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Thinking as ComputationA First Course$
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Hector J. Levesque

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780262016995

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262016995.001.0001

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Case Study: Understanding Natural Language

Case Study: Understanding Natural Language

Chapter:
(p.152) (p.153) 8 Case Study: Understanding Natural Language
Source:
Thinking as Computation
Author(s):

Levesque Hector J.

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262016995.003.0008

This chapter focuses on the sort of thinking required to make sense of expressions in a natural language, that is, a language like English or Italian or Swahili that is spoken naturally by people. Section 8.1 explains how language is usually studied in terms of syntax and semantics. Section 8.2 focuses on the noun phrases of English and how they can be used to refer to known individuals and objects. Section 8.3 examines how these noun phrases can be put to work in answering yes/no questions written in English and in adding to what is known using English declarative sentences. To do so, a new feature of Prolog is introduced: dynamic predicates. Section 8.4 briefly discusses how the utility of noun phrases is actually even more extensive.

Keywords:   Prolog programming, syntax, semantics, noun phrases, English language, dynamic predicates

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