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Hans Aberg <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 12 Feb 2001 19:44:31 +0100
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At 19:08 +0100 2001/02/12, Frank Mittelbach wrote:
> > -- Again, if there was a better parser at hand, one would not need to have
> > any markup at all, because it would be able to see that `20' is the object
>give up, unless you want to wait for a parser which "understands" human
>language (or write one but don't hand wave it)

Writing a parser for English is clearly a research project; see for example

One does not get very far with LALR(1) on this problem (parsing English),
even less far when trying work with a grammar that depends on semantic
information. Computer languages such as C and C++ are not strictly LALR(1),
but can be made to parse in such chunks.

>how do you do without markup in this case:
>  The $a$ in the formula is a variable

The usual remark on this: Can you parse it? :-) -- If you can parse it, it
must be possible. Right?

-- The general picture, though, is that the more general grammars the
parser can handle, the less markup will be needed.

>while contrieved i came across that particular problem in math when i tried to
>understand an article in Hungarian (i think) about number theory and misstook
>an "a" being text as part of a longer inline formula because it was
>incorrectly coded (by you perhaps?) ie not identifiable easily as math not

Sorry, I don't know Hungarian.

  Hans Aberg