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LINGUIST List 16.2594

Fri Sep 09 2005

Qs: Irregular Past Tense Forms; Text-analysis Sofware

Editor for this issue: Jessica Boynton <jessicalinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Scott McClure, Generating Irregular English Past Tense Forms
        2.    Tim Hadley, Text-analysis Software

Message 1: Generating Irregular English Past Tense Forms
Date: 09-Sep-2005
From: Scott McClure <scott.mcclureyale.edu>
Subject: Generating Irregular English Past Tense Forms


I've been looking at Albright and Hayes (2003) article ''Rules vs.
Analogies in the English Past Tense: A Computational/Experimental Study,''
in which individuals were given a wug test where they had to volunteer and
rate past tense forms for possible English. They found that the subjects
seemed to use rules to generate both standard and irregular past tense
forms. I was wondering if anyone knew of any similar research since the
Allbright and Hayes study, and whether similar research has been done with
children at the age when they tend to over-generalize the ''-ed''
past-tense marker.

Many thanks,

Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition

Message 2: Text-analysis Software
Date: 08-Sep-2005
From: Tim Hadley <tim.hadleyttu.edu>
Subject: Text-analysis Software

I need to perform text-analysis research on essays written by university
students. Specifically, I need to isolate T-units, count T-units, count
number of words per T-unit, count number of free modifiers, percentage of
words in free modifiers, etc., etc.--some of the classical Hunt indexes of
syntactic fluency. Does anyone know of text-analysis software that will
either perform this kind of analysis mechanically or at least make it
faster and easier?

I have searched the archives and have gotten some leads, but there are many
different kinds of software out there, designed to do many different
things, some of them extremely complicated. What I need is relatively
simple, compared to some linguistic projects. My corpus will be only about
100 texts of 1,500-2,000 words each, and I am hoping that someone who has
done this kind of research before may be familiar with some specific
software that will work for these tasks.

Thanks very much for any help,

Tim Hadley
Ph.D. candidate
Technical Communication and Rhetoric
Texas Tech University

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
                            Discourse Analysis
                            Text/Corpus Linguistics

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