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Communicating with Databases in Natural Language - Wallace M.

Wallace M. Communicating with Databases in Natural Language - Ellis Horwood Limited, 1985. - 170 p.
Download (direct link): comumunicatingwthisdatabase1985.djvu
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An exhaustive description of these cases would be rather long-winded, so I shall present the analysis in a table (Fig 5,1,5) The interaction of modifiers with the headnoun can be compared with the “translation algorithm” of King [28], A more general analysis is by Finin [1,3] „
4.4 Postmodification and postqualification
Any noun phrase can be followed by qualifying phrases or clauses,
(1) “Smith, who had been shopping, was loaded with groceries”
(2) “The election at Worthing in 1974 was won by the conservatives”
(.3) “The emperor in his new clothes looked ridiculous”
The first subdivision of qualifying phrases is into attributive qualification (as in example (1)), and restrictive qualification (as in example (2)), Attributive qualification reveals some more about the thing referred to in the previous noun phrase, whilst restrictive qualification has a part in the reference itself. Attributive qualification has no use in query systems and so need not be included in their
has relation ‘candidate’ qualifier of “a vote for
modifier is worked out
Category of Core Comparison Category of Extension to Interaction Comments Examples
headnoun qualifier sign noun modifier core qualifier
(XI) (X2)
domain (Doml) (any) @ domam(Dom2) null Comp(subj~Xl,obj=X2) 1,5 A vote over 1000
domam(Doml) null @ domain(Dom2) relation(Rel),Attl=;Xl,Att2(2)X2 null 2 Products less than ?10
domain (Dom) null @ Rei.Att null Comp(subj=Xl,obj=X2) 3,5 A quantity greater than our stock levels
Rel.Att (any) @ domam(Dom) null Comp(subj=Xl,obj=X2) 3, 5 Customer balance below ?50
domain (Dom) null = Rei.Att2 reiation(Rel).Att=Xl,Att2~X2 null 3 Products with unit-price ?5
Rel.Attl null @ domam(Dom) relation (Rel), Att l=Xl,Att2@X2 null 3 Order quantities after 1983
Rel. Attl null = Rel.Att2 reJation(Rel),Attl=Xl,Att2=X2 null Stocks with reorder level over 100
- rel(Rel), ... @ domam(Dom) Att@X2 null 3 Stocks m bin 000 in which warehouse
rel(Rel), . . . = Rei.Att Att=X2 null The Berkshire customers with salesman Collins
Reil. Alt! (any) @ Rel2. Att2 null Comp(subj~Xl,obj=X2) 2,4, 5 Delivery date after order date
Comments (1) Doml matches Dom2 (see section 3.2 above).
(2) Domain Doml is associated with attribute, Attl of relation Rel. ‘Dom2’ is associated with another attribute, Att2, of the same relation.
(3) The domain ‘Dorn’ is associated with the attribute ‘Att’ of the relation ‘Rel’.
(4) This is an explicit join The domain associated with Attl matches the domain associated with Att2.
(5) If @ is '=' comp is 'id’.
If @ is *>' comp is 'gt'.
If @ is ‘<’ comp is It'.
Fig. 5.15 - Noun postmodification.
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102 SEMANTICS
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SEMANTICS 103
semantics. Clearly any qualifying phrase that follows a proper noun (as in example (1)) must be attributive, and so need not be covered For other noun phrases it is not always apparent whether the qualification is restrictive or attributive (as in example (3)), so all qualifying phrases following compound noun phrases are treated as restrictive
Restrictive qualifying phrases can be further subdivided into noun modifiers and relative clauses A noun modifier is interpreted as a formal DESCRIPTION. The interpretation of a postmodified noun phrase will be given in the next section.
A relative clause, however, is interpreted as a QUALIFIER with a free variable. If the noun phrase has interpretation, ‘Det-N-qual(X,Q)’, then the QUALIFIER interpreting the relative clause has free variable, ‘X’. Postqualification is described in section 4.4.2 below.
The distinction between postqualification and postmodification can be illustrated by a pair of examples;
(1) Postmodification
“The conservative candidate in each election”
(2) Postqualification
“The constituency which all 8 parties contested”
In both examples the initial noun phrase is singular, (“The conservative candidate”, “The constituency”); but only in the first example could the whole phrase have a reference set with more than one member. The interpretation of the initial noun phrase has a determiner and a count; ‘the’, ‘1’ in each case. However, in the second example this determiner and count is preserved in the interpretation of the whole phrase. Only a noun modifier can overrule that initial determiner and count
4 41 Postmodification
The formal interpretation of a noun phrase with noun modifiers is a natural language function If there are a number of modifiers, with interpretationsDescl, Desc2 , Descn respectively, then the interpretation is:
Descl is funct(Yl,
Descn is funct(Yn,
Det-N-qual(X,Qual ,,,)).
where ‘Det’ interprets the determiner of the noun phrase, ‘N’ interpets the count and ‘Qual’ interprets the initial noun phrase and the interactions with each of the noun modifiers (see section 4.3.3 above),
(1) “The liberal vote”. The headnoun “vote”, is interpeted by a domain name, ‘vote’. The one noun modifier, “liberal”, has domain ‘party’,. Its interpretation is, ‘liberal’. The relation ‘candidate’ has the attributes shown in Fig, 5.16. Thus
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