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Computation of Language: An Essay on Syntax, Semantics and Pragmatics in Natural Man-Machine Communication
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Computation of Language: An Essay on Syntax, Semantics and Pragmatics in Natural Man-Machine Communication (Hardback)

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Synopsis

The study of linguistics has been forever changed by the advent of the computer. Not only does the machine permit the processing of enormous quantities of text thereby securing a better empirical foundation for conclusions-but also, since it is a modelling device, the machine allows the implementation of theories of grammar and other kinds of language processing. Models can have very unexpected properties both good and bad-and it is only through extensive tests that the value of a model can be properly assessed. The computer revolution has been going on for many years, and its importance for linguistics was recognized early on, but the more recent spread of personal workstations has made it a reality that can no longer be ignored by anyone in the subject. The present essay, in particular, could never have been written without the aid of the computer. I know personally from conversations and consultations with the author over many months how the book has changed. If he did not have at his command a powerful typesetting program, he would not have been able to see how his writing looked and exactly how it had to be revised and amplified. Even more significant for the evolution of the linguistic theory is the easy testing of examples made possible by the implementation of the parser and the computer-held lexicon. Indeed, the rule set and lexicon grew substantially after the successes of the early implementations created the desire to incorporate more linguistic phenomena."

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