[b-hebrew] Generation grammar and b-hebrew

James Christian jc.bhebrew at googlemail.com
Wed Jun 23 15:21:18 EDT 2010


so it seems we agree that even if we are to perfectly define a constituent
driven CFG it is destined to over generate. I appreciate that you have a
strict policy of separating syntax and semantics but from an engineering
perspective the approach has little importance when compared with the
results. This is not to say I have anything against implementing a
generative grammar with a strict separation between syntax and semantics it
is just that it is still not clear to me how exactly this kind of over
generation will eventually be eliminated.

I don't know if you have looked into knowledge based expert systems. This
seems to be the kind of approach you are suggesting. They are a very grey
area in the computational linguistics literature. That is to say it is
possible to find papers outlining experiments with high or near perfect
performance in some very limited domain but wide coverage remains elusive.
You may or may not have heard of the cyc project. A project which aims to
encode a basic knowledge of the universe, something like what we call common

In any case, with Hebrew I guess we'll just have to suck it and see. For me,
it is not the method so much that carries any particular importance. It is
the performance of the system. That is to say, what it all boils down to is
how the system performs in terms of over and under generation.

James Christian

On 22 June 2010 18:58, <dwashbur at nyx.net> wrote:

> On 21 Jun 2010 at 8:20, James Christian wrote:
> >
> > Ok. Any ideas how you would implement this such that the grammar
> > would not over generate?
> > Have you made any implementations of your scheme? James Christian
> As I said, the constraints you are talking about are in the semantic
> component.  We can
> take a phrase like Chris Rice's famous song "Smell the Color Nine" and see
> that it's
> syntactically well-formed, but semantic nonsense.  My dad used to jokingly
> use the phrase
> "Is you speaking to I?"  This one is a little more problematic, but in a
> sense is still
> syntactically well-formed at a deep grammar level.  It includes a subject,
> verb and
> preposition with object.  But there are agreement and case problems,
> obviously.  As I see it,
> those are surface level aspects, i.e. the clause becomes badly formed by
> filling the slots
> with deliberate  mismatches: "You" in English takes a different form of the
> verb, and "I" in
> English is used exclusively as a nominative.  Where such distinctions
> exist, they may or
> may not be part of the actual syntactic component of grammar; I haven't
> really thought that
> through yet.
> Dave Washburn
> http://www.nyx.net/~dwashbur
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