A Language Theoretic Approach to Syntactic Structure

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4 Citations (Scopus)


We consider the idea of defining syntactic structure relative to a language, rather than to a grammar for a language. This allows us to define a notion of hierarchical structure that is independent of the particular grammar, and that depends rather on the properties of various algebraic structures canonically associated with a language. Our goal is not necessarily to recover the traditional ideas of syntactic structure invented by linguists, but rather to come up with an objective notion of syntactic structure that can be used for semantic interpretation. The role of syntactic structure is to bring together words and constituents that are apart on the surface, so they can be combined appropriately. The approach is based on identifying concatenation operations which are non-trivial and using these to constrain the allowable local trees in a structural description.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Mathematics of Language
Subtitle of host publication12th Biennial Conference, MOL 12, Nara, Japan, September 6-8, 2011. Proceedings
EditorsMakoto Kanazawa, András Kornai, Marcus Kracht, Hiroyuki Seki
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-642-23211-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-642-23210-7
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


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