RE: Functional Tags

From: Dale M. Wheeler (
Date: Wed May 14 1997 - 12:40:28 EDT

Clayton Bartholomew wrote:

>I agree with 95% of what Dale said in his response, I am however
>mystified by his mystification.
>Dale wrote:
>{big snip}
>With respect to Clayton's question about "functional" level tagging, as
>I've tried to show above, one runs into problems when one attempts to
>provide both the morph and function tagging in the same tag in the
>{big snip}
>Finally, I'm mystified by Clayton's statement that he'd like to see a
>"...*functional* tagging system for the GNT which divorces it from
>morphology?". How does one construct a function system which is not
>predicated on the forms of the words ??
>What is there to be mystified about? The reason it is difficult to link
>function to morphology in a single tag is that syntax functions have a
>different and independent **distribution** from inflections. For this
>reason representing syntax function as an attribute of an inflection is
>problematic. A syntax function maps to more than one inflection and an
>inflection maps to more than one syntax function in a complex network
>(see book metaphor below).
>What I mean by divorcing function from inflection is making it a
>separate level of your language model.... <SNIP>

The problem was your use of the term "divorce", which I understood to mean
that the functional tags were to be independent of the morph tags; when
what you meant was that they were *separate* tags from the morph
tags...which, of course, agrees with one of the points I was making in the
original post that functional tags for the most part need to be separated
from the morph tags, otherwise researchers analyzing morph info will not be
able to do so (and the functional analysis will no doubt be skewed as

Well, I think that means that Clayton and I agree 100% percent (well at
least on the material I included above before the snip; I'm sure that the
linguistic and semantic issues he has raised will spark much discussion
which I'd love to join in, but I hear the siren song of the MorphHeb
calling my name)...when was the last time that happened on bgreek... (-:


Dale M. Wheeler, Th.D.
Research Professor in Biblical Languages Multnomah Bible College
8435 NE Glisan Street Portland, OR 97220
Voice: 503-251-6416 FAX:503-254-1268 E-Mail:

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