SimpleNLG for Dutch

Title:SimpleNLG for Dutch
Institute:University of Twente (HMI)
Place:Enschede The Netherlands
Type:final project
Start date:1 januari 2017
End date:not present
Active student:Ruud de Jong
HMI ContactMariët Theune


One of the main tasks of a natural language generation (NLG) system is to form correct sentences in the target language given semantic inputs (meaning specifications). This is for example important in dialogue systems, where the dialogue manager decides what the system needs to say and the NLG component determines how to say it.

One way to do this is to specify the output sentences by hand, but that is not very flexible. Also, it is only feasible in limited domains, where the output of the system can be easily predicted, and not too many sentences need to be generated. If wide coverage of many different sentences is needed, a dedicated realisation system is needed that incorporates knowledge about the syntax and morphology of the target language.

An existing realisation system is SimpleNLG. It was created to be simpler and more efficient than other realisation systems. It was built for English, but recently French and German have been developed. The goal of the current project is to create and evaluate a Dutch version of the system. An additional challenge is to extend the system with new features, for example to generate sentences in different emotional styles.


SimpleNLG Project home:


Marcel Bollman (2011). Adapting SimpleNLG to German. Proceedings of the 13th European Workshop on Natural Language Generation (ENLG 2011).

Albert Gatt and Ehud Reiter (2009). SimpleNLG: A realisation engine for practical applications. Proceedings of the 12th European Workshop on Natural Language Generation (ENLG 2009).

Pierre-Luc Vaudry and Guy Lapalme (2013). Adapting SimpleNLG for bilingual English-French realisation. Proceedings of the 14th European Workshop on Natural Language Generation (ENLG 2013).

Introduction to NLG

E. Reiter & R. Dale (2000), “Building Applied Natural Language Generation Systems”.

A journal article that formed the basis for this book can be found here: