In this paper, Analysis with Word Class Functions (WCFA) is presented as a paradigm for syntactic-semantic analysis of natural language. The main characteristics of this approach are: word-orientation, the central role of word class functions, two phases of the activity of words, semantic orientation (priority of performance and acceptability vs. grammaticality), and incremental processing. The increments in this processing correspond to semantic kernels representing constituents which have been already understood during analysis. After a short comparison with other word-oriented approaches to language analysis, we present a WCF machine (WCFM) which has been implemented in Lisp and is used as an NLI to bibliographic databases and multimedia databases. The four levels of processing which the machine distinguishes are explained. Finally, we present some directions for further research
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