This paper presents an approach to the automatic syntactic processing of natural language based on the newly-emerging paradigm of Dynamic Syntax, and argues that this approach offers a number of practical advantages for this task. In particular, it is shown that is particularly suited to tackling the problems by languages displaying a relatively free constituent order, which is often the case for the lesser-studied low- and middle-density languages.
Dynamic Syntax relies on three assumptions, all of which run against the mainstream of generative orthodoxy. These are that the basis of grammar should be taken to be individual grammatical constructions, that it must rely on a rich representational semantics, and most radically that it should be a dynamic system building structure incrementally through the sentence, thus matching the time-flow of language interpretation.
The paper outlines the construction of a probabilistic syntactic model for English, and discusses how it may be extended and adapted for other languages.
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