Chaotic Language http://www.chaoticlanguage.com/rss.xml en Introduction http://www.chaoticlanguage.com/node/1581 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Introduction</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">rob</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 08/16/2010 - 20:51</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>There are still many tasks which people can perform easily but computers cannot.</p> <p>One of these tasks is understanding ordinary or natural language. We still don’t know how to program a computer to understand what we say in ordinary language, just as we don’t know how to program a computer to reliably recognize a face, or a road, a bomb, a pistol, or an ice-cream.</p> <p>The need is so great that software exists for such tasks, but with very few exceptions it works too poorly to be useful. Nothing approaches human ability.</p> <p>One common claim is that all these tasks are difficult because they rely on enormous amounts of general knowledge. Large, expensive, projects have attempted to codify general knowledge. But far from solving these tasks, the task of codifying general knowledge turns out to be yet another problem of the same kind. Nobody has been able to codify general knowledge with anything like human judgement or reliability.</p> <p>Nobody knows why this is so.</p> <p>We have spell checkers to check when we spell a word wrong. But there is still nothing to tell us if what we write makes sense. To a computer “there”, “their”, or “they’re” are all equally good. If they’re spelled right, you can write them anywhere.</p> <p>For languages like Chinese, which have many words of this kind, users are constantly forced to stop and select the word they mean by hand.</p> <p>And the task of understanding ordinary language is just one problem of this kind. In general you might say there is an enormous class of problems, what you might call “human factors” problems, for which there is no current effective solution, and nobody knows why. A solution for these “human factors” problems might be as significant as the invention of computing itself. And greatly increase our understanding of ourselves and the world into the bargain.</p> <p>The purpose of this website is to suggest that the solution to these “human factors” problems is a re-evaluation of our expectations about how the world can be described. In particular the suggestion is that we stop assuming everything in the world can be described by rules.</p> <p>For the very specific case of ordinary language, a concrete solution which does not assume rules is presented.</p> <p>The solution is presented by this website is characterized as “chaotic”. This is because it suggests language does not obey rules. And because it is speculated there is a relationship between this structure beyond rules, and observed mathematical “chaos” in the real world.</p> <p>Other than presenting this software for the improved analysis of ordinary, or natural, language, this website also collects numerous examples of related problems and theorizing. This is to provide support for the model, and suggestions for applications in other fields.</p> </div> Mon, 16 Aug 2010 08:51:45 +0000 rob 1581 at http://www.chaoticlanguage.com http://www.chaoticlanguage.com/node/1581#comments Theoretical Outline http://www.chaoticlanguage.com/node/32 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Theoretical Outline</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">rob</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2008-05-06T00:37:55+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 05/06/2008 - 12:37</span> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Linguistics attempts to find a system for language.</p> <p>In common with broader science this search has moved in the direction of seeking general laws, or rules, broadly speaking grammar.</p> <p>The conjecture of this website is that such rules cannot be abstracted for natural language.</p> <p>Looked at more broadly this seems to be part of a general revision of the place of theory in science. Godel's mathematical incompleteness appears to be a version of it. Stephen Wolfram's "computational irreducibility" appears to be a version of it.</p> <p>At root though, the idea does not require sophisticated mathematics or physics to grasp. It can be as simple as the intuition there might be more ways of arranging a set of objects meaningfully, than there are objects themselves.</p> <p>The claim sounds innocuous enough, and unlikely to hold much interest outside of mathematics. But it has significant practical consequences.</p> <p>In particular from the point of view of natural language it implies that there may be more regularities, and thus apparent rules, among the sentences of a natural language, than there are sentences in the language. Hence that natural language may be in a very precise way "irregular". More exactly that it will need to be modeled as an automaton and not a set of rules.</p> <p>An exploration from the point of view of language has revealed similar ideas in a diverse range of disciplines, including mathematics, and cognition.</p> <p>The unifying thread might be summarized as "complex" or chaotic behaviour. It is at least conjectured that these ideas are related to the very young study of "complex" or chaotic systems.</p> <p>We are only beginning to understand the implications of such systems. In fact they seem to go very deep and redefine even our usual conception of science itself as the regular expression of principles.</p> <p>The aim of this site is to collect together a range of such ideas from a number of fields in the hope that researchers might be encouraged to compare notes, and that linguists in particular might be led to rethink some traditional problems which have fractured the subject into distinct "schools" (either rejecting structure or rejecting distributional analysis) and broadly prevented progress.</p> <p>The intention is that users should access the site by clicking on "tags", listed left, which reflect their interest, and then follow tags within the articles linked to, revealing hidden connections. It is the tags which pull the site together, as befits a site of which the basic premise is that there is fundamentally more than one way of organizing any (sufficiently complex) set of information.</p> </div> Tue, 06 May 2008 00:37:55 +0000 rob 32 at http://www.chaoticlanguage.com The solution http://www.chaoticlanguage.com/node/1583 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The solution</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anonymous (not verified)</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 11/20/2010 - 02:31</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The solution is to keep finding structure. We can't capture the structure of natural language with rules or generalizations. But this need not be a problem. It is only our expectations which are frustrated. Instead of seeing this constant source of ungeneralizable structure as a problem, we can see it as a resource.