[b-hebrew] Generation grammar and b-hebrew

James Christian jc.bhebrew at googlemail.com
Thu Jun 10 03:55:15 EDT 2010

Hi all,

I don't how familiar everybody is with theories of generation grammar. In a
nutshell theories of generation grammar can be summarised as follows. There
is a set of words and rules which describe any given natural language. Given
a correctly defined set of words and rules the generation grammar will
accept all grammatically correct utterances of that language and reject ill
formed utterances.

Attempts to form a generation grammar for any given language generally
suffer from problems of over generation and under generation. Over
generation is when the grammar is poorly defined and, as such, accepts ill
formed utterances as well formed utterances. Under generation is when the
grammar rejects utterances which are known to be well formed.

Testing of generation grammars consists of having two different test sets.
One test set of well formed utterances and the other of ill formed
utterances. The goal is that the grammar we define will accept the
utterances known to be well formed and reject the utterances known to be
poorly formed.

If we were to extend this method to b-hebrew we already have a corpus of
utterances we can consider to be well formed. Defining a corpus of ill
formed phrases is a little more difficult as informants are lacking.

I was toying with the idea of encouraging fans of b-hebrew to put their
theoretical knowledge into practice by playing with building a generation
grammar of b-hebrew using a simple linguist friendly Prolog driven
interface. I just wanted to get a quick idea of numbers of who may be
interested in participating in such an experiment. Please let your students
etc. know about the prospect and get them to write to me either on or off
list so that I can get an idea of whether it would be worth putting this

James Christian

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