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Publication Details

The Syntax and Semantics Of The Japanese Language Engine

by Kameyama, Megumi

Technical Note 516
Institution: AI Center, SRI International
Address: 333 Ravenswood Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025
May 1992.

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Abstract

The paper describes the basic syntactic rules in the Japanese Language Engine (JLE), a unification-based Japanese grammar used as part of a spoken Japanese interpretation system. The underlying assumption in this grammar is the Nondefeasibility Thesis — the rules of grammar are nondefeasible, and all defeasible rules belong to pragmatics. In an overall understanding of an utterance in discourse, such a grammar module can have a meaningful functionality by giving each utterance a set of context-independent underspecified interpretations under the assumption that the module of pragmatic inferences is responsible for further elaborations of the interpretations. The JLE grammar developed with this perspective is robust and exception-free. The major syntactic phenomena of Japanese discussed include: argument omissibility, flexible word order, relativization, topicalization, and quantifier floating.

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Kameyama, Megumi Alumnus

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