Italian has ‘prepositions followed by articles’ (preposizione articolate). This is a specific grammatical type, which refers to a word (e.g. della) that replaces a preposition (di) followed by an article (la):
il lo l’ la i gli le
di del dello dell’ della dei degli delle
a al allo all’ alla ai agli alle
da dal dallo dall’ dalla dai dagli dalle
in nel nello nell’ nella nei negli nelle
su sul sullo sull’ sulla sui sugli sulle
This specific grammatical type also corresponds to:
in French: du = de le, des = de les
in Corsican and especially in the Sartenese variant: ‘llu = di lu, ‘lla = di la, etc.
This raises the general problem of the number of grammatical types we should retain. Should we create new grammatical types beyond the classical ones, in order to optimise translators and NLP in general? What is the best grammatical type to retain for ‘prepositions followed by an article’: a new primitive one or a compound one (always keeping Occam’s razor in mind)? A preposition followed by an article behaves like a preposition for words on its left, and like an article for words on its right.
Let us expand the idea of text analysis derived from rule-based translation. Above is an example of a classic word-based search. In this particular case, it is the French word ‘été’. This word is ambiguous because it can be a common noun (‘summer’), or a past participle (‘been’). Below is an example of a search for the word ‘summer’ associated with the grammatical type ‘common noun’.
Finally, we have below an example of a search for the word ‘summer’ associated with the grammatical type ‘past participle’.