Paul M. Postal

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Preface It might seem plausible to the non-specialist who thinks about natural language (NL) that a given NL, NL x , permits one to report linguistic performances, both performances of NL x elements and those of NLs distinct from NL x. By 'reporting linguistic performances' I refer to nothing more arcane than forming statements like 'Amanda just shouted(More)
Let L range over all natural languages (NLs). For any L, one can consider two collections of strings of symbols, one consisting of all strings over the terminal vocabulary of L, call it W*(L), the other consisting of that always very proper subcollection of W*(L) consisting of all and only those members of W*(L) that are well-formed, that is, that(More)
A class of coordination phenomena in natural languages is considered within the framework of transformational theory. To account for these phenomena it is proposed that certain machinery be added to the syntactic component of a transformational grammar. This machinery includes certain rule schemata, the conditions under which they are to be applied, and(More)
We are reasonably convinced by the remarks in Pullum (p. 182) that the sluicing construction, on which the argument in Postal and Langendoen (p. 177) for the non-CFhood of English is based, is not, contrary to what is assumed there, subject to an intrasentential matching condition. Consequently , the argument does not go through. However, we believe that an(More)
We examine the question of which aspects of language are uniquely human and uniquely linguistic in light of recent suggestions by Hauser, Chomsky, and Fitch that the only such aspect is syntactic recursion, the rest of language being either specific to humans but not to language (e.g. words and concepts) or not specific to humans (e.g. speech perception).(More)
To my parents and Amy iii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First and foremost, I would like to thank my advisor Professor Lokendra Shastri for his steadfast encouragement and guidance during the long journey towards the completion of this dissertation. I wish to thank my dissertation committee members, Dr. Greg Provan, Dr. Ruzena Bajcsy and Dr. Ruud Bolle of the IBM T.J.(More)
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