Project 712 supressed text version

Ogden's Basic English as a Lexical Database In Natural Language Processing
by Scott R. Hawkins

Chapter IV
Design of the Lexicon

    Ogden's assumptions about what was necessary [,] provide lexicon designers with surprising advantages, one of which is an unexpected order in the vocabulary. During the sorting process it became clear that many of the words in the vocabulary could be categorized according to which areas of experience they dealt with. Most of the vocabulary fell into one of four categories (physical, animal, human and economic) hereafter referred to as systems.

    That property of the data could be rather significant in light of the success of Terry Winograd's SHRDLU (Windograd, 1972). Though not ...

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Systems and their Components

    The ultimate goal of any natural language processing system is to ...


Hawkins Fig 1

Figure 1 - System Hierarchy


Analysis of The Model

    With that said, we are now in a position to discuss how the nature of ...


Chapter V

    The implementation of my hierarchy, or 'ALAN' as I came to call it, 5 is largely a program for the creation, storage, and retrieval of the data structure. ...


    . . .
    . . . Verbs are stored only in present tense -- I plan to add complete verb conjugations at a later date.


Figure 2 -- A node

    The type filed of a none is a four character7 string containing letters to symbolize the values of the four fields below:


    . . .


    . . .

Component, Instance, Synonym

    To get a feel for how this strategy worked in practice, consider the section of the tree shown in Figure 3 (below)

    The type fields are shown below the words with which they are associated. The type field for beast, 'eaas' indicates that the word 'beast' is an entity, is part of the animal system, is animate, and is a synonym for its parent. The type field for toe, 'epac' indicates that toe is an entity which is part of the physical system, is animate, and is a component of its parent. Note that the 'animal' node is described as being an entity in the physical rather than the animal system.

[image Fig 3]
Figure 3 - Type Field in the Network

    When the data structure has been successfully constructed, ALAN prints out a message indicating the number of words which have been loaded and waits for the user to hit return. At that point, the program prints the main menu on the screen. Five options are offered (see Fig 4): insert a new word, listing menu, question and answer sequence, modify type, and quit. These options are explained in greater detail below.


Vocabulary and Type Insertion

    Inserting a new word is a complex but standard process. It involves ...



    The listing menu prints out the words and their types, either alone or ...

Assign Semantic Components

    The option allows the user to associate some semantic formula with a word. ...


ALAN's Flowchart
Figure 4 -- ALAN's Flowchart



   The quit option writes the vocabulary together any changes to the file 'vocab.a.'

Question and Answer Interface

    The question and answer interface is discussed in detail in the next chapter. ...


    The system implementation, ALAN, is a portable, expandable program ...


Chapter VI
Testing the System Using the Question and Answer Interface

    The question and answer sequence has as two options : Tell the user about ...



    This testing displays some of the capabilities of the data structure. The ...


Chapter VII
Directions for Further Research

Part I - Planned Enhancement Based on Prior Work

    Though the system does possess some interesting capabilities in its current form, ...

Verb Tenses

    Obviously, there needs to be a provision for verb (operation) tenses. ...


Case Grammar

    Obviously, the simple 1-entry/M-attribute/N-operation model of ..


Semantic Formulae

    The last improvement which I envision is the most interesting and the most difficult. ...


Next :   Bibliography


Allen, James. (1987) Natural Language Understanding. Menlo Park, California: The Benjamin/cummings Publishing Company, Inc.

Alshawi, Hiyan. (1987) Memory and Context for Language Intepretation. Great Britain: The University Press, Cambridge.

Brachman, Ronald. (1979) "On the Epistemological Status of Semantic Networks." In Associative Networks: Representation and Use of Knowledge by Computers. Ed. Nicholas V. Findler. New York: Academic Press.

Berwick, Robert C. (1985) The Acquisition of Syntactic Knowledge. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Collins, A.M. and Quillian, M. R. (1969) "Retrieval time from semantic memory" Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior 8, 240-247.

Davis, Ernest. (1990) Representations of Commonsense Knowledge. San Mateo, CA: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, Inc.

