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Authors: Hamm, Fritz
Kamp, Hans
Solstad, Torgrim
Title: Disambiguation and reambiguation
Issue Date: 2009 Arbeitspapier
Series/Report no.: SinSpeC - Working Papers of the SFB 732 "Incremental Specification in Context";6
Abstract: The papers in this volume developed as part of the two projects "The Role of Lexical Information in the Context of Word-formation, Sentence and Discourse" and the project "Representation of Ambiguities and their Resolution in Context". In the former, a theory of "-ung"-nominalisation in German has been developed. The two papers presented in this volume focus on the second part of the joint enterprise of the two projects, namely on disambiguation of "-ung"-nouns in context. Hamm and Kamp study a proto-typical example, "die Absperrung der Botschaft" "the cordoning-off of the embassy", which is three-way ambiguous. This DP can denote a material object (the fence used for cordoning-off), an event (the process of cordoning-off) or a result state (the embassy being cordoned off). Formally, this three-way ambiguity is represented by an underspecified DRS. The paper contributes a partial answer to the general question which contextual factors are responsible for the (partial) disambiguation of this DP in discourse. The disambiguation process is described on the level of DRT. Building on the results in the first paper, the second paper by Hamm and Solstad focuses on problems that arise in anaphora resolution of pronouns with ambiguous nouns like "die Absperrung der Botschaft" as antecedent. What happens if the selection restriction of the verb in the antecedent sentence and that of the consequent sentence are incompatible? This situation is exemplified in (1): (1) Die Absperrung der Botschaft wurde vorgestern von Demonstranten behindert. Wegen anhaltender Unruhen wird SIE auch heute aufrecht erhalten. "The cordoning-off of the embassy was hampered by protesters the day before yesterday. Due to continuing unrest, it [the state of being cordoned off] is sustained today as well." "Behindern" "to hamper" filters out both the entity-reading and the result state reading of "Absperrung", but the verb "aufrecht erhalten" "to sustain" requires the result state as its argument. Thus, in order for the anaphoric pronoun 'sie' to be resolved successfully, the first sentence should provide a result state which, however, is not available, if the result state reading has been erased. Hamm and Solstad show that the required result state can be reconstructed - even under the assumption that "behindern" erases the result state reading of the first sentence in (1). This is achieved in a process of "reambiguation". Reambiguation involves a non-monotonic inference process. The question arise what triggers this process and what its restrictions are. Hamm and Solstad provide formally precise answers to these questions. Again a combination of UDRT and the event calculus provide the framework where these puzzles can be solved.
Appears in Collections:05 Fakultät Informatik, Elektrotechnik und Informationstechnik

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