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Semantics for a Systemic Grammar: The Chooser and Inquiry Framework

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000128677D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Dec-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Sep-16
Document File: 16 page(s) / 54K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Christian Matthiessen: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

One of the current research areas involving systemic linguistics is text generation (discourse production). Text generation is one way of studying text. It is text study by synthesis rather than by analysis; deconstruction and then reconstruction.' The basic question is: Given a communicative purpose (goal) in a natural context, how does the system of linguistic processes and resources work to produce a text? Or, how do we get from situation to text? The answer includes several levels (strata) of organization as well as the interaction between these levels: a specification of the goals (purposes) of the intended text, a specification of the relevant parts of the system's field of experience, text planning, grammatical expression, and so on. For an overview of some of the issues involved in text generation, see [Mann et al. 82], [McDonald 83). For an early systemic text generation system, see (Davey 78.2 At the Information Sciences Institute in Southern California, one particular text generation system, called Penman, is being designed and implemented (see [Mann 83a]). The grammar of this system is a large systemic grammar of English, the Nigel grammar. It is the result of a major ongoing research effort into systemic grammar in the context of text generation. First begun as a computational grammar in 1980, it still being expanded and revised. (For introductions to Nigel, see e.g. [Mann 83b], [Mann 83c], [Matthiessen 83a], and [Matthiessen 83b].) The semantics of the Nigel grammar is a choosey and inquiry semantics, which is a new development intended to deal with the problem o f making purposeful grammatical choices in response to a communicative situation. (A presentation of the framework can also be found in e.g. [Mann 83d] and (Mann 851") Given a system of options like middle3 vs. effective, transitive vs. intransitive, or indicative vs. imberative. how is one option in the system to be chosen over another in a purposeful way?

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Semantics for a Systemic Grammar: The Chooser and Inquiry Framework

Christian Matthiessen

ISI Reprint Series ISIIRS-87-189 May 1987. University of Southern ', California I I Reprinted from Systemic Perspectives on Discourse, 1987. INFORMATION SCIENCES -- INSTITUTE 2131822-1511

4676 Admiralty Way/Marina del Rey/California 90192-6695 This research was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Contract Nos. F49620 84 C 0100 & F49620 87 C 0005. The views and conclusions in this report are those of the author and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either explicit or implied, of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research of the U.S. Government.

1St Reprint Series This report is one in a series of reprints of articles and papers written by ISI research staff and published in professional journals and conference proceedings. For a complete list of ISI reports, write to

Document Distribution USC/Information Sciences Institute

4676 Admiralty Way Marina del Rey, CA 90292-6695 USA

1 The task of the choosey and inquiry framework

One of the current research areas involving systemic linguistics is text generation (discourse production). Text generation is one way of studying text. It is text study by synthesis rather than by analysis; deconstruction and then reconstruction.' The basic question is: Given a communicative purpose (goal) in a natural context, how does the system of linguistic processes and resources work to produce a text? Or, how do we get from situation to text? The answer includes several levels (strata) of organization as well as the interaction between these levels: a specification of the goals (purposes) of the intended text, a specification of the relevant parts of the system's field of experience, text planning, grammatical expression, and so on. For an overview of some of the issues involved in text generation, see [Mann et al. 82], [McDonald 83). For an early systemic text generation system, see (Davey 78.2 At the Information Sciences Institute in Southern California, one particular text generation system, called Penman, is being designed and implemented (see [Mann 83a]). The grammar of this system is a large systemic grammar of English, the Nigel grammar. It is the result of a major ongoing research effort into systemic grammar in the context of text generation. First begun as a computational grammar in 1980, it still being expanded and revised. (For introductions to Nigel, see e.g. [Mann 83b], [Mann 83c], [Matthiessen 83a], and [Matthiessen 83b].) The semantics of the Nigel grammar is a choosey and inquiry semantics, which is a new development intended to deal with the problem o f making purposeful grammatical choices in response to a communicative situation. (A presentation of the framework can also be found in e.g. [Mann 83d] and (Mann 851") Given a system of options like middle3 vs...