Rich Syntax from a Raw Corpus: Unsupervised Does It

Abstract

We compare our model of unsupervised learning of linguistic structures, ADIOS [1], to some recent work in computational linguistics and in grammar theory. Our approach resembles the Construction Grammar in its general philosophy (e.g., in its reliance on structural generalizations rather than on syntax projected by the lexicon, as in the current generative theories), and the Tree Adjoining Grammar in its computational characteristics (e.g., in its apparent affinity with Mildly Context Sensitive Languages). The representations learned by our algorithm are truly emergent from the (unannotated) corpus data, whereas those found in published works on cognitive and construction grammars and on TAGs are hand-tailored. Thus, our results complement and extend both the computational and the more linguistically oriented research into language acquisition. We conclude by suggesting how empirical and formal study of language can be best integrated.

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Shimon Edelman
Cornell University

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