LINGUIST List 13.1939

Thu Jul 18 2002

Diss: Ling Theories: Gammon "Common architecture..."

Editor for this issue: Karolina Owczarzak <>


  1. AEG-Inc, Ling Theories: Gammon "A common architecture..."

Message 1: Ling Theories: Gammon "A common architecture..."

Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2002 00:26:42 +0000
From: AEG-Inc <>
Subject: Ling Theories: Gammon "A common architecture..."

New Dissertation Abstract

Institution: University of Hawaii
Program: East Asian Languages and Literatures
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2002

Author: Roderick Alexander Gammon 

Dissertation Title: 
A common architecture for expressing linguistic theories: With
illustrations from Chinese languages, cognitive grammar, and software

Dissertation URL:

Linguistic Field: Linguistic Theories

Subject Language: English, Chinese, Mandarin

Dissertation Director 1: Robert L. Cheng
Dissertation Director 2: Ying-Che Li
Dissertation Director 3: Hsin-I Hsieh
Dissertation Director 4: David N Chin

Dissertation Abstract: 

This dissertation presents a common architecture for expressing
linguistic theories (CAFE-LT), defines a CAFE-LT modeled cognitive
grammar (CMCG), and implements corpus analysis software from that
basis. Taken as a whole this study addresses three primary concerns
facing the practicing linguist. Those concerns may be stated together
as the desire to develop a means of comparing different linguistic
theories, modeling polyglot language users, and simplifying linguistic
software development tasks. Modern linguistics, the modern Mandarin,
Taiwanese, and English languages, and the established techniques of
software engineering are the study's source material.

CAFE-LT is suitable for any linguistic approach that accepts three
principles: that observed language consists of linear strings, that
linguistic structure can be described with meronomic relationships,
and that stored linguistic information can be abstracted from its
modes of physical usage. These requirements are further defined in the
least restrictive manner; thus structures may be represented as in
generative grammar or as finite state models. The set of linguistic
features is also variable and may include statistical weights or
semantic concepts. CAFE-LT is in short a meta-language providing a
unified basis for describing divergent theories, a platform for
quantified theory comparison, and a framework from which software
models can be rapidly produced.

CMCG is provided as an example formalism expressed in CAFE-LT. Based
on cognitive grammar (Langacker 1991, 1987), CMCG restates that
field's central themes in an idiom conducive to algorithmic
processing. Among the introduced innovations are a unified formalism
for idioms and structures, allowing a full realization of an
idiomaticity cline (Fillmore 1997, Langacker 1987).

The dissertation proceeds by introducing a base set of guidelines for
developing useful modeling frameworks. Those guidelines are then
applied to linguistics, resulting in the CAFE-LT system. CMCG is then
developed and a CMCG reference base is instantiated for Mandarin
determiner phrases. Finally CAFE-LT software, tailored for CMCG-based
analysis, is applied to a Mandarin research corpus as a demonstration
of CAFE-LT and CMCG's efficacy. The conclusion discusses
broader use of the systems. The appendices provide a wealth of
structured data describing and resulting from the corpus analysis that
are useful on their own basis.
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