The analysis of linguistic computation in formal terms and the relevance of formal language theory for grammatical analysis is a crucial aspect of my work. I argue for an approach to natural language syntax whereby sentences are assigned structural descriptions whose computational properties vary locally; I call this 'mixed computation': a natural language sentence, for example, may contain finite-state substrings as well as context-free substrings. The simplest model that can adequately represent semantic dependencies within a substring is always selected. I explore consequences of this hypothesis for the theory of locality, particularly in what pertains to the syntax and semantic interpretation. I have applied this approach to English and Spanish structures (coordination, sequences of auxiliaries, negation, etc.).
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