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Comparatives

Stephen Pulman ( OUCL )

Comparatives (this talk presupposes no linguistics background). Abstract: The literature in formal linguistic semantics contains a wealth of fine grained and detailed analyses of many linguistic phenomena. But very little of this work has found its way into implementations, despite a widespread feeling (among linguists at least) that this can't be very difficult in principle: you just fix a grammar to produce the right logical forms and hook them up to a theorem prover, don't you? In this talk I take a representative analysis of adjectival comparatives and ask what steps one might actually have to go through so as to use this analysis in a realistic setting. I then try to identify some general conclusions that can be drawn from this exercise. I will start with a brief overview of current practice in formal and computational semantics for natural language for a general audience.

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