Syntactic analysis

What is syntactic analysis?

Syntactic analysis is an analysis that focuses on understanding the logical meaning of sentences or of parts of sentences. 

While lemmatization focuses purely on feature extraction and data cleaning, syntactic analysis analyzes the relationship between words and the grammatical structure of sentences. This is very important in understanding the actual meaning of the sentence.

Consider these sentences:

  • The lion is a ferocious animal.
  • Ferocious is animal a the lion.

Since both the sentences have the same words, lexical analysis would not be able to tell that the second sentence is syntactically incorrect and does not make sense.

Syntactic analysis is required to examine the relationship between the words in a sentence and the grammatical structure of a sentence in order to derive the true meaning of the sentence.

You could refer to syntactic analysis as the process of analyzing the strings of symbols in natural language in conformance with grammatical rules.

There are many elements of sentences that lexical analysis ignores, which syntactic analysis accounts for. For example, lexical analysis ignores stop words, which could change the entire meaning of a sentence. Lexical analysis does not even bother with identifying the parts-of-speech of the words from a sentence that is being analyzed. 

Syntactic analysis also pays attention to the order of the words in a sentence, another aspect that is completely ignored by lexical analysis. It also considers the morphology of the words in the sentence, which lexical analysis simply cannot account for.

What is the purpose of syntactic analysis?

Its purpose is to understand the structure of input text, from the smallest basic symbols, all the way to sentences, and then derive logical meaning from it.


The levels of syntactic analysis

Here are the levels of syntactic analysis:

1. Part-of-speech (POS) tagging

This is the first level of syntactic analysis. Part-of-speech tagging is a vital part of syntactic analysis and involves tagging words in the sentence as verbs, adverbs, nouns, adjectives, prepositions, etc.

Part-of-speech tagging helps us understand the meaning of the sentence. All other parsing techniques make use of part-of-speech tags.

2. Constituency parsing

Constituency parsing involves the segregation of words from a sentence into groups, on the basis of their grammatical role in the sentence. 

Noun Phrases, Verb Phrases, and Prepositional Phrases are the most common constituencies, while other constituencies like Adverb phrases and Nominals also exist.

3. Dependency parsing

Dependency parsing is widely used in free-word-order languages. In dependency parsing, dependencies are formed between the words themselves. 

When two words have dependencies between them, one word is the head while the other one is the child or the dependent.

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Syntactic analysis

October 14, 2020

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What is syntactic analysis?

Syntactic analysis is an analysis that focuses on understanding the logical meaning of sentences or of parts of sentences. 

While lemmatization focuses purely on feature extraction and data cleaning, syntactic analysis analyzes the relationship between words and the grammatical structure of sentences. This is very important in understanding the actual meaning of the sentence.

Consider these sentences:

  • The lion is a ferocious animal.
  • Ferocious is animal a the lion.

Since both the sentences have the same words, lexical analysis would not be able to tell that the second sentence is syntactically incorrect and does not make sense.

Syntactic analysis is required to examine the relationship between the words in a sentence and the grammatical structure of a sentence in order to derive the true meaning of the sentence.

You could refer to syntactic analysis as the process of analyzing the strings of symbols in natural language in conformance with grammatical rules.

There are many elements of sentences that lexical analysis ignores, which syntactic analysis accounts for. For example, lexical analysis ignores stop words, which could change the entire meaning of a sentence. Lexical analysis does not even bother with identifying the parts-of-speech of the words from a sentence that is being analyzed. 

Syntactic analysis also pays attention to the order of the words in a sentence, another aspect that is completely ignored by lexical analysis. It also considers the morphology of the words in the sentence, which lexical analysis simply cannot account for.

What is the purpose of syntactic analysis?

Its purpose is to understand the structure of input text, from the smallest basic symbols, all the way to sentences, and then derive logical meaning from it.


The levels of syntactic analysis

Here are the levels of syntactic analysis:

1. Part-of-speech (POS) tagging

This is the first level of syntactic analysis. Part-of-speech tagging is a vital part of syntactic analysis and involves tagging words in the sentence as verbs, adverbs, nouns, adjectives, prepositions, etc.

Part-of-speech tagging helps us understand the meaning of the sentence. All other parsing techniques make use of part-of-speech tags.

2. Constituency parsing

Constituency parsing involves the segregation of words from a sentence into groups, on the basis of their grammatical role in the sentence. 

Noun Phrases, Verb Phrases, and Prepositional Phrases are the most common constituencies, while other constituencies like Adverb phrases and Nominals also exist.

3. Dependency parsing

Dependency parsing is widely used in free-word-order languages. In dependency parsing, dependencies are formed between the words themselves. 

When two words have dependencies between them, one word is the head while the other one is the child or the dependent.

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