David L. Waltz, Jordan B. Pollack
This is a description of research in developing a natural language processing system with modular knowledge sources but strongly interactive processing. The system offers insights into a variety of linguistic phenomena and allows easy testing of a variety of hypotheses. Language interpretation takes place on a activation network which is dynamically created from input, recent context, and long-term knowledge. Initially ambiguous and unstable, the network settles on a single interpretation, using a parallel, analog relaxation process. We also describe a parallel model for the representation of context and priming of concepts. Examples illustrating contextual influence on meaning interpretation and "semantic garden path" sentence processing are included.