Report Number: CS-TR-73-384
Institution: Stanford University, Department of Computer Science
Title: The generation of French from a semantic representation.
Author: Herskovits, Annette
Date: August 1973
Abstract: The report contains first a brief description of Preference
Semantics, a system of representation and analysis of the
meaning structure of natural language. The analysis algorithm
which transforms phrases into semantic items called templates
has been considered in detail elsewhere, so this report
concentrates on the second phase of analysis, which binds
templates together into a higher level semantic block
corresponding to an English paragraph, and which, in
operation, interlocks with the French generation procedure.
During this phase, the semantic relations between templates
are extracted, pronouns are referred and those word
disambiguations are done that require the context of a whole
paragraph. These tasks require items called PARAPLATES which
are attached to keywords such as prepositions, subjunctions
and relative pronouns. The system chooses the representation
which maximises a carefully defined "semantic density."
A system for the generation of French sentences is then
described, based on the recursive evaluation of procedural
generation patterns called STEREOTYPES. The stereotypes are
semantically context sensitive, are attached to each sense of
English words and keywords and are carried into the
representation by the analysis procedure. The representation
of the meaning of words, and the versatility of the
stereotype format, allow for fine meaning distinctions to
appear in the French, and for the construction of French
differing radically from the English original.