Convergence and Diversity in the Control Hierarchy


Weir has defined a hierarchy of language classes whose second member ($mathcalL_2$) is generated by tree-adjoining grammars (TAG), linear indexed grammars (LIG), combinatory categorial grammars, and head grammars. The hierarchy is obtained using the mechanism of control, and $mathcalL_2$ is obtained using a context-free grammar (CFG) whose derivations are controlled by another CFG. We adapt Weir’s definition of a controllable CFG to give a definition of controllable pushdown automata (PDAs). This yields three new characterizations of $mathcalL_2$ as the class of languages generated by PDAs controlling PDAs, PDAs controlling CFGs, and CFGs controlling PDAs. We show that these four formalisms are not only weakly equivalent but equivalent in a stricter sense that we call d-weak equivalence. Furthermore, using an even stricter notion of equivalence called d-strong equivalence, we make precise the intuition that a CFG controlling a CFG is a TAG, a PDA controlling a PDA is an embedded PDA, and a PDA controlling a CFG is a LIG. The fourth member of this family, a CFG controlling a PDA, does not correspond to any formalism we know of, so we invent one and call it a Pushdown Adjoining Automaton.

Proceedings of the 61th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

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