[MUD-Dev] Chomsky's recursive theory of grammar

J C Lawrence claw at kanga.nu
Sat Jan 1 21:06:05 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

I just added this to the Library:


Its really a section of the documentation on Chompy, a NLP done in
java, but the basic premises and disucssion are interesting:

Chomsky (1957) presented a structured syntactic theory of
grammar. The aim of syntactic theories is to model of a system that
enables us to to tell which sentences are part of our language and
which are not.That is the theory tried to explain how we can tell if
a series of worlds is a permissible sentence in our language or not.

However a difficulty with creating such a model is that there are an
in finite number of possible grammatical sentence, and the model
needs to be able to identify these from the infinite number of
non-grammatical sentences that may also be generated. In order to
address this problem Chomsky suggested that sentences are
comprehended using a recursive procedure. A recursive procedure is
one which refers to itself an a repetitive manner. Hence allowing
for infinite generatively via a finite set of procedures. Recursion
is used widely in computer programming and forms the basis of
Chompy, which is in effect a recursive engine.  

J C Lawrence                                 Home: claw at kanga.nu
----------(*)                              Other: coder at kanga.nu
--=| A man is as sane as he is dangerous to his environment |=--

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