Modeling the Dynamic Effects of Discourse: Principles and Frameworks

Maxime Amblard 1 Sylvain Pogodalla 1
1 SEMAGRAMME - Semantic Analysis of Natural Language
Inria Nancy - Grand Est, LORIA - NLPKD - Department of Natural Language Processing & Knowledge Discovery
Abstract : When studying the meaning of natural language expressions, sentence level provides a natural entry point. Its relevance of course depends on the focus we want to put on the meaning: as related to thought, to communication, to truth, etc. In this paper, we concentrate on the model theoretic view on meaning, in particular via first order logic representation. More specifically, we present phenomena that illustrate the challenges raised by discourse to truth-conditional semantics and compositionality. We show that proposals to address theses challenges rely on the additional device of contexts and on the way sentences can access and modify these contexts. This capability is usually referred to as the context change potential of a sentence. Depending on the phenomenon, the contexts need to represent different kinds of information: propositions, discourse referents, and variations on these elements. We also show that taking into account the rhetorical structure of discourse leads to even richer structuring of the context. Parallel to the presentation of the phenomena, we concentrate on formalisms giving an account of the dynamics of discourse. We introduce the well established formalisms of Discourse Representation Theory (DRT) Dynamic Predicate Logic (DPL) , and the more recently developed approach based on continuation semantics. Finally, we introduce Segmented Discourse Representation Theory (SDRT) that combines the effects of dynamics and discourse structure.
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Maxime Amblard, Sylvain Pogodalla. Modeling the Dynamic Effects of Discourse: Principles and Frameworks. Manuel Rebuschi and Martine Batt and Gerhard Heinzmann and Franck Lihoreau and Michel Musiol and Alain Trognon. Dialogue, Rationality, and Formalism, 3, Springer, pp.247-282, 2014, Interdisciplinary Works in Logic, Epistemology, Psychology and Linguistics. Logic, Argumentation & Reasoning, 978-3-319-03043-2. ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-03044-9_12⟩. ⟨hal-00737765⟩

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