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First-order logic in knowledge graphs H. Default logic as a tool for modelling situations with exceptions in discourse E. Cartesian computation and linguistics in a current context R.

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Context-sensitivity and linguistic structure in analogy-based parallel networks V. Pirrelli, S. Declarative representation and processing of systemic grammars R. Dynamic relaxation: Measuring the distance from text to grammar J. Chanod et al. Modelling domain and connectivity constraints in natural language processing E.

Syntactic projectivity in programming languages Turbopascal and Logo M. Planning natural language explanations in natural deduction based systems M. English language query systems in prolog: A natural deduction approach R. Childress, R. Knowledge-based automatic abstracting: experiments in the sublanguage of elementary geometry R. The Z-station workbench and the modelling of linguistic knowledge H. Author Index. Subject Index. The present volume contains some selected topics of current interest around the world in the mathematical analysis of natural language.

The book is divided into four sections: - analytical algebraic models - models from the theory of formal grammars and automata, with interest mainly in syntax - model-theoretic concepts in semantics or pragmatics, and - a final section containing some applications in computational linguistics. The varied perspectives illustrated in the book confirm that Mathematical Linguistics has finally introduced scientific methods into a previously fuzzy field, through the use of mathematical reasoning.

The text will contribute to a fruitful convergence between linguists, mathematicians, logicians, computer scientists, cognitive scientists and others interested in the formal treatment of natural language and the research of its properties. We are always looking for ways to improve customer experience on Elsevier. We would like to ask you for a moment of your time to fill in a short questionnaire, at the end of your visit. If you decide to participate, a new browser tab will open so you can complete the survey after you have completed your visit to this website.

Thanks in advance for your time. Skip to content. Search for books, journals or webpages All Pages Books Journals. View on ScienceDirect. Chomsky , demonstrates this and presents an alternative: sentences have an abstract hierarchical structure that is generated via phrase structure grammars and transformations are relations between abstract structures. The version contains a comprehensive introduction that also explains how the manuscript developed.

Both LSLT and Syntactic Structures contain very little explicit discussion of what Chomsky later became famous for and which we will discuss below, namely an innate language faculty. Rather, they are concerned with developing a formal framework for describing the syntactic structure of human languages. Research since, including Chomsky , , has mostly been devoted to developing the class which is suitable for human languages.

In his work, Chomsky demonstrated how context-free phrase-structure PS grammars can be applied to language. PS grammars consist of:. A procedure for how a sentence is generated, a derivation, then consists of a series of lines. The first line has to start with a designated initial symbol, followed by lines that can be rewritten according to F.

An illustration is given in 2.

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Constituent structure is captured in PS grammars by introducing nonterminal, i. Later, in Chomsky , rules such as the last two in 2 were called lexical insertion rules as they inserted lexical material into the resulting phrase marker. Chomsky presented a range of evidence in favor of a sentence having more than just a superficial structure closely resembling the way in which it is pronounced, but that there also is an abstract representation which can potentially be very different from the superficial one.

In addition, there can be intermediate structures between the two. Chomsky , a review of Verbal Behavior by B. Skinner, focuses on issues regarding language use and the creative ability all humans have when it comes to language. The review attracted significant attention, not least because it pointed out fundamental problems with behaviorism. Chomsky argues that language acquisition happens so quickly that there is simply no way a stimulus—response mechanism can account for the knowledge that a young child has.

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Furthermore, such a mechanism does not do justice to the linguistic creativity that children display, namely that we can use our language ability to create new words and sentences that we have not heard before. Rather, what is needed is a nativist perspective on language, whereby humans have a biological blueprint for developing language. The task for the linguist is then to investigate this ability from a linguistic point of view. Aspects of the Theory of Syntax henceforth, Aspects was published in , and in he published Cartesian Linguistics recently reissued as Chomsky, In this latter book, Chomsky traces aspects of the history of his approach to language, drawing connections to Descartes and the Port-Royal tradition.

