What are phrase structure rules?

Phrase Structure Rules

Phrase-structure rules are a way to describe a given language's syntax and are closely associated with the early stages of Transformational Grammar. They are used to break down a natural language sentence into its constituent parts (also known as syntactic categories) namely phrasal categories and lexical categories (aka parts of speech). A grammar that uses phrase structure rules is a type of phrase structure grammar - except in computer science, where it is known as just a grammar, usually context-free. Phrase structure rules as they are commonly employed operate according to the constituency relation and a grammar that employs phrase structures rules is therefore a constituency grammar and as such, it stands in contrast to dependency grammars, which are based on the dependency relation.

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Some articles on phrase structure rules:

Phrase Structure Rules - Alternative Approaches - Representational Grammars
... A number of representational phrase structure theories of grammar never acknowledged phrase structure rules, but have pursued instead an understanding of sentence ... Here phrase structures are not derived from rules that combine words, but from the specification or instantiation of syntactic schemata or configurations, often expressing some kind of semantic content independently ... This approach is essentially equivalent to a system of phrase structure rules combined with a noncompositional semantic theory, since grammatical formalisms based on rewriting rules are generally equivalent in power to ...

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