Basic Principles and Technical Variations in Sentence-Structure Determination

Published in: Information Theory ; Papers Read at a symposium held at the Royal Institution, London, August 29th to September 2nd 1960 / Edited by Colin Cherry (London: Butterworth and Co. Limited, 1961) p. 367-376

by David G. Hays

Comparison of alternative methods of sentence structure determination can take one method as a base and show the changes required to convert it into another. Basic principles of the RAND method include (i) isolation of grammatic detail from the structure of the computer program and (ii) postulation of a certain word-order rule. Technical variations in the order of establishment of connections and the procedure used for testing agreement could make the RAND method more similar to others now in use, and might improve its accuracy. Restructuring and the use of context are noted as additional types of variation.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.