[SydPhil] History and Philosophy of Linguistics Reading group

Nick Riemer nick.riemer at sydney.edu.au
Fri Nov 2 09:04:43 AEDT 2012

History and Philosophy of Linguistics Reading group

Next meeting: Tuesday, November 6, 5.30-7pm, Woolley S361

Reading: Landauer, T.K. and Dumais, S.T. 1997. A Solution to Plato's Problem: The Latent Semantic Analysis Theory of Acquisition, Induction, and Representation of Knowledge. Psychological Review 104: 211-240

How do people know as much as they do with as little information as they get? The problem takes
many forms; learning vocabulary from text is an especially dramatic and convenient case for research.
A new general theory of acquired similarity and knowledge representation, latent semantic analysis
(LSA), is presented and used to successfully simulate such learning and several other psycholinguistic
phenomena. By inducing global knowledge indirectly from local co-occurrence data in a large body
of representative text, LSA acquired knowledge about the full vocabulary of English at a comparable
rate to schoolchildren. LSA uses no prior linguistic or perceptual similarity knowledge; it is based
solely on a general mathematical learning method that achieves powerful inductive effects by extracting
the right number of dimensions (e.g., 300) to represent objects and contexts. Relations to
other theories, phenomena, and problems are sketched.

Reading downloadable from http://hplinguistics.pbworks.com

Enquiries: nick.riemer at sydney.edu.au

All welcome!

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