Semantic analysis is the understanding of natural language (in text form) much like humans do, based on meaning and context.
The method typically starts by processing all of the words in the text to capture the meaning, independent of language. In parsing the elements, each is assigned a grammatical role and the structure is analyzed to remove ambiguity from any word with multiple meanings.
Interpretation is easy for a human but not so simple for artificial intelligence algorithms. Apple can refer to a number of possibilities including the fruit, multiple companies (Apple Inc, Apple Records), their products, along with some other interesting meanings .
Context plays a critical role in processing language as it helps to attribute the correct meaning. “I ate an apple” obviously refers to the fruit, but “I got an apple” could refer to both the fruit or a product. Additional data is necessary to make a distinction.
This is why semantic analysis doesn’t just look at the relationship between individual words, but also looks at phrases, clauses, sentences, and paragraphs.