Representing and reasoning with events from natural language
Linguistic categories such as progressives, perfectives, tense and temporal adverbials are at the heart of our ability to describe events in natural language. Following on from the work of Moens and Steedman and the later work of Kent, we have identified a fragment of an interval tense logic of Halpern and Shoham that is expressive enough to represent the temporal readings of many simple sentences involving the linguistic categories listed above, and computable enough for entailment checking to be manageable in a reasonable time scale. We show how one can model the semantics of formulae from the fragment using simple timelines and how one can support entailment checking by comparing timelines using a simple algorithm.
Keywordstemporal reasoning natural language understanding
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.James Allen. Towards a general theory of action and time. Artificial Intelligence, 23(2):123–154, 1984.Google Scholar
- 2.James Allen and George Ferguson. Actions and events in interval temporal logic. Technical Report 521, University of Rochester, 1994.Google Scholar
- 3.Joseph Halpern and Yoav Shoham. A propositional modal logic of time intervals. In Proceedings of Symposium on Logic in Computer Science, pages 279–292, Cambridge, Massachusetts, June 16–18, 1986.Google Scholar
- 4.Stuart Kent. Modelling Events from Natural Language. PhD thesis, Imperial College, London, 1993.Google Scholar
- 5.Alex Lascarides. A Formal Semantic Theory of the Progressive. PhD thesis, University of Edinburgh, 1988.Google Scholar
- 6.Marc Moens. Tense, Aspect and Temporal Reference. PhD thesis, University of Edinburgh, 1987.Google Scholar
- 7.Marc Moens and Mark Steedman. Temporal ontology and temporal reference. Computational Linguistics 14, pages 15–28, 1988.Google Scholar
- 8.Yde Venema. Expressiveness and completeness of an interval tense logic. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 31(4):529–547, 1990.Google Scholar
- 9.Henk Verkuyl. A theory of aspectuality. Cambridge University Press, 1993.Google Scholar