In the winter of 1993-1994, essays were commissioned on the topic of ambiguity and underspecification. All papers received were subjected to a thorough review process. The present volume, comprising ten self-contained papers and an introductory chapter, is the result. Natural language is known for the ambiguity of its expressions. Whereas artificial forms of communication tend to be designed in such a way that ambiguity is reduced to a minimum, natural language is ambiguous at various 'levels' of interpretation. At a low (e.g., speech recognition) level, a signal can be ambiguous between various utterances; at a higher (semantic) level, a fully recognised utterance can be used to express various different propositions; and at an even higher (pragmatic) level, a proposition may be used for various different purposes. The present volume focuses on ambiguities of the second kind, which are sometimes called semantic ambiguities, or mostly just ambiguities, when there is no likelihood of confusion.
1. Ambiguity resolution and discourse interpretation Georgia M. Green; 2. Quantification and predication Jaap van der Does and Henk Verkuyl; 3. Monotone decreasing quantifiers in a scope-free logical form Jerry R. Hobbs; 4. Situated disambiguation with properly specified representation Hideyuki Nakashima and Yasunari Harada; 5. Resolving lexical ambiguity using a formal theory of context Sasa Buvac; 6. A compositional treatment of polysemous arguments in categorial grammar Anne-Marie Mineur and Paul Buitelaar; 7. Underspecified first order logics Hiyan Alshawi; 8. Semantic ambiguity and perceived ambiguity Massimo Poesio; 9. Towards a logic of ambiguous expressions Kees Van Deemter; 10. Co-indexing labelled DRSs to represent and reason with ambiguities Uwe Reyle.
."..an excellent volume....I hope that (by marking out the mnay conroversies spawned by these papers) I have piqued interest in the project. Without a doubt, this collection is required reading for all computational linguists, semanticists, and technically competent philosophers of language. All of the above should hurry out, buy this book, and read it; I can't wait for the debates to begin!" Peter J. Ludlow, Computational Linguistics
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