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Immediately W of the islands of Uist in the Outer Hebrides is a wide, low-gradient submarine shelf on which glacifluvial deposits of Devensian age and calcareous sand accumulated. Following moulding by Devensian ice, the Lateglacial landscape of the littoral zone of the Uists became a series of low-lying bedrock ridges and basins. The analysis of sub-tidal organic deposits has shown that in the early Holocene this landscape supported water bodies, marshes and a vegetation mosaic of Betula-Corylus woodland and Calluna vulgaris-herbaceous taxa open ground. The submergence of this littoral area during the Holocene Marine Transgression, together with wave action typical of the position on the Atlantic margin, led to the transfer onshore of submarine shelf deposits, so creating machair (sand plain) landscapes. This brought about vegetational changes, eventually creating calcareous grasslands. The timing of these events was asynchronous, being location- and site-specific due to variations in the configuration of the littoral zone. Although the date of the initial transfer of sand is unknown, evidence from the sub-tidal deposits indicates that a major incursion of sand, in North Uist, occurred c. 7600 BP (8450–8340 cal BP). The same source also suggests that a further major sand movement took place during the period 5800–4200 cal BP, a period of widespread sand drift in NW Europe. The analyses of the sub-tidal deposits have also reinforced the current theory of machair evolution.
Most existing Natural Language Database Interfaces (NLDB) were
designed to be used with
database systems that provide very limited facilities for manipulating
and they do not support adequately temporal linguistic mechanisms (verb
adverbials, temporal subordinate clauses, etc.). The database community
increasingly interested in temporal database systems, which are intended
to store and manipulate
in a principled manner information not only about the present, but also
about the past and
future. When interfacing to temporal databases, supporting temporal linguistic
We present a framework for constructing Natural Language Interfaces
Databases (NLTDB), which draws on research in tense and aspect theories,
and temporal databases. The framework consists of a temporal intermediate
language, called TOP, an HPSG grammar that maps a wide range of questions
temporal mechanisms to appropriate TOP expressions, and a provably correct
translating from TOP to TSQL2, TSQL2 being a recently proposed temporal
extension of the
SQL database language. This framework was employed to implement a prototype
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