On the Quantum-like Contextuality of Ambiguous Phrases
Daphne Wang | Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh | Samson Abramsky | Victor Cervantes
Proceedings of the 2021 Workshop on Semantic Spaces at the Intersection of NLP, Physics, and Cognitive Science (SemSpace)
Language is contextual as meanings of words are dependent on their contexts. Contextuality is, concomitantly, a well-defined concept in quantum mechanics where it is considered a major resource for quantum computations. We investigate whether natural language exhibits any of the quantum mechanics’ contextual features. We show that meaning combinations in ambiguous phrases can be modelled in the sheaf-theoretic framework for quantum contextuality, where they can become possibilistically contextual. Using the framework of Contextuality-by-Default (CbD), we explore the probabilistic variants of these and show that CbD-contextuality is also possible.