Paper: Syntactic And Semantic Parsability

ACL ID P84-1026
Title Syntactic And Semantic Parsability
Venue Annual Meeting of the Association of Computational Linguistics
Session Main Conference
Year 1984
  • Geoffrey K. Pullum (University of California, Santa Cruz CA; Stanford University, Stanford CA)

This paper surveys some issues that arise in the study of the syntax and semantics of natural languages (NL's) and have potential relevance to the automatic recognition, parsing, and translation of NL's. An attempt is made to take into account the fact that parsing is scarcely ever thought about with reference to syntax alone; semantic ulterior motives always underly the assignment of a syntactic structure to a sentence. First I con- sider the state of the art with respect to argu- ments about the language-theoretic complexity of NL's: whether NL's are regular sets, deterministic CFL's, CFL's, or whatever. While English still appears to be a CFL as far as I can tell, new argu- ments (some not yet published) appear to show for the first time that some languages are not CFL's. Next I conside...