Specializations > Computational Linguistics

Classification of Strings

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tjbrailey:
Currently working on a string classification project. Wondering how one would categorize/classify a compound string or phrase such as "David Bowie (1947-2016)" which contains both a personal name and a time interval. Would it be considered a compound phrase or is there a special name for it? Thanks in advance for any guidance!

Daniel:
That's not a standard unit in Linguistics. There are various things you could call it, such as a noun phrase*, or identifier, etc., depending on your purposes. (It's possible that someone doing very similar research to your own might already have some labels for these things, though.)

[*Note that the structure isn't really like typical spoken English. The parenthetical indication of years is really just a convenient written annotation, so it may not break down into a typical syntactic structure. It serves to help identify the individual, and to give additional information, but we wouldn't typically say it like that. So it's equivalent to a name, but not in a typical form.]

In general, terminology is less important than using labels consistently and defining them somewhere. So if you need to make up terms, go ahead, and just be clear.

tjbrailey:
Really appreciate the insight, Daniel. Many thanks!

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