The Construction of Meaning
Version of Record online: 18 AUG 2010
Copyright © 2010 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Topics in Cognitive Science
Volume 3, Issue 2, pages 346–370, April 2011
How to Cite
Kintsch, W. and Mangalath, P. (2011), The Construction of Meaning. Topics in Cognitive Science, 3: 346–370. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-8765.2010.01107.x
- Issue online: 6 APR 2011
- Version of Record online: 18 AUG 2010
- Received 17 February 2009; received in revised form 22 May 2009; accepted 26 October 2009
- Construction-integration model;
We argue that word meanings are not stored in a mental lexicon but are generated in the context of working memory from long-term memory traces that record our experience with words. Current statistical models of semantics, such as latent semantic analysis and the Topic model, describe what is stored in long-term memory. The CI-2 model describes how this information is used to construct sentence meanings. This model is a dual-memory model, in that it distinguishes between a gist level and an explicit level. It also incorporates syntactic information about how words are used, derived from dependency grammar. The construction of meaning is conceptualized as feature sampling from the explicit memory traces, with the constraint that the sampling must be contextually relevant both semantically and syntactically. Semantic relevance is achieved by sampling topically relevant features; local syntactic constraints as expressed by dependency relations ensure syntactic relevance.