[Mailman-Users] Fwd: Mail Delivery failed: returning to sender.
gossamer at tertius.net.au
Mon Oct 25 06:21:29 CEST 1999
The following stupid bounce message isn't getting picked up
by mailman ...
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Subject: Re: [Perl-AI] Re: Burke's Ambiguity Conjecture (was Re: parsing NLs, and
To: sburke at netadventure.net (Sean M. Burke)
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 1999 21:42:18 -0400 (EDT)
Cc: perl-ai at netizen.com.au, bet at mordor.net, jpnolan at Op.Net
In-Reply-To: <220.127.116.11.19991024132621.00819e40 at stonehenge.netadventure.net> from "Sean M. Burke" at Oct 24, 99 01:26:21 pm
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> I've never noticed a case of a language extending its /syntax/ to embrace
> new concepts -- and certainly not in the direction of a syntactic ambiguity.
> Certainly it's not the general way to do so -- lexical and idiomatic
> innovation seems the main (and possibly only) way that languages do that.
Hm. You might have a point here, but then again, you might not.
I'm not convinced that examples of syntactic innovation cannot
be found. I can't think of any, but that doesn't mean they
are not there, waiting to be found. Manifestly, language syntax
does change with time.
> And I don't see how /syntactic/ ambiguity gives languages their richness
> or makes them less boring.
Well, I'm not sure anyone said that, specifically... I just think
that ambiguity per se should not necessarily be construed
as some kind of error or obstacle. I personally am not distinguishing
cleanly between syntax and semantics, and I think that this
is an apprpriate point of view. (But I am naive and ill-informed,
so you can ignore me.)
Ambiguity makes things hard to parse, but I don't care,
because I'm not writing a parser. :)
Take the following example:
1) Happy dog, dog fast.
2) Dog run run run!
3) Happy fish, fish fast.
4) Fish swim swim swim!
[snip - Remainder of message]
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: gossamer at tertius.net.au http://www.tertius.net.au/~gossamer/
: Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the
: school of genius. -- Edward Gibbon
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