AuthorLewis, William, 1938-
AffiliationDepartment of Linguistics, University of Arizona
MetadataShow full item record
DescriptionPublished as Coyote Papers: Working Papers in Linguistics, Special Volume on Native American Languages
AbstractThe purpose of this paper is to devise optimal algorithms for parsing linguistic structures that contain P2 (Wackernagel) clitics. Since many languages that have P2 clitics also allow scrambling, any algorithms for parsing P2 clitics must also contain algorithms for parsing scrambled structures. Most of the energy of this paper, however, will be focused on P2 parsing. Although many languages have P2 clitics. I have focused most of my attention on Native American languages (with some exceptions). There is one major reason for this: languages of the Americas are almost entirely ignored by the computational and parsing literature, which focuses on languages of the Indo-European language family (and almost always on English, at that). By doing so, researchers deprive themselves of data and linguistic structural diversity that can help in devising more widely applicable parsing algorithms. This is a computational paper, the intention of which is to develop parsing procedures. Little attention will be paid to a specific syntactic /morphological theory, nor will much attention be paid to the form of the output. These are concerns that can be addressed in a later stage of parser design. What is an "optimal" parsing algorithm? I shall define the optimality of a given solution by the criteria in (1) below: (1) 1) The optimal solution is one which uses devices and formalisms whose generative capacity is as low as possible on the Chomsky hierarchy. 2) The optimal solution uses as few "rules" or "devices" as possible. Obviously, it will be necessary to strike a balance between these two criteria. For this reason, the issue of optimality may be somewhat lexìbìe, depending on how much weight is given to each criterion. The most optimal solutions might require the power of context -sensitive rules, but these may be used in concert with context -free or even finite-state rules.