Australasian Mathematical Psychology Conference 2019

An associative theory of semantic composition

Kevin Shabahang
Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne
Hyungwook Yim
Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne
Simon Dennis
Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne

We present a new version of the Syntagmatic-Paradigmatic model (SP; Dennis, 2005) as a representational substrate for encoding meaning from textual input. We depart from the earlier SP model in three ways. Instead of two multi-trace memory stores, we adopt an auto-associative network. Instead of treating a sentence as the unit of representation, we go down a scale to the level of words. Finally, we specify all stages of processing within a single architecture. We show how the model is capable of forming representations of words that are independent of the surface-form through some question-answering examples. We end with a discussion of how the current model can provide a point-of-contact between static and dynamic views of semantic representation.