He puts forward a strong defense of a nativist approach to language, that is, arguing that humans are born with a special ability to acquire language. Chomsky also makes the point that whereas we can seek to understand the system underlying human language, we probably will never be able to fully understand why we come to say the things we do, as the latter relates to issues of free will that we still do not understand. The general goal of the chapter is to define a distinct, scientific project for linguistics. In developing this project, a number of notions are proposed.

Let us review them briefly. One distinction is the one between competence and performance.

Chomsky argues that linguists need to study competence, i. Competence can only be studied through its outputs, i.

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The latter is used to probe more subtly and precisely for specific aspects of competence while controlling for as many outside factors as possible. One such method is to ask a native speaker to judge sentences via what is now called acceptability judgments. Much later, in Chomsky a , the distinction is refined and now Chomsky distinguishes between E-language and I-language, E for external and I for internal, individual, and intensional. I-language is the object of study in linguistics according to Chomsky, whereas E-language is the sum of totally externally manifested I-language, i.

The intensional part of I-language highlights the fact that the goal is to investigate the nature of the computational mental system making it possible for humans to speak, sign, and understand an unlimited number of new sentences. An important methodological issue was also introduced in Aspects : the distinction between acceptability and grammaticality and correspondingly unacceptability and ungrammaticality.

Acceptability involves a judgment made by a native speaker concerning how natural a given set of sentences seem. Typically, a speaker will be presented with two contrasting sentences and the job is to rate them.

Current Issues in Mathematical Linguistics, Volume 56

For example, a native speaker of English will, when comparing Norbert likes cookies and Norbert cookies likes , say that the former is acceptable whereas the latter is unacceptable. Grammaticality, on the other hand, involves a claim made by the linguist as to whether or not the grammar allows a given structure or not.

In the present example, the linguist will conclude that the structure underlying Norbert likes cookies is grammatical in English, whereas the structure underlying Norbert cookies likes is ungrammatical in English. Adequacy is a crucial notion in Aspects.

Chomsky separates it into descriptive adequacy and explanatory adequacy. A grammar that is descriptively adequate is one that correctly describes the set of grammatical sentences and correctly rules out the ungrammatical sentences. As such, descriptive adequacy is a basic requirement for any grammatical analysis. Even scholars who do not adopt the generative approach, but who, for instance, seek to analyze linguistic production as witnessed in corpora, need to account for the fact that certain patterns do not occur and that the grammar of English is different from that of Japanese.

Chomsky, however, puts the bar higher by emphasizing that the goal of linguistic theory should be to achieve explanatory adequacy. This is defined as follows:. To the extent that a linguistic theory succeeds in selecting a descriptively adequate grammar on the basis of primary linguistic data, we can say that it meets the condition of explanatory adequacy. That is, to this extent, it offers an explanation for the intuition of the native speaker on the basis of an empirical hypothesis concerning the innate predisposition of the child to develop a certain kind of theory to deal with the evidence presented to him.

Chomsky, , pp. This means that the analysis also should account for how a child could acquire the given grammatical system within the short time span that he or she does. Aspects also introduces a revised formalism for the description of natural language, to which we turn next. In Chomsky , , PS grammars only construct monoclausal structures.

These structures can be merged into e. The recursive component is thus to be found in transformations. With a rule such as 4 , the PS component now has a recursive character, and, in this model, generalized transformations are eliminated. Another related innovation in Chomsky is the notion of Deep Structure later called D-structure. D-structure and recursion in the base serve two purposes in the theory: i They make the overall theory simpler, and ii in connection with a principle of cyclic application of transformations, they rule out certain derivations that do not appear to occur.

The earlier model had no constraints on the interaction between the generalized transformations that combine separate phrase markers and the singulary transformations that manipulate both simple phrase markers and the complex ones that result from generalized transformations. Thus, there could be operations on embedded sentences after they have been embedded. But no such derivations seem to be needed for the description of human languages. In Chomsky , such derivations are excluded by the elimination of generalized transformations and the imposition of cyclicity on singulary transformational derivations.

He develops the following model:.