© 2011

Computational Linguistics and Talking Robots

Processing Content in Database Semantics


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Roland Hausser
    Pages 1-14
  3. Five Mysteries of Natural Language Communication

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 17-17
    2. Roland Hausser
      Pages 55-69
    3. Roland Hausser
      Pages 71-89
    4. Roland Hausser
      Pages 91-118
  4. The Coding of Content

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 119-119
    2. Roland Hausser
      Pages 121-145
    3. Roland Hausser
      Pages 147-169
    4. Roland Hausser
      Pages 171-190
    5. Roland Hausser
      Pages 191-210
    6. Roland Hausser
      Pages 211-232
  5. Final Chapter

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 233-233
    2. Roland Hausser
      Pages 235-251
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 253-286

About this book


The practical task of building a talking robot requires a theory of how natural language communication works. Conversely, the best way to computationally verify a theory of natural language communication is to demonstrate its functioning concretely in the form of a talking robot, the epitome of human–machine communication. To build an actual robot requires hardware that provides appropriate recognition and action interfaces, and because such hardware is hard to develop the approach in this book is theoretical: the author presents an artificial cognitive agent with language as a software system called database semantics (DBS). Because a theoretical approach does not have to deal with the technical difficulties of hardware engineering there is no reason to simplify the system – instead the software components of DBS aim at completeness of function and of data coverage in word form recognition, syntactic–semantic interpretation and inferencing, leaving the procedural implementation of elementary concepts for later.

In this book the author first examines the universals of natural language and explains the Database Semantics approach. Then in Part I he examines the following natural language communication issues: using external surfaces; the cycle of natural language communication; memory structure; autonomous control; and learning. In Part II he analyzes the coding of content according to the aspects: semantic relations of structure; simultaneous amalgamation of content; graph-theoretical considerations; computing perspective in dialogue; and computing perspective in text. The book ends with a concluding chapter, a bibliography and an index.

The book will be of value to researchers, graduate students and engineers in the areas of artificial intelligence and robotics, in particular those who deal with natural language processing.


Artificial intelligence Cognitive psychology Communication Computational linguistics Database semantics Dialogue Human–computer communication Learning Linguistics Memory structure Natural language processing Robotics Robots Semantics Talking robots

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Erlangen-Nürnberg, Abteilung für ComputerlinguistikFriedrich-Alexander-UniversitätErlangenGermany

About the authors

Prof. Dr. Hausser has been Professor for Linguistische Informatik at the University Erlangen-Nürnberg since 1989; he is also director of the Laboratory of Computational Linguistics Uni Erlangen (CLUE). Among his publications are the books "Foundations of Computational Linguistics -- Human–Computer Communication in Natural Language", 2001, ISBN 978-3-540-42417-8 and "A Computational Model of Natural Language Communication", 2006, ISBN 978-3-540-35476-5.

Bibliographic information

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