LINGUIST List 9.123

Tue Jan 27 1998

FYI: Speaker series, AAA 98(cor), Free NLP software

Editor for this issue: Brett Churchill <>


  1. [** iso-8859-1 charset **] Ana T. P\233rez-Leroux, Language Acquisition Speaker series
  2. Marie-Lucie Tarpent, session on language/metaphor at AAA 98 (correction)

Message 1: Language Acquisition Speaker series

Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 14:08:06 -0500
From: [** iso-8859-1 charset **] Ana T. P\233rez-Leroux <>
Subject: Language Acquisition Speaker series

Language Acquisition Distinguished Speakers Series
The Pennsylvania State University


 Suzanne Flynn
Professor of Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition
Massachusetts Institute for Technology
"L-1 versus L-2: What Happens When we
Redefine the Initial and Final States"

February 19, 1998, 7:30 p.m.
104 Thomas Building

Rod Ellis
Professor of TESOL
Temple University
"SLA and Language Pedagogy:
Making Connections"

April 2, 1998, 7:30 p.m.
104 Thomas Building

Virginia Valian
Professor of Psychology and Linguistics
Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center
"Parameter-Setting and Cognitive Development"

March 19, 1998, 7:30 p.m.
109 Osmond Lab

Susan Gass
Director of the English Language Center
and University Distinguished Professor of English
Michigan State University
"Second Language Acquisition and Language
Teaching: Do They Intersect?"

April 9, 1998, 7:30 p.m.
104 Thomas Building

 This series of speakers is sponsored by the College of the Liberal Arts
Dean's Office.

Penn State is an affirmative action, equal opportunity university.
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: session on language/metaphor at AAA 98 (correction)

Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 18:28:50 -0400
From: Marie-Lucie Tarpent <Marie-Lucie.TarpentMSVU.Ca>
Subject: session on language/metaphor at AAA 98 (correction)

Oops! i gave the wrong location for AAA 98: it will be in 
Philadelphia, Dec. 2-6, 1998. Presenters must be(come) members of 
the Society for Linguistic Anthropology and the AAA (American 
Anthropological Association). See general info on the net: Message repeated below:

- --------------------------------------------------------------------

I have volunteered to organize the following session for the next 
meeting of the Society for Linguistic Anthropology at AAA 98:

 Language as Metaphor and Metaphors for Language

Metaphor has been shown to be an integral component of the way we
conceptualize experience and embody it in language. But metaphor can
also be thought of as a specific tool that can be used in a variety
of disciplines: a concrete image can summarize or illuminate the
object of study, and sometimes even inform the direction of the
discipline. New theories give rise to new metaphors, and the study of
such metaphors can throw light on the development of theories.

Papers are invited from both linguists and non-linguists on two
topics: 1) language used as metaphor: for a restricted communicative
code used concurrently with language: e.g. the language of flowers;
but also for various characteristics of expressive or cognitive
domains, e.g. the grammar/syntax/vocabulary of architecture, music,
etc.; what characteristics of language are used metaphorically? to
what do they correspond in other domains? what is the usefulness of
language metaphors for the domains in question? 

2) language as object of metaphor: what can language be compared to?
explicit (e.g. neo-grammarian 'family tree'; Saussure's game of chess;
the city) and implicit (?) metaphors for language; what do such
metaphors reveal about language and how speakers view it? How do
metaphors for language relate to directions in linguistics? 

Please contact me by Feb. 15: 
Marie-Lucie Tarpent
Mount St Vincent U. 
Halifax, N.S. B3M 2J6 Canada

Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue


Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 19:16:18 -1000
From: Anne Sing <>

Derek Bickerton and Phil Bralich of Ergo Linguistics Technology would like
to announce the release of free software to the Computational Linguistics,
NLP, MT, and linguistics communities. The software offering is a
pre-release called "BracketDoctor." It provides a parsed analysis of input
strings including labeled brackets and trees in the style of the Penn
Treebank of the Linguistic Data Consortium as outlined in "Bracketing
Guidelines for Treebank II Style Penn Treebank Project" (Linguistic Data
Consortium 1995). While the entire range of structures of that work is not
supported, this is the only parser that can generate any such trees and
brackets and thus represents a major breakthrough for this field. 

We understand that this is unlikely to be nominated for citations or awards,
but as this is the only software available that can generate such labeled
brackets and trees, we believe it is an important contribution to this field
of research and it should be of value to researchers in academia and
industry alike as well as to students working through their introductory
syntax text books. We are announcing this release to linguistics
news-lists, translation lists, and the like as well to our entire mailing
list of researchers and decision makers in industry, government, and
academia. We feel this release is particularly important because even the
major universities such as Stanford and MIT as well as companies such as
Microsoft, IBM, and Xerox do not have programs that offer this sort of
demonstration of their ability to work with the Penn Treebank styles. 

Of course we recognize the importance of being aware of the entire field of
NLP and of not misrepresenting such things to government, industry, or
academia, so we feel it is important to distribute this as widely as
possible as quickly as possible. As this is the only parser that generates
Penn Treebank style labeled bracketings and trees, and as NLP, Linguistics,
and Computational Linguistics communities have agreed that the Penn Treebank
styles are the standard for this field, we feel compelled to suggest that this
parser be accepted as the default standard for parsers in the field today
until such time as other parsers can show that they can do an equal or
better job with the Penn Treebank style book, or until such time as the Penn
Treebank styles are removed as the standard. We will also be distributing
this software to members of the LDC, EAGLES, the organizers of the MUC
conferences, and other organizations that propose to set standards for NLP.
(For possible alternative standards for NLP other than the these go to 

We realize such claims as these may invite accusations of arrogance of
immodesty, but what is the point of having such standards as the Penn
Treebank II guidelines if the one parser that can generate them is NOT given
a central role in the field as a whole and in the journals as the standard
against which all other parsers must be measured. 

As long as we are the default standard for the generation of trees and
brackets in the Penn Treebank style, then many publications and proposals
in NLP will need to mention this software in their review of current
technologies and work. For that purpose, the reference should refer to
Philip Bralich and Derek Bickerton, 1998. "BracketDoctor," Ergo Linguistic
Technologies, Honolulu, Hawaii. 

The BracketDoctor can be obtained by writing to Derek Bickerton
( or Phil Bralich ( or it can be downloaded
from our web site. It is a standard Windows 95 program in a setup file. It
requires 1000 kilobytes of space and less than one megabyte of ram to run.
Sentences parse in real time.

Phil Bralich

P.S. For those who can sign a non-disclosure agreement it is also possible
to receive the product called "MemoMaster" which demonstrates our abilities
with: 1) question/answer, statement/response repartee (using notes and
reminders), 2) NLP messaging for sending faxes, email, and memos, and 3)
command and control for browsers and operating systems (a great add- on for
any speech rec system). Just email me or a send a fax to (808)539-3924
requesting the non-disclosure. 

Philip A. Bralich, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Ergo Linguistic Technologies
2800 Woodlawn Drive, Suite 175
Honolulu, HI 96822

Tel: (808)539-3920
Fax: (808)5393924
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue