[erg] Puzzle about IND and DIV

David Mott mottdh at googlemail.com
Wed Oct 9 18:41:39 CEST 2013


I am writing a "mal rule" that will allow sentences like "male called a
woman". (IE this is an ungrammatical version of "a male called a woman").
The standard ERG (1111) will not parse that because male does not act as a
mass noun, and so will not allow creation of a bare np.

I have decided that my desired parse will be the application of hdn_bnp_c
to n_sg_ilr to male_n1. This fails at the composition with hdn_bnp_c. After
experimenting with the definition of hdn_bnp_c, I have found that the


seems to be the problem. If I construct a mal-rule version of hdn_bnp_c
without this constraint, then the sentences parse fine, eg:

derivation[1] (0):male called a woman

 (805 sb-hd_mc_c 0 0 4 [root_informal]
   (787 mal_hdn_bnp_c 0 0 1
     (293 n_sg_ilr 0 0 1
       (22 male_n1/n_-_c-nocnh_le 0 0 1 []
         (20 "male" 0 0 1 <0:4>))))
   (578 hd-cmp_u_c 0 1 4
     (228 v_pst_olr 0 1 2
       (62 call_v1/v_np*_le -0.2128 1 2 [v_pst_olr]
         (17 "called" 0 1 2 <5:11>)))
     (501 sp-hd_n_c 0 2 4
       (181 a_det/d_-_sg-nmd_le -0.4307 2 3 []
         (18 "a" 0 2 3 <12:13>))
       (212 n_sg_ilr 0 3 4
         (201 woman1/n_-_c_le 0 3 4 []
           (19 "woman" 0 3 4 <14:19>))))))

So I have achieved my mal-rule. But....


I want to understand exactly why this constraint causes the problem.
Intuitively this seems right, in that "male" is not divisible, so I would
expect a clash somewhere between + and - on "INDEX.DIV". It also makes
sense that n_sg_ilr would create DIV to be -, which it does.

BUT I have traced the TFS for male_n1, n_sg_ilr and hdn_bmp_c and I cannot
see the linkage. I have found on hdn_bmp_c:


and I have also found on hdn_bmp_c (after composition with n_sg_ilr):


but no link between the ARG.DIV structure and anything else at all. So how
could the clash between + and - on DIV occur?

Maybe my analysis is wrong? Maybe there is a special out-of-band (not in
the TFS system) linkage between AGR and other stuff? Maybe there is a
completely different explanation?

I would be grateful for any thoughts on this.

BTW I am interested to find out why I have failed to see the
inconsistencies in the constraints, rather than other ways to do what I am
trying to do. I am happy with my mal-rule, its just I don't understand why!

best wishes

David Mott
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