A Cognitively Plausible Approach to Understanding Complex Syntax

Claire Cardie, Wendy Lehnert

This paper describes a cognitively plausible mechanism for systematically handling complex syntactic constructions within a semantic parser. More specifically, we show how these constructions are handled without a global syntactic grammar or syntactic parse tree representations and without sacrificing the benefits of semantically-oriented parsing. We evaluate the psychological validity of our architecture and conclude that it is a plausible computational model of human processing for an important class of embedded clause constructions. As a result, we achieve robust sentence processing capabilities not found in other parsers of its class.

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