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Re: Colourless green ideas

la dilyn. cusku di'e

> Chomsky gave this sentence as an example of a perfectly grammatical
> statement with no meaning in the real world.

This is a widely believed falsehood.  Chomsky devised the sentence to refute
a then-current theory of grammaticality that attempty to quantify it
based on the occurrence probability of consecutive words: thus, "I went
to the store" counted as grammatical because "I went", "went to", "to the",
and "the store" are all high-probability pairs.

In "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously", however, none of the word pairs
has any significant probability of occurrence, yet the sentence is grammatical.
Its plausibility as a sentence was not at issue.

John Cowan					cowan@ccil.org
		e'osai ko sarji la lojban.