Dependency Parser

A dependency grammar is based on binary relations between two words, the head and the dependency.

Perform Dependency Parser

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Information about Dependency Parsing

Definition of Dependency Parser

According to wikipedia Dependency Parser analyzes the grammatical structure of a sentence, establishing relationships between "head" words and words which modify those heads.

How does a Dependency Parser work?

This type of parser is based on dependency grammars. In dependency grammar, a sentence is a construct of binary asymmetric connections between all its constituents.

Therefore, a dependency parser creates a syntactic structure for a given sentence by focusing on the lemmas(words) in it, through binary grammatical associations between them, which are usually represented in a tree shaped graph or with arrows.

Below is a visual representation of the dependencies in the example sentence “This is a sentence” from Spacy’s visualizer, displaCy

displaCy visualizer

        Spacy’s  typed dependencies for the sentence “This is a sentence”

The capitalized words under each element of the sentence are PoS tags. The dependency tags are the ones shown close to the dependency arrows.  

There are several proposals for the classification of dependency relations. The most common one was proposed by Universal Dependencies, which is based on the paper Universal Stanford Dependencies: A cross-linguistic typology, published in  2014. Below you can find the entire table of dependency types described in the proposal. Click on one of them to see a detailed explanation for each type.



Modifier words

Function Words

nsubj                   obj                    iobj

csubj                   ccomp         xcomp

obl                   vocative         expl                   dislocated


advmod          discourse

aux                   cop                    mark

nmod                   appos           nummod



det                   clf                    case






conj                   cc

fixed                  flat                    compound

list                  parataxis

orphan          goeswith          reparandum

punct                    root                   dep

Full table of Universal Dependency Relations

NLP Libraries of Interest


Stanford CoreNLP



More information

dependency grammar

Stanford University: Dependency Parsing

Universal Stanford Dependencies: A cross-linguistic typology