Word embeddings and collocations

This is a very interesting article on word embedding in current vector-thought research:

Word Senses polysemy

The article quotes a 1957 chapter by Firth: ‘Firth’s hypothesis that a word’s sense is captured by the distribution of other words around it.’

Here is Firth’s original text:

Firth linguistic theory synopsis

The so-called Firth’s hypothesis sounds very Saussurean to me. Saussure is usually credited with the idea that language is a system of differences, where each atom’s meaning  is given by its place in the structure. Hence my idea that thought vectors are a reactivation of structuralism for new purposes. It seems that post-WWII structuralism was itself influenced by cybernetics, but I’d like to investigate Saussure’s influences.




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