PAWS consists of a series of web pages that explain and illustrate the syntactic issues to be covered by the section and then has a series of multiple-choice questions about what happens in the language the user is studying. The user is also requested to provide example sentences and words. See the PowerPoint presentation for more.
The task of writing a grammar for a language can seem so overwhelming that many give up without even trying. Completing and revising a draft is a much less daunting task, and PAWS can provide that needed head start. (See Black and Black (2012) for more on this.)
PAWS takes advantage of XML technologies to create “actionable” knowledge which can be turned into drafts of a grammar write-up as well as a draft of a grammar file that can be used by the PC-PATR syntactic parsing program. (See Black and Black (2009) for an explanation; see also Simons and Black (2009) and Black (2009)).
On the Contents page near the top is a link to a page describing the purpose of PAWS. This page has links to the technical articles above describing the Writer and Parser outputs.
The right hand column of the Contents page has instructions (in green) to help you know what to do.
PAWS also comes with a number of resource files which you may find helpful for editing the draft of the Writer output and for refining the PC-PATR grammar output (should you choose to use it). Use the Help menu item and choose Resources.
Using PAWS is rather straight-forward. The biggest challenge is in dealing with the linguistic realities of the language you are using with PAWS.
For editing the XLingPaper-based Writer output, there are reference guides explaining what steps to follow to perform typical tasks. You can get them on the Download page.