Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] fireballs and NLP

Bjorn Blomquist fibromoon@hotmail.com
Thu, 20 Sep 2001 23:39:55 +0200

Let's talk linguistics!

>From: Henry Longmore <Henry.Krit.Longmore@m.cc.utah.edu>

>essentially (I didn't record it) the same...they saw an enormous
>fireball emanating from beneath the tower.
>I am taking a class in Natural Language Processing (and have taken a
>couple of linguistics classes).  This causes me to analyze the
>sentence more than usual.  So the question is, how do we parse the
>sentence?  Does the phrase "beneath one of the towers" attach to the
>person who was doing the viewing?  Or does it attach to the fireball?

I've been studying computer linguistics, which includes NLP. So I understand 
the parsing issue, but what is your actual point by this?
Do you mean that there *was* no fireball "from beneath the tower"?
It's probably as you say, that people were watching it standing beneath the 
tower, but didn't the fireball actually emerge "from beneath"? Not that I 
know what it looked like, but I would guess that it emanated from the top? 
It's an interesting parsing dilemma however. :)

However, I had to look up the word "emanate" in my dictionary, and according 
to the definition I would interpret the sentence as "from beneath the tower" 
belonging to the fireball.

So, I did contradict myself now.


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