Proper Treatment 正當作法/ blog/ posts/ RIP Backus and Reinhart
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2008-08-17 19:19

John Backus and Tanya Reinhart died over the weekend.

John Backus is a computer scientist known for building FORTRAN (one of the earliest high-level programming languages), inventing BNF (a notation for context-free grammars), and his Turing award lecture “Can programming be liberated from the von Neumann style? A functional style and its algebra of programs”.

Tanya Reinhart is a linguist influential for her work in syntax and semantics. I am most familiar with her work on anaphora (how words like the pronoun “her” acquire their referents from antecedents such as “Tanya Reinhart”) and scope-taking by quantifiers and wh-words. She is also an activist in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.