26 found
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  1. Logics of Conversation.Nicholas Asher & Alex Lascarides - 2003 - Cambridge University Press.
    People often mean more than they say. Grammar on its own is typically insufficient for determining the full meaning of an utterance; the assumption that the discourse is coherent or 'makes sense' has an important role to play in determining meaning as well. Logics of Conversation presents a dynamic semantic framework called Segmented Discourse Representation Theory, or SDRT, where this interaction between discourse coherence and discourse interpretation is explored in a logically precise manner. Combining ideas from dynamic semantics, commonsense reasoning (...)
     
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  2.  86
    Temporal Interpretation, Discourse Relations and Commonsense Entailment.Alex Lascarides & Nicholas Asher - 1993 - 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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  3. Indirect Speech Acts.Nicholas Asher & Alex Lascarides - 2001 - 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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  4.  81
    Questions in Dialogue.Nicholas Asher & Alex Lascarides - 1998 - 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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  5.  21
    Bridging.Nicholas Asher & Alex Lascarides - 1998 - Journal of Semantics 15 (1):83-113.
    In this paper, we offer a novel analysis of bridging, paying particular attention to definite descriptions. We argue that extant theories don't do justice to the way different knowledge resources interact. In line with Hobbs (1979), we claim that the rhetorical connections between the propositions introduced in the text play an important part. But our work is distinct from his in that we model how this source of information interacts with compositional and lexical semantics. We formalize bridging in a framework (...)
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  6.  91
    The Semantics and Pragmatics of Presupposition.Alex Lascarides - 1998 - 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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  7.  76
    Reasoning Dynamically About What One Says.Nicholas Asher & Alex Lascarides - 2011 - 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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  8. Discourse Coherence and Gesture Interpretation.Alex Lascarides & M. Stone - manuscript
    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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  9.  54
    Lexical Disambiguation in a Discourse Context.Nicholas Asher & Alex Lascarides - 1995 - 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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  10.  65
    The Progressive and the Imperfective Paradox.Alex Lascarides - 1991 - Synthese 87 (3):401 - 447.
  11.  30
    Indirect Speech Acts.Nicholas Asher & Alex Lascarides - 2001 - Synthese 128 (1):183-228.
    In this paper, we address several puzzles concerning speech acts, particularly indirect speech acts. We show how a formal semantic theory of discourse interpretation can be used to define speech acts and to avoid murky issues concerning the metaphysics of action. We provide a formally precise definition of indirect speech acts, including the subclass of so-called conventionalized indirect speech acts. This analysis draws heavily on parallels between phenomena at the speech act level and the lexical level. First, we argue that, (...)
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  12.  38
    Formal Semantics for Iconic Gesture.Alex Lascarides & Matthew Stone - unknown
    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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  13.  34
    Order Independent and Persistent Typed Default Unification.Alex Lascarides, Ted Briscoe, Nicholas Asher & Ann Copestake - 1996 - 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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  14.  15
    Ambiguity and Coherence.Alex Lascarides - 1996 - 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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  15. The Semantics and Pragmatics of Metaphor.Nicholas Asher & Alex Lascarides - 2001 - In Pierrette Bouillon & Federica Busa (eds.), The Language of Word Meaning. Cambridge University Press. pp. 262--289.
     
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  16.  59
    The Interpretation of Questions in Dialogue.Alex Lascarides & Nicholas Asher - unknown
    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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  17.  2
    Persuasion with Limited Sight.Alex Lascarides & Markus Guhe - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-33.
    Humans face many game problems that are too large for the whole game tree to be used in their deliberations about action, and very little is understood about how they cope in such scenarios. However, when a human player’s chosen strategy is conditioned on her limited perspective of how the game might progress, then it should be possible to manipulate her into changing her planned move by mentioning a possible outcome of an alternative move. This paper demonstrates that human players (...)
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  18.  13
    Preference Change.Anaïs Cadilhac, Nicholas Asher, Alex Lascarides & Farah Benamara - 2015 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 24 (3):267-288.
    Most models of rational action assume that all possible states and actions are pre-defined and that preferences change only when beliefs do. But several decision and game problems lack these features, calling for a dynamic model of preferences: preferences can change when unforeseen possibilities come to light or when there is no specifiable or measurable change in belief. We propose a formally precise dynamic model of preferences that extends an existing static model. Our axioms for updating preferences preserve consistency while (...)
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  19.  17
    On Modeling Scope of Inflectional Negation.Alex Lascarides & Emily M. Bender - unknown
    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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  20.  29
    A Logic of Semantic Representations for Shallow Parsing.Alexander Koller & Alex Lascarides - unknown
    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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  21.  9
    Metaphor in Discourse.Nicholas Asher & Alex Lascarides - 2001 - In Pierrette Bouillon & Federica Busa (eds.), The Language of Word Meaning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 262-289.
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  22.  7
    Blocking.Ted Briscoe, Ann Copestake & Alex Lascarides - 1995 - In Patrick Saint-Dizier & Evelyne Viegas (eds.), Computational Lexical Semantics. Cambridge University Press.
  23.  11
    Sorts and Operators for Temporal Semantics.Alex Lascarides - manuscript
    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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  24.  5
    Exploiting Linguistic Cues to Classify Rhetorical Relations.Alex Lascarides - manuscript
    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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  25. 13 Blocking.Ted Briscoe, Ann Copestake & Alex Lascarides - 1995 - In Patrick Saint-Dizier & Evelyne Viegas (eds.), Computational Lexical Semantics. Cambridge University Press. pp. 273.
  26. Grounding and Correcting Commitments in Dialogue.Alex Lascarides & N. Asher - manuscript
     
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