Talking about Time: Temporal Reasoning as a Problem of Natural Language

Lucja Iwanska

A new, natural-langauge style temporal reasoner capable of representing and reasoning with many previously unaccounted aspects of information conveyed by English temporal expressions, including information from arbitrary Boolean temporal expressions involving explicit and, or, not at different syntactic levels, temporal quantifiers and infinite number of temporal relations, is presented. The paper demonstrates that important inferences about time can be captured by a general reasoning mechanism inherent to natural language, many aspects of which are mimicked by the proposed model of natural language. Interaction of language-inherent and time-specific computation is discussed.

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