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16. Word Formation

The interpretation of a written English sentence begins with word formation. The process is based on spaces to separate the sentence into units, but is complicated by matters such as apostrophes and punctuation marks: was and Brown and Ross’ are each single units, but however, is not (since the comma is a separate unit).

The following lists of characters represent sentences in J, and can be executed by applying the do or execute function ". :
   m=: '3 %: y'
   d=: 'x %: y'
   x=: 4
   y=: 27 4096

   ". m
3 16

   do=: ". 
   do d
2.27951 8
The word formation rules of J are prescribed in Part I of the dictionary. Moreover, the word-formation function ;: can be applied to the string representing a sentence to produce a boxed list of its words:
   ;: m

   words=: ;:
   words d
The rhematic rules of J apply reasonably well to English phrases:
   words p=: 'Nobly, nobly, Cape St. Vincent'

   >words p


16.1   Choose sentences such as pp=:+//.@(*/) from earlier exercises, enclose them in quotes, and observe the effects of word-formation (;:) on them.

16.2   Move the cursor to the left of a line so that it is separated from the line by one or more spaces, and press Ctrl F1 to display the individually boxed words in the sentence.

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