Thursday, September 13, 2007

That function

Mwaha. I have been given the keys to the kingdom. Nothing can stop me now!

So, I get that we're now sort of converging on the idea that we want to characterize human language as a function from some set of representations to some form of kind-of-sort-of set membership measure---e.g. (PF, LF) -> {0,1} or (numeration, PF, LF) -> [0,1] or whatever.

But something has often struck me as a little odd when we go this route. It doesn't seem to have that much to do with the machinery of linguistic computation. If we worry whether there is an equivalence between the kind of memory that a Turing Machine has and the kind that the brain has, well, it seems that the machinery of linguistic computation is of central importance. So why aren't we instead characterizing the function as two (potentially inverse) functions: PF->LF (parsing) and LF->PF (generation), rather than attempting to characterize grammaticality judgements on (PF, LF) pairs?

Or am I missing something fundamental, it's late and I'm just wooly-headed, etc, etc?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Plans for September 19 class

I've added details for next class, including readings, on the schedule. In addition to requiring Abney (thanks, Tim, for posting the links!), I recommend Manning and Sorace/Keller.

Steven Abney paper for 19 September

Also in the locker here: