Fifth GF Summer School 2017

GF in a Full Stack of Language Technology

GF Summer School logo

Rīga, Latvia
14th–25th August 2017


Grammatical Framework (GF) is a grammar formalism and a programming language for multilingual computational grammars. It is based on the idea of a shared abstract syntax and mappings between the abstract syntax and concrete languages. GF has hundreds of users all over the world.

The GF Resource Grammar Library (RGL) implements the morphology (inflection) and basic syntax (phrase structure) of more than 30 languages: Afrikaans, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Interlingua, Japanese, Italian, Latvian, Maltese, Mongolian, Nepali, Norwegian bokmål, Nynorsk, Persian, Polish, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Sindhi, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, and Urdu. These resources are freely available as open-source software.

We are constantly welcoming new languages, especially from new language families, as well as EU languages not yet covered by the Resource Grammar Library (Lithuanian, Irish, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, Slovene, and Portuguese). Learn more at the RGL status page. The summer school is an excellent place to get started with a new language.

A recent Google TechTalk gives an overview of the GF technology and its many applications:

You will find the GF book a very good companion to your studies (available also as an e-book). However, the book is not a requirement for successful participation in the summer school.


The summer school starts with a GF tutorial aimed to be suitable for absolute beginners and bring them to the level where they can do independent work and follow the rest of the talks. But the tutorial should also make sense to experienced GF users, as it gives an update about some recent developments.

The tutorial will be followed by talks on various topics around GF and multilingual technology. These talks will be accessible even to the beginners who have followed the tutorial. They will usually not build on each other, so that, even if you find some of them difficult to follow, this will not compromise your understanding of the later talks.

Morning talks are intended for everyone, whereas afternoon work is in smaller groups. In the afternoons, guided tutoring will be given in small groups and to individuals, with detailed exercises and possibility for feedback.

The afternoons also contain specialized tutorials and workshops, aimed for those interested in their topics; other people can focus on their own projects in the meantime. Their duration can be anything from 30 minutes to 3 hours.

Practical work in the afternoons is an essential part of the summer school. The participants are expected to bring their own laptop computers and work on them. The tutors will help everyone to install the GF software (as well as other relevant tools). The GF software should work without problems on Linux, Mac OS, and Windows.

Students attending both weeks of the summer school and presenting their work will receive a certificate of 3 ECTS credit points.


Week 1 (August 14–18): Introduction to GF and multilingual grammar programming

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
08:30 Registration
Introduction to GF (Ch. 2)
GF programming language (Ch. 3 & 4) Resource Grammar Library (Ch. 5 & 9) Application grammars;
Industrial cases: Altran UK
Wide-coverage grammars and MT;
Neural MT at Tilde
Lunch break
Hands-on: working in the cloud Hands-on: working in the shell;
GF for Python programmers
Mini resource grammar
Hands-on Project proposals

Weekend: Excursion to Kuldīga and Great Ķemeri Bog, Riga City Festival 2017, etc.

Week 2 (August 21–25): Advanced work in specialised tracks

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri
Mechanics of GF;
Embedded grammars, web and mobile applications
Coq semantics for GF GF and other language resources: lexicon building, UD & GF, AMR & GF Industrial cases: Digital Grammars,, Legalese;
Dependent types in syntax
Participant presentations;
Closing discussion
Lunch break
Work on projects Work on projects Work on projects Participant presentations
19:30 Dinner

Coffee breaks: 10:30–11:00 and 15:30–16:00
Some suggestions for lunch can be found here.

Group photos

Week 1

Week 2

Teachers and invited speakers

Krasimir AngelovU Gothenburg
Digital Grammars
The mechanics of GF
Wide-coverage translation in GF
Jean‑Philippe BernardyU Gothenburg, CLASPCoq semantics for GF
Markus ForsbergU Gothenburg, SpråkbankenLexicon building
Normunds GrūzītisU Latvia, AiLab
GF in a full stack of LT
AMR-to-text generation via GF
Thomas HallgrenU Gothenburg
Digital Grammars
GF web services
Kaarel KaljurandNuance CommunicationsGrammar-based speech applications
GF-backed wikis (e.g. AceWiki GF)
Prasanth KolachinaU GothenburgUniversal Dependencies: gf2ud & ud2gf
Herbert LangeU GothenburgGF for Python programmers
Hans LeißLMU MunichModular and scalable grammar writing
Dependent types
Inari ListenmaaU GothenburgGF tutorial
Constraint Grammar
Michal MěchuraMasaryk UniversityGF-based conceptual authoring
Aarne RantaU Gothenburg
Digital Grammars
GF tutorial
MT for consumers and producers
Jordi SaludesUPC BarcelonaBindings of the GF run-time
Raivis SkadiņšTilde.comNeural MT for smaller languages
Christina UngerMercury.aiApplication grammars
GF in a conversational AI industry
Angela WallenburgAltran UKMultilingual software specifications
Meng Weng WongLegalese.comComputational law


