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parse tree

Problems with Probabilistic Parsing

We are using statistical techniques to increase the automation of logical and semantic disambiguation, but nothing is easy with natural language.

Here is the Stanford Parser (the probabilistic context-free grammar version) applied to a couple of sentences.  There is nothing wrong with the Stanford Parser!  It’s state of the art and worthy of respect for what it does well.

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Are vitamins subject to sales tax in California?

What is the part of speech of “subject” in the sentence:

  • Are vitamins subject to sales tax in California?

Related questions might include:

  • Does California subject vitamins to sales tax?
  • Does California sales tax apply to vitamins?
  • Does California tax vitamins?

Vitamins is the direct object of the verb in each of these sentences, so, perhaps you would think “subject” is a verb in the subject sentence…

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