I am learning Stanford CS224N: natural language processing with Deep Learning.

Chris said "a little bit broken formal languages" in Lecture 1.

what does that mean? can any one give a concrete example to illustrate the difference between "formal languages" and "broken formal languages".

  • Could he have been talking about pseudocode? What was the context? – jlawler Apr 13 at 17:03
  • he is talking about human language for preparation of talking about natural language processing. – shi95 Apr 13 at 22:03
  • 6
    This is not jargon, it's just a common-English use of the word "broken". The full sentence is "But for a lot of people [referring to computer scientists] you've, like, spent your life looking at formal languages and the impression is that, sort of, human languages are somehow a little bit broken formal languages." Broken isn't a technical term here, it just means "not working right" - he's saying that natural language can be seen as a formal language that is "a little bit broken" i.e., a language that doesn't quite follow the rules a formal language is expected to. – Mark Beadles Apr 13 at 22:17
  • The last edit by @fuDL added an entirely different question "which formal languages rule does human language break?" fu DL, if you have a different question, please ask it as a separate question instead of editing someone else's to add your own. – Mark Beadles Apr 15 at 15:54

agreed with Mark Beadles's comments. Human language is a kind of broken formal languages because Human language doesn't quite follow the rules a formal language is expected to.

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