By Richard M. Smaby
The fresh quick improvement of transformational grammars has incorpo rated a few powerful claims within the components of semantics and co-occurrence. the sooner structuralists depended on at the very least information regarding the that means of strings of a language. They requested provided that strings of sounds have been various in that means - or just have been diverse phrases or words. present transfor mational grammars, nonetheless, set as their objective the construction of precisely the significant strings of a language. said a bit otherwise, they want to specify precisely which strings of a language can ensue jointly (meaningfully) in a given order. the current ebook purports to teach that transformational grammar is in based of the present tendencies in semantics. I declare that fascinating and complicated transformational grammars are required for describing while strings of a language suggest an analogous, that's, for describing while strings of a language are paraphrases of one another. This activity could be very obviously restricted to a venture of a lot weaker semantic claims than these that are present in transformational linguistics.
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Chomsky, Fodor, and Katz have devoted considerable time to formalizing statements such as those above. Certainly the task is completable for the elementary sentences, for there is only a finite number of them. It is another question whether the sub-classifications required for acceptability correspond in the completed task to the intuitive concepts of 'abstract', 'concrete', 'animate' and so forth. 36 PARAPHRASE GRAMMARS Zellig Harris on the other hand sees no intrinsic value in accounting for co-occurrence restrictions in the finite set of elementary sentences.
This could happen if Bian science were able to produce a unified picture of all graphs which could occur, and if the Bians all were able to acquire this knowledge. For example, suppose the total science said that all graphs which had an odd number of lines attached to each node could occur and no other graphs could occur. Then we could state the projection rules for northern Bese. Each possible sentence generated would be accompanied by an eight-tuple: (xa, Xb, xc, Xd, Xe , Xf, Xg, Xh), each place filled with either a 1 or a 0, corresponding to an odd or an even number, respectively, of lines attached to each node.
The point 1 am criticizing is clearly stated by Katz and Fodor (1964, p. 482): Since the set of sentences is infinite and each sentence is a different concatenation of morphemes, the fact that a speaker can understand any sentence must mean that the way he understands sentences he has never previously encountered is compositional: on the basis of his knowledge of the grammatical properties and the meanings of the morphemes of the language, the rules the speaker knows enable him to determine the meaning ofa novel sentence in terms of the manner in which the parts of the sentence are composed to form the whole.
Paraphrase Grammars by Richard M. Smaby