Construction by description in discourse representation

This paper uses classical logic for a simultaneous description of the syntax and semantics of a fragment of English and it is argued that such an approach to natural language allows procedural aspects of linguistic theory to get a purely declarative formulation. In particular, it will be shown how certain construction rules in Discourse Representation Theory, such as the rule that indefinites create new discourse referents and definites pick up an existing referent, can be formulated declaratively if logic is used as a metalanguage for English. In this case the declarative aspects of a rule are highlighted when we focus on the model theory of the description language while a procedural perspective is obtained when its proof theory is concentrated on. Themes of interest are Discourse Representation Theory, resolution of anaphora, resolution of presuppositions, and underspecification.
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