Meaning-Text Theory [=MTT], put forward by Žolkovskij and Meľčuk (Meľčuk and Žolkovskij 1970), is a theory about “how to describe and formally present linguistic knowledge” (Meľčuk and Polguère 1987: 261). The conception of MTT can be traced back to two endeavors: Moscow Semantic School and machine translation. It is the collaboration between Professor Žolkovskij and Meľčuk from 1960s that directly led to MTT. While machine translation, from Meľčuk’s point of view, requires a formal and theoretical linguistic theory. This theory enables computers to find a translation in the target language without checking the linguistic context many times. To reach this goal, a set of lexical functions (more details in Chapter 14) has been proposed. Together with lexical functions, MTT has developed a logical device (also known as a system of rules) to describe how speakers utter and understand speech. In other words, this logical device could show the transaction between meanings and texts. As a result, the main task of MTT is to explore what the device is and how it works.Though meanings and texts are immediately accessible to a linguist, rules for the correspondence between them are not; thus a function model is needed. The history of models
Poznan Studies in Contemporary Linguistics – de Gruyter
Published: Mar 26, 2018
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