SYNTAX DIRECTED INTERPRETATION OF NATURAL LANGUAGE.
CARNEGIE INST OF TECH PITTSBURGH PA
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The dissertation presents a method called syntax directed interpretation which permits the use of semantic information in a syntactic analysis of sentences taken from a restricted domain of natural language. This method is used in the resolution of syntactic ambiguity of English sentences with respect to a variable but well defined universe of discourse. The first chapter defines the problem and surveys previous work related to natural language and question-answering systems. In chapter two we describe an integrated approach to natural language processing which combines both syntax and semantics within the framework of a natural inference system. The logical properties of completeness and consistency are demonstrated for such systems. In chapter three a computer program GRANIS written in FORMULA ALGOL and using the method of syntax directed interpretation is described. A picture, which can be input directly via a graphic display console, serves as a context within which syntactic ambiguity of input sentences can be resolved. Chapter four considers various extensions of GRANIS in the direction of greater habitability, inferential power, knowledge acquisition, and adaptability. Chapter five concludes with a summary of results and their implication for future work in this field. The program listing in Appendix 2 forms an integral part of this thesis, and some effort was taken to ensure that it would be readable.