[b-hebrew] Generation grammar and b-hebrew
dwashbur at nyx.net
dwashbur at nyx.net
Wed Jun 23 16:38:03 EDT 2010
Let's put it this way: I know as much about computational linguistics as I do about advanced
math, if you saw my comment to Eric.
I don't believe language can be quantified the way that most mathematicians and
computational folks would like. My approach to syntax has three parts: base rules,
transformations, and what I call social convention. This last is a fairly nebulous category,
but basically it means that there are certain aspects of language usage that we can only
explainby appealing to the fact that a society chooses to do it that way. I don't really have
any examples from Hebrew yet, but in biblical Greek a couple of examples would be the
"historic present" that we see all over the place in Mark, and the way that neuter plural
subjects take a singular verb.
On 23 Jun 2010 at 22:21, James Christian wrote:
> Hi, 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
> 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 sense.
> 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
> > would not over generate?
> > Have you made any implementations of your scheme? James
> 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
> b-hebrew mailing list
> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
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