English Syntax. Read J & M Chapter 9. Two Kinds of Issues. Linguistic – what are the facts about language? The rules of syntax (grammar) Algorithmic – what are effective computational procedures for dealing with those facts? Building parsers. What is Syntax?.
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Read J & M Chapter 9.
Try 1: the rules for stringing words together to form sentences.
The boys hit the ball. vs. Ball boys hit the the.
I gave Sue a ride to the store vs. I gave Sue ride to store.
I saw the book that Mary had written. vs.
I saw the book what Mary had written.
But if that’s all it were, we wouldn’t have to do much for understanding assuming legal input.
Try 2: The rules for forming constituents that correspond to meaningful entities.
Example: The cat with the furry tail purred.
Generation goes backwards. For this reason, we generally want declarative representations of the facts.
Although there may be an infinite number of possible constituent tokens, there’s quite a small number of constituent types, e.g., NP, PP, VP.
On what basis can we group tokens into types? Occurrence in similar contexts.
Single word constituents are exactly the parts of speech that we have already considered.
How many of these single word constituent types are there? Look at sizes of tagsets.
Lots of design decisions:
Sue bought the big white house.
* Sue bought the white big house.
Are big and white the same POS?
* The cat with a furry tail purred a collar.
Mary imagined a cat with a furry tail.
Mary decided to go.
* Mary decided a cat with a furry tail.
Mary decided a cat with a furry tail would be her next pet.
Mary gave Lucy the food.
* Mary decided Lucy the food.
Frame Verb Example
Ø eat, sleep, … I want to eat
NP prefer, find, leave, ... Find [NP the flight from Pittsburgh to Boston]
NP NP show, give, … Show [NP me] [NP airlines with flights from Pittsburgh]
PPfrom PPto fly, travel, … I would like to fly [pp from Boston] [pp to Philadelphia]
NP PPwith help, load, … Can you help [NP me] [pp with a flight]
VPto prefer, want, need, … I would prefer [VPto to go by United airlines]
VPbrst can, would, might, … I can [VPbrst go from Boston]
S mean Does this mean [S AA has a hub in Boston]?
The boys want to go to the game(s).
* The boy want to to to the game(s).
I want to give it to him.
* Me want to give it to he.
In English it’s just pronouns, but not so in many other languages.
To solve these and other problems, one strategy is to augment constituent types with other sorts of information:
V +pl +[NP NP] VP/NP/NP +pl Show
VP/NP +pl Show me
VP +pl Show me the book.
S NP VP
NP Det N
VP V NP
(S (NP (NAME John))
(VP (V ate)
(NP (ART the)
Who did she say she saw ____ coming down the hill?
She did say she saw who coming down the hill.
The boy she saw coming down the road was crying.
The boy she saw _____ coming down the road was crying.
Speech is collected in utterances rather than in text.
Spoken language is looser than written with more pauses, ‘nonverbal events’, disfluencies such as er, uh, um.
Sample spoken language utterances from users interacting with ATIS
The repair often has the same structure as the constituent immediately before the interruption point.