You can use Fluid Construction Grammar in two ways:

  • Using the FCG Editor
    (recommended for users with little programming experience)
  • As part of the Babel software toolkit

If you opt for the full installation, you need to download FCG as part of the Babel software toolkit. Babel is a flexible toolkit for implementing and running agent-based experiments on emergent communication. The Babel system includes advanced modules for constructional language processing and learning (Fluid Construction Grammar), conceptualising and interpreting procedural semantic structures (Incremental Recruitment Language), and conducting multi-agent experiments in simulated environments or using physical robots. The technical documentation for the Babel framework is available here .

If you quickly want to test Fluid Construction Grammar without installing the complete Babel framework, you can use the FCG editor.

FCG Editor

To use the FCG editor, you first need to install graphviz in order to make use of FCG’s visualizations.

1. Install Graphviz


sudo apt-get install graphviz


If you have homebrew or macports installed, use either of them to install graphviz. Otherwise:

open and enter the following line:

  1. Open
  2. Enter the following:
    xcode-select --install
  3. Install homebrew using these instructions:
  4. Type the following in
    brew install graphviz


  1. Download graphiv-2.38.msi
  2. Double click to install — follow the installation procedures
  3. Click the magnifying glass in the lower left corner of the screen type, ‘control panel’ and open it.
  4. Control Panel > System > Advanced system settings > Environment Variables…
  5. Click Path > Edit > New
  6. Paste: C:\Program Files (x86)\Graphviz2.38\bin then ok in all windows. 

2. Download the FCG Editor

Note for MacOS users: On the latest versions of MacOS, you will need to give your Mac permission to open the FCG-editor. You can do this in two ways:

  1. Open “System Preferences” and click on “Security & Privacy”. Click on the tab “general”. You will see a notification that says that the fcg-editor has been blocked from opening. Click on “open anyway” and click again on “open”.
  2. Alternatively, in your, enter the following:
    xattr -d /Applications/
    to convince Gatekeeper that the software is safe.

Note: make sure you save the fcg-editor in your Applications directory!

First time using the FCG Editor

  1. Open the FCG editor
  2. Click “new”
  3. Click “Insert demo grammar”
  4. Then “Evaluate file”
  5. Wait until the “Evaluating…” box has dissapeared
  6. Then browse to http://localhost:8008. You should see a long page full of FCG analyses. This means that everything is ok.

Be sure to check out this page or follow FCG’s Twitter feed or Facebook page in order to stay updated about tutorials and other teaching materials!