• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Finding the subject of a sentence  RSS feed

 
Mushu Wu
Greenhorn
Posts: 12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ok, this probably isn't your typical post but I'm stumped:

Is it possible to find the subject(or any main keyword) of a sentence? Something similar to what would be used in an AI program? Could someone at least point me in the direction?

Thanks.
 
William Brogden
Author and all-around good cowpoke
Rancher
Posts: 13078
6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
As far as I am concerned, anything that can find the subject of an English sentence qualifies as AI. You are talking about a HUGE area of research that has been going on for many years. Try a google search for "automatic translation" for example.
The problem could be simpler if your range of subjects/keywords is very restricted, but you have to deal with many issues - for example, alternate spellings.
Bill
 
Mushu Wu
Greenhorn
Posts: 12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ok, thanks for you input.
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Sheriff
Posts: 24217
38
Chrome Eclipse IDE Mac OS X
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I recently reread Terry Winograd's "Understanding Computers and Cognition", which elegantly makes the point that in the most general case, any such attempt is doomed to fail, because (for example) the concept of "the subject of a sentence" is meaningless without a context that ultimately includes self-awareness of the listener. An isolated sentence doesn't necessarily have an unambiguous subject.

But of course as Bill says, if you restrict the domain and the grammar, it's a solveable problem. There are many BNF grammars for simplified English available on the web -- just Google a bit.
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!