61 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.  80
    Lexical Meaning in Context: A Web of Words.Nicholas Asher - 2011 - Cambridge University Press.
    This is a book about the meanings of words and how they can combine to form larger meaningful units, as well as how they can fail to combine when the ...
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  3.  96
    Supervaluations Debugged.Nicholas Asher, Josh Dever & Chris Pappas - 2009 - Mind 118 (472):901-933.
    Supervaluational accounts of vagueness have come under assault from Timothy Williamson for failing to provide either a sufficiently classical logic or a disquotational notion of truth, and from Crispin Wright and others for incorporating a notion of higher-order vagueness, via the determinacy operator, which leads to contradiction when combined with intuitively appealing ‘gap principles’. We argue that these criticisms of supervaluation theory depend on giving supertruth an unnecessarily central role in that theory as the sole notion of truth, rather than (...)
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  4. Free Choice Permission is Strong Permission.Nicholas Asher & Daniel Bonevac - 2005 - Synthese 145 (3):303-323.
    Free choice permission, a crucial test case concerning the semantics/ pragmatics boundary, usually receives a pragmatic treatment. But its pragmatic features follow from its semantics. We observe that free choice inferences are defeasible, and defend a semantics of free choice permission as strong permission expressed in terms of a modal conditional in a nonmonotonic logic.
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  5. Generics and Defaults.Francis Jeffry Pelletier & Nicholas Asher - unknown
    1: Linguistic and Epistemological Background 1 . 1 : Generic Reference vs. Generic Predication 1 . 2 : Why are there any Generic Sentences at all? 1 . 3 : Generics and Exceptions, Two Bad Attitudes 1 . 4 : Exceptions and Generics, Some Other Attitudes 1 . 5 : Generics and Intensionality 1 . 6 : Goals of an Analysis of Generic Sentences 1 . 7 : A Little Notation 1 . 8 : Generics vs. Explicit Statements of Regularities..
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  6.  76
    Belief in Discourse Representation Theory.Nicholas Asher - 1986 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 15 (2):127 - 189.
    I hope I have convinced the reader that DR theory offers at least some exciting potential when applied to the semantics of belief reports. It differs considerably from other approaches, and it makes intuitively acceptable predictions that other theories do not. The theory also provides a novel approach to the semantics of other propsitional attitude reports. Further, DR theory enables one to approach the topic of anaphora within belief and other propositional attitude contexts in a novel way, thus combining the (...)
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  7.  63
    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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  8.  89
    A Typology for Attitude Verbs and Their Anaphoric Properties.Nicholas Asher - 1987 - Linguistics and Philosophy 10 (2):125--197.
  9. 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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  10.  39
    The Metaphysics of Words in Context.Nicholas Asher & James Pustejovsky - forthcoming - Journal of Logic, Language and Information.
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  11.  70
    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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  12.  87
    A Default, Truth Conditional Semantics for the Progressive.Nicholas Asher - 1992 - Linguistics and Philosophy 15 (5):463 - 508.
  13.  87
    Ambiguity and Anaphora with Plurals in Discourse.Nicholas Asher - unknown
    We provide examples of plurals related to ambiguity and anaphora that pose problems or are counterexamples for current approaches to plurals. We then propose a dynamic semantics based on an extension of dynamic predicate logic to handle these examples. On our theory, different readings of sentences or discourses containing plurals don’t arise from a postulated ambiguity of plural terms or predicates applying to plural DPs, but follow rather from different types of dynamic transitions that manipulate inputs and outputs from formulas (...)
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  14.  51
    How Extension Al is Extensional Perception?Nicholas M. Asher & Daniel Bonevac - 1985 - Linguistics and Philosophy 8 (2):203 - 228.
  15.  76
    Things and Their Aspects.Nicholas Asher - 2006 - Philosophical Issues 16 (1):1–23.
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  16. Semantic Competence, Linguistic Understanding, and a Theory of Concepts.Nicholas M. Asher - 1988 - Philosophical Studies 53 (January):1-36.
  17.  32
    Events, Facts, Propositions, and Evolutive Anaphora.Nicholas Asher - 2000 - In Achille Varzi, James Higginbotham & Fabio Pianesi (eds.), Speaking of Events. Oxford University Press. pp. 123--150.
  18.  58
    Prima Facie Obligation.Nicholas Asher & Daniel Bonevac - 1996 - Studia Logica 57 (1):19-45.
