thanks for your interesting references. I've looked into development of tag sets for part-of-speech tagging for English, Urdu, Arabic and Malay:
Atwell, E. 2008. Development of tag sets for part-of-speech tagging. in: Anke Ludeling & Merja Kyto (editors) Corpus Linguistics: An International Handbook, Volume 1, pp. 501-526, Mouton de Gruyter. (preprint: http://www.comp.leeds.ac.uk/eric/atwell08clih.pdf) http://www.degruyter.de/cont/imp/mouton/detailEn.cfm?isbn=978-3-11-021142-9
Corpus linguists have not been able to agree on a single poS-tagset for English, let alone a cross-language tag-set. The problem is the wide range of (sometimes conflicting) criteria used in design of corpus PoStag sets: "... mnemonic tag names; underlying linguistic theory; classification by form or function; analysis of idiosyncratic words; categorization problems; tokenisation issues: defining what counts as a word; multi-word lexical items; target user and/or application; availability and/or adaptability of tagger software; adherence to standards; variations in genre, register, or type of language; and degree of delicacy of the tag set."
Perhaps a small PoS-tagset lacking "delicacy" or fine-grained distinctions could apply across languages; e.g. the broad classes used by traditionla Arabic grammarians N (nouns) V (verbs) P (particles, i.e. others). But arguably this is only useful to you if it reveals some syntacitc universals, and I guess dividing all words into just 3 classes won't tell you much.
Eric Atwell, Leeds University
On Fri, 30 Jan 2009, Adam Teichert wrote:
> Hello all.
> I've been looking for a POS tagset that is general enough to
> effectively tag "any" natural language. (I'm looking at Linguistic
> Typology / Universal Implications so I want to compare POS taggings
> across many [possibly obscure] languages.) Does anyone know of such a
> If anyone is interested in what I've found so far, this paper seems relevant:
> "Induction of Fine-grained Part-of-speech Taggers via Classifier
> Combination and Crosslingual Projection" (Elliott Franco DrŽabek,
> David Yarowsky)
> Also, I'm aware of some efforts at Microsoft Research India, to
> perhaps develop a "universal" tagset for Indian Languages:
> Thanks for any ideas.
> --Adam (R. Teichert)
> MS Student
> School of Computing
> University of Utah
> Corpora mailing list
> Corpora at uib.no
-- Eric Atwell,
Senior Lecturer, Language research group, School of Computing,
Faculty of Engineering, UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS, Leeds LS2 9JT, England
TEL: 0113-3435430 FAX: 0113-3435468 WWW/email: google Eric Atwell