[MUD-Dev] Re: [adv-mud] Better Grammer Detection

J C Lawrence claw at kanga.nu
Thu Jan 20 20:49:21 New Zealand Daylight Time 2000

<<Crossed to MUD-Dev>>

On Thu, 20 Jan 2000 22:53:56 -0500 
phlUID  <phluid at mindless.com> wrote:

>   I just got a copy of the "Definitive Book of Grammer" from one
> of my English teachers, and I was interested in the possibilites
> of using English grammer in my command interpreter.

Hit the MUD-Dev archives and dig up some of the posts (I think)
Martin Keegan and one of the Brandons (forget which) made about a
year, year and a half ago.  If you dig around a bit further you'll
also find a general discussion of simple NLP (Natual Language
Processing) and ways to fake it in MUD Servers.  I don't recall the
details, but I recall some work going into trying to make a semi-BNF
style set of grammars (simple parts of speech patterns) and then
moving from there.

Yes, the MUD-Dev archives are getting way too big to find things in.

> My question is how much work has been done towards grammer, and
> if it is possible to make a sophisticated enough engine to
> understand simple clauses and decompile verbs/nouns. 

Absolutely.  This is a well expored field.

> The possibilities for this is a much easier user interface that
> understands more variations of commands, leading to less "Huh?"s
> and more successful commands.

George Reese has made a number of fairly cogent arguments on r.g.m.*
arguing the advantages of a centralised grammar over having the
grammer bound to the objects it affects.  There have also been
extensive threads on MUD-Dev regarding basic grammaer design and

> I had a pretty interesting discussion in #rom about natural
> language processing, and I've realized that it can become very
> complicated. As an example, I'm just going to throw out the idea
> of the conjunction. If we wanted the mud to recognize
> conjunctions, it would make the game extremely powerful. I will
> use the following examples: and: "Get the dog and the cat" but:
> "get all the swords but not the blue one" (except works too) if:
> "kill bob if he smiles" when: "drop the bag when bill drops the
> money"

I'd recommend digging out the parsers for the various Interactive
Fiction bases.  Several of them have expored this area quite ell.
Travis Casy (FAQer for rec.games.design and MUD-Dev member) can
probably point you further.

J C Lawrence                                 Home: claw at kanga.nu
----------(*)                              Other: coder at kanga.nu
--=| A man is as sane as he is dangerous to his environment |=--

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