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Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming by Peter Norvig

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Chapter 21

A Grammar of English

Prefer geniality to grammar.

—Henry Watson Fowler

The King’s English (1906)

The previous two chapters outline techniques for writing grammars and parsers based on those grammars. It is quite straightforward to apply these techniques to applications like the CD player problem where input is limited to simple sentences like “Play 1 to 8 without 3.” But it is a major undertaking to write a grammar for unrestricted English input. This chapter develops a grammar that covers all the major syntactic constructions of English. It handles sentences of much greater complexity, such as “Kim would not have been persuaded by Lee to look after the dog.” The grammar is not comprehensive enough to handle sentences chosen at random from ...

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