Cover: Performance Grammars.

Performance Grammars.

Published 1970

by Martin Kay

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Broad outline of a scheme to develop a machine and theory that would remove the distinctions between a speaker's semantic competence and his knowledge of the world. The structural semanticist today claims that there is no isolatable entity that can reasonably be called the meaning of a word or phrase, but that there are relationships between words and sentences that determine the meaning. To build a model of language performance, linguists must dispense with fundamental relations such as incompatibility, antonymy, and hyponomy, which are all dependent on the notion of implication. To do its job, the machine must be able to remember facts clearly and make inferences so that it can answer any question, the answer to which is not contained in any single sentence that it has stored. If the mechanisms that the machine embodies are severely restricted in some way, then the claim that it can speak and understand becomes an interesting one, and the theoretical principles underlying the design of the machine become contributions to linguistic theory. 17 pp.

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