Pragmatic identification of the witness sets

Proceeding of the 8th Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (2012)
Abstract
Among the readings available for NL sentences, those where two or more sets of entities are independent of one another are particularly challenging from both a theoretical and an empirical point of view. Those readings are termed here as ‘Independent Set (IS) readings'. Standard examples of such readings are the well-known Collective and Cumulative Readings. (Robaldo, 2011) proposes a logical framework that can properly represent the meaning of IS readings in terms of a set-Skolemization of the witness sets. One of the main assumptions of Robaldo's logical framework, drawn from (Schwarzschild, 1996), is that pragmatics plays a crucial role in the identification of such witness sets. Those are firstly identified on pragmatic grounds, then logical clauses are asserted on them in order to trigger the appropriate inferences. In this paper, we present the results of an experimental analysis that appears to confirm Robaldo's hypotheses concerning the pragmatic identification of the witness sets.
Keywords generalized quantifiers  pragmatics  cumulative readings  collective readings
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