Fillmore, Charles. (1968) "The case for case." In Universals in Lingistic Theory. Eds. E. Bach and R. Harms. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Fillmore, Charles. (1977) "The case for case reopened," in Syntax and Semantics 8: Grammatical Relations. Eds. P. Cole and J. Sadock. New York: Academic Press, 1977.

Hausser, Roland. (1987) Computation of Language. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Hendrix, Gary. (1979) "Semantic Knowledge." In Understanding Spoken Language. Ed. Donald E. Walker. New York: North-Holland.


Levesque, Hector, and John Mylopoulos. (1979) "A Procedural Semantics for Semantic Networks." In Associative Networks: Representation and Use of Knowledge by Computers. Ed. Nicholas V. Findler. New York: Academic Press.

Minsky, Marvin ed. (1968) Semantic Information Processing. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Nagao, Makato. (1988) Knowledge and Inference. Boston: Academic Press, Inc.

Ogden, C. K. (1934) The System of Basic English. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co.

Prochiantz, Alain. (1989) How the Brain Evolved. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Quillian, M. Ross. (1968) "Semantic Memory," in Semantic Information Processing Ed. M. Minsky. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Rich, Elaine. (1983) Artificial Intelligence. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Schank, R. C. and C. K. Riesbeck. (1981) Inside Computer Understanding. Hillsdale, NI: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Schubert, L. K., R. G. Goebel and N. I. Cercone. (1979) "The Structure and Organization of a Semantic Net for Comprehension and Inference." in Associative Networks: Representation and Use of Knowledge bv Computers. Ed. Nicholas V. Findler. New York: Academic Press.

Simmons, R. F. (1973) "Semantic Networks: Their computation and use for understanding English sentences." In Computer Models of Thought and Language. Eds. Schank, R. C. and K.M. Colby. San Francisco, CA: Freeman.

Shainberg, Lawrence. (1979) Brain Surgeon. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Co.

Sowa, John F. (1992) Conceptual Structures: Current Research and Practice. Eds. New York: EllisHorwood.

Waltz, David. (1989) Semantic Structures: Advances in Natural Language Understanding. Hillsdale, NI: Hove and London.


Winograd, T. (1972) Understanding Natural Language. New York: Academic Press. p align=center>56

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Next :   Appendix A

Systems Listing


    The following is the listing of my categorization of C. K. Ogden's System of Basic English. To the best of my knowledge, all 850 words in the original document have been represented at least once. A few of them appear more than once. For example, 'change' appears as both a noun and a verb. In addition, I too the liberty of adding approximately 100 words to the vocabulary. The words which have been added are marked with an asterisk (*).

    There were two primay reasons for those additions:

    1. The word added served as a 'parent' node in the network. For example, I added the word 'texture' to serve as a seantic parent for the set of words 'sticky,' 'fuzzy,' 'rough,' etc.

    2. The word served to flesh out a set of which there was a parent but few children. For example, 'filthy,' and 'sterile,' were added to the category attributes / evaluation / cleanliness, which previously contained only the word 'clean' and 'dirty'.


    I followed certain notational conventons in listing the vocabulary. Words were indented one and one-quarter inches further than their parents. For example, the network configurations shown below (Fig 5).

[image fig 5]
Figure 5: Network Configuration

would be represented in the listing as:
                        rain         snow         mist

    Since nodes which were componets of other nodes are the exception rather than the rule, the reader may assume that any hierarchical relationship is an instance unless told otherwise.

    There may be accidental differences between this listing and the actual implementation.


Physical Systems


    The root of the entire physical system is environment. All the nodes below are components of the environment, either directly or by inheritance.

    The next 26 pages of systems require HTML tables, which are tedious.
Therefore I am just adding links to the scanned images. Appendix.

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    See also Economic System: Entities/Country.

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Animal System


    See Physical Systems : Entities / Animal.




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    [ There may be a page or paragraph missing here for component "move". ]

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Human System


    See also Physical Systems : Entities / Animal / human [sic]
component (human)


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Economic System




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Grammatical Framework

Functional Relationships

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