A parser from antiquity: An early application of finite state transducers to natural language parsing

Aravind Joshi (University of Pennsylvania)

A parsing program was designed and implemented at the University of Pennsylvania during the period June, 1958 to July 1959. This program was part of the Transformations and Discourse Analysis Project (TDAP) directed by Zellig S. Harris. The techniques used in this program, besides being influenced by the particular linguistic theory arose out of the need to deal with the extremely limited computational resources available at that time. The program was essentially a cascade of finite state transducers (fst). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first application of fst's to parsing.

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