Cognition, Vol. 4, No. 4 by J. Mehler, T. G. Bever & S. Franck (Editors)

By J. Mehler, T. G. Bever & S. Franck (Editors)

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Winograd in effect proposes the parsing analogue of this constraint. His constraint will also account for all the sentences noted above. The two principles are different, however, in that (21) is a constraint on possible syntactic configurations and hence is a constraint on the syntactic component, while Winograd’s constraint is a constraint on the parser. A theory of UG containing (21) will not have to specially stipulate such a parsing constraint since the syntactic component will rule out all such structures anyway; similarly, a theory containing Winograd’s principle could freely generate such structures in the syntactic component, and their unacceptability will be traced to the parsing constraint.

Winograd’s semantic theory employs semantic markers of roughly the Katz-Fodor type, but he does not face the problem of discovering which features are basic and which are peripheral for he simply stipulates all those features which he will need to converse with a computer about the blocks world. This is not too hard to do, as this world is extremely small, involving only a table, some blocks of different shapes and colors, and in which a small number of activities such as moving blocks and counting them goes on.

Schank and Abelson 1976:l) Artificial it~telligctzce and the study of’ language 357 into that of hypothesis. Minsky says that a frame can be regarded as “a network of nodes and relations”. For the theory to be of value, then, Minsky is obliged to tell LIS what the set of possible nodes are - the types of nodes that we can have. He must also specify what the types of possible configurations of nodes might be. These two requirements are not exotic conditions on the adequacy of his proposal; they are conditions that must be met if Minsky is to be interpreted as saying anything at all, for if anything is a possible node and anything is a possible configuration, then frame theory says nothing at all.

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