Studies on the Knowledge
of Sentence Category in HNC Theory

by MIAO Chuanjiang

Directed by HUANG Zeng-yang


HNC (Hierarchical Network of Concepts), a theory of natural language processing founded by Prof. Huang Zengyang, has established a new model for describing and processing natural language. One part of the model is the semantic patterns of sentences, which are based on the new concepts of sentence category (SC) and semantic chunk. SC is the semantic category of sentences, and semantic chunk is the semantic component of sentences. With the two concepts, HNC created the semantic expression of sentences and discovered 57 basic sentence categories, which are the primitives of SC and can generate mixed SC and combined SC. Different SC has different character, which is called the knowledge of sentence category (KSC).

This thesis studies KSC systematically:
(1) Discusses the main aspects of KSC, including the following four aspects: the knowledge about sentence format, the knowledge about semantic chunk structure, the knowledge about conceptual association between semantic chunks, the knowledge about sentence category and semantic chunk transformation.
(2) Explains the KSC of the 57 basic SCs and some common mixed SCs in detail. The 57 basic SCs are the subcategories of 7 main sentence categories, which are action SC, process SC, transfer SC, effect SC, relation SC, state SC and determine SC. The knowledge of each SC is explained in the four aspects as listed in (1).
(3) Illuminates the application of KSC with instances in two issues, one of which is multi-verb processing in Chinese, and the other one is proper nouns recognition.

KSC is the key knowledge used in the system of sentence category analysis (SCA), which is the natural language processing model of HNC. The KSC in this thesis has been applied in SCA system and has been proved useful. In fact, KSC is the most essential knowledge for natural language understanding and can be applied in many fields.

Keywords: natural language understanding, HNC (Hierarchical Network of Concepts) theory, sentence category, semantic chunk, knowledge of sentence category