Advertisement

Principle-Based Interpretation of Natural Language Quantifiers

  • Samuel S. Epstein
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP, volume 44)

Abstract

The interpretation of quantifiers is one of the central problems of natural language understanding. Quantifiers include expressions such as everyone, many students, and the professor that skates. Given a suitably general notion of ‘quantifier’, few natural language sentences contain no quantifiers. On some accounts, all natural language sentences contain quantifiers. This chapter describes a working prototype, called QSB (Quantifier Scopes and Bindings), that determines possible relative quantifier scopes and pronoun bindings for natural language sentences, with coverage of a variety of problematic cases.1

Keywords

Noun Phrase Relative Clause Landing Site Plural Pronoun Natural Language Sentence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aoun, J. and A. Li: to appear, The Syntax of Scope, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  2. Aoun, J. and S. Epstein: 1988, ‘Relative Quantifier Scope’, paper presented at CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, City University of New York, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Barwise, J.: 1986, Noun Phrases, Generalized Quantifiers, and Anaphora Report number CSLI-86-52, CSLI, Stanford University, Stanford, California.Google Scholar
  4. Barton, E., R. Berwick, and E. Ristad: 1987, Computational Complexity and Natural Language, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  5. Berwick, R.: 1987, 1991 forthcoming, ‘Principle-Based Parsing’, in T. Sells, S. Shieber, and T. Wasow (eds.), Foundational Issues in Natural Language Processing, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Also MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Technical Report Number 972, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  6. Brennan, S., M. Friedman, and C. Pollard: 1987, ‘A Centering Approach to Pronouns’, Proceedings of the 25th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, pp. 155–162.Google Scholar
  7. Chomsky, N.: 1981 Lectures on Government and Binding, Foris, Dordrecht, Holland.Google Scholar
  8. Heim, I.: 1982, The Semantics of Indefinite and Definite Noun Phrases, Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Linguistics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  9. Hintikka, J. and L. Carlson: 1979, ‘Conditionals, Generic Quantifiers, and Other Applications of Subgames’, in F. Guenthner and S. Schmidt (eds.), Formal Semantics and Pragmatics for Natural Languages, D. Reidel, Dordrecht, Holland, pp. 1–36.Google Scholar
  10. Hintikka, J. and J. Kulas: 1983, ‘Definite Descriptions in Game-Theoretical Semantics’, in J. Hintikka and J. Kulas (eds.), The Game of Language, Reidel, Dordrecht, Holland, pp. 137–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hobbs, J. and S. Shieber: 1987, ‘An Algorithm for Generating Quantifier Scopings’, Computational Linguistics, 13, 47–63.Google Scholar
  12. Johnson, M.: this volume, ‘Parsing as Deduction: The Use of Knowledge of Language’, pp. 39–64.Google Scholar
  13. Johnson, M. and E. Klein: 1986, ‘Discourse, Anaphora, and Parsing’, Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Computational Linguistics, International Committee on Computational Linguistics, pp. 669–675.Google Scholar
  14. Kamp, H.: 1981, ‘A Theory of Truth and Semantic Representation’, in J. Groenendijk, T. Janssen, and M. Stokhof (eds.), Formal Methods in the Study of Language, Part 1, Mathematisch Centrum, Amsterdam, Holland, pp. 277–322.Google Scholar
  15. Karttunen, L.: 1969, ‘Discourse Referents’, in J. McCawley (ed.), Notes From the Linguistic Underground, Academic Press, New York, pp 363–385.Google Scholar
  16. Keenan, E.: 1974, ‘The Functional Principle: Generalizing the Notion “Subject Of” ’, in M. LaGaly, R. Fox and A. Bruck (eds.), Papers from the Tenth Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, Chicago Linguistic Society, Chicago, Illinois, pp. 298–309.Google Scholar
  17. May, R.: 1977, The Grammar of Quantification, Ph.D. dissertation, MIT Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  18. May, R.: 1985, Logical Form: Its Structure and Derivation, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  19. Van Riemsdijk, H. and E. Williams: 1986, Introduction to the Theory of Grammar, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuel S. Epstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Bell Communications ResearchMorristownUSA

Personalised recommendations