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OK Lispers, I have a few questions for you.

I am just beginning a study of LISP and comparing it to 
another functional language (Miranda) to assess the relative
suitability of each language for the coding of a variety of AI
algorithms, specifically natural language processing and search

I apologise in advance if these questions seem a little banal,
and I thank you for any time you are able to spend providing 
your opinions. If you could e-mail me your replies I would be
most grateful.

QUESTION 1 : How useful/important is the capability to make
             assignments to variables in LISP? 

             (This is obviously a very general question, I was
             just wondering how much of the time LISP is used
             in a purely functional way). 

QUESTION 2 : I keep reading about LISP programs being able to
             re-write themselves as they run. 
             How valuable a technique is this? Could you give
             me as simple an example as possible of this in action.

QUESTION 3 : Are any other languages more suitable for teaching AI
             than LISP?  

Again I apologise if these questions seem trivial. 

LASTLY,  if any of you have solutions in LISP to any of the following
problems handy I'd be most grateful if you could send me copies of

(a) The (classic) 8-queens problem.
(b) The (also classic) knights-tour problem.
(c) Anything to do with natural-language-processing.

Thanks again,

Phil Baxter (pb5@ukc.ac.uk)