Report Number: CS-TR-68-112
Institution: Stanford University, Department of Computer Science
Title: A control language for transformational grammar
Author: Friedman, Joyce
Author: Pollack, Bary W.
Date: August 1968
Abstract: Various orders of application of transformations have been considered in transformational grammar, ranging from unorder to cyclical orders involving notions of "lowest sentence" and of numerical indices on depth of embedding. The general theory of transformational grammar does not yet offer a uniform set of "traffic rules" which are accepted by most linguists. Thus, in designing a model of transformational grammar, it seems advisable to allow the specification of the order and point of application of transformations to be a proper part of the grammar. In this paper we present a simple control language designed to be used by linguists for this specification. In the control language the user has the ability to: 1. Group transformations into ordered sets and apply transformations either individually or by transformation set. 2. Specify the order in which the transformation sets are to be considered. 3. Specify the subtrees in which a transformation set is to be applied. 4. Allow the order of application to depend on which transformations have previously modified the tree. 5. Apply a transformation set either once or repeatedly. In addition, since the control language has been implemented as part of a computer system, the behavior of the transformations may be monitored giving additional information on their operation. In this paper we present the control language and examples of its use. Discussion of the computer implementation will be found in [Pollack, B.W. The Control Program and Associated Subroutines. Stanford University. Computer Science Department. Computational Linguistics Project. Report no. AF-28. June 1968.].