I am a programmer and my current project has me scanning and analyzing texts to see what elements can be corrected automatically. For example, change i to I, ur to your, etc. Basically getting rid mobile text speak. That's pretty straight forward.

However, things get a bit more interesting when you have a sentence like, "i fOund you dog. Plz call."

In my programming, most of that is simple to correct. But what about 'you dog?' Was it meant to be 'your dog?' Was it meant to be 'you, dog?'

So you can see, this could get pretty deep, and I think it will be fun to analyze English grammar rules to see what can be accomplished through computer means. My google searches are coming up with nothing, so if any of you English buffs out there are also programmers who have discussed rules like this, please let me know where I can join in.


closed as not a real question by J.R., tchrist, kiamlaluno, waiwai933 Oct 25 '12 at 1:29

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    You may find better help on linguisticsSE. Meanwhile, note that you will need a good understanding of formal grammars and natural languages before undertaking the project on your own, so first read up as much as you can on those and the related. – Kris Oct 25 '12 at 4:41

First, a warning: You're stepping into a minefield. The cleverer the grammar corrector, the more confusing the failure modes. Your system will screw up from time to time. Do the benefits outweigh the costs of the screw-ups?

There have been a few questions about whether Context Free Grammars can be used to model English. The short answer is, "Not really. Our brains don't have infinite stacks." Still, there was someone called Ron Maimon who seemed very interested in this matter. Here are a couple of questions in which he was involved.

Is there an EBNF that covers all of English?

Can "if", "while", "whenever", "when" recurse deeply? How deeply?

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