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This page pertains to UD version 2.

Guidelines for language-specific documentation

See also How to contribute, especially the section Style guidelines.

There should be a set of guidelines and documentation for every language. All treebanks in that language should follow the same guidelines. Any treebank-specific documentation (such as the information whether morphological features have been annotated manually or predicted by a statistical model) should go to the README file in the treebank repository. (Note that portions of the README files are automatically copied to the UD website, as described in the release checklist.)

All languages should have a one-page summary of annotation solutions to language-specific phenomena that cannot be specified universally. There is a template for the page (see below). If a language uses language-specific morphological features or dependency relation subtypes, these must be documented on separate pages, following a prescribed format (see below). Some languages also have a full mirror of the universal documentation of all tags, features and relations. Such a mirror is no longer expected and templates for these pages are not generated. Nevertheless, it is possible to have them; contributors wishing to write the full mirror must create the pages manually (see remarks below).

The Language Page

Also called the language hub or index page, this is the minimal documentation that we want to be available for every language. It should describe important aspects of every level of annotation, such as (these are just a few example questions, see the template for more):

The docs repository has a folder called _template. It contains a template of the language index page (template-index.md) and two example index pages describing Czech (template-index-cs-example.md) and Swedish (template-index-sv-example.md), respectively. The resulting pages can be viewed here (Czech) and here (Swedish). When a new language is added to UD, its folder in the docs repository is created (the name of the folder is an underscore followed by the language code, e.g., _cs for Czech) and the template index is copied to that folder. The language contributors should fill out the description of the language, delete the instruction comments, and when they are done, rename the file from template-index.md to just index.md. Finally, they should contact the release team and ask for regeneration of the UD title page so that the link to the documentation appears there (at present this does not happen automatically).

If desirable, the contributors may create additional files in their language folder and provide links to those files from the index page. For example, if separate pages describing individual tags / features / relations are available, links to them should be provided from the beginning of morphology / syntax sections, respectively. Such pages are required for features and relations that are language-specific and their documentation is not available in the universal guidelines (see below for details). For other relations, features and UPOS tags, separate pages are not required, nevertheless it is possible to create them and provide more native examples in the language. Note however that if there is any peculiarity of the language pertaining to a universally defined label (tag / feature / relation), it should be preferably mentioned on the universal page of that label, and possibly also in the construction-oriented universal documentation.

Please do not create empty documentation pages! If you do not have the time now to provide some meaningful description, postpone the creation of the file until you have the time to fill it with contents. It is annoying for the user to click on a link only to find out that the information is not there. Even if you do not create any link to the empty page, the links may be generated automatically once the file exists in the repository.

Language-Specific Features

All feature values used in UD treebanks must be documented. If they are defined in the current version of the UD guidelines, they are already documented and no action is needed. Some other features are not officially part of the UD guidelines (so technically they are in the language-specific domain), yet they have been used in multiple treebanks and their documentation is accessible globally. No action is needed for them either (if you are unsure whether a particular feature is in this category, try using it; if the validator complains, you will know you have to provide documentation). Any other language-specific feature must have a documentation page in the folder of the given language (regardless of whether this feature is or is not documented in another language). Similarly, if a language needs an extra value of an otherwise universal feature, there must be a language-specific documentation page of that feature.

Note that in some cases you should change the feature in your data rather than documenting it. When defining new feature values, make sure that you are not redefining something that already has a different label in UD.

A language-specific feature page must be readable by both humans and machines, hence it must follow a prescribed format. UD validation software will check the page and if it cannot parse it, it will not consider the feature valid to be used in UD treebanks.

The page is a MarkDown file and uses the extension .md. It must be in a feat subfolder of the language-specific folder in the docs repository. The name of the file normally follows the name of the feature, including camel-casing. For example, the feature for particle types in Irish is called PartType and its documentation must be in the file _ga/feat/PartType.md. Layered features have square brackets as part of their name but not as part of the file name. Instead of the layer label in brackets, a simple hyphen separates the layer label from the main feature name. Thus the feature for the possessor’s gender is named Gender[psor] but the corresponding file is Gender-psor.md, as in Czech.

