Indefinite Noun Phrases and the Limits of Logic

  • Russell Block
Part of the Informatik-Fachberichte book series (INFORMATIK, volume 181)


This paper explores the posssibilities of using logical quantifiers and operators to limit the accessibility of indefinite NPs for pronominalization. After briefly motivating the desirability of using purely formal, rather than knowledge-based criteria for proform resolution and generation, where possible, and reviewing a successful attempt in this direction, it systematically examines the behavior of indefinite singular NPs in the scope of a logical operator. The finding is that purely formal criteria do not suffice here, that instead a system of syntactic and semantic features is necessary and that a determination of these features must be knowledge based in crucial cases. Finally the static and dynamic knowledge sources of the natural language system WISBER are presented.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Russell Block
    • 1
  1. 1.WISBER - Project University of HamburgHamburg 36Germany

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