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Wenyan Syntax as Context-Free Formal Grammar
Abstract and Figures
An essential feature of the syntax of premodern written Chinese (Wenyan 文言) is its lack of morphology, resulting in overwhelming simplicity. Here I describe Wenyan using a context-free grammar, removing semantics to reduce the rules of syntax to just three and the parts of speech to two (plus some particles). All eight combinations of two elements and three rules are well attested and meaningful, and many more complex analyses can be reduced to them. I also illustrate this analysis by comparing Wenyan to a functional programming language.
Figures - uploaded by David Prager Branner
All figure content in this area was uploaded by David Prager Branner
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