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  1. #1
    pljames is offline Junior Member
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    Default Software program for syntax?

    I have the most horrid time with nouns verbs and the like. Is there a software program that can help me
    understand how syntax (verbs nouns and such) enhance the sentence? As I type the word I can highlight it and it will
    tell me if it's a verb or noun or what relation it is to the word. Or even use color to enhance the word and the related
    syntax. Or highlight the sentence and the sentence will be translated into all nouns verbs whatever? plj

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: Software program for syntax?

    Quote Originally Posted by pljames View Post
    I have the most horrid time with nouns verbs and the like. Is there a software program that can help me
    understand how syntax (verbs nouns and such) enhance the sentence? As I type the word I can highlight it and it will
    tell me if it's a verb or noun or what relation it is to the word. Or even use color to enhance the word and the related
    syntax. Or highlight the sentence and the sentence will be translated into all nouns verbs whatever? plj
    If anyone ever creates such a software program (and it actually works) they will make a lot of money, and make a lot of teachers/proofreaders/editors unemployed! As far as I know, no such program exists.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Software program for syntax?

    Maybe it doesn't exist because it's impossible. When things sound to good to be true they usually are!

    What would it do if you typed 'duck'? Noun? Verb? It's even sometimes an adjective, referring to colour.

    b

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Software program for syntax?

    There is parsing software available, though don't expect it to be perfect. Here's an example: SIL Software Catalog:All SIL Software Titles

  5. #5
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Software program for syntax?

    Yep - but I can't imagine it would be useful for a learner. As you say, it's not perfect. Like predictive text on a mobile phone, it's impressive, but can invite the careless user to make huge mistakes. (Owners of mobile phones may like to try 'barmaid' ) And the problem would be magnified if you tried to do the same with syntax. Who was it (Chomsky?) who found N possible meanings for 'Time flies like an arrow' (including one with a mythical beast called a 'time fly' - on the analogy of 'fruit fly' - having a predilection for certain kinds of projectile)? Of course, most human readers will parse it correctly (in fact, when I first saw it I couldn't see any ambiguity); but a computer is bound to stumble over any possible ambiguity. The best that impossibly perfect software could do would be to apply heuristics and assign percentage probabilities to possible parsings. What would happen to the colours then? If nouns were blue and verbs were yellow, would 'duck' be green? (with apologies to speakers of languages with no blue/green distinction - which raises another problem...)

    b

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Software program for syntax?

    This software is for field researchers, not learners.

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