</p> <p>Generalizations over language just keep on creating new structure. If we are willing to forget the expectation this should not happen, we can use the fact it does happen, to constantly generate useful structure and solve problems. Problems like distinguishing an acceptable utterance from an unacceptable one, or matching language with "meaning".</p> </div> Fri, 19 Nov 2010 13:31:15 +0000 Anonymous 1583 at http://www.chaoticlanguage.com http://www.chaoticlanguage.com/node/1583#comments End of Theory? http://www.chaoticlanguage.com/node/42 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">End of Theory?</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">rob</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 09/11/2008 - 11:35</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Wired editor Chris Anderson has written an article "The End of Theory" hints at broader issues such as our ability to abstract "truth" into theory, and the utility of drawing conclusions directly from data:</p> <p>WIRED MAGAZINE: 16.07</p> <p>The End of Theory</p> <p><a href="http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/16-07/pb_theory">http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/magazine/16-07/pb_theory</a></p> <p>As I said in the Funknet thread where this article came up, I don't think this indicates an "End of Theory" so much as "the birth of the<br /> theory that there can be lots more theories buried in a set of data than we've ever imagined we needed to look for before."<br /> (<a href="http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0807&amp;L=funknet&amp;D=1&amp;F=&amp;S=&amp;P=1928">http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0807&amp;L=funknet&amp;D=1&amp;F=…</a>)</p> </div> Wed, 10 Sep 2008 23:35:28 +0000 rob 42 at http://www.chaoticlanguage.com http://www.chaoticlanguage.com/node/42#comments Observed limitations to "rules" in physics http://www.chaoticlanguage.com/node/41 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Observed limitations to &quot;rules&quot; in physics</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">rob</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 08/05/2008 - 15:27</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden clearfix"> <ul class="links field__items"> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/24" hreflang="en">Quantum properties of assemblies</a></li> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/36" hreflang="en">Limits of reductionism</a></li> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/26" hreflang="en">Emergence</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>R. B. Laughlin* and David Pines†‡§</p> <p>"For better or worse we are now witnessing a transition from the science of the past, so intimately linked to reductionism, to the study of complex adaptive matter, firmly based in experiment, with its hope for providing a jumping-off point for new discoveries, new concepts, and new wisdom."</p> <p><a href="http://www.physics.uq.edu.au/cmp-workshop/Forms/laughlinpines.pdf">http://www.physics.uq.edu.au/cmp-workshop/Forms/laughlinpines.pdf</a></p> <p>*Department of Physics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305; †Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter, University of California Office of the President, Oakland, CA 94607; ‡Science and Technology Center for Superconductivity, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801; and §Los Alamos Neutron Science Center Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545</p> </div> Tue, 05 Aug 2008 03:27:53 +0000 rob 41 at http://www.chaoticlanguage.com Grammar Without Grammaticality http://www.chaoticlanguage.com/node/40 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Grammar Without Grammaticality</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">rob</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 07/13/2008 - 17:49</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden clearfix"> <ul class="links field__items"> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/17" hreflang="en">Grammatical complexity</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Geoffrey Sampson:</p> <p>"...it is notorious that the ideal of a grammar which fully succeeds in correctly distinguishing grammatical from ungrammatical sequences has never been attained for even one speaker."</p> <p><a href="http://www.grsampson.net/AGwg.html">http://www.grsampson.net/AGwg.html</a></p> <p>"In a natural language, one speaks of "analytic statements" which are true by virtue of their meaning (that is, they can be inferred from the empty set of premises), versus "synthetic statements" whose meaning does not give us their truth-value – we need one or more factual premises before we can establish whether a synthetic statement is true or false....</p> <p>From the Second World War onwards, a central preoccupation of English-speaking philosophy (I believe it would be fair to say "the<br /> central preoccupation") was language, and the central point about language as actually used in everyday life ("ordinary language") was that there is in fact no distinction between the analytic and the synthetic."</p> <p>"Earlier in my own career I accepted Wittgenstein’s and Quine’s arguments against the analytic/synthetic distinction, but I believed that grammar was different: I supposed that there really is a well-defined set of valid English sentences, although definite rules prescribing how we can move inferentially among them do not exist. More recently, I have come to see the grammatical/ungrammatical distinction as resembling the analytic/synthetic distinction: they are inventions imposed without scientific basis on intrinsically fluid realities."</p> </div> Sun, 13 Jul 2008 05:49:27 +0000 rob 40 at http://www.chaoticlanguage.com http://www.chaoticlanguage.com/node/40#comments Similarity modeling http://www.chaoticlanguage.com/node/28 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Similarity modeling</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">rob</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2008-04-22T03:37:38+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 04/22/2008 - 15:37</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden clearfix"> <ul class="links field__items"> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/17" hreflang="en">Grammatical complexity</a></li> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/26" hreflang="en">Emergence</a></li> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/27" hreflang="en">Distributional analysis</a></li> </ul> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Similarity modeling - Similarity modeling uses the same parameters as distributional analysis, but it assumes nice clusters are not possible. Instead it makes ad-hoc analogies by averaging sets of properties, as required:</p> <p>E.g. Dagan, Marcus, Markovitch '95: (p.g. 32, long version) "It has been<br /> traditionally assumed that ... information about words should be<br /> generalized using word classes ... However, it was never clearly shown<br /> that unrestricted language is indeed structured in accordance with<br /> this assumption."