Research on Language and Computation

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 281-332

First online:

Minimal Recursion Semantics: An Introduction

  • Ann CopestakeAffiliated withComputer Laboratory, University of Cambridge Email author 
  • , Dan FlickingerAffiliated withCSLI, Stanford UniversityLinguistics Institute, University of Oslo
  • , Carl PollardAffiliated withLinguistics Department, Ohio State University
  • , Ivan A. SagAffiliated withDepartment of Linguistics, Stanford University

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Minimal recursion semantics (MRS) is a framework for computational semantics that is suitable for parsing and generation and that can be implemented in typed feature structure formalisms. We discuss why, in general, a semantic representation with minimal structure is desirable and illustrate how a descriptively adequate representation with a nonrecursive structure may be achieved. MRS enables a simple formulation of the grammatical constraints on lexical and phrasal semantics, including the principles of semantic composition. We have integrated MRS with a broad-coverage HPSG grammar.


computational semantics flat semantics semantic composition grammar implementation