Note: This is a new edition of a previously announced book.
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.