The Computational Implementation of Principle-Based Parsers

  • Sandiway Fong
Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP, volume 44)


Recently, there has been some interest in the implementation of grammatical theories based on the principles and parameters approach (Correa, this volume; Johnson, this volume; Kolb and Thiersch, 1988; and Stabler, 1991 forthcoming). In this framework, a fixed set of universal principles parameterized according to particular languages interact deductively to account for diverse linguistic phenomena. Much of the work to date has focused on the not inconsiderable task of formalizing such theories. The primary goal of this chapter is to explore the computationally relevant properties of this framework. In particular, we address the hitherto largely unexplored issue of how to organize linguistic principles for efficient processing. More specifically, this chapter examines if, and how, a parser can reorder principles to avoid doing unnecessary work. Many important questions exist. For example: (1) What effect, if any, does principle-ordering have on the amount of work needed to parse a given sentence? (2) If the effect of principle-ordering is significant, then are some orderings much better than others? (3) If so, is it possible to predict (and explain) which ones these are?


Noun Phrase Implement ATION Filter Operation Logical Dependency Case Assignment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandiway Fong
    • 1
  1. 1.Artificial Intelligence LaboratoryMITCambridgeUSA

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