To get started, you may want to copy an existing page from another language and edit it. Each MarkDown file has a header which starts and ends with three dashes. Here is an example; edit title and shortdef, keep layout and udver intact:

---
layout: feature
title: 'PartType'
shortdef: 'particle type'
udver: '2'
---

In the body of the page, level 3 headings (they start with three # characters) are reserved for the individual values of the feature. Here is the required format of the heading for value Inf:

### <a name="Inf">`Inf`</a>: infinitive

Make sure you have an exact copy of the heading. Then change the two instances of Inf to the actual value of your feature, and put a word or phrase expansion of the value after the colon. In the following lines, describe the value, what it means and how it is used. Do not forget to add examples – a level 4 heading saying “Examples”, then a bullet list (with an asterisk as the bullet) with individual examples, highlighting the featured word with the <b> tag, and followed by an English translation.

#### Examples

* _<b>a</b> cheannach_ “to buy”

Language-Specific Subtypes of Dependency Relations

All relations used in UD treebanks must be documented. If they are defined in the current version of the UD guidelines, they are already documented and no action is needed. Subtypes are optional and technically in the language specific domain, although some subtypes are fairly widely attested and some are even mentioned in the universal part of the guidelines. If the documentation of a subtype is accessible globally, no action is needed either (if you are unsure whether a particular subtype is in this category, try using it; if the validator complains, you will know you have to provide documentation). Any other language-specific relation subtype must have a documentation page in the folder of the given language (regardless of whether this subtype is or is not documented in another language).

Note that in some cases you should change the relation in your data rather than documenting it. When defining new subtypes, make sure that you are not redefining something that already has a different label in UD (even in other languages).

A language-specific relation page must be readable by both humans and machines, hence it must follow a prescribed format. UD validation software will check the page and if it cannot parse it, it will not consider the relation valid to be used in UD treebanks.

The page is a MarkDown file and uses the extension .md. It must be in a dep subfolder of the language-specific folder in the docs repository. The name of the file normally follows the name of the relation, only the colon must be converted to a hyphen. For example, the documentation of the French subtype advcl:cleft must be in the file _fr/dep/advcl-cleft.md.

To get started, you may want to copy an existing page from another language and edit it. Each MarkDown file has a header which starts and ends with three dashes. Here is an example; edit title and shortdef, keep layout and udver intact:

---
layout: relation
title: 'advcl:cleft'
shortdef: 'cleft adverbial clause modifier'
udver: '2'
---

Your description of the subtype starts after the header. Do not forget to add examples (full dependency trees are preferred over just showing the relation the page is about). Dependency trees are inserted either in the sdparse environment or in the conllu environment (the latter is more complex but it allows direct inserting of trees from your treebank). Do not forget to add an English translation of a foreign-language example.

~~~ sdparse
Il y a Marie qui danse dans la pièce . \n Marie dances in the room .
nsubj(a,Il)
advmod(a,y)
obj(a,Marie)
advcl:cleft(Marie,danse)
nsubj(danse,qui)
obl(danse,pièce)
case(pièce,dans)
det(pièce,la)
punct(a,.)
~~~

Old-Style Documentation

If you want a full mirror of the universal documentation of tags, features and relations, you have to create the .md files in your language folder. Look at other languages (e.g., Czech), follow the same folder structure, copy the files from the other language, edit them and replace the contents by your language.

If you already have a (full or partial) mirror with UD v1 documentation, make sure to check all changes that need to be done for v2 (nmodobl, CONJCCONJ, renaming files, fixing links etc.), then add this line to the MarkDown preamble of each file:

udver: '2'

This will cause the server to show the green v2 banner instead of the yellow v1 on the top of the page.

IMPORTANT: The old documentation also contained a copy of the label overview table for every language. It appeared on pages called pos-index, feat-index and dep-index; however, the table itself was in HTML rather than MarkDown and it was imported from a file that lay outside the language folder. These HTML files have been removed for all languages where the corresponding part of v1 documentation did not exist. If you now copy a pos-index.md file that references the table, without properly creating the table, it will not work! Worse: your error will kill Jekyll, the fragile website-building software. If the pages are not regenerated within 15 minutes after you did some dangerous changes, try to revert the changes. Otherwise, the infrastructure will no longer work for anyone else! If you want to experiment with includes and other Jekyll code, please install Jekyll locally and test everything on your machine before you push it to Github!

Good news: You don’t actually need the index tables. You should provide links to label-specific pages from your language index page. This can be just a simple list of links, not a sophisticated table (if people need a more organized view of the labels, they should read the universal documentation).

ALSO IMPORTANT: To keep the repository portable across operating systems, avoid creating files whose base name (without the .md extension) is AUX or aux, e.g., aux.md is not permitted! Note that languages with full documentation use an underscore character in the name (aux_.md) and a redirect-from directive in the MarkDown preamble inside the file.