A theory of language and information: a mathematical approach

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Clarendon Press, Apr 11, 1991 - Computers - 428 pages
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Written by one of the most respected figures in American linguistics, this book develops an approach to the analysis of language on a mathematical model. Harris presents a formal theory of language structure, in which syntax is characterized as an orderly system of departure from random combinings of sounds, words, and all the elements of language. He argues that the combining of words in a sentence constitutes a mathematical object, and that each departure from randomness is a contribution to the structure and meaning of a sentence. Discussing the differences in the structure and content of language, mathematics, and music, Harris shows that the use of language in a science constitutes a distinguishable sub-language. Remarkable and compelling, Harris's magnum opus will be considered the classical analysis of the structuring of information and development of language.

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User Review  - KirkLowery - LibraryThing

This teacher of Noam Chomsky was teaching about transforms back in the 1930s. In this final statement of his views about language, he completes the formula begun by Bertram Russell, "mathematics ... Read full review


A Theory of Sentences
The System Created by the Constraints

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