14

In the realm of natural language, the "ideas a language can be used to express" are basically "any": all languages are capable of expressing any idea, so there's only one category of expressive type. Languages do differ in the way that they express a given idea. Assume a language Gwambomambo which lacks the word "recursion". That very word could be ...


9

In computer science, one essential property of all Turing-complete languages is that they are able to describe, "in their own way", how they themselves work. For example, you can use a Turing machine to express how a Turing machine works. Similarly, you can write, for example, a Prolog program that can interpret Prolog programs. In the ...


9

I guess the NLTK documentation is a bit off. Looking at Wordnet's documents, I see: pos Syntactic category: n for noun files, v for verb files, a for adjective files, r for adverb files. And in another section of the same document: ss_type One character code indicating the synset type: n NOUN v VERB a ADJECTIVE ...


9

N, yo nee t spel ou you word completel. I fina letter ar trul no a optio, yo ca us th no fina form. Fo exampl, yo ca writ: ראשונ Thi doesn' loo righ, bu shou b understandabl. Omittin th las lette completel wil loo ver ba, incompeten, an possibl incomprehensibl. In your specific case, the word "ראשון" means "first". The word "ראשו&...


8

All three of your assumptions about natural languages are questionable. They describe models used by linguists very many of which have been inspired by computer-like algorithms not language itself: Natural language does not "strongly distinguish between syntax and semantics". In fact, they are very closely interlinked. Syntactic constructions are used to ...


7

The only writing system that comes close to what you describe is the IPA, or the now-deprecated APA. However, if you add the consideration of being "phonemic", then we would have to know exactly what you mean by that. IPA has the resources to write distinctions that are not phonemic (in some language), for instance aspiration which is not phonemic in English ...


6

Imperative programming languages perform the instructions in the order you specify. Procedural languages (e.g. C) are imperative languages that allow you to group instructions into named blocks called functions or procedures. Object orientated languages like C++, Java and Python extend procedural languages with additional features. Prolog works in a ...


6

I think that Xophmeister's answer is pretty good. I wanted to chime in with the paper he or she was searching for, and since I don't have enough reputation to comment, I had to post an answer. In general, I would not exactly say that the P-NP problem is causing theoretical linguists to lose sleep. However, contingent on the conjecture that P does not equal ...


5

There is another universal script, called Shwa. It can be seen here : www.shwa.org Shwa has two huge advantages over IPA: - it's featural, so letterforms give you a good idea of the sound value, and - it only needs a 20-key keyboard, not the 160+-key keyboard you'd need for IPA. The IPA is adequate for linguistics, but it is not a candidate for a ...


4

Europarl is a classic corpus for research papers, used at the main conference - WMT - and by some of the top people in the field. It would be useful for training a translation system specifically for European parliament domain. But Europarl, like any domain-specific corpus, is not ideal for training a production-strength open-domain machine translation ...


4

Kaibun (circle sentences) are a poetic form in Japanese, for example (in romaji) Ta-ke-ya-bu ya-ke-ta (The bamboo grove has been burned) from Wikipedia, Kaibun. (they are also a "uncle joke" ie something your uncle would think is clever and funny) Note that when rendered in natural script, with kanji, the sound structure is hidden (竹薮焼けた) So ...


4

I think James K's answer gives valuable insight, and shows the way to the general principle: Text reversal in any language is the reversal of the order of the units. Text reversal for a given writing system is well-defined to the same degree that the unit in that writing system is well-defined. In English, the unit of writing is considered to be the letter. ...


3

As I interpret your question, you propose an alternative theory of syntax to CFG for linguistics. It's a thought, but do you have any evidence? I didn't see any. Don't you think you should have some facts to go on if linguists are to forgo theories like GPSG, based on CFG. What facts of natural language support your view?


3

I have had the same thought before and this is what I have found. There are two main concerns. Semantic completeness and grammatical completeness. Semantics: A language needs a minimum set of meanings, but the lack of some random arbitrary noun representing an abstract or concrete thing does not make the language incomplete in terms of thought. If the ...


