Utterance and Objective: Issues in Natural Language Communication
Technical note no. 188R
STANFORD RESEARCH INST MENLO PARK CA
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Two premises, reflected in the title underlie the perspective from which I will consider research in natural language processing in this paper. First, progress on building computer systems that process natural languages in any meaningful sense i.e., systems that interact reasonably with people in natural language requires considering language as part of a larger communicative situation In this larger situation, the participants in a conversation and their states of mind are as important to the interpretation of an utterance as the linguistic expressions from which it is formed. A central concern when language is considered as communication is its function in building and using shared models of the world. Indeed, the notion of a shared model is inherent in the word communicate which is derived from the Latin communicare, to make common.