Quillian, M. R.

A design for an understanding machine


It also maintains that all human meaning may be exhaustively represented in terms of readings on a practically infinite number of calibrated standards, or, alternatively, by elaborate constellations of readings on a very small number of "element" standards. The resolution of a polysemantic ambiguity, by whatever method of translation, ultimately consists of exploiting clues in the words, sentences or paragraphs of text that surround the polysemantic word, clues which make certain of its alternate meanings impossible, and, generally, leave only one of its meanings appropriate for that particular context. Any English speaking human, upon encountering a sentence containing both "bank" and one or more of these clue words, will use the clue word's semantic content, if necessary, to help resolve the meaning of "bank". From there the machine would be programmed to utilize clues in the words surrounding "bank" which might be helpful for deciding which of that word's two meanings was appropriate in this case.