Preliminary Codes and Rules for the Automatic Parsing of English - Memorandum RM-3339-PR December 1962. Jane J. Robinson.

Preliminary Codes and Rules for the Automatic Parsing of English - Memorandum RM-3339-PR December 1962

Santa Monica, California: The Rand Corporation 1962. First Edition. ix, 1-140 pages. 8 1/2 x 11 inches.Original tan printed wrappers. Spine sun darkened. Crease to rear cover. A few stains internally, but overall a nice bright copy. Near Fine. Wraps. [27581]


Prepared for the United States Air Force Project Rand, this work is an interim work on "automatic machine analysis (parsing) of English which will eventually enable the electronic computer to receive natural English sentences and convert them internally into formal structures suitable for further machine manipulation." The approach to automatic parsing was established through discussions with Charles F. Hockett, Prof. of Linguistics and Anthropology at Cornell (a RAND consultant) as well as David G. Hays of RAND. The first program was written by Robert Dupchak of RAND.

The memorandum was written by Jane J. Robinson, a pioneering computational linguist who made major contributions to machine translation, natural language, and speed systems research through her long career at RAND Corporation, IBM, and the AI Center at SRI International. In it, Ms. Robinson lays out the bases upon which a machine will accept and act on those inputs, the codes and rules used, and further development approaches are analyzed. Jane was President of the Association for Computational Linguistics in 1982. (A copy of her Obituary is provided with this book).

This is cradle period work for this area of computing. Natural language processing was much harder than anyone anticipated. ALPAC (Automatic Language Processing Advisory Committee) was a committee of seven scientists led by John R. Pierce, established in 1964 by the United States government in order to evaluate the progress in computational linguistics in general and machine translation in particular. Its report, issued in 1966, gained notoriety for being very skeptical of research done in machine translation so far, and emphasizing the need for basic research in computational linguistics; this eventually caused the U.S. government to reduce its funding of the topic dramatically. David G. Hays from RAND was one of the committee members. (wiki)

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