Category Archives: grammar

Hope, expectation, responsibility

Even though bi is the verb for “to be”, you can’t usually use it with two noun phrases, certainly not to say that one of them is the order. But there is a class of nouns that go quite happily with another … Continue reading

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Resources present and future

Excitingly, William Lamb at the University of Edinburgh tells me in the comments on this earlier post has been funded by the Bòrd na Gàidhlig to work on a tagset and corpus for Scottish Gaelic. I have been delighted to be … Continue reading

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Ambiguity everywhere

Much of the basic grammatical machinery of Gaelic consists of overloaded words. This is nothing unusual, of course; in English, for example, to is both a preposition and marks the infinitive, but there seems to be an awful lot of it … Continue reading

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It’s fine

This confused me, so I mention it in case it confuses anyone else. If predicative adjectives have type S[adj]\NP (because they come after the noun), NPs have type NP and the predicative copula has type (S[dcl]/(S[adj]\NP))/NP, then how do we … Continue reading

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Three sorts of PP

Le means “with”, roughly, but if you want to say “with X”, there are three different ways of doing it. le Alasdair: “with Alasdair”. This is the form used before a noun phrase that doesn’t begin with a definite article. … Continue reading

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Why do we bother with grammatical frameworks?

Most natural languages, like English French Chukchi Basque Gaelic Italian Russian Latgallian Finnish Tamil and so forth, can be reasonably well modelled by a context-free grammar, which is the sort of grammar that people write computer languages in. Parsers for … Continue reading

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A first attempt at the copula

Having got OpenCCG working, we can now start doing what we’re here for. To say “Calum is a teacher”, or “I am a teacher”, you have to say the at-first-glance rather odd: ‘S e tidsear a th’ann Calum. ‘S e … Continue reading

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But what can we tell from the 100 top word tokens?

26 are prepositions of some sort 23 are nouns 10 are conjunctions 10 are verbs 5 are articles 7 are adjectives 7 are pronouns 4 are preverbal particles 2 are adverbs The number of prepositions is unusually high and indicates … Continue reading

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What kind of language is this? The top 100 word tokens in Gaelic

I downloaded all of the Gaelic wikipedia. This is not hard. It is at http://dumps.wikimedia.org/gdwiki/latest/ and you probably want gdwiki-latest-pages-articles.xml.bz2, which contains all the text. Now I can do word-token counts on it, using terrible code like the following: #!/usr/bin/perl … Continue reading

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Arabic

A better-resourced language that is VSO is Arabic, and I noticed today that Chris Brew’s group have a paper on converting the Penn Arabic Treebank into CCG. I didn’t know that Arabic had resumptive pronouns. Gaelic doesn’t, but they might … Continue reading

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