Accession Number : ADA259714

Title :   A Unified Abductive Treatment of the Intentional and Informational Aspects of Discourse Interpretation: A Preliminary Report


Personal Author(s) : Hobbs, Jerry R

Full Text :

Report Date : Jan 1992

Pagination or Media Count : 15

Abstract : The problem of interpreting discourse has been subsumed under the general problem faced by intelligent agents of interpreting the situation they are in by explaining the observable facts. The possibility of interpreting an event as the saying by an intelligent agent of a meaningful stretch of discourse is given by an axiom-axiom (18). The ways in which a stretch of discourse can be analyzed into its parts are given by axioms-axioms (16) and (17) and the axioms defining coherence relations, two of which are given in IA, Section 6.2. This analysis takes us down to the level of sentences. Then the ways in which a string of words can be analyzed as a sentence are given in axioms-axioms like (13) and the axioms in IA, Section 6.1. The antecedents of these axioms specify the predicate-argument relations encoded in the syntactic structures and require us to explain the propositional content of the sentence, using the background knowledge that is shared with the speaker. Meanwhile, the saying of this stretch of discourse can be related to the speaker's plan by using axioms (1) and (2), together with axioms stating what sorts of things cause and enable other sorts of things, to see the saying event as a subgoal of some other goal, and that as the subgoal of another goal, and so on, until a link with the speaker's presumed goals is achieved. Many of these causal axioms, including axioms (7) and (8), specify the relations between communicative acts and the speaker's and hearer's mental states, which as been the focus in research on planning speech acts. All of these axioms are expressed in a uniform fashion and used by a single process- abductive inference.


Subject Categories : Linguistics
      Voice Communications

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE