LINGUIST List 14.3078

Tue Nov 11 2003

FYI: Automated Grammar Inference 1967-73

Editor for this issue: Anne Clarke <>


  1. Sheldon Klein, Lost history, Automated Grammar Inference 1967-73

Message 1: Lost history, Automated Grammar Inference 1967-73

Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 05:02:29 +0000
From: Sheldon Klein <>
Subject: Lost history, Automated Grammar Inference 1967-73

Some lost history of grammatical inference (1967-73)

Three papers describing the AUTOLING system, an interactive heuristic
grammar inference program intended to replicate the role of a
linguistic fieldworker using a live human informant are now available
in .pdf format at

1. Klein, S., W. Fabens, R. Herriot, W. Katke, M.A. Kuppin 
 & A. Towster. 1968. The AUTOLING System,
 UWCS Tech Rept. 43, 85 pages. 
 (included are examples from English, Latin, Roglai,
 Indonesian, Thai, Mandarin Chinese, and an 
 embedding example in an artificial language.)

2. Klein, S. & M. A. Kuppin. 1970. An Interactive, 
 Heuristic Program for Learning Transformational Grammars.
 UWCS Tech. Report No. 97.
 Also in Computer Studies in the Humanities & Verbal 
 Behavior, Vol. 3, No. 3, 1970.

3. Klein, S. 1973. Automatic Inference of Semantic 
 Deep Structure Rules in Generative Grammars.
 UWCS Tech. Report No. 180.
 Also in Computational and Mathematical Linguistics: 
 Proc. of the 1973 International Conference on Computational 
 Linguistics, Pisa. Ed.,A. Zampolli, Florence: Olschki,1977. 

Live, unrestricted demonstrations of the system were given at the
Winter 1967 Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America in
Chicago, at Carnegie-Mellon Comp Sci Dept. in 1968, at USC in 1968, and
at UC-Berkeley in 1969.

In 1973, E. Mark Gold (author of Language Identification in the
Limit,<Information & Control> Vol. 10, No. 5, 1967) determined that
the AUTOLING system seemed to meet his criterion for possible success
in grammar inference: the use of an 'ORACLE' to inform a program of
the validity of its test productions.)

Prof. Sheldon Klein
(Emeritus, 2003)

Computer Sciences Dept.
University of Wisconsin 
1210 W. Dayton St 
Madison, Wisconsin 53706 
Linguistics Dept.
1168 Van Hise
University of Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin 53706
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