language as cognitive process: syntax

terry winograd

addison-wesley, 1983

mostly a book about NLP, CS & linguistics. a prequel to understanding computers and cognition.

1. Viewing Language as a Knowledge-Based Process

rules to understand language (p.8):

survey of linguistic history:

the view of the book is that language is a communicative process based on knowledge. that’s because programming languages often seem to based on computational linguistics, or language as formal symbol manipulation (which turned out not to be true. or at least not effective compared to ML approaches)

the basic assumption is that there are mental representations in the user which can be represented as data structures in the computer.

if linguistic structure is stratified, eache strate still relates and connects to the stratas around it. this is related to the idea of abstraction

sounds <- -> phonemes <- -> morphemes <- -> words <- -> syntax <- -> representations

(note: in idioms, it seems that words related directly to meaning rather than also word structure)

there is also a difference between:

approaches of linguistics can focus on:

which of the above do i choose? (should i even choose? i’m guessing it’s quite obviously text since i’m focusing on source code)

limitations, because language is: