LINGUIST List 9.1671

Tue Nov 24 1998

Books: Linguistic Theory/ Computational Ling

Editor for this issue: Scott Fults <>

Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.


  1. Maureen Burke, Linguistic Theory and Computational Linguistics

Message 1: Linguistic Theory and Computational Linguistics

Date: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 11:54:35 -0800
From: Maureen Burke <>
Subject: Linguistic Theory and Computational Linguistics

Bod, Rens (University of Amsterdam); BEYOND GRAMMAR: AN
1-57586-151-8 (cloth); 184 pp. CSLI Publications 1998: email:

	During the last few years, a new approach to linguistic
analysis has started to emerge. This approach, which has come to be
known under various labels such as "data-oriented parsing",
"corpus-based interpretation" and "treebank grammar", embodies the
assumption that human language comprehension and production works with
representations of concrete past language experiences rather than with
abstract grammatical rules. The models that instantiate this approach
operate by decomposing the given representations into fragments and
recomposing those pieces to analyze (infinitely many) new
utterances. A probability model is used to choose from the collection
of different fragments those that make up the most appropriate
representation of an utterance.

	This book shows how this general approach can apply to various
kinds of linguistic representations, ranging from phrase-structure
trees, compositional semantic representations, dialogue
representations, and lexical-functional grammar representations. The
resulting models are utilized for the automatic acquisition of
language, for harnessing ambiguity and for processing of spoken
dialogue. Experiments with these models suggest that the productive
units of natural language cannot be defined by a minimal set of rules
or principles, but need to be defined by a large, redundant set of
previously experienced structures. Bod argues that this outcome has
important consequences for linguistic theory, leading to an entirely
new view of the nature of linguistic competence and the relationship
between linguistic theory and models of performance.

CSLI Publications
Ventura Hall
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-4115
Telephone (650) 723-1839
Fax (650) 725-2166
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue
If you buy one of these books please tell the publisher or author that you saw it advertised on the LINGUIST list.

The following contributing LINGUIST publishers have made their backlists available on the World Wide Web:

1998 Contributors

  • Addison Wesley Longman
  • Blackwell Publishers
  • Cambridge University Press
  • CSLI Publications
  • Edinburgh University Press
  • Garland Publishing
  • Holland Academic Graphics (HAG)
  • John Benjamins Publishing Company
  • Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.
  • MIT Press--Books Division
  • MIT Working Papers in Linguistics
  • Mouton de Gruyter
  • Oxford University Press
  • Francais Pratique
  • Hermes
  • Pacific Linguistics
  • Routledge
  • Summer Institute of Linguistics