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Re: XML for linguists?

From:David G. Durand <david@...>
Date:Wednesday, November 24, 1999, 14:27
At 8:55 PM -0500 11/23/99, And Rosta wrote:
>Charles: >> I still don't quite see how to apply this to my old idea of >> an interchange format for constructed languages. Somewhere >> there may be a definition of language as that which is >> its own metalanguage, or some other Godel-like constraint >> that makes it impossible to accomplish. > >The major hurdle is establishing the content of the markup >scheme - the semantics, or the lexicon, as it were. SGML/XML just >provides the syntax. There are lots of descriptive and >theoretical linguistic frameworks that have developed a >metalanguage for representing language. The snag for a >"standards"-oriented project such as yours or the TEI is >there is no worthwhile consensus to be achieved on what >the 'lexicon/semantics' of the common metalanguage should >be.
And this is why, in the end, the TEI only created some standard tags to represent typical structures used in linguistic analysis, and allowing their function as linguistic annotations to be detected, as opposed to actually defining the specific grammatical categories etc. to be used in a description. This makes a great deal of sense when you consider that grammatical categories are atomic values in some theories, and various forms of complex formulas in other theories (like GPSG or any theories that use PATR-like parsing models). The variability is really huge. For Conlangs this is even worse, because a language may have a really unusuual structure (like ALLNOUN, or Jacques Guy's languages). Even "naturalism" can't be assumed for all artlangs. -- David _________________________________________ David Durand \ \ Director of Development Graduate Student no more! \ Dynamic Diagrams --------------------------------------------\ MAPA: mapping for the WWW \__________________________