3

I think it is not possible to accurately model the acoustics of the impossible sounds. The greyed-out impossible cells are cases judged to be incompatible with human physiology (as opposed to the clear blank cells which are "not attested"). In the case of existing sounds, we can observe their actual articulatory state and derive a tube model where you can ...


3

Good question! For vowels, the chart actually shows a continuous space, with height, backness, and rounding corresponding to values we can measure (and synthesize): the formant positions. For consonants, the chart isn't actually a perfect representation of how the mouth works. Some things, like the place of articulation of plosives and fricatives, are ...


3

There is a notion of computational complexity in generative linguistics when, say, one is trying to justify a theory/framework by considering its physio/psychological plausibility. That is: If one considers a human brain (and therefore the linguistic processing centres, thereof) as a hyper-parallelised computer, any theory that appears to blow up with an NP ...


3

Well, even a character based neural network (CNN) does not only take the letters of a text into account, but also the their order. So, a text is not just reduced to a bag of characters. However, a CNN is completely agnostic of morphemes, words, sentences, syntax trees and other linguistic representations, indeed. So it has some internal representation of ...


3

Yes and no. There are a number of well-known algorithms for determining a text's complexity. There are several generations of these and most of them are tied to educational attainment such as years of education, education level studied or age. They are very much replicable across populations but they do not do a very good job for determining suitability to ...


2

I think that some research has been done on artificial languages, but Linguistics mostly deals with natural languages and especially with spoken language. Written language is not totally excluded but sounds, sound shifts occur in spoken language, not to mention that this is where language evolves the fastest. It's true however that there are many aspects ...


2

I'm sure you know more about this than I do, but problems like center embedding make me question whether push/pop memory is a useful abstraction for human brain. Quoting Wikipedia: A man that a woman that a child that a bird that I heard saw knows loves. If human brains actually possessed unlimited (or even reasonably limited) push/pop memory, we would ...


2

Yes, it’s useful. Formal semantics can serve as a basis for the stochastic methods. There are many approaches, let me just mention one — abductive parsing and interpretation. It’s based on formal semantics but the algorithms for analysing text are stochastic. IBM Watson is an example of a system based on formal semantics.


1

If you are thinking of formal language theory to compare programming languages and human languages, make sure you compare apples to apples. Don't mix up what a program can compute with what grammar rules the program text must follow. To say that a language is in a given syntax class means that well-formed strings (a program) can be parsed using a grammar ...


1

The situation with natural languages is more convoluted because the analysis of sentences crucially depends on background knowledge, which makes use of metaphors, metonymy etc. widespread. Consider the sentence The Galway office called. The maximisation ("the largest amount of information") is achieved by compacting the sentence, i.e. leaving out what can be ...


1

Here's one way you could do this: Find a suitable corpus; there are plenty out there, but which one is best depends on your specific application. This'll be easier for English than for most other languages, and the larger the corpus, the better the results will be. Use a word2vec model on the corpus. This is a simple neural network that transforms words ...


1

I would say that the whole research area of Knowledge Representation, including Description Logics, Modal Logics, Temporal Logics, Fuzzy Logics, aims at formally representing semantics (and sometimes pragmatics) of knowledge that is usually represented in natural language. However these research areas usually see the representation and reasoning independent ...


1

There have been efforts to formalize pragmatic knowledge for quite some time now. The main formalisms I know of that attempt to go beyond the sentence-level are things like RST (rhetorical structure theory) and its successors/competitors, like SDRT (Segmented Discourse Representation Theory) (cf Asher & Lascarides, 2007) or D-STAG (Discourse-...


1

To your question 1) Your question assumes that neural networks have no representation. Fact is, that neural networks have a layout (of layers, convolutional weight schemes) that are setup before training starts, and it highly depends on this layout what can be learned in that particular NN and whether it can solve a certain task. During learning, the ...


1

No doubt IPA surpasses all existing writing systems as it not only provide specific symbols for phonemes and allophones on the segmental level, but it also provide varying degrees of stress patterns, linking and juncture (pause) features; I strongly suggest learners of a new language should practice its sound system through IPA. For those learning English ...


1

Yes. It is called "International phonetic alphabet" (IPA).


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