Separating Linguistic Analyses From Linguistic Theories


Shieber, S. M. (1988). Separating linguistic analyses from linguistic theories. In Natural Language Parsing and Linguistic Theories (pp. 33-68). Springer, Dordrecht.


This paper explores the question of what level of linguistic practice is best suited for use in natural-language processing (NLP) efforts. In particular, I argue that because the goals and strategies of linguistic theory and NLP differ, linguistic theories and formalisms may be inappropriate for importation into NLP applications. The question of whether insights from linguistic analyses can still be taken advantage of without such importation is elucidated by making use of notational reductions from one formalism to another, thereby helping demonstrate the independence of analyses from formalisms. Several such reductions are informally discussed, and one, a reduction from the formalism used in work on generalized phrase-structure grammar to the PATR-II formalism is presented in more detail.

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