</p> <p>(and previously on p.g. 4) "... our method assumes that<br /> generalizations should be minimized. Information is thus kept at a<br /> maximal level of detail, and missing information is deduced by the<br /> most specific analogies, which are carried out whenever needed."</p> <p>Dagan, Ido, Shaul Marcus and Shaul Markovitch. Contextual word similarity and estimation from sparse data, Computer, Speech and Language, 1995, Vol. 9, pp. 123-152.</p> <p>More recently:</p> <p><a href="http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/dagan99similaritybased.html">http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/dagan99similaritybased.html</a></p> </div> Tue, 22 Apr 2008 03:37:38 +0000 rob 28 at http://www.chaoticlanguage.com Paul Hopper's Emergent Grammar http://www.chaoticlanguage.com/node/27 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Paul Hopper&#039;s Emergent Grammar</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">rob</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2008-04-22T03:11:10+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 04/22/2008 - 15:11</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden clearfix"> <ul class="links field__items"> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/25" hreflang="en">Meaning as process</a></li> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/17" hreflang="en">Grammatical complexity</a></li> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/26" hreflang="en">Emergence</a></li> </ul> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Berkeley Linguistics Society, vol. 13 (1987), 139-157</p> <p>"I am concerned in this paper with the ... the assumption of an<br /> abstract, mentally represented rule system which is somehow implemented when<br /> we speak. </p> <p>...'Culture is temporal, emergent, and disputed'<br /> (Clifford 1986:19). I believe the same is true of grammar, which like speech<br /> itself must be viewed as a real-time, social phenomenon, and therefore is<br /> temporal; its structure is always deferred, always in a process but never<br /> arriving, and therefore emergent; and since I can only choose a tiny fraction<br /> of data to describe, any decision I make about limiting my field of inquiry<br /> (for example in regard to the selection of texts, or the privileging of the<br /> usage of a particular ethnic, class, age, or gender group) is very likely to<br /> be a political decision, to be against someone else's interests, and<br /> therefore disputed.</p> <p>...</p> <p>The notion of emergence is a pregnant one. It is not intended to be a<br /> standard sense of origins or genealogy, not a historical question of 'how'<br /> the grammar came to be the way it 'is', but instead it takes the adjective<br /> emergent seriously as a continual movement towards structure, a postponement<br /> or 'deferral' of structure, a view of structure as always provisional, always<br /> negotiable, and in fact as epiphenomenal, that is at least as much an effect<br /> as a cause.</p> <p>...</p> <p>Structure, then, in this view is not an overarching set of abstract<br /> principles, but more a question of a spreading of systematicity from<br /> individual words, phrases, and small sets.<br /> ...</p> <p>Grammar is now not to be seen as the only, or even the major, source of<br /> regularity, but instead grammar is what results when formulas are<br /> re-arranged, or dismantled and re-assembled, in different ways.</p> <p>...</p> <p>Because grammar is always emergent but never present, it could be said that<br /> it never exists as such, but is always coming into being. There is, in other<br /> words, no 'grammar' but only 'grammaticization'"</p> </div> Tue, 22 Apr 2008 03:11:10 +0000 rob 27 at http://www.chaoticlanguage.com Gosper's glider gun http://www.chaoticlanguage.com/node/16 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Gosper&#039;s glider gun</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">rob</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2008-04-16T23:08:44+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 04/17/2008 - 11:08</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden clearfix"> <ul class="links field__items"> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/18" hreflang="en">Patterns among objects</a></li> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/6" hreflang="en">Chaotic behaviour</a></li> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/37" hreflang="en">Strucures which become more complex</a></li> </ul> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>"Conway conjectured on the existence of infinitely growing patterns, and offered a reward for an example. Gosper was the first to find such a pattern (specifically, the Glider gun), and won the prize."</p> <p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Gosper">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Gosper</a></p> </div> Wed, 16 Apr 2008 23:08:44 +0000 rob 16 at http://www.chaoticlanguage.com Thomas Kuhn http://www.chaoticlanguage.com/node/8 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Thomas Kuhn</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">rob</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2008-04-16T00:00:58+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 04/16/2008 - 12:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden clearfix"> <ul class="links field__items"> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/3" hreflang="en">Subjectivity</a></li> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/8" hreflang="en">Exemplar-based meaning</a></li> </ul> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions</p> <p>p.g. 192 (Postscript)<br /> "When I speak of knowledge embedded in shared exemplars, I am not referring to a mode of knowing that is less systematic or less analyzable than knowledge embedded in rules, laws, or criteria of identification. Instead I have in mind a manner of knowing which is misconstrued if reconstructed in terms of rules that are first abstracted from exemplars and thereafter function in their stead."</p> </div> Wed, 16 Apr 2008 00:00:58 +0000 rob 8 at http://www.chaoticlanguage.com