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Re: colorless green ideas

From:Tim May <butsuri@...>
Date:Thursday, April 8, 2004, 23:27
Philippe Caquant wrote at 2004-04-08 00:13:42 (-0700)
 > I very much like that sentence: "Colourless green ideas sleep
 > furiously". Could you please remember me who proposed it first ?
 > (Chomsky ?)
Yes, it was Chomsky:

 |  (1) Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.
 |  (2) Furiously sleep ideas green colorless.
 | [...] It is fair to assume that neither sentence (1) nor (2) (nor
 | indeed any part of these sentences) has ever occurred in an English
 | discourse. Hence, in any statistical model for grammaticalness,
 | these sentences will be ruled out on identical grounds as equally
 | `remote' from English. Yet (1), though nonsensical, is grammatical,
 | while (2) is not.

That isn't true, incidentally, about statistical models being unable
to judge between the two.