Margaret Masterman was a pioneer in the field of computational linguistics. Working in the earliest days of language processing by computer, she believed that meaning, not grammar, was the key to understanding languages, and that machines could determine the meaning of sentences. She was able, even on simple machines, to undertake sophisticated experiments in machine translation, and carried out important work on the use of semantic codings and thesauri to determine the meaning structure of texts. This volume brings together Masterman's groundbreaking papers for the first time. Through his insightful commentaries, Yorick Wilks argues that Masterman came close to developing a computational theory of language meaning based on the ideas of Wittgenstein, and shows the importance of her work in the philosophy of science and the nature of iconic languages. Of key interest in computational linguistics and artificial intelligence, it will remind scholars of Masterman's significant contribution to the field.
Introduction Part I. Basic Forms for Language Structure: 1. Words 2. Fans and heads 3. Classification, concept-formation and language Part II. The Thesaurus as a Tool for Machine Translation: 4. The potentialities of a mechanical thesaurus 5. What is a thesaurus? Part III. Experiments in Machine Translation 6. 'Agricola in curvo terram dimovit aratro' 7. Mechanical pidgin translation 8. Translation Part IV. Phrasings, Breath Groups and Text Processing: 9. Commentary on the guberina hypothesis 10. Semantic algorithms Part V. Metaphor, Analogy and the Philosophy of Science: 11. Braithwaite and Kuhn: analogy-clusters within and without hypothetico-deductive systems in science Bibliography of the scientific works of Margaret Masterman Other references
History of Linguistics
Philosophy of Language