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About Parallel and Syntactocentric Formalisms: A Perspective from the Encoding of Convergent Grammar into Abstract Categorial Grammar

Philippe de Groote 1 Sylvain Pogodalla 1 Carl Pollard 2
1 SEMAGRAMME - Semantic Analysis of Natural Language
Inria Nancy - Grand Est, LORIA - NLPKD - Department of Natural Language Processing & Knowledge Discovery
Abstract : Recent discussions of grammatical architectures have distinguished two competing approaches to the syntax-semantics interface: syntactocentrism, wherein syntactic structures are mapped or transduced to semantics (and phonology), vs. parallelism, wherein semantics (and phonology) communicates with syntax via a nondirectional (or relational) interface. This contrast arises for instance in dealing with in situ operators. The aim of this paper is threefold: first, we show how the essential content of a parallel framework, convergent grammar (CVG), can be encoded within abstract categorial grammar (ACG), a generic framework which has mainly been used, until now, to encode syntactocentric architectures. Second, using such a generic framework allows us to relate the mathematical characterization of parallelism in CVG with that of syntactocentrism in mainstream categorial grammar (CG), suggesting that the distinction between parallel and syntactocentric formalisms is superficial in nature. More generally, it shows how to provide mildly context sensitive languages (MCSL), which are a clearly defined class of languages in terms of ACG, with a relational syntax-semantics interface. Finally, while most of the studies on the generative power of ACG have been related to formal languages, we show that ACG can illuminate a linguistically motivated framework such as CVG.
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Philippe de Groote, Sylvain Pogodalla, Carl Pollard. About Parallel and Syntactocentric Formalisms: A Perspective from the Encoding of Convergent Grammar into Abstract Categorial Grammar. Fundamenta Informaticae, Polskie Towarzystwo Matematyczne, 2011, 106 (2-4), pp.211-231. ⟨10.3233/FI-2011-384⟩. ⟨inria-00565598v2⟩

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