Natural languages and context-free languages

  title={Natural languages and context-free languages},
  author={Geoffrey K. Pullum and Gerald Gazdar},
  journal={Linguistics and Philosophy},
ConclusionsNotice that this paper has not claimed that all natural languages are CFL's. What it has shown is that every published argument purporting to demonstrate the non-context-freeness of some natural language is invalid, either formally or empirically or both.18 Whether non-context-free characteristics can be found in the stringset of some natural language remains an open question, just as it was a quarter century ago.Whether the question is ultimately answered in the negative or the… 

Systematicity and Natural Language Syntax 1

A lengthy debate in the philosophy of the cognitive sciences has turned on whether the phenomenon known as ‘systematicity’ of language and thought shows that connectionist explanatory aspirations are

Systematicity and Natural Language Syntax

A lengthy debate in the philosophy of the cognitive sciences has turned on whether the phenomenon known as 'systematicity' of language and thought shows that connectionist explanatory aspirations are

Phrase Structure Grammars and Natural Languages

  • G. Gazdar
  • Linguistics, Computer Science
  • 1983
There is no reason, at the present time, to think that natural languages are not context-free languages, and there are good reasons for believing that phrase structure grammars, and the monostratal representations they induce, provide the necessary basis for the semantic interpretation of natural languages.

On Two Recent Attempts to Show that English Is Not a CFL

It has become somewhat more important to linguists to determine at least whether English the most studied language in the era of generative grammar and the primary focus for natural language processing efforts is context-free (CF) or not.

Chinese Number-Names, Tree Adjoining Languages, and Mild Context-Sensitivity

It is shown that the number-name system of Chinese is generated neither by this formalism nor by any other equivalent or weaker ones, suggesting that such a task might require the use of the more powerful Indexed Grammar formalism.

Syntactic and Semantic Parsability

This paper surveys some issues that arise in the study of the syntax and semantics of natural languages (NL's) and have potential relevance to the automatic recognition, parsing, and translation of

Copying in Natural Languages, Context-Freeness, and Queue Grammars

The absence of mirror-image constructions in human languages means that it is not enough to extend Context-free Grammars in the direction of context-sensitivity, and a class of grammars must be found which handles (context-sensitive) copying but not ( context-free) mirror images, suggesting that human linguistic processes use queues rather than stacks.

Exploring the N-th Dimension of Language

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Logic, Syntax, and Grammatical Agreement

It is argued that despite the very considerable complexity found in grammatical agreement, present indications are that phrase structure grammars of the sort that induce context-free languages (henceforth, PSGs) can provide adequate and interesting accounts of them.

Proceedings of the Fifteenth Amsterdam Colloquium

Preferably, the properties of grammar can be derived from the following factors: (i) The primary linguistic data as they are offered to the child. (ii) A language acquisition procedure. Hopefully,