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The Logical Foundations of Discourse Interpretation: A Guide to Various Possible Semantics for SDRT

By Nicholas Asher


Acentral but still unsettled question in formal theories about discourse interpretation is: What are the key theoretical structures on which discourse interpretation should depend? If we take our cue from theories that analyze the meanings of individual sentences, the meaning of the discourse's parts should determine the meaning of the whole � some sort principle of compositionality of meaning must hold at the level of discourse interpretation. So a theory of discourse interpretation must develop from an account of discourse structure. Unlike the syntactic structure of a sentence, the discourse structure of a text is not a structure studied by syntacticians or governed principally by syntactic concerns. It has to be inferred from a variety ofknowledge sources. Recent work on discourse structure in AI, philosophy and linguistics has shown that discourse structure depends on numerous information sources| compositional semantic principles, lexical semantics, pragmatic principles, and information about the speaker's and interpreter's mental states. So

Year: 1998
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