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Ontology and Formal Semantics - Integration Overdue

Saba, Walid (2007) Ontology and Formal Semantics - Integration Overdue. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In this note we suggest that difficulties encountered in natural language semantics are, for the most part, due to the use of mere symbol manipulation systems that are devoid of any content. In such systems, where there is hardly any link with our common-sense view of the world, and it is quite difficult to envision how one can formally account for the considerable amount of content that is often implicit, but almost never explicitly stated in our everyday discourse. The solution, in our opinion, is a compositional semantics grounded in an ontology that reflects our commonsense view of the world and the way we talk about it in ordinary language. In the compositional logic we envision there are ontological (or first-intension) concepts, and logical (or second-intension) concepts, and where the ontological concepts include not only Davidsonian events, but other abstract objects as well (e.g., states, processes, properties, activities, attributes, etc.) It will be demonstrated here that in such a framework, a number of challenges in the semantics of natural language (e.g., metonymy, intensionality, metaphor, etc.) can be properly and uniformly addressed.

Item Type:Other
Keywords:Ontology, Compositional Semantics
Subjects:Linguistics > Computational Linguistics
Linguistics > Semantics
Computer Science > Artificial Intelligence
ID Code:5876
Deposited By:Saba, Walid
Deposited On:19 Dec 2007 03:04
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:57

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