Arquivo para o  marcador' PhD'

A summary (Ph.D. thesis).

Publicado sob a(s) categoria(s) Linguistics,Notices em 11 de December de 2016

Now I entered at the last formal year of PhD. Here is an explicative Summary for my thesis. It can have little changes, but the subjects and relations are exactly what I am working on my research.

I already started to write it.

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Pāṇini beyond Chomsky.

Pāṇini’s grammar is not a Chomsky’s generative grammar.

Aṣṭādhyāyi and formal grammars.


Chapter 1

What kind of formal grammar is Aṣṭādhyāyi?

Pāṇini’s technique of grammar.

Sūtra as a way of formalization.

Translation and commentary of some sūtra(s) [examples].


Chapter 2

Indo-European Linguistics contributions to formal grammar.

Indo-European Laws and Aṣṭādhyāyi.

Aṣṭādhyāyi as a model of grammar for Indo-European languages.

Translation and commentary of some sūtra(s) [examples].


Chapter 3

Aṣṭādhyāyi as an example of Dependency Grammar.

Could Aṣṭādhyāyi works as a Universal Dependencies framework?

Pāṇini’s technique of grammar and Model Theoretic Syntax (MTS).

Translation and commentary of some sūtra(s) [example].


Chapter 4

Pratyāhāra sūtra and speech analytics.

Pratyāhāra sūtra as a model for Phonetic Alphabets.

Pratyāhāra technique to other languages.

Translation and commentary of some sūtra(s) [example].


Chapter 5

Aṣṭādhyāyi’s metalanguage as a system of notation (code).

Phonetics in Aṣṭādhyāyi, an analysis.

Morphology in Aṣṭādhyāyi, an analysis.

Syntax in Aṣṭādhyāyi, an analysis.

Morphosyntax in Aṣṭādhyāyi, an analysis.

Translation and commentary of some sūtra(s) [example].


Appendix 1

Toward a new theory of grammar based on Pāṇini’s grammar.


Appendix 2

Aṣṭādhyāyi and a new approach to machine translation.


Appendix 3

Taking Universal Grammar seriously.




PS: Here you can see it in pdf: summary-thesis




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New approach to formal grammars. (Doktorandem výzkum)

Publicado sob a(s) categoria(s) Linguistics,Philosophy,Science em 25 de October de 2015

This is the Introduction of my Ph.D. research project. Soon I’ll post the whole project in pdf.


New approach to formal grammars: Pāṇini’s grammar as an answer.


The form is the possibility of the structure.

L.Wittgenstein (T.L.Ph., 2.033)





Since Noam Chomsky said the Pāṇini’s grammar (PG) is a “generative grammar, in essentially the contemporary sense of this term” (1965: v), a new perspective in the studies of Aṣṭādhyāyī has appeared. Some linguists trained in PG have been asserting  the link between PG and generative grammar at least since 1965, even assuming that PG is within a specific hierarchy of the Chomsky Hierarchy[1]. But none of them ever questioned the Chomsky’s theory, on the contrary, just accepted it and have applied it to PG its whole framework, however, “the generative perspective has misled linguists concerning the properties of natural language” (Pullum: 2003).

The formalization of grammars has been very restricted to what we call generative frameworks, and these frameworks have been considered theoretically important for any description of natural language without proving empirically its efficacy. It is like saying that for the formal grammar have its potential proved, it has to pass through an analysis of a generative framework, known as mathematical foundations. PG has been a victim of Chomsky’s theory since his declaration. When some linguists trying to apply these new models of framework to PG to prove that PG can be one kind of generative grammar, we see two mistakes: first, to turn PG’s framework to generative framework (something that contributes to PG to lose its linguistic potential); second, to lose the oportunity to challenge Chomsky’s theory with a grammar that describes a language (Sanskrit, in this case) with total efficacy, and empirically.

My research goes in this new perspective, not trying to demonstrate that PG is one kind of generative grammar, but to prove that PG’s method is efficient for describing any natural language. PG will be proved as a model grammar, meaning that it can be applied at least to every natural language in the Indo-european family. This approuch implies two important points: outdo the Chomsky’s theory of grammar (note that I am discussing grammars, not languages); provide a framework completely linguistic for description of languages (avoiding mathematical foundations). With the second point is possible to affirm that PG can even be a model of grammar for Natural Language Processing (NLP).

If a generative grammar is a “system of rules that in some explicit and well-defined way assigns structural descriptions to sentences” (Chomsky, 1965: 8), the grammar of Pāṇini could be considered a generative grammar, but the main problem to consider it as this kind of grammar is that for Pāṇini the objects that linguists investigate (words, phrases, clauses, sentences, lexemes, syllables) are real and have a real structure, than “merely structures imposed on them or posited for them by linguists” (Pullum:2007). The PG is known as saṃjñaka vyākaraṇa, a grammar of categories of technical terms (Kapoor, 2005:70). For Pāṇini, to generate a language (Sanskrit), one grammar firstly must describe it, and if its description is not real, the generation is not effectual. In the end, PG exposes the mistakes that have been investigated by generative linguists.[2]

[1] See J.F.Staal, “Context-Sensitive Rules in Pāṇini” (1965); and M.D.Hyman “From Pāṇinian sandhi to finite state calculus” (2007).
[2] My research has the support of all the examination made by Geoffrey K. Pullum and András Kornai regarding the mistakes of generative grammars and Chomsky’s theory, as well as parts of the Cognitive Linguistics, Geoffrey Sampson for example.

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