    This paper presents a nonmonotonic deontic logic based on commonsense entailment. It establishes criteria a successful account of obligation should satisfy, and develops a theory that satisfies them. The theory includes two conditional notions of prima facie obligation. One is constitutive; the other is epistemic, and follows nonmonotonically from the constitutive notion. The paper defines unconditional notions of prima facie obligation in terms of the conditional notions.
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  19.  33
    A Logic of Intentions and Beliefs.Munindar P. Singh & Nicholas M. Asher - 1993 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 22 (5):513 - 544.
    Intentions are an important concept in Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science. We present a formal theory of intentions and beliefs based on Discourse Representation Theory that captures many of their important logical properties. Unlike possible worlds approaches, this theory does not assume that agents are perfect reasoners, and gives a realistic view of their internal architecture; unlike most representational approaches, it has an objective semantics, and does not rely on an ad hoc labeling of the internal states of agents. We (...)
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  20.  30
    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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  21.  19
    Negated Defaults in Commonsense Entailment.Nicholas Asher & Yi Mao - 2001 - Bulletin of the Section of Logic 30 (1):41-60.
  22.  50
    Situations and Events.Nicholas Asher & Daniel Bonevac - 1985 - Philosophical Studies 47 (1):57 - 77.
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  23.  70
    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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  24.  21
    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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  25.  6
    Message Exchange Games in Strategic Contexts.Nicholas Asher, Soumya Paul & Antoine Venant - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-50.
    When two people engage in a conversation, knowingly or unknowingly, they are playing a game. Players of such games have diverse objectives, or winning conditions: an applicant trying to convince her potential employer of her eligibility over that of a competitor, a prosecutor trying to convict a defendant, a politician trying to convince an electorate in a political debate, and so on. We argue that infinitary games offer a natural model for many structural characteristics of such conversations. We call such (...)
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  26.  33
    Determiners and Resource Situations.Nicholas Asher & Daniel Bonevac - 1987 - Linguistics and Philosophy 10 (4):567 - 596.
  27.  37
    Belief, Acceptance and Belief Reports.Nicholas Asher - 1989 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 19 (3):327 - 361.
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  28.  74
    Problems with Persistence.Nicholas Asher - 1994 - Topoi 13 (1):37-49.
    A fundamental question in reasoning about change is, what information does a reasoning agent infer about later times from earlier times? I will argue that reasoning about change by an agent is to be modeled in terms of the persistence of the agent''s beliefs over time rather than the persistence of truth and that such persistence is explained by pragmatic factors about how agents acquire information from other agents rather than by general principles of persistence about states of the world. (...)
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  29.  31
    A Typology and Discourse Semantics for Motion Verbs and Spatial PPs in French.Nicholas Asher & Pierre Sablayrolles - 1995 - Journal of Semantics 12 (2):163-209.
    In this paper we offer a semantic study of motion verbs and motion verb complexes determined by motion verbs and spatial prepositional phrase adjuncts. We propose a classification of motion verbs and of motion verb complexes. Unlike other semantic or syntactic studies, we build up the spatioremporal semantic properties of motion verb complexes compositionally, on the basis of the semantic properties of the verbs, their arguments and adjuncts. We show how to combine this lexical information with discourse information to determine (...)
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  30.  11
    A Computational Account of Syntactic, Semantic and Discourse Principles for Anaphora Resolution.Nicholas Asher & Hajime Wada - 1988 - Journal of Semantics 6 (1):309-344.
    We present a unified framework for the computational implementation of syntactic, semantic, pragmatic and even “stylistic” constraints on anaphora. We build on our BUILDERS implementation of Discourse Representation (DR) Theory and Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG) discussed in Wada & Asher (1986). We develop and argue for a semantically based processing model for anaphora resolution that exploits a number of desirable features: (1) the partial semantics provided by the discourse representation structures (DRSs) of DR theory, (2) the use of syntactic and (...)
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  31.  61
    Information Dependency in Quantificational Subordination.Nicholas Asher - unknown
    The purpose of this paper is to (a) show that the received view of the problem of quantificational subordination (QS) is incorrect, and that, consequently, existing solutions do not succeed in explaining the facts, and (b) provide a new account of QS. On the received view of QS within dynamic semantic frameworks, determiners treated as universal quantifiers (henceforth universal determiners) such as all, every, and each behave as barriers to inter-sentential anaphora yet allow anaphoric accessibility in a number of situations. (...)
