Characteristics of the English language in AX Semantics

Fundamentals

English has two numbers for nouns: singular and plural. Number influences the used determiner (e.g. this mouse [sg] vs. these mice [pl]). English has four cases for pronouns: nominative, oblique (accusative/dative), and genitive. Otherwise, case is not relevant to the declension of English nouns or adjectives.

grammatical namevaluesexamples
numbersingulara red house
pluralsome big houses
------
cases (pronoun)nominativehe
accusative/dativeI see him.
genitiveHis toy
------
verb tensespresentyou take
pastyou took
past participleyou have taken
gerundyou're taking

The standard order of a noun phrase in English is the following: preposition + determiner + numeral + adjective + noun.

See for example:

about these three popular books
PREP  DET   NUM   ADJ     NOUN

Lexicon

Nouns

For English nouns, the lexicon needs to encode numbers and genders. Sometimes also prepositions and determiners if they are needed.

  • Some nouns differ from standard behaviour and combine with different determiners than other nouns from the same type. For example, nouns denoting countries usually stand with the none determiner like "Australia", but "the Seychelles" needs a definite determiner. You can define this replacement in noun lexicon entry.

Examples

The lexicon entry for mouse contains

  • gender: neuter
  • inflection table for case and number:
SingularPlural
Nominativemousemice
Genitivemouse'smice's

The lexicon entry for Bahamas contains

  • gender, case, and number (like above inflection table)
  • always set a definite determiner

And the lexicon entry for Malta (Malta) contains

  • gender, case, and number (like above inflection table)
  • remove all definite determiners

And the lexicon entry for Seychelles contains

  • gender, case, and number (like above inflection table)
  • always set a definite determiner

note Please contact the support team if you need lexicon entries for countries. After that, you will get them for English with automatic handling of determiners.

Adjectives

Adjectives in English are extremely regular. There should be no need to add English adjectives to the lexicon.

Verbs

The most common verbs are encoded in our software. If a verb inflects incorrectly, you should add it to the lexicon. For English verb, the lexicon needs to encode person, number and tense.

Container settings

Nouns

You can configure grammatical case and number for English nouns.

Adjectives

If multiple adjectives are used in a container, the AX NLG platform will sort them based on their attributes in the following order: opinion, size, physical, quality, age, shape, color, origin, material, and purpose. This automatic ordering only happens for adjectives, whose position information is stored in the global lexicon.

Numerals

The noun will automatically agree with the numeral number when you use a numeral variable. There is no need to add additional branches for numeral. Four types of numerals are possible on the AX NLG platform: cardinal, cardinal as digit, ordinal, and ordinal as digit.

cardinalordinal
textNine mice in my room.The ninth day at school.
digit9 mice in my room.The 9th day at school.

For English, ordinal numerals are written out until 12, otherwise (above 12) the output is in digit form. Cardinal numerals do not have this limitation. The following example shows the ordinal numerals limitation in English:

12th cars
thirteen cars

Verbs

The number and person of the verb will automatically agree with the role (subject). You will need to configure the tense for the verb. Four English tenses are available: Present (e.g., they buy), Past (e.g., they bought), Past Participle (e.g., they have bought), and Gerund (e.g., they are buying).

Determiners

If you set the determiner switch for the specific noun in LEXICON, it will automatically switch to another determiner when you add the determiner to the container.

Examples: determiner switch


They were traveling from Paris to Australia. (no determiner)

They were traveling from Paris to the Seychelles. (switch to definite determiner)

Defaults: determiner

If indefinite/definite/demonstrative/possessive determiners are possible for the noun phrases, they should be activated for the container by users. On the other hand, in English, the majority of countries are not accompanied by a definite determiner. In that case, it is assumed that without an article is the default.

Pronouns

Pronoun type include personal, demonstrative, possessive 3rd, and reflexive pronoun in the container. If the pronoun type is possessive (e.g., their), you will also need set possessive target (e.g., a subject or object role).

Prepositions

Some nouns differ from standard behaviour and combine with different prepositions than other nouns of the same type. If you set the preposition switch for the specific noun in LEXICON, the container will automatically switch to different prepositions like the example.

Examples: preposition switch


They meet in Germany.

They meet at Shibuya station. (preposition switches to "at")