Understanding Natural Language Instructions: Impact on Representation Formalisms

Barbara Di Eugenio

In this paper, I discuss a formalism that I devised and implemented to deal with complex instructions, in particular those containing Purpose Clauses. I argue that such formalism supports inferences that are an important pragmatic aspect of natural language, and that at the same time are related to surface reasoning, based on the syntactic structure of Natural Language; and moreover, that by using the kind of approach I propose, namely, first define linguistic terms and then use them in the part of the KB concerning the semantics of the domain, we can start bridging the gap between the two representation languages that the organizers of the symposium mention, the first used to capture the semantics of a sentence, the second used to capture general knowledge about the domain.

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