Presentation on theme: "Projecting Grammatical Features in Nominals: 23 March 2010 Jerry T. Ball Senior Research Psychologist 711 th HPW / RHAC Air Force Research Laboratory DISTRIBUTION."— Presentation transcript:
Projecting Grammatical Features in Nominals: 23 March 2010 Jerry T. Ball Senior Research Psychologist 711 th HPW / RHAC Air Force Research Laboratory DISTRIBUTION A. Approved for public release; distribution unlimited.
2 Broader Research (20,000 feet) Develop Language Capable Synthetic Teammates (Ball et al., 2009 – BRIMS) – Functional (AI) Large-scale, end-to-end Focus on hard problems (e.g. language comprehension) – Cognitively Plausible (Cognitive Science) Adhere to well-established cognitive constraints (e.g. incremental processing) Validate empirically Few research programs try to do both at once!
3 This Research (down in the trenches) Put on your grammar hat! As they say in the south: – All y’all know this…even if you don’t know you know it! Grammatical features extremely useful for language comprehension
4 Representational Commitments Localist theory of the encoding and projection of grammatical features in nominals – No access to non-local features At level of nominal (NP), projected features are collected into a set without duplicates Redundantly encoded features may occasionally conflict – without the expression being ungrammatical Grammatical features may be unspecified – without the expression being ungrammatical non-local local NP
5 Grammatical Features of Nominals (Noun Phrases) in English Definiteness – e.g. definite, indefinite Number – e.g. singular, plural Animacy – e.g. animate, inanimate Gender – e.g. male, female Case – Genitive (Possessive) – Subjective, Objective Person – e.g. first. second, third Distance – e.g. near, far
6 Grammatical Features (in English) Definiteness – lexically encoded by determiners, quantifiers & nouns – All (universal) books (indefinite) – conflict resolution: projection of indefinite blocked – The (definite) books (indefinite) – conflict resolution: projection of indefinite blocked – The (definite) / a (indefinite) / no (negative – zero) book (unmarked) – Some (indefinite) books (indefinite) – redundant – Books (indefinite) are fun to read – *Book (unmarked) is fun to read – lacks marking
7 Grammatical Features (in English) Number – lexically encoded by determiners, quantifiers & nouns. Add “s” to singular noun for plural inflection – The (unmarked) book (singular) / books (plural) – A (singular) book (singular) – redundant – A (singular) few (plural) books (plural) – conflict resolution: plural overrides singular – A lot (singular) of beans (plural) is/are… – conflict resolution: plural overrides singular (for me) – The (unmarked) data (mass – sing) is/are… – conflict unresolved: latin form is plural, but mass use is singular confusion!
8 Grammatical Features (in English) Animacy – lexically encoded by nouns – The rock (inanimate) – The dog (animate) – The woman (human – animate) – That (inanimate) man (human – animate) – conflict resolution: human – animate overrides inanimate Compare to – I like that (inanimate)
9 Grammatical Features (in English) Gender – lexically encoded by nouns. Inflectional marking on some borrowed words – The man (male), the waiter (male) – The woman (female), the waitress (female) – The child (unmarked) – The rock (unmarked) – HMS Beagle (female) (i.e. the ship) No neuter gender in English. Only human – animate nouns have gender (with a few exceptions)!
10 Why We Need Grammatical Features Definiteness: – Give me the ball (definite) – Give me a ball (indefinite) Number – The men (plural) kick the ball (sing). They (plural)… Animacy – The man (human) kicks the ball (inanimate). It (inanimate)… Gender – The man (male) likes the woman (female). She (female)… or
11 Why We Need Grammatical Features Genitive – possessive pronouns and nominals – Provides reference point for identifying referent – It’s mine – mine refers to an implied object not explicitly named – John’s book me Two objects referred to! John Reference point No features specified! ? Reference point Inanimate Singular
12 Computational Implementation projects definitehead predicted the… man object referring expression ~ nominal bind index “the” – determiner the projects obj-refer-expr and functions as specifier the projects definite to obj-refer-expr Incremental processing!
13 Computational Implementation the man… singular human male man integrated as head man projects singular, human and male to obj-refer-expr Incremental processing!
14 Computational Implementation his… book distinct bind indexes genitive his projects poss-obj-spec and higher level obj-refer-expr his projects definite, singular, human, male, third & genitive to reference point (poss-obj-spec) his projects definite to higher level obj-refer-expr features of reference point are non-local Two referring expressions projected! Only local feature is definite
15 Computational Implementation book integrated as head of higher level obj-refer-expr book projects singular and inanimate to higher level obj- refer-expr his book… singularinanimate
16 Computational Implementation her… books objective her projects obj-refer-expr (not poss-obj-spec) her projects definite, singular, human, female, third & objective (not genitive) to obj-refer-expr Compare – I like his I like her Only one referring expression projected!
17 Computational Implementation her books… books integrated as head of higher level obj-refer-expr books projects plural and inanimate to higher level obj-refer-expr Second referring expression is projected! pluralinanimate
18 Computational Implementation hers… hers is nice hers are nice Head of higher level object referring expression is implied Number of higher level referring expression is unspecified! Hers projects definite, singular, human, female, third & genitive to reference point Hers projects definite to higher level obj-refer-expr implieddefinite
19 Conclusions Grammatical features may be redundantly encoded and may conflict without the nominal being ungrammatical – a indef+sing few indef+plur books indef+plur – the def books indef+plur Conflicts handled by blocking and overriding
20 Conclusions Grammatical features may be unspecified without the nominal being ungrammatical – yours def is sing-agree nice – yours def are plur-agree nice Actual referent determines number agreement! you
21 Conclusions Non-local features are not accessible Not accessible to higher level obj-refer-expr! Referent of higher level obj-refer-expr is definite, singular and inanimate definite singular inanimate human male his book
23 Theoretical Alignment Cognitive Linguistics – No autonomous syntax – Grammatical categories are semantically motivated Construction Grammar – Constructions at multiple levels of idiomaticity – No sharp distinction between lexicon and syntax X-Bar Theory – Prior to introduction of functional heads Simpler Syntax – Flat syntax trees
24 Grammatical Features (in English) Person – Lexically encoded by personal pronouns – First, Second, Third – I (first), we (first) – You (second) – He (third), she (third), it (third) meyou them FirstSecond Third
25 Grammatical Features (in English) Case – Lexically and inflectionally encoded on pronouns. Add ’s to nominal for genitive. – Subjective, Objective, Genitive – I (subjective), me (objective), my (genitive), mine (genitive) – We (subjective), us (objective), our (genitive), ours (genitive) – He (subjective), him (objective), his (genitive) – My (genitive) book, mine (genitive) – two genitive pronoun forms – The man’s (genitive) book Genitive ~ Possessive
26 Why We Need Grammatical Features Person (limited to pronouns) – Usually redundant with word order in English – Helps identify subject via subject-verb agreement I (1 st ) am (1 st ) giving you (2 nd ) it (3 rd ) Subjective & Objective Case (limited to pronouns) – Usually redundant with word order in English – Helps identify subject and object We (subj) like her (obj) Her (obj), we (subj) like