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Re: OT: PL/I was Re: Please welcome . . .

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Friday, December 19, 2003, 17:32
On Fri, Dec 19, 2003 at 06:00:47AM -0500, Tristan McLeay wrote:
> On Fri, 19 Dec 2003, Wesley Parish wrote: > > > Has anyone else read Ian Watson's book "The Embedding"? > > > > In it he has a uniquely Lisp-like use of human language - > > "The rat that the cat that the dog worried killed ate the malt" > > Hm? I thought Lisp was verb-first? Lispifying that sentence would be more > like (ate (killed (worried dog cat) rat) malt), wouldn't it?
I was thinking hte same thing, Tristan. Lisp is definitely verb-first. But I'm having trouble parsing the intent of the sentence regardless. What would it be in normal English? I think your Lisp version is missing some sort of relative conjunction, since it seems to have entire sentences as subjects: ((The dog worried the cat) killed the rat) ate the malt. If the intent is "The dog that worried the cat that killed the rat ate the malt", that'd be something more like: (ate (that (worried dog (that (killed cat rat)))) malt) . . .assuming, besides the order (verb subject object), a function (that S) which means "the subject of sentence S". -Mark