Controlled natural languages for knowledge representation

Rolf Schwitter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a survey of research in controlled natural languages that can be used as high-level knowledge representation languages. Over the past 10 years or so, a number of machine-oriented controlled natural languages have emerged that can be used as high-level interface languages to various kinds of knowledge systems. These languages are relevant to the area of computational linguistics since they have two very interesting properties: firstly, they look informal like natural languages and are therefore easier to write and understand by humans than formal languages; secondly, they are precisely defined subsets of natural languages and can be translated automatically (and often deterministically) into a formal target language and then be used for automated reasoning. We present and compare the most mature of these novel languages, show how they can balance the disadvantages of natural languages and formal languages for knowledge representation, and discuss how domain specialists can be supported writing specifications in controlled natural language.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationColing 2010 - 23rd International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Proceedings of the Conference
EditorsC-R. Huang
Place of PublicationStroudsburg, PA
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event23rd International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Coling 2010 - Beijing, China
Duration: 23 Aug 201027 Aug 2010


Other23rd International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Coling 2010


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