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A Computational Approach to the Interpretation of Indirect Speech Acts

By R.J. Beun, R.M. van Eijk, J-J.Ch. Meyer and N.L. Vergunst


An Indirect Speech Act (ISA) is an utterance that conveys a message that is different from its literal meaning, often for\ud reasons of politeness or subtlety. The DenK-system provides us with a non-compositional way to look at Indirect Speech Acts\ud that contain modal verbs. We can extract the non-literal meaning from these Indirect Speech Acts without having to consider\ud the meaning of the modal verbs themselves. The system uses a special ‘verb-construction’ to model the composition of the\ud ISA w.r.t. modal verbs, subject of the sentence, attitude or communicative verbs and the sentence-type. It then makes use of a\ud collection of speech act assignment tables to look up the intended meaning of the ISA

Topics: Wiskunde en Informatica, natural language processing, indirect speech acts, modal verbs, human-computer dialogue
Year: 2006
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