Sidney Simon


Application of decision tables to syntactic analysis
Walter Hoffman | Amelia Janiotis | Sidney Simon
Proceedings of the Annual meeting of the Association for Machine Translation and Computational Linguistics

Decision tables have recently become an object of investigation as a possible means of improving problem formulation of data processing procedures. The initial emphasis for this new tool came from systems analysts who were primarily concerned with business data processing problems. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the suitability of decision tables as a means of expressing syntactic relations as an alternative to customary flow charting techniques. The history of decision tables will be briefly reviewed and several kinds of decision tables will be defined. As an example, parts of the predicative blocking routine developed at Wayne State University will be presented as formulated with the aid of decision tables. The aim of the predicative blocking routine is to group a predicative form together with its modal and temporal auxiliaries, infinitive complements, and negative particle, if any of these exist. The object of the search is to define such a syntactic block, but it may turn out instead that an infinitive phrase is defined or that a possible predicative form turns out to be an adverb.