AMBIGUITY & METAGRAPHEMICS - a research proposal



The area of proposed research will be the technologies associated with Information-Interchange and Natural-Language Processing, with particular attention to the emergence of English as the main international natural-language. In the context of Information-Interchange there will be an examination into the inefficiencies that result from a lack of mutual-understanding, mainly through inadequate or incorrect use of given words, but also because of variations in the way that given words are presented in text format. This will include difficulties of exact mutual-understanding between man and machine.


Problem of Ambiguity

Ambiguity means having more than one possible meaning and as most English words have varying levels of ambiguity then there is clearly a problem with mutual understanding. One of the prime objectives of the proposed research will be to carry out an object based investigation into the real-world nature of word ambiguity. By focusing initially on the actual word “ambiguity”, a 4 page analysis is presented that will form part of a suggested disambiguation process which will be termed a single word lexical profile; and new labelling concepts of text-translation, word-choice, word-selection, correct-meaning, universal-consensus and verification will be explained and introduced as a preliminary to further research.


Keyboard-driven Text

The assumption is made that, for most practical applications, the medium for information-interchange will be a qwerty keyboard and screen. An increasing cause of ambiguity, particularly with the growth of E-mail is the use, or non-use, of metagraphemic devices i.e. punctuation marks, allographs, fonts, ideograms, and spacings. Metagraphemics, the study of these devices is currently under-researched. 


Semantic Coding

There will be a close examination of how the meanings of a given piece of text can be variously interpreted in real-world by analysing the precise system of information-interchange currently in use. As such, and following a first-stage analysis, an encoded classification of 18 types of ambiguity or, semantic variation, is presented as a 2 page introduction and taxonomy. There are no published  papers, insofar as can be identified, that attempts this approach.


Purpose of Proposed Research

First, to contribute to the development of a new bolt-on technology to enable existing word-processors to part dis-ambiguate keyboard-driven text, as a practical aid to man to man communication. Second, to apply these techniques to automatic communication between man and machine.


Note: One possible tool for text-translation could be a codified version of “Basic English” invented in the 30’s by CK Ogden, of Cambridge, and intended for use as a medium of international communication. His works will be examined in detail and “contemporized to establish current enhancement viability”!

“Basic” is an acronym for “British-American-Scientific-International-Commercial”



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