Friday, May 17, 2019

Why do geese honk?

A question to CBC Radio's Quirks and Quarks program, "Why do Canada geese honk while migrating?" The answer the CBC gives is "They honk to communicate their position in the flock". But Elan Dresher gave a different answer back in 1996.

New blog: Outdex

Here's a new blog, Outdex, featuring Thomas Graf (and friends), that should be of interest to people who read FoL. This week, Thomas has a post on the "inverted T" (or "inverted Y") model of Generative Grammar.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

GG + NN = Thing 1 + Thing 2?

Language, stealing adopting the BBS model, has a target article by Joe Pater and several replies.

Here's my attempt at bumper-sticker summaries for the articles. You can add your own in the comments. (No, there are no prizes for this.)

Pater: GG + NN + ?? = Profit!

Berent & Marcus: Structure + Composition = Algebra

Dunbar: Marr + Marr = Marr

Linzen: NNs learn GGs sometimes, sorta

Pearl: ?? = interpretability

Potts: Functions + Logic = Vectors + DL

Rawski & Heinz: No Free Lunch, but there is a GI tract

Pater starts out with the observation that Syntactic Structures and "The perceptron: A perceiving and recognizing automaton" were both published in 1957.

Here is a list of other things that were published in 1957 (hint: 116). It may say too much about me, but some of my favorites over the years from this list have included: The Cat in the Hat, From Russia with Love, The Way of Zen, Endgame and Parkinson's Law. But I'm afraid I can't really synthesize all that into an enlightened spy cat whose work expands to fill the nothingness. You can add your own mash-ups in the comments. (No, there are no prizes for this either.)