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  1. The Surprising Simplicity of Syntax: Derivation Trees, Subregular Complexity, and What It Implies for Language and Cognition

    Graf, Thomas

    Abstract It is a well-known fact of computational linguistics that syntax is mildly context-sensitive and thus highly complex —- certainly more complex than phonology or morphology. This complexity is at odds with the ease of language acquisition and the impressive speed of human sentence …

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  2. Adjunction to Movement Paths: Floating Quantifiers as the Little Brother of Parasitic Gaps

    Graf, Thomas

    Abstract A lot of recent work in computational phonology seeks to pinpoint the complexity of phonotactic dependencies from a formal perspective. Numerous mathematical classes have been proposed, but Graf (2017) subsumes them all under the umbrella of interval-based strictly piecewise dependencies (IBSP). IBSP …

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  3. Tiers and Relativized Locality Across Language Modules

    Graf, Thomas, Alëna Aksënova, Hyunah Baek, Aniello De Santo, Hossep Dolatian, Sedigheh Moradi, Jon Rawski, Suji Yang, and Jeffrey Heinz

    Abstract Heinz and Idsardi (2013) draw attention to a profound computational difference between syntax and phonology: phonology only requires regular computations over strings (Johnson 1972 …

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  4. Grammar Size and Quantitative Restrictions on Movement

    Graf, Thomas

    Abstract This work is a first tentative step towards motivating constraints on movement as a mechanism for minimizing grammar size.

    Recently is has been proved that every Minimalist grammar can be converted into a strongly equivalent single movement normal form such that every …

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  5. Grammar Size and Quantitative Restrictions on Movement

    Graf, Thomas

    Abstract This work is a first tentative step towards motivating constraints on movement as a mechanism for minimizing grammar size.

    Recently is has been proved that every Minimalist grammar can be converted into a strongly equivalent single movement normal form such that every …

    read more
  6. Computational Parallels Across Language Modules

    Graf, Thomas

    Abstract Linguists study a variety of aspects of language, including phonology, morphology, and syntax. It is commonly believed that those are distinct modules of language, governed by very different principles and consequently studied with very different tools. While there have been attempts at …

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  7. Morphotactics as Tier-Based Strictly Local Dependencies

    Aksënova, Alëna, Thomas Graf, and Sedigheh Moradi

    Abstract It is commonly accepted that morphological dependencies are finite-state in nature. We argue that the upper bound on morphological expressivity is much lower. Drawing on technical results from computational phonology, we show that a variety of morphotactic …

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  8. Morphotactics as Tier-Based Strictly Local Dependencies

    Aksënova, Alëna, Thomas Graf, and Sedigheh Moradi

    Abstract It is commonly accepted that morphological dependencies are finite-state in nature. We argue that the upper bound on morphological expressivity is much lower. Drawing on technical results from computational phonology, we show that a variety of morphotactic …

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  9. Commonality in Disparity: The Computational View of Syntax and Phonology

    Graf, Thomas, and Jeffrey Heinz

    Abstract Heinz and Idsardi (2013) draw attention to a computational difference between syntax and phonology established by earlier research: phonology only requires regular computations over strings (Johnson 1972, Kaplan and Kay 1995), whereas syntax involves non-regular computations over strings (Chomsky …

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  10. Locality and the Complexity of Minimalist Derivation Tree Languages

    Graf, Thomas

    Abstract Minimalist grammars provide a formalization of Minimalist syntax which allows us to study how the components of said theory affect its expressivity. A central concern of Minimalist syntax is the locality of the displacement operation Move. In Minimalist grammars, however, Move is …

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  11. Locality and the Complexity of Minimalist Derivation Tree Languages

    Graf, Thomas

    Abstract Minimalist grammars provide a formalization of Minimalist syntax which allows us to study how the components of said theory affect its expressivity. A central concern of Minimalist syntax is the locality of the displacement operation Move. In Minimalist grammars, however, Move is …

    read more
  12. Locality in Flux —- Reducibility Results for Syntactic Constraints

    Graf, Thomas

    Abstract Müller and Sternefeld (2000) propose a locality hierarchy of syntactic constraints such that {representational, derivational} < global < translocal < transderivational. We use formal methods to demonstrate that their hierarchy correctly assumes that higher constraint classes are more powerful, but we also show that for …

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