The summer school will take place in Rīga, the capital city of Latvia.

University of Latvia

All lectures and afternoon sessions will be held at the Faculty of Computing, University of Latvia, Raiņa blvd. 19, which is located in the very centre of Rīga.

Founded in 1201, Rīga has become the largest city in the Baltic states, and one of the largest cities in Northern Europe. Located on the shores of the Baltic Sea, the city has been a centre of trade and commerce for many centuries. As a result, Rīga is a fascinating mixture of proud Latvian traditions and influences of the various countries and cultures that have controlled it throughout history.

The historical centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site: medieval buildings of Old Riga, unique Art Nouveau architecture, and 19th century wooden architecture – all in one place.


Find out more about Rīga and Latvia!

P.S. Jūrmala, the renowned seaside town, is just 30 min. by train. There you will find an endless beach of white sand, shallow coastal waters, revitalizing air from the sea and the tall pine trees, characteristic wooden houses, playgrounds, cafes and more.

Getting there

Most likely you will fly to Riga International Airport (RIX) which is only 10 km from the city centre. A taxi ride from the airport to central Riga takes 10–20 min., and it costs EUR 10–15. Bus #22 and minibus #222 run to and from the airport frequently, and a ticket costs EUR 2.

Accommodation & general information


There are many options for accommodation in a walking distance from the venue. Check out and Airbnb.

New: Here is a partial shortlist of hotels and apartments selected from and grouped into three price categories, but there are more options out there.

Jūrmala is a perfectly possible option as well.

Do not hesitate to ask any questions about accommodation, location or other practical matters to the local organiser.

Practical stuff


There is a small participation fee, 30 EUR, that covers coffee breaks. Otherwise, the cost of the summer school is to be self-cost, that is, most participants pay for their travel, accommodation, and meals.

Applications are subject to approval. To stimulate maximum interaction between lecturers and participants, the steering committee of the summer school will admit a limited number of participants.

Go to the registration form


Students and academic/research staff of foreign higher education institutions can apply for Latvian state scholarships, 711 EUR each, for participation in the summer school. We are able to provide these scholarships to 10 participants. The scholarships cover the participation fee, accommodation, lunches, social dinner, excursion, and a t-shirt, however, they do not cover travel expenses. Also notice that there is a limited list of 38 countries, citizens of which are eligible to apply for the scholarships.

Travel grants

In addition to the scholarships, participants can apply for Digital Grammars travel grants, 300 EUR each, to attend the summer school. We are able to provide 5 travel grants.

New: University of Latvia provides 5 more travel grants of the same amount!

Note that there is no restriction for travel grants in terms of citizenship. One may apply for both a scholarship (if eligible) and a travel grant, as well as just for a travel grant (or just for a scholarship).


To apply for a scholarship and/or a travel grant, you must submit:

  1. CV
  2. Motivation letter (1 page), including a description of a GF-related project/research idea, or an implemented/ongoing (mini) project, or a conducted experiment, etc. The relationship with GF may be indirect, but it should be in line with the wider multilingual technology/application perspective.
  3. Application form (in addition to the online registration form). Please, print out this PDF, fill it in by hand (in capital letters), sign it, and make a scan or a photo. One or two other documents may be required, depending on your choices and citizenship.

Please, email the required documents to the local organiser. (Check whether you received a confirmation email.)

Note that it is not required to submit these documents if you are not applying for a scholarship or a travel grant. Regular participants must submit only the online registration form.

Important dates

To apply for a scholarship and/or a travel grant, the deadline for registration and document submission is 30 April 2017.

For regular participants, the deadline for registration is 21 May 2017, 31 May 2017.




The GF mailing list is a great place to ask about anything GF, including the summer school.

If you have a more specific question, you can contact us directly:

Previous GF summer schools