Computational Semantics Meets Artificial Grammar Learning: Spatial Language Acquisition by Intelligent Agents

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Computational Semantics Meets Artificial Grammar Learning: Spatial Language Acquisition by Intelligent Agents

Type: Bachelor thesis
Title: Computational Semantics Meets Artificial Grammar Learning: Spatial Language Acquisition by Intelligent Agents
Author: Minnema, Gosse
Issue Date: 2017-08-31
Keywords: language acquisition
semantics
spatial language
computational linguistics
artificial intelligence
artificial grammar learning
formal language theory
Abstract: Artificial Grammar Learning (AGL) is a powerful experimental paradigm for testing specific hypotheses about language acquisition but is limited because of its reliance on meaningless grammatical structures. Meanwhile, formal and computational semantics provide rigorous ways to define and calculate meanings for formal languages, but are typically only used to describe or simulate the linguistic competence of adult speakers. This thesis attempts to connect these two fields by proposing a new type of AGL experiment that uses a language with both a context-free syntax and a formally defined semantics which can be used to express spatial relationships between objects. Moreover, using a computer simulation in which an Intelligent Agent (IA) acquires such a language, it shows how this new paradigm can be used to test psycholinguistic hypotheses about the acquisition of both syntax and semantics.
Description: A working version of the computer simulation described in this thesis can be found online at: https://gossminn.github.io/AlienLearningAgents/. The source code of the simulation is also available: https://github.com/gossminn/AlienLearningAgents.
Supervisor: Cremers, Dr. C.L.J.M.
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Taalwetenschap (Bachelor)
Specialisation: Taal & Cognitie
ECTS Credits: 10
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/51456
 

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