Paper: A Linguistic Discovery Program That Verbalizes Its Discoveries

ACL ID C02-2004
Title A Linguistic Discovery Program That Verbalizes Its Discoveries
Venue International Conference on Computational Linguistics
Session project notes
Year 2002
  • Vladimir Pericliev (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig Germany)

We describe a discovery program, called UNIVAUTO (UNIVersals AUthoringTOol), whose domain of application is the study of language universals, a classic trend in contemporary linguistics. Accepting as input information about languages, presented in terms of feature-values, the discoveries of another human agent arising from the same data, as well as some additional data, the program discovers the universals in the data, compares them with the discoveries of the human agent and, if appropriate, generates a report in English on its discoveries. Running UNIVAUTO on the data from the seminal paper of Greenberg (1966) on word order universals, the system has produced several linguistically valuable texts, two of which are published in a refereed linguistic journal.