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Title: Abstract specification of grammar
Author: Newton, Michael
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1992
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In this thesis I explore the use of an algebraic (software) specification language (ASL) in the description and modelling of natural language grammar. I am particularly concerned with the application of methods of loose specification and stepwise refinement, and modularisation and parameterisation. I have some background on the use of specifications in software engineering, and suggest some benefits one might obtain from the use of such disciplines in the description of grammar. I introduce the language ASL and the algebraic concepts underlying it. I consider how we might describe the notion of constituency, independent of concrete styles of grammar, and how this leads to the need for an intensional domain. By enriching this domain, we can deal with matters such as agreement. I sketch abstract specifications of core treatments in PATR-II, LFG, GPSG and HPSG. Some consideration is given to the use of institutions to allow us to work in different (logical or programming) languages. I develop, in tandem, abstract descriptions and parameterised implementations to deal with topicalisation and wh-relatives. Lastly, I consider how loose specification and parameterisation may be employed in developing a cross-linguistic treatment for some phenomenon - in this case, dependent clause order in English, German and Dutch. This involves specification of a grammar in the dependency tradition.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available