Evidence against the context-freeness of natural language

@article{Shieber1985EvidenceAT,
  title={Evidence against the context-freeness of natural language},
  author={Stuart M. Shieber},
  journal={Linguistics and Philosophy},
  year={1985},
  volume={8},
  pages={333-343}
}
  • S. Shieber
  • Published 1 August 1985
  • Computer Science
  • Linguistics and Philosophy
In searching for universal constraints on the class of natural languages, linguists have investigated a number of formal properties, including that of context-freeness. Soon after Chomsky’s categorization of languages into his well-known hierarchy (Chomsky, 1963), the common conception of the context-free class of languages as a tool for describing natural languages was that it was too restrictive a class — interpreted strongly (as a way of characterizing structure sets) and even weakly (as a… Expand
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The question of when the human languages purely as sets of strings of words (henceforth stringsets) fall within the class called context-free languages (CFL’s) is taken up, and it is shown that it is still open. Expand
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