We will have a prefix/suffix structure, built out of constants (variables would be costly, and we would get many conflicts), which we shall use to unravel unknown words. The prefix or suffix will be associated with a word, such as
Abdomen ASSOCIATE abdomen
We already have many of these we have abdomen ASSOCIATE abdominal
There are prefixes and suffixes which associate with relations some of them collocations.
-al ASSOCIATE ToPertain To (the collocated relation)
We can add a prefix to a suffix to deconstruct a word, or we can remove a prefix, check whether we have the remaining word in the dictionary, and repeat the process if we find another prefix.
The approach isnt much different to unravelling noun phrases with multiple nouns and adjectives.
We should have a faster means of finding appropriate prefixes than just a straight search (about 500), although prefixes and suffixes will be kept in different structures.
Particular prefixes will carry indication of the letters that can be added to construct a word the (o) , (i), (e) and (io) shown in the table.
Most prefixes and suffixes refer to objects, but some refer to relations -
ac - pertaining to
ad - increase
aux - self (this is a reference to the next object - the word containing the prefix needs to be parsed)
relations that act on objects described in the word. It is necesary to have relational logic to make sense of a combination of such prefixes or suffixes.
Medical literature frequently has combinations of prefixes and suffixes built up - "peritoneo-systemic" - that do not appear in any medical dictionary. If we are to read such text, the system will need as good a knowledge of prefixes and suffixes as a skilled medico. It will also help to avoid having to build semantic structures for everything - arthritis is easily reduced to the meaning: bone joint inflammation.
The structure, perhaps pruned a lot, will become part of models in other areas engineering, etc.
We have used the prefix table from Wikipedia a fragment is shown below (the quality is poor - we have cleaned it up).
Some prefixes, like "aniso", are combinations of two prefixes - we have followed the table.
As you quickly discover, a prefix like "an" can have several meanings - analgia, anus - a MEANING operator is provided.
A fragment of the table:
Prefix or suffix
Origin language and etymology
|a-, an-||Denotes an absence of, without||Ancient Greek ?-/??- (a-/an-), without, not||Apathy, Analgia|
|abdomin(o)-||Of or relating to the abdomen||Latin (abdomen), abdomen, fat around the belly||Abdomen|
|-ac, -acal||pertaining to||Greek -a??? (-akos)||cardiac, hydrophobiac, pharmacomaniacal|
|acr(o)-||extremity, topmost||Greek ????? (akron), highest or farthest point||Acrocrany, acromegaly, acroosteolysis, acroposthia|
|-acusis||hearing||Greek ????st???? (acoustikos), of or for hearing||paracusis|
|-ad||toward, in the direction of||dorsad|
|ad-||increase, adherence, motion toward, very||Latin||Adduction|
|-aemia (BrE)||blood condition||Greek ??a?µ?a, without blood||Anaemia|
|ante-||Describing something as positioned in front of another thing||Latin (ante), before, in front of||antepartum|
|anti-||Describing something as 'against' or 'opposed to' another||Ancient Greek a?t? (anti), against||Antibody, antipsychotic|
|apo-||separated from, derived from||Ancient Greek ?p?||Apoptosis|
|arch(i,e,o)||first, primitive||archinephron : first formed kidney|
|arsen(o)-||Of or pertaining to a male; masculine||Greek (arsein)|
|arteri(o)-||Of or pertaining to an artery||Ancient Greek ??t???a (arterķa), a wind-pipe, artery||Artery, Arteriole|
|arthr(o)-||Of or pertaining to the joints, limbs||Ancient Greek a????? (arthros), a joint, limb||Arthritis|
|-ary||pertaining to||Latin -arius||bilary tract|
|-ase||enzyme||Greek d??stas??, division||Lactase|
|-asthenia||weakness||Greek, ?s???e?a||Myasthenia gravis|
|aux(o)-||increase; growth||auxocardia : enlargement of the heart|
Medical Design Notes