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Unformatted text preview: D R A F T Speech and Language Processing: An introduction to speech recognition, computational linguistics and natural language processing. Daniel Jurafsky & James H. Martin. Copyright c circlecopyrt 2006, All rights reserved. Draft of September 23, 2007. Do not cite without permission. 5 WORD CLASSES AND PART-OF-SPEECH TAGGING Conjunction Junction, whats your function? Bob Dorough, Schoolhouse Rock, 1973 A gnostic was seated before a grammarian. The grammarian said, A word must be one of three things: either it is a noun, a verb, or a particle. The gnostic tore his robe and cried, Alas! Twenty years of my life and striving and seeking have gone to the winds, for I laboured greatly in the hope that there was another word outside of this. Now you have destroyed my hope. Though the gnostic had already attained the word which was his purpose, he spoke thus in order to arouse the grammarian. Rumi (12071273), The Discourses of Rumi , Translated by A. J. Arberry Dionysius Thrax of Alexandria ( c. 100 B.C.), or perhaps someone else (exact au- thorship being understandably difficult to be sure of with texts of this vintage), wrote a grammatical sketch of Greek (a techne ) which summarized the linguistic knowl- edge of his day. This work is the direct source of an astonishing proportion of our modern linguistic vocabulary, including among many other words, syntax , diphthong , clitic , and analogy . Also included are a description of eight parts-of-speech : noun, PARTS-OF-SPEECH verb, pronoun, preposition, adverb, conjunction, participle, and article. Although ear- lier scholars (including Aristotle as well as the Stoics) had their own lists of parts-of- speech, it was Thraxs set of eight which became the basis for practically all subsequent part-of-speech descriptions of Greek, Latin, and most European languages for the next 2000 years. Schoolhouse Rock was a popular series of 3-minute musical animated clips first aired on television in 1973. The series was designed to inspire kids to learn multipli- cation tables, grammar, and basic science and history. The Grammar Rock sequence, for example, included songs about parts-of-speech, thus bringing these categories into the realm of popular culture. As it happens, Grammar Rock was remarkably tradi- tional in its grammatical notation, including exactly eight songs about parts-of-speech. D R A F T 2 Chapter 5. Word Classes and Part-of-Speech Tagging Although the list was slightly modified from Thraxs original, substituting adjective and interjection for the original participle and article, the astonishing durability of the parts-of-speech through two millenia is an indicator of both the importance and the transparency of their role in human language....
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