A Programmatic Theory of Linguistic Performance

  • M. J. Steedman
  • P. N. Johnson-Laird
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 4b)


The aim of this paper is to present a unitary model of some of the mental processes involved in speaking and listening. The model is cast in the form of a computer program, but the program is not intended as a contribution to either Artificial Intelligence or Computer Simulation. We regard it as an exercise in programmatic psychology, and perhaps a few words are necessary in order to explain the nature of this claim. On the one hand, proponents of Artificial Intelligence (AI) aim to develop machines capable of intelligent behaviour and, in particular, to devise computer programs capable of such tasks as interpreting visual scenes, providing theorems, and understanding natural language. Although the methods implemented in these programs are likely to interest a psychologist, any resemblance to human performance may be entirely coincidental. AI is concerned with intelligence in general, not merely its embodiment in living organisms. On the other hand, proponents of Computer Simulation aim to understand human behaviour by simulating it.


Noun Phrase Deep Structure Relative Clause Rapid Serial Visual Presentation Programmatic Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. Steedman
    • 1
  • P. N. Johnson-Laird
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SussexUK

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