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  1. Alex Lascarides & N. Asher, Grounding and Correcting Commitments in Dialogue.
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  2. Alex Lascarides & M. Stone, Discourse Coherence and Gesture Interpretation.
    In face-to-face interaction, speakers make multimodal contributions that exploit both the linguistic resources of spoken language and the visual and spatial affordances of gesture. In this paper, we argue that, in formulating and understanding such multimodal contributions, interlocutors apply the same principles of coherence that characterize the interpretation of natural language discourse. In particular, we use a close analysis of a series of naturally-occurring embodied discourses to argue for two key generalizations. First, communicators and their audiences draw on coherence relations (...)
     
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  3. Alexander Koller & Alex Lascarides, A Logic of Semantic Representations for Shallow Parsing.
    One way to construct semantic representations in a robust manner is to enhance shallow language processors with semantic components. Here, we provide a model theory for a semantic formalism that is designed for this, namely Robust Minimal Recursion Semantics (RMRS). We show that RMRS supports a notion of entailment that allows it to form the basis for comparing the semantic output of different parses of varying depth.
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  4. Alex Lascarides, Exploiting Linguistic Cues to Classify Rhetorical Relations.
    We propose a method for automatically identifying rhetorical relations. We use supervised machine learning but exploit cue phrases to automatically extract and label training data. Our models draw on a variety of linguistic cues to distinguish between the relations. We show that these feature-rich models outperform the previously suggested bigram models by more than 20%, at least for small training sets. Our approach is therefore better suited to deal with relations for which it is difficult to automatically label a lot (...)
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  5. Alex Lascarides, Sorts and Operators for Temporal Semantics.
    An essential part of natural language understanding, and hence of formal semantics, is the interpretation of temporal expressions. But the very variety of temporal phenomena---such as tense, aspect, aktionsart, temporal adverbials, and the temporal structure of extended text---has tended to result in formal semantic analyses using a wide variety of formal tools, often of a complex nature. It seems important to try and find unifying perspectives on this work, and above all, to try and gain some insight into the logical (...)
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  6. Alex Lascarides & Nicholas Asher, The Interpretation of Questions in Dialogue.
    A semantic framework for interpreting dialogue should provide an account of the content that is mutually accepted by its participants. The acceptance by one agent of another’s contribution crucially involves the theory of what that contribution means; A’s acceptance of B’s contribution means that the content of B’s contribution must be integrated into A’s extant commitments.1 For assertions, traditionally assumed to express a proposition formalised as a set of possible worlds, it was clear how the integration should go: acceptance meant (...)
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  7. Alex Lascarides & Matthew Stone, Formal Semantics for Iconic Gesture.
    We present a formal analysis of iconic coverbal gesture. Our model describes the incomplete meaning of gesture that’s derivable from its form, and the pragmatic reasoning that yields a more specific interpretation. Our formalism builds reported.
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  8. Alex Lascarides & Emily M. Bender, On Modeling Scope of Inflectional Negation.
    In this paper, we investigate the representation of negated sentences in Minimal Recursion Semantics (Copestake, Flickinger, Pollard, & Sag, 2005). We begin with its treatment in the English Resource Grammar (Flickinger, 2000, 2011), a broad-coverage implemented HPSG (Pollard & Sag, 1994), and argue that it is largely a suitable representation for English, despite possible objections. We then explore whether it is suitable for typologically different languages: namely, those that express sentential negation via inflection on the verb, particularly Turkish and Inuktitut. (...)
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  9. Nicholas Asher & Alex Lascarides (2011). Reasoning Dynamically About What One Says. Synthese 183 (S1):5-31.
    ’s glue logic for computing logical form dynamic. This allows us to model a dialogue agent’s understanding of what the update of the semantic representation of the dialogue would be after his next contribution, including the effects of the rhetorical moves that he is contemplating performing next. This is a pre-requisite for developing a model of how agents reason about what to say next. We make the glue logic dynamic by using a dynamic public announcement logic ( pal ). We (...)
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  10. Nicholas Asher & Alex Lascarides (2001). Indirect Speech Acts. Synthese 128 (1-2):183 - 228.
    In this paper, we address several puzzles concerning speech acts,particularly indirect speech acts. We show how a formal semantictheory of discourse interpretation can be used to define speech actsand to avoid murky issues concerning the metaphysics of action. Weprovide a formally precise definition of indirect speech acts, includingthe subclass of so-called conventionalized indirect speech acts. Thisanalysis draws heavily on parallels between phenomena at the speechact level and the lexical level. First, we argue that, just as co-predicationshows that some words can (...)
