Am doing a practical application of formal languages to English Language. Am able to understand the CF grammars with respect to english very easily. (i.e.), for example, CF's are used to ensure whether the words in a sentence are syntactically correct or wrong after applying the production rules.

Example, The CF grammar is G=((S,N,V,O),(Bob,himself,reminded),P,Start->S)

CF rules P are,

S-> N V O N-Bob V->reminded O->himself

Now, when we apply these rules, we get a sentence "Bob reminded himself" which is a context free language. Likewise, how we can apply a regular grammar to a english language. Thanks in advance.

  • 1
    Why would you want to do that? Finite state languages are, famously, totally inadequate for modelling natural languages. See these slides for details: people.umass.edu/~partee/726_04/lectures/…
    – P Elliott
    Feb 3, 2014 at 9:38
  • @Ellliott...Thanks a lot for zour valable replz...Then among Regular,Context free,context sensitive,indexed grammar,tree grammar and head grammar, which grammars we can use for modelling english language Feb 3, 2014 at 9:52

1 Answer 1


I agree with P Elliott, of course, that FSMs are inadequate for modelling English grammar. However, given that we are talking about formal languages, "grammar" has a broader meaning; formal grammar. Regular languages are equivalent to finite state automata. And finite state machines have been employed for spelling and morphology checking, correction and analysis (see [Kartunnen, 1994], [Pirinen & Linden, 2010], etc.).

So, there you have it -- the application of regular grammar in English language.

  • @Prash....Thanks a lot for your reply...Jus a small query....Can you provide an example sentence that can be generated using a context sensitive grammar Feb 3, 2014 at 20:23
  • @Dainichi Quoting directly from OP: "how we can apply a regular grammar to a english language".
    – P Elliott
    Feb 4, 2014 at 0:30
  • @PElliott, yes sorry, I misread the question.
    – dainichi
    Feb 4, 2014 at 0:54
  • @VinodChelladurai: most new grammar formalisms (see this) are mildly context-sensitive.
    – prash
    Feb 4, 2014 at 12:54
  • @Prash...Hello, thank u so much.....in that case, are these mildly context sensitive grammars are an extension to context free???...Then, whwat are the disadvantages of context sensitive...moreover, indexed,tree and head grammars fall in mildly context sensitive class?? Feb 4, 2014 at 13:23

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