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Parsing Warlpiri—A Free Word Order Language

  • Michael B. Kashket
Chapter
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Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP, volume 44)

Abstract

An important challenge for natural language parsers is the phenomenon of free word order. In languages exhibiting this phenomenon—and it seems that all languages do have free ordering to some extent—the words in a sentence may swap about freely with little effect on meaning. It also appears that no language is completely free, so for a parser to properly handle this phenomenon, it must be able to accept sentences that vary where they may and that do not vary where they may not. In this chapter, I will present a parser that works well for a part of Warlpiri, an Aboriginal language from central Australia, that exhibits a great deal of free word order. It is believed that the same underlying mechanism will also handle more fixed word order languages like English.

Keywords

Noun Phrase Syntactic Structure Direct Object Tense Element Case Marker 
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

  • Michael B. Kashket
    • 1
  1. 1.Artificial Intelligence LaboratoryMITCambridgeUSA

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