The Construction of Meaning

Topics in Cognitive Science 3 (2):346-370 (2011)
Abstract
We argue that word meanings are not stored in a mental lexicon but are generated in the context of working memory from long-term memory traces that record our experience with words. Current statistical models of semantics, such as latent semantic analysis and the Topic model, describe what is stored in long-term memory. The CI-2 model describes how this information is used to construct sentence meanings. This model is a dual-memory model, in that it distinguishes between a gist level and an explicit level. It also incorporates syntactic information about how words are used, derived from dependency grammar. The construction of meaning is conceptualized as feature sampling from the explicit memory traces, with the constraint that the sampling must be contextually relevant both semantically and syntactically. Semantic relevance is achieved by sampling topically relevant features; local syntactic constraints as expressed by dependency relations ensure syntactic relevance
Keywords Topics  LSA  Comprehension  Predication  Semantics  Construction‐integration model  Meaning
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