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Review by John Burrows, former EFL teacher.  

English Algorithmic Grammar  
began as a series of papers for University consumption. Because of that it 
contains a considerable amount of theoretical material and references to 
current schools of linguistic theory. These sometimes conceal what is in 
effect a simple and pragmatic concept and in any case are available 
elsewhere. I already possess a Transformational Grammar, a Structural 
Grammar, a Communicative Grammar and a Conceptual Grammar, an Approximative 
Grammar, if not of English, then of Spanish, French or Scandinavian. 
Multi-media and CD-ROM notwithstanding, there is as yet no Visual Grammar 
available. A list of proven algorithms together with an indication of how 
they might be programmed, such as this book comprises, would be the next 
best thing. 

They used to teach Latin in schools. That was how I first encountered the 
word parsing. Nowadays a parser is generally understood to be the keyboard 
interpreter for a text adventure game. Ten lines of LOGO or BASIC will give 
you a program to write back slang or lunatic variations of the cat sat on 
the mat. They will also introduce concepts of classes, segments and 
tables of words. It may well be that non-specialists will find much to 
interest them in this book. Teachers may use it as an alternative grammar, 
whether in class or in conference, just for the sake of change. It is 
something of a challenge to find a new word to add to one of the tables, 
and hand-checking the algorithms is akin to working one's way through a 
botanical key. In fact, given the number of expert systems that have been 
marketed in recent years, I am surprised that it has yet to be done for 
language. In countries such as Sweden, where students have to draw up 
their own lists of background reading for linguistic courses, this book 
would be a candidate for inclusion. 

The work involved in English Algorithmic Grammar (EAG) is comprehensive 
and thorough. The method of aligning structures, syntax and grammar to a 
mathematical computer oriented approach is clear and functional. EAG is a 
competent linking of the interdisciplinary work between computer 
programming and linguistics which will generate a lot of interest in both 
fields. The algorithmic specialist will also be interested in the 
application of algorithms to the task of English text analysis. 

EAG as a text book and reference manual would be of crucial interest to 
the text analyst and processor. The outstanding pragmatic results of the 
algorithmic approach lie in the claim to near accuracy in the areas of 
text analysis which have not been obtained using traditional syntactic 
models. The accuracy in Parsing and Pronominal Reference is the 
determining key to text analysis and processing and the aims of Machine 
Translation. Further implications of this key is the vision of natural 
language programming with an ease and finesse impossible with artificial 
programming languages. 

EAG as a text book and reference book would be an invaluable tool for the 
text processor. The algorithmic routines can easily be translated into a 
computer language and programs developed directly for text analysis and 
processing. Secondly the data presented in the form of syntactic markers 
and the Dictionary of Segments is of great value. 

EAG introduces several unique keys for its operation which are of vital 
value to the linguist. The accent on the relationship of segments 
to each other, the segments being defined on purely formal terms, 
challenges the traditional Chomskian NP VP syntactical analysis and goes 
further in being able to deal with clausal and phrasal relationships which 
become complicated applying Chomsky's idea to all the variants of Natural 
Language. Parsing attempts following Chomsky's theory have therefore 
failed with applied computer translation. Dr Georgiev's accent on 
relationship of segments brings a workable new orientation into linguistic 
Secondly, the idea of pronominal reference founded purely on a syntactical 
basis and not tied (at this level of description) to semantics is an 
outstanding realisation. Thirdly, the Dictionary of Segments is an 
extremely valuable working tool as a reference and a basis for further 
reflection. On the applied linguistic level the dictionary would function 
as an indispensable  teaching aid helping to explain syntactic models and 
for the student or writer as an invaluable checking aid.

Another result of the computer/formal approach on the applied level is a 
step by step working model of grammar which can be grasped by the learner 
of English and where necessary formulated in the simplest of language. A 
good example where these functions would be used is the teaching and 
understanding of Pronominal Reference. A specialised handbook for teaching 
grammar using EAG's basis could also be a later possibility. 

EAG is an unique approach with no competing texts. The application of 
computer/mathematical ways of thinking into the linguistic field in this 
manner has not been developed in the West. This approach has its 
background in the Russian research into language structuring (of which 
much has remained in secrecy for its military use) with an eye to use 
natural language as a computer language and to develop natural language 
based artificial intelligence. Publication of such ideas have hitherto 
been confined to the former communist world. Personally I do not know how 
the other publications from Dr Georgiev have been received but EAG is a 
major work and should raise a lot of interest from the academic and 
professional linguist and computer processor.

The work is appropriately written and structured as a text book and 
reference book as I have noticed from the material sent to me, an analog 
of the logic of the approach itself. It is written appropriately for the 
academic and professional market and will generate much interest and 
further work. It would naturally be of further advantage if the 
programming of the algorithms and publication would overlap thus creating 
mutual interest although EAG itself provides the basis of the programming. 

English Algorithmic Grammar is a major and unique work with features for 
the linguist and computer specialist. The application of algorithms to 
English syntax and its consequential opening of new paths in both fields 
will create great interest.

Summary: I like the book because it coincides with my own interests. 
I know of no other quite like it. As it stands it has an obvious appeal to 
Universities or other centres engaged in computational analysis of English, 
a field where Dr Georgiev is known. It could serve to introduce the 
linguist to  computers, and the computer hobbyist, when he has finished 
playing with fractals, to linguistics. 
reviews of the bookorder the bookread the contentsdownload the software program Syntparsedownload the segments in pdf format
download the algorithms in pdf formatalgorithms in htm format zip segments in text format zip algorithms in tar.gz format for Linux and Unix segments in tar.gz format for Linux and Unix
syntparse in tar.gz format for Linux and Unix