Parsing Experiences

It’s mainly bottom-up but with expectations

Phrase structure for “two hundred and twelve thousand” parsed when expecting a CARDINAL number. Vertical arrows mean “consists of”, and horizontal arrows mean “followed by”. — Diagram by author

I believe that the process of parsing sentences is just a special case of a general process by which our brains parse our experiences.

When we read a sentence, we “parse” it into words and phrases, assembling a meaning representation for the sentence from meaning representations of its components. I have experience with details of that process, having written…