Linguistical World and Virtual World
How to construct a world inside your head from a sentence
In the last post, I talked about “words”. Today I’m going to talk about “sentences”.
What does it mean, to interpret a sentence?
It solely means, to convert the linguistical world which is made up of symbols to the virtual world inside your head.
A sentence can be analyzed into its grammatical constructions.
A construction is a combination of “subject＋object＋predicate”.
In Japanese, each construction can be divided by each case-marking particle.
Case-marking particles refer to “ga” “no” “wo” “ni” “he” and “de” among the postpositional particles.
Next, let’s think about the world inside your head.
When you think inside your head, you think in images.
When you read a sentence that says “Today, Taro ate a pudding at his school lunch.”, you’d picture the situation.
From the word “school lunch”, you’d picture a classroom where school lunch of bread, milk and dishes on each student’s desk.
This is because the word “school lunch” is associated with the image – bread and milk laid out on the desk.
This can also be expressed in the form of Has-a, as I explained in the post “How to Define the Meaning of Words“.
For example, let’s say we construct a ３DCG model of school lunch of bread, milk and dishes laid out on the desk. Then, we summon the ３DCG.
Hence, the symbol “school lunch （linguistical world） is converted to the virtual world inside your head.
Next, let’s think about “sentences”.
A “sentence” means, when, where, who, do what.
Now we need to construct it on the virtual world.
“When” and “where” come from “setting” like “time” and “place”.
“Who do what” comes from “happenings” that happen in the setting.
So, we can say that the virtual world inside our head is constituted of the “setting” and “happenings” that elaborate within the setting.
A sentence is analyzed into constructions.
Constructions are still at the phase of the linguistical world.
To reach the phase of the virtual world, it extracts when, where what happened from constructions and it generates the setting.
As consciousness is capable of maneuvering the virtual world freely, you can say that this is the phase when it understands the meaning of happenings.
At the phase of the linguistical world, it manages by sentence and at the phase of the virtual world, it manages by setting.
A setting includes objects of characters and items.
Then, it writes a happening in that setting using the objects of characters and items.
If another happening occurs in the same setting, it adds a happening in the setting.
This is one setting.
If place or time changes, a new setting will be created in the working space; and the current setting will be temporarily saved in another place.
This temporary saving is called short-term memory.
Short-term memory can hold several latest settings in store and you can access them from consciousness.
Now let me explain the process of setting generation using the story of “Momotaro”(a famous old tale in Japan) as an example.
First thing to be generated in the working space is the setting – “once upon a time, there was an old guy and an old lady living in some place.”.
Here the time is “once upon a time”, the place is “in some place” and the characters are “an old guy and an old lady”.
Next sentence goes like this: “the old guy went to the mountain for firewood gathering”. As the place moves to the mountain, a new setting will be generated and the first setting will be stored in short-term memory.
Then it goes: “the old lady went to the river to wash clothes”. Again the place moves to the river. As a new setting will be generated, the setting about the old guy will be stored in short-term memory.
In the setting about the old lady, a happening that “a big peach came floating down the river”.
This is how consciousness generates settings into the working space and manages different stories by setting from reading sentences.
By storing a series of settings in long-term memory, they will be memorized as episodic memory（story memory）.
For example, when it searches by the keyword “Momotaro”, the first setting of the story will hit. Then it places the setting in the working space.
As consciousness is capable of identifying and managing settings in the working space, it can also recall such as “speaking of Momotaro, I remember the setting where an old guy and an old lady came in”.
When asked “what happens afterwards?”, it can summon the next setting in its working space and answer “the old guy went to the mountain for firewood gathering”.
To understand the meaning of a sentence is by reading a sentence, analyzing it by constructions, elaborating it by settings in the working space and finally, by creating a virtual world out of them.
To judge whether it understands the meaning fully, you can see whether it can answer questions as humans would do.
To be able to answer questions as humans do is to also say that, it processes information in the same way as humans think inside their head.
This is how it becomes capable of maintaining natural communication via conversation.