January 2006 MWU Written Exam



Carefully study the 40-sentence corpus below. Identify the recurring mwu family and provide an ndfa to account for its textual manifestations.


Your ndfa should be presented under the format of a graph, with states, transitions and conditions on the transitions. Give a full specification of the conditions on the transitions, leaving nothing to the reader’s intuition and assumed knowledge of English.


Identify, if any, the sentences that your ndfa is unable to account for. For each of them, show why it is better to leave it out of account if one uses a limited formalism such as ndfa’s. Discuss the type of information that is needed to overcome the limitations imposed by the ndfa formalism.



1.  Then I wandered around for a while, casting wistful glances at my tables.

2.  "Bloody nosy-parker" made her flinch a little and throw a desperate glance over her shoulder.

3.  when you start casting conspicuous glances over your shoulder, this is the moment at which POP becomes ROCK.

4.  They cast furtive glances at one another.

5.  it was easy to cast occasional surreptitious glances at his powerfully outlined sexual equipment under the much-rubbed fly

6.  there is a case for casting a backward glance at attitudes of men and women of an earlier generation

7.  Alida shot her a glance of triumph.

8   Isabel shot her a sharp glance over the cards

9.  He seemed to sense her distaste for he shot a glance back over one lumpy shoulder 

10. Henreid is reduced to standing elegantly about while Bogart and Bergman cast anguished glances at one another.

11. Bill cast a knowing glance at his companion.

12. He shot her a suspicious glance.

13. Elizabeth cast one happy glance at the dawning delight on the other two faces

14. I cast one longing glance up at the cliffs of Coire Ardair.

15. As she ate she cast worried glances up towards the cupboard by the stove.

16. Heather cast a quick glance back over her shoulder as she climbed over, but the tramp had not followed them.

17. He shot a reproving glance at Bull O'Malley .

18. The glance she threw Thiercelin carried the strong implication that she preferred the more mature type of man. 

19. Lapointe shot the old ladies a savage glance.

20. The old ladies cast one another knowing glances.

21. Yanto cast an excited glance towards the tower .

22. Renee shot a disapproving glance at Knocker and began preparing her drink .

23. The ad-man opposite had been casting meaningful glances at her all evening

24. She retreated, casting one last flustered glance at Harriet .

25. Hugh shot a sideways glance at her.

26. Not until then did he cast a glance at the ground before his advancing feet.

27. the infant can throw the occasional backward glance for reassurance.

28. Nicholas cast a single glance at the Chancellor's considering gaze, and followed the King back to the hall.

29. John le Grant sat with the others, casting a glance at the pitcher as he passed .

30. He shot a warning glance at Kelly.

31. Bill now shot a baleful glance in her direction.

32. I turned away, cast a last assessing glance at Laurentide Ice, who looked coolly back.

33. Tina shot him a glance of withering contempt.

34. It was plain enough now, from the glance he shot in the general direction of the three of them and the jeep , that so far as he was concerned they were just part and parcel of the trouble generated by the city.

35. D'Arcy cast a glance at the door.

36. He shot her a suspicious glance which she met imperviously.

37. Luke shot her a strange, enquiring glance, then he bent, reaching for her glass.

38. She shot him a suspicious glance as she began combing his hair.

40.  He shot her a quick glance and pulled into the side of the road.