Emergence of Syntax Needs Minimal Supervision

Raphaël Bailly, Kata Gábor

This paper is a theoretical contribution to the debate on the learnability of syntax from a corpus without explicit syntax-specific guidance. Our approach originates in the observable structure of a corpus, which we use to define and isolate grammaticality (syntactic information) and meaning/pragmatics information. We describe the formal characteristics of an autonomous syntax and show that it becomes possible to search for syntax-based lexical categories with a simple optimization process, without any prior hypothesis on the form of the model.

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