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  11. Nicholas Asher & Alex Lascarides (2001). 15 Metaphor in Discourse. In Pierrette Bouillon & Federica Busa (eds.), The Language of Word Meaning. Cambridge University Press. 262.
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  12. Nicholas Asher & Alex Lascarides (2001). The Semantics and Pragmatics of Metaphor. In Pierrette Bouillon & Federica Busa (eds.), The Language of Word Meaning. Cambridge University Press. 262--289.
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  13. Nicholas Asher & Alex Lascarides (1998). Bridging. Journal of Semantics 15 (1):83-113.
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  14. Nicholas Asher & Alex Lascarides (1998). Questions in Dialogue. Linguistics and Philosophy 21 (3):237-309.
    In this paper we explore how compositional semantics, discourse structure, and the cognitive states of participants all contribute to pragmatic constraints on answers to questions in dialogue. We synthesise formal semantic theories on questions and answers with techniques for discourse interpretation familiar from computational linguistics, and show how this provides richer constraints on responses in dialogue than either component can achieve alone.
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  15. Alex Lascarides (1998). The Semantics and Pragmatics of Presupposition. Journal of Semantics 15 (3):239-300.
    In this paper, we offer a novel analysis of presuppositions, paying particular attention to the interaction between the knowledge resources that are required to The analysis has two main features. First, we capture an analogy between presuppositions, anaphora and scope ambiguity (cf. van der Sandt 1992), by utilizing semantic under-specification (c£ Reyle 1993). Second, resolving this underspecification requires reasoning about how the presupposition is rhetorically connected to the discourse context. This has several consequences. First, since pragmatic information plays a role (...)
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  16. Alex Lascarides (1996). Ambiguity and Coherence. Journal of Semantics 13 (1):41-65.
    Several recent theories of linguistic representation treat the lexicon as a highly structured object, incorporating fairly detailed semantic information, and allowing multiple aspects of meaning to be represented in a single entry (e.g. Pustejovsky, 1991; Copestake, 1992; Copestake and Briscoe, 1995). One consequence of these approaches is that word senses cannot be thought of as discrete units which are in one-to-one correspondence with lexical entries. This has many advantages in allowing an account of systematic polysemy, but leaves the problem of (...)
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  17. Alex Lascarides, Ted Briscoe, Nicholas Asher & Ann Copestake (1996). Order Independent and Persistent Typed Default Unification. Linguistics and Philosophy 19 (1):1 - 90.
    We define an order independent version of default unification on typed feature structures. The operation is one where default information in a feature structure typed with a more specific type, will override default information in a feature structure typed with a more general type, where specificity is defined by the subtyping relation in the type hierarchy. The operation is also able to handle feature structures where reentrancies are default. We provide a formal semantics, prove order independence and demonstrate the utility (...)
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  18. Nicholas Asher & Alex Lascarides (1995). Lexical Disambiguation in a Discourse Context. Journal of Semantics 12 (1):69-108.
    In this paper we investigate how discourse structure affects the meanings of words, and how the meanings of words affect discourse structure. We integrate three ingredients: a theory of discourse structure called SDRT, which represents discourse in terms of rhetorical relations that glue together the propositions introduced by the text segments; an accompanying theory of discourse attachment called DICE, which computes which rhetorical relations hold between the constituents, on the basis of the reader's background information; and a formal language for (...)
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  19. Ted Briscoe, Ann Copestake & Alex Lascarides (1995). 13 Blocking. In Patrick Saint-Dizier & Evelyne Viegas (eds.), Computational Lexical Semantics. Cambridge University Press. 273.
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  20. Ted Briscoe, Ann Copestake & Alex Lascarides (1995). Blocking. In Patrick Saint-Dizier & Evelyne Viegas (eds.), Computational Lexical Semantics. Cambridge University Press.
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  21. Alex Lascarides & Nicholas Asher (1993). Temporal Interpretation, Discourse Relations and Commonsense Entailment. Linguistics and Philosophy 16 (5):437 - 493.
    This paper presents a formal account of how to determine the discourse relations between propositions introduced in a text, and the relations between the events they describe. The distinct natural interpretations of texts with similar syntax are explained in terms of defeasible rules. These characterise the effects of causal knowledge and knowledge of language use on interpretation. Patterns of defeasible entailment that are supported by the logic in which the theory is expressed are shown to underly temporal interpretation.
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  22. Alex Lascarides (1991). The Progressive and the Imperfective Paradox. Synthese 87 (3):401 - 447.
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