On the semantics of temporal adjuncts

Ness Schelkens (K.U.Leuven)
Sven Verdoolaege (K.U.Leuven)
Frank Van Eynde (K.U.Leuven)

In our talk, we would like to present some work conducted in the
framework of Linguaduct, a project on the temporal interpretation of
texts by making use of abductive reasoning.

Next to verbs, adjuncts are the most important source of information about the temporal properties of the eventualities that are being described in a text. We will show how a DRT-style semantic analysis of temporal adjuncts, involving concepts like `eventuality', `location time' and `temporal perspective', can be introduced in standard HPSG lexical representations, thus achieving a closer correspondence between text and semantic representation than in standard DRT. A second important aspect of our approach is the use of fine-grained semantic decomposition, which, as will be illustrated, enables the representations to become the subject of abductive reasoning and combination with general world knowledge.

The technical details of how these representations are put to actual use will be explained in the talk proposed by Sven Verdoolaege et al..