AAAI Publications, Twenty-Fourth International FLAIRS Conference

Font Size: 
Computational Semantics Requires Computation
Yorick Wilks

Last modified: 2011-03-20


The paper argues, briefly, that much work in formal Computational Semantics (alias CompSem) is not computational at all, and does not attempt to be; there is some mis-description going on here on a large and long-term scale. Moreover, the examples used to support its value for the representation of the meaning of language strings have no place in normal English usage, or their corpora, and this should be better understood. The recent large-scale developments in Natural Language Processing (NLP), such as machine translation or question answering, which are quite successful and undeniably semantic and computational, have made no use of such techniques. Most importantly, the Semantic Web (and Information Extraction techniques generally) now offer the possibility of large scale use of language data so as to achieve concrete results achieved by methods deemed impossible in formal semantics, namely annotation methods that are fundamentally forms of Lewis’ (1970) “markerese.”

Full Text: PDF