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  32.  17
    A Large View of Linguistic Content.Nicholas Asher - 2007 - Pragmatics and Cognitionpragmatics and Cognition 15 (1):17-39.
    This essay lays out a view of linguistic content in which discourse context plays an essential role. It provides a role for sentential content by using underspecification but argues that discourse level phenomena are essential not only to determining content but even grammaticality judgments in certain cases. It is thus argued that the traditional view which separates very strictly the areas of semantics — a context insensitive notion of meaning — and pragmatics — a non linguistic notion of speaker meaning (...)
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  33.  61
    Modality, Morality, and Belief: Essays in Honor of Ruth Barcan Marcus.Ruth Barcan Marcus, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Diana Raffman & Nicholas Asher (eds.) - 1995 - Cambridge University Press.
    Modality, morality and belief are among the most controversial topics in philosophy today, and few philosophers have shaped these debates as deeply as Ruth Barcan Marcus. Inspired by her work, a distinguished group of philosophers explore these issues, refine and sharpen arguments and develop new positions on such topics as possible worlds, moral dilemmas, essentialism, and the explanation of actions by beliefs. This 'state of the art' collection honours one of the most rigorous and iconoclastic of philosophical pioneers.
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  34.  55
    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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  35.  12
    Negative Bias in Polar Questions.Nicholas Asher & Brian Reese - 2005 - In Emar Maier, Corien Bary & Janneke Huitink (eds.), Proceedings of Sub9. pp. 30--43.
  36. 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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  37.  39
    Common Ground, Corrections, and Coordination.Nicholas Asher & Anthony Gillies - 2003 - Argumentation 17 (4):481-512.
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  38.  16
    Context in Content Composition.Nicholas Asher - 2012 - In Ruth M. Kempson, Tim Fernando & Nicholas Asher (eds.), Philosophy of Linguistics. North Holland. pp. 229.
  39.  16
    Bridging.Asher Nicholas & Lascarides Alex - 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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  40.  9
    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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  41.  11
    Discourse Representation Theory and Belief Dynamics.Nicholas Asher - 1991 - In André Fuhrmann & Michael Morreau (eds.), The Logic of Theory Change. Springer. pp. 282--321.
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  42.  4
    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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  43.  24
    The Trouble with Extensional Semantics.Nicholas Asher - 1985 - Philosophical Studies 47 (1):1 - 14.
  44.  6
    Temporal Modification.Nicholas Asher - 2013 - In Kasia M. Jaszczolt & Louis de Saussure (eds.), Time: Language, Cognition & Reality. Oxford University Press. pp. 1--15.
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  45.  16
    Meanings Don't Grow on Trees.Nicholas Asher - 1984 - Journal of Semantics 3 (3):229-247.
    In “Meanings don't grow on Trees” I investigate Lewis's proposal for using syntactical information to distinguish between intensions. Lewis's proposal, if it succeeds, would eliminate certain deficiencies in the predictions made by possible world semantics concerning synonymy. I provide two criteria for judging semantic theories: descriptive adequacy and explanatory adequacy. I argue that Lewis's proposal concerning synonymy fails on both counts. I then offer a different approach to problems with synonymy. Synonymy judgments involve two different kinds of meaning: truth conditional (...)
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  46.  5
    Aspectual Coercions in Content Composition.Nicholas Asher & Julie Hunter - 2012 - In L. Filipovic & K. M. Jaszczolt (eds.), Space and Time in Languages and Cultures: Language, Culture, and Cognition. John Benjamins. pp. 55.
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  47.  1
    Realism, Meaning and Truth.Nicholas Asher & Crispin Wright - 1991 - Philosophical Review 100 (1):107.
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  48.  3
    15 Metaphor in Discourse.Nicholas Asher & Alex Lascarides - 2001 - In Pierrette Bouillon & Federica Busa (eds.), The Language of Word Meaning. Cambridge University Press. pp. 262.
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  49.  1
    The Knower's Paradox and Representational Theories of Attitudes.William J. Rapaport, Nicholas M. Asher & Johan A. W. Kamp - 1988 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 53 (2):666.
  50.  1
    Selectional Restrictions, Types and Categories.Nicholas Asher - 2014 - Journal of Applied Logic 12 (1):75-87.
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