Brouwer, Harm; Crocker, Matthew W.; Venhuizen, Noortje

Neural semantics

From Semantics to Dialectometry: Festschrift in Honour of John Nerbonne, pp. 75-83, 2017.

The study of language is ultimately about meaning: how can meaning be constructed from linguistic signal, and how can it be represented? he human language comprehension system is highly eicient and accurate at atributing meaning to linguistic input. Hence, in trying to identify computational principles and representations for meaning construction, we should consider how these could be implemented at the neural level in the brain. Here, we introduce a framework for such a neural semantics. his framework ofers meaning representations that are neurally plausible (can be implemented in neural hardware), expressive (capture negation, quantiication, and modality), compositional (capture complex propositional meaning as the sum of its parts), graded (are probabilistic in nature), and inferential (allow for inferences beyond literal propositional content). Moreover, it is shown how these meaning representations can be constructed incrementally, on a word-by-word basis in a neurocomputational model of language processing.