Sydney OWL syntax - Towards a controlled natural language syntax for OWL 1.1

Anne Cregan, Rolf Schwitter, Thomas Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes a proposed new syntax that can be used to write and read OWL ontologies in Controlled Natural Language (CNL): a well-defined subset of the English language. Following the lead of Manchester OWL Syntax in making OWL more accessible for non-logicians, and building on the previous success of Schwitter's PENG (Processable English), the proposed Sydney OWL Syntax enables two-way translation and generation of grammatically correct full English sentences to and from OWL 1.1 functional syntax. Used in conjunction with OWL tools, it is designed to facilitate ontology construction and editing by enabling authors to write an OWL ontology in a defined subset of English. It also improves readability and understanding of OWL statements or whole ontologies, by enabling them to be read as English sentences. It is hoped that by providing the option of an intuitive, easy to use English syntax which requires no specialized knowledge, the broader community will be far more likely to develop and benefit from Semantic Web applications. This paper is a discussion paper covering the scope, design, and examples of Sydney OWL Syntax in use, and the authors invite feedback on all aspects of the proposal via email to [email protected]. Working drafts of the full specification are available at

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalCEUR Workshop Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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