Publication details [#5209]

Johnson-Laird, Philip N. 1977. Procedural semantics. Cognition 5 : 189–214.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language


An outline of a theory of semantics based on an analogy between natural and computer programming languages. A unified model of the comprehension and production of sentences is described in order to illustrate the central 'compile and execute' metaphor underlying procedural semantics. The role of general knowledge within the lexicon, and the mechanisms mediating selectional restrictions, are re-analyzed in the light of the procedural theory.

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