"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more
To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.
This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.
Two-Step Approaches to Natural Language Formalisms
This book presents a unified formal approach to various contemporary linguistic formalisms such as Government & Binding, Minimalism or Tree Adjoining Grammar. Through a careful introduction of mathematical techniques from logic, automata theory and universal algebra, the book aims at graduate students and researchers who want to learn more about tightly constrained logical approaches to natural language syntax. Therefore it features a complete and well illustrated introduction to the connection between declarative approaches formalized in monadic second-order logic (MSO) and generative ones formalized in various forms of automata as well as of tree grammars.
Since MSO logic (on trees) yields only context-free languages, and at least the last two of the formalisms mentioned above clearly belong to the class of mildly context-sensitive formalisms, it becomes necessary to deal with the problem of the descriptive complexity of the formalisms involved in another way. The proposed genuinely new two-step approach overcomes this limitation of MSO logic while still retaining the desired tightly controlled formal properties.
From the Contents
I Introduction 1 Overview 2 Technical preliminaries
II The Classical Approach - Using MSO Logic as a Description Language for Natural Language Syntax 3 Model-theoretic syntax and monadic second-order logic 4 Finite-state devices 5 Decidability and definability 6 Applications 7 Intermediate conclusion
III Two Steps Are Better Than One - Extending the Use of MSO Logic to Non-Context-Free Linguistic Formalisms 8 Overview of the two-step approach 9 Non-context-freeness of natural language 10 The first step: Lifting 11 The second step: Reconstruction
IV Conclusion and Outlook
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