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LINGUIST List 16.2629

Mon Sep 12 2005

Software: The Language Machine Software

Editor for this issue: Maria Moreno-Rollins <marialinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Peri Hankey, The Language Machine Software

Message 1: The Language Machine Software
Date: 07-Sep-2005
From: Peri Hankey <mpahusers.sourceforge.net>
Subject: The Language Machine Software

I hope that readers of this list will be interested in the language machine - a toolkit for language and grammar. This is available as free software under Gnu GPL from http://languagemachine.sourceforge.net The software consists of a generalised grammatical engine and several flavours of a metalanguage compiler. The grammatical engine applies grammatical substitution rules that take the general form sequence-to-be-matched <- sequence-to-be-substituted ; where the sequences to be matched and substituted may be of any length, may contain terminal, non-terminal and lexical class symbols, and may include variable bindings and references, variable declarations and immediate or deferred side-effect actions including calls on external procedures. There is a summary of how all this relates to the received wisdom about language implementation at: http://languagemachine.sourceforge.net/grammar.html The language machine can produce a diagram which shows exactly what happens when unrestricted rewriting rules are applied to an input stream. This diagram is explained with two very simple examples at: http://languagemachine.sourceforge.net/lm-diagram.html The software is intended for practical applications, for research, and as a way of explaining some fundamental mechanisms of language and grammar. As far as I know, there is no other system which displays so clearly how grammatical structure arises from the application of 'flat' rewriting rules. Instructions for downloading and building the software can be found at the website, where there are also pointers to a forum and related resources. Peri Hankey

Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics

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