LINGUIST List 5.345

Thu 24 Mar 1994

Qs: Database, Eat/devour, Lexically based parsing, Chaotic

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Armin Bassarak, Question on data base software
  2. Philip Resnik - Sun Microsystems Labs, Eat/devour and similar examples
  3. Ted Pedersen, Query: Lexically Based Parsing
  4. , for posting

Message 1: Question on data base software

Date: Wed, 23 Mar 94 14:22:11 +0Question on data base software
From: Armin Bassarak <>
Subject: Question on data base software

Who knows a data base software that is able to work with non-ASCII
e.g. cyrillic or arabic characters and that works under WINDOWS? My
adress is:
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Message 2: Eat/devour and similar examples

Date: Wed, 23 Mar 1994 10:07:12 Eat/devour and similar examples
From: Philip Resnik - Sun Microsystems Labs <>
Subject: Eat/devour and similar examples

Can anyone point me to the original discussion of the classic
eat/devour contrast, used to illustrate the claim that different
syntactic behavior ("John ate/*devoured") arises for verbs that are
semantically extremely similar? Better still, can anyone point me to
a paper in which *different* pairs of verbs have been used to
illustrate the same point, also using the contrast between optional
and obligatory objects?


 Philip <>
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Message 3: Query: Lexically Based Parsing

Date: Wed, 23 Mar 1994 10:37:02 Query: Lexically Based Parsing
From: Ted Pedersen <>
Subject: Query: Lexically Based Parsing

I've been kicking around this idea for 'lexically based' parsing for a
little while now and I get the feeling that this isn't an especially
new idea.

Has the approach I briefly summarize below been pursued much? I'd be
curious to find out who has worked on this sort of scheme and finding
out what it's good at and not so good at.

The general idea is to have grammar rules built into the lexicon.

Here are some examples of what lexicon entries might look like:

a noun must precede my-word1

a verb must precede my-word and and adjective must follow my-word2

a verb must either precede or follow my-word3

Note that the above entries do not imply that a part of speech
immediately precede or follow my-word, just that they must occur
somewhere prior to or after my-word. There may be other words between
the noun and my-word1 for instance. This is what makes this approach
very interesting to me.

Here is a sample lexicon:
eat(verb): <NOUN><eat><NOUN>

quickly(adjective): {<VERB>quickly,quickly<VERB>}


Example 1: 'dogs eat meat'

Parse bottom up. Determine that 'dogs' and 'meat' are nouns and that
'eat' is a verb. Determine that 'dogs' and 'meat' satisfy the
constraint given by the definition of 'eat' and accept the sentence.

Example 2: 'dogs quickly eat meat'

This sentence should be accepted since it satisfies the constraints

1) 'eat' is preceded and followed by nouns, and 2) 'quickly' precedes
a verb


* Ted Pedersen *
* Department of Computer Science and Engineering, *
* Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275 (214) 768-2126 *
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Message 4: for posting

Date: Wed, 23 Mar 1994 23:39:09 for posting
From: <>
Subject: for posting

I would appreciate references to any work on chaotic modeling of language.
This could be importation of the chaos metaphor to elucidate linguistic
behavior or the use of computers to simulate linguistic behavior as a
dynamic feedback system. Any thoughts on whether such application should
or should not be done is also welcome.

Thanks in advance.

Michael-Jean Erard
Dept. of Linguistics
University of Texas at Austin
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