Saturday, October 20, 2007
Looking For Alternative Gurus
In the paper, C&M mention that a context free grammer can in no way represent the interior of a speaker/hearer, that we have to instead posit something akin to a transformational model. I'm not sure I entirely agree with this. Really, context free-grammars have done quite a bit of work in the NLP domain, and (S -> NP VP) is quite a standard thing to see, and if given enough of the rules with sufficient generatilty to allow for embedding and such, I don't see why this can't cover the range of acceptable sentences in a given language. I mean, do we really need transformations? We've gotten rid of D- and S- structure, so why not dispense with the entire paradigm? There are theories out there that do with out such frivoloties. Shouldn't we as informed consumers expand our intake and shop around? Quite frankly, if it's the goal of this class to critique the foundations of the Generative enterprise, shouldn't we be reading actual critiques? Lakoff, Pollard and Sag...."Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things" is actually a great read. I just don't think rehashing what Chomsky has to say will give us any insight into the potential flaws of the discipline that maybe others with alternative formulations may have already noticed.
Posted by sarah a. goodman at 4:59 PM