Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-66d7dfc8f5-tfp9r Total loading time: 0.858 Render date: 2023-02-08T18:26:19.289Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

1 - Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 October 2011

Nissim Francez
Affiliation:
Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa
Shuly Wintner
Affiliation:
University of Haifa, Israel
Get access

Summary

Natural languages are among Nature's most extraordinary phenomena. While humans acquire language naturally and use it with great ease, the formalization of language, which is the focus of research in linguistics, remains evasive. As in other sciences, attempts at formalization involve idealization: ignoring exceptions, defining fragments, and the like. In the second half of the twentieth century, the field of linguistics has undergone a revolution: The themes that are studied, the vocabulary with which they are expressed, and the methods and techniques for investigating them have changed dramatically. While the traditional aims of linguistic research have been the description of particular languages (both synchronically and diachronically), sometimes with respect to other, related languages, modern theoretical linguistics seeks the universal principles that underlie all natural languages; it is looking for structural generalizations that hold across languages, as well as across various phrase types in a single language, and it attempts to delimit the class of possible natural languages by formal means.

The revolution in linguistics, which is attributed mainly to Noam Chomsky, has influenced the young field of computer science. With the onset of programming languages, research in computer science began to explore different kinds of languages: formal languages that are constructed as a product of concise, rigorous rules. The pioneering work of Chomsky provided the means for applying the results obtained in the study of natural languages to the investigation of formal languages.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • Introduction
  • Nissim Francez, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Shuly Wintner, University of Haifa, Israel
  • Book: Unification Grammars
  • Online publication: 25 October 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139013574.002
Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Introduction
  • Nissim Francez, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Shuly Wintner, University of Haifa, Israel
  • Book: Unification Grammars
  • Online publication: 25 October 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139013574.002
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Nissim Francez, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Shuly Wintner, University of Haifa, Israel
  • Book: Unification Grammars
  • Online publication: 25 October 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139013574.002
Available formats
×