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RE: [xml-dev] "XML is just syntax" versus "Use semantic markup" (Is this a paradox?)

Hi Walter:

Thanks.  I have not read that.  I wonder from time to time if the symbols
and media affect the answer, for example, the vectors in graphics are a
means to create the source information for rendering, but individually, they
are just triplets (in 3D) (syntax).  Only in combination where they exhibit
frequency are they meaningful, and then only if one ignores point-of-view,
aka, the camera.

Even if we skip the frequency debate, is a tag name content or markup; or,
is that a meaningful question?


From: W. E. Perry [mailto:wperry@fiduciary.com] 
Hi Len.

For what I think is the growing consensus of linguists on this question, you
might look at e.g.
[actually, *you* probably already have :)]
<quote>There is a long-standing tradition in Chomskyan generative grammar of
rejecting the relevance of corpus studies. A variety of arguments are put
forth to justify this rejection, most importantly, that corpora are
necessarily "finite and somewhat accidental" while the set of grammatical
utterances is "presumably infinite" (Chomsky 1957: 15), and that, therefore,
"probabilistic considerations have
nothing to do with grammar" (Chomsky 1964[1962]: 215, n. 1; cf. also Chomsky
1957: 17). Chomsky is frequently reported as backing up this claim with the
observation that

the sentence I live in New York is fundamentally more likely than I live in
Dayton, Ohio purely by virtue of the fact that there are more people likely
to say the former than the latter (McEnery and Wilson 2001: 10).

As always, it is difficult to decide whether Chomsky seriously offers this
example in support of his position. Not that it really matters: Chomsky's
contempt for  and his ignorance of  quantitative issues is of no concern to
modern corpus linguistics. Chomsky's irredeemably anti-empirical views are
firmly rooted in his anti-empiricist philosophy, and no amount of
quantitatively sophisticated corpus-based
argumentation will ever change his mind.</quote>

Author(s): Anatol Stefanowitsch

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