Formal Grammar and Semantics in Natural Language

Photograph of Pius ten Hacken

Pius ten Hacken


In the study of the syntax and semantics of formal languages, repeated reference is made to concepts and techniques developed first of all for the analysis of natural language. In this talk I will sketch the original background of some of these concepts and show how the discussion of them in the field of linguistics has led to at least two different approaches to the study of grammar. Although Chomsky made some major contributions to the theory of formal grammars, the goals of his theory are incompatible with a purely formal approach to natural language. By contrast, the approach advocated by the followers of Richard Montague and Gerald Gazdar starts from the assumption that formal and natural languages share essential properties.
Tuesday 23rd May 2006, 14:00
Robert Recorde Room
Department of Computer Science