Fragments of Language
- Ian Pratt-Hartmann
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By a fragment of a natural language we mean a subset of thatlanguage equipped with semantics which translate its sentences intosome formal system such as first-order logic. The familiar conceptsof satisfiability and entailment can be defined for anysuch fragment in a natural way. The question therefore arises, for anygiven fragment of a natural language, as to the computational complexityof determining satisfiability and entailment within that fragment. Wepresent a series of fragments of English for which the satisfiabilityproblem is polynomial, NP-complete, EXPTIME-complete,NEXPTIME-complete and undecidable. Thus, this paper represents a casestudy in how to approach the problem of determining the logicalcomplexity of various natural language constructions. In addition, wedraw some general conclusions about the relationship between naturallanguage and formal logic.
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- Fragments of Language
Journal of Logic, Language and Information
Volume 13, Issue 2 , pp 207-223
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- computational complexity
- decidable fragments
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Computer Science, University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, U.K.