Linguistik-Klassifikation: Grammatikforschung / Grammar research
Comparing lexicalized grammar formalisms in an empirically adequate way : the notion of generative attachment capacity
- The work presented here addresses the question of how to determine whether a grammar formalism is powerful enough to describe natural languages. The expressive power of a formalism can be characterized in terms of i) the string languages it generates (weak generative capacity (WGC)) or ii) the tree languages it generates (strong generative capacity (SGC)). The notion of WGC is not enough to determine whether a formalism is adequate for natural languages. We argue that even SGC is problematic since the sets of trees a grammar formalism for natural languages should be able to generate is difficult to determine. The concrete syntactic structures assumed for natural languages depend very much on theoretical stipulations and empirical evidence for syntactic structures is rather hard to obtain. Therefore, for lexicalized formalisms, we propose to consider the ability to generate certain strings together with specific predicate argument dependencies as a criterion for adequacy for natural languages.