[MUD-Dev] Re: Prepositions and parsing

Chris Gray cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA
Wed May 14 07:59:38 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


[Chris L:]
:It seems more friendly and not terribly more expensive to me to have
:the parse try and resolve *both* sides of the ambiguity, and to then
:pick as to which is supportable in the current context.

Doing that requires more smarts in the parser than I want to put into it.
I don't want the "parser" to understand the concepts of 'under', 'behind',
etc., but to just know that they are acceptable for use with 'put'.

:Bingo.  And here it gets really messy.  You end up with a really
:glorious hodge-podge between a global parser and a a per-object
:parser.  Consider the case of:
:
:  shoot the paper under the book on the table
:
:Does that mean to shoot the paper which is located under a book which
:is located on the table, or to shoot a free paper such that it moves
:to be under the book which is located on the table, or to shoot the
:paper such that it moves from under the book to being on the table?

How unhappy would a typical player be if told that the above is ambiguous?
Or that there is no paper nearby (even if there is some under the book)?
It's likely such a rare case those most would wave it off. In English
we disambuate such things by a slight rephrasing:

    shoot the paper which is under the book on the table

    shoot the paper under the book which is on the table

Perhaps handling syntax something like that is a way to go?

--
Chris Gray   cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA



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