Formal Constraints On Metarules


Shieber, S., Stucky, S. U., Uszkoreit, H., & Robinson, J. J. (1983). Formal constraints on metarules. In Proceedings of the 21st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics. Association for Computational Linguistics.


Metagrammatical formalisms that combine context-free phrase structure rules and metarules (MPS grammars) allow concise statement of generalizations about the syntax of natural languages. Unconstrained MPS grammars, unfortunately, are not computationally “safe.” We evaluate several proposals for constraining them, basing our assessment on computational tractability and explanatory adequacy. We show that none of them satisfies both criteria, and suggest new directions for research on alternative metagrammatical formalisms.

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