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'Consider' and its Swedish equivalents in relation to machine translation

by Andersson, Karin

Abstract (Summary)
This study describes the English verb ’consider’ and the characteristics of some of its senses. An investigation of this kind may be useful, since a machine translation program, SYSTRAN, has invariably translated ’consider’ with the Swedish verbs ’betrakta’ (Eng: ’view’, regard’) and ’anse’ (Eng: ’regard’). This handling of ’consider’ is not satisfactory in all contexts.Since ’consider’ is a cogitative verb, it is fascinating to observe that both the theory of semantic primes and universals and conceptual semantics are concerned with cogitation in various ways. Anna Wierzbicka, who is one of the advocates of semantic primes and universals, argues that THINK should be considered as a semantic prime. Moreover, one of the prime issues of conceptual semantics is to describe how thoughts are constructed by virtue of e.g. linguistic components, perception and experience.In order to define and clarify the distinctions between the different senses, we have taken advantage of the theory of mental spaces.This thesis has been structured in accordance with the meanings that have been indicated in WordNet as to ’consider’. As a consequence, the senses that ’consider’ represents have been organized to form the subsequent groups: ’Observation’, ’Opinion’ together with its sub-group ’Likelihood’ and ’Cogitation’ followed by its sub-group ’Attention/Consideration’.A concordance tool, http://www.nla.se/culler, provided us with 90 literary quotations that were collected in a corpus. Afterwards, these citations were distributed between the groups mentioned above and translated into Swedish by SYSTRAN.Furthermore, the meanings as to ’consider’ have also been related to the senses, recorded by the FrameNet scholars. Here, ’consider’ is regarded as a verb of ’Cogitation’ and ’Categorization’.When this study was accomplished, it could be inferred that certain senses are connected to specific syntactic constructions. In other cases, however, the distinctions between various meanings can only be explained by virtue of semantics.To conclude, it appears to be likely that an implementation is facilitated if a specific syntactic construction can be tied to a particular sense. This may be the case concerning some meanings of ’consider’. Machine translation is presumably a much more laborious task, if one is solely governed by semantic conditions.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Högskolan i Skövde

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:’consider’ semantic primes and universals conceptual semantics mental spaces wordnet framenet machine translation

ISBN:

Date of Publication:02/07/2008

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