) are supplied with the distribution.

    You can add to, modify or re-build these files as appropriate.]

    Note: It also creates a folder pappi2 in your home directory (if one does not already exists).
    If you add or modify PAPPI files, place them there.

    [PAPPI looks in your local pappi2 directory first when loading files.]

  3. Test PAPPI.
    Run the demo. Click on the demo button (top-right).

    Verify it runs correctly.

    Starting from a blank slate, it should go through the following steps:

    [Trees shown below on the right are clickable for a larger view.]

    Part I
    1. Load in
    2. Load in English (* files).
    3. Load in
    4. Give a parse for the parasitic gap sentence
      "Which report did you file without reading?"
    5. Click on NP "which report" displaying its features.

    Part II
    1. Try to parse the ungrammatical wh-question
      *"Who does Mary wonder why John hit?"
      (No parse is reported.)
    2. Deactivate parser operation "Subjacency"
    3. Obtain a parse for the wh-question without Subjacency
      (Who is extracted from the highlighted object position following the verb hit in one move.)

    Part III
    1. Load in Japanese (* files).
    2. Give a parse for the left-branching (in Japanese) sentence:
      neko-ga koroshita nezumi-ga tabeta tiizu-wa kusatte ita
      cat-NOM killed rat-NOM ate cheese-TOPIC rotten was

      (the parse tree should contain kanji and hiragana characters.)

      Note: the same sentence in English is center-embedded:
      [the cheese [the rat [the cat killed] ate] was rotten]
      (See English parse here.)

    Part IV
    1. Load in Dutch (* files)
    2. Ik weet dat Hanneke haar oma bezocht
      I know that Hanneke her grandma visited

      I know that Hanneke visited her Grandma

      PAPPI produces two parses following binding theory: one for Hanneke's grandma, and one for someone else's grandma, as indicated by NP indexing.

    Part IV
    1. Load in English again.

    To exit PAPPI, click on the red circle at the top-left corner of the PAPPI window.

Explore the PAPPI system

MacOS X-specific Tips

For drop-down menus, default behavior with the single-button mouse is to perform a shortcut and simply execute the first item on the menu. To choose between the menu items, use command-mouse click on the menu button. (Hold down the Apple-Cloverleaf key and press the mouse button).


Clicking on the Language menu will load Eng (English) without displaying the menu.

To see the Language menu, command-click on the button.
Then select the menu item by clicking on the item directly.

Follow the Introduction to the Theory of PAPPI Exercise

For an introduction to PAPPI by dissecting a single example, click here.

Look at the Reference Manual

Available online at the PAPPI homepage here.

Look at the example files

Try the sentences contained in l&u.xpl from the distribution.

[.xpl files are example files.]

Click on the Examples ... dialog button (top left).
Command-click on Go To:
and select PAPPI_HOME.
Double-click on xpl
Scroll down and find l&u.xpl
Select a sentence by triple-clicking it.
(The selected sentence will be highlighted.)

Process the sentence by clicking Run.

Note: You can have PAPPI run all the sentences automatically in batch mode as follows:
Command-click the Run drop-down menu button.
Click on the Start Batch.. dialog button.
Command-click Go To:,
select PAPPI_HOME,
drop down to the xpl folder,
and select batch.xpl
Watch PAPPI run all the examples in that file, see below.
[To stop, command-click the Run menu button,
and select Stop Batch.
PAPPI will stop after the current sentence
has finished parsing.]

Look at the supplied and files.

Control-click the pappi2 icon in the Applications folder.
Select Show Package Contents.
Drill down from Contents to MacOS to pappi2.
Load or into a text editor.
Modify the files and save them to the pappi2 folder under your home directory.
To load modifications into PAPPI,
command-click on the Theory drop-down menu,
and select the appropriate file.

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