Logics of Conversation
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Logics of Conversation

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Description

People often mean more than they say. Grammar on its own is typically insufficient for determining the full meaning of an utterance; the assumption that the discourse is coherent or 'makes sense' has an important role to play in determining meaning as well. Logics of Conversation presents a dynamic semantic framework called Segmented Discourse Representation Theory, or SDRT, where this interaction between discourse coherence and discourse interpretation is explored in a logically precise manner. Combining ideas from dynamic semantics, commonsense reasoning and speech act theory, SDRT uses its analysis of rhetorical relations to capture intuitively compelling implicatures. It provides a computable method for constructing these logical forms and is one of the most formally precise and linguistically grounded accounts of discourse interpretation currently available. The book will be of interest to researchers and students in linguistics and in philosophy of language.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 552 pages
  • 160 x 238.8 x 33mm | 771.12g
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 23 figures
  • 0521659515
  • 9780521659512
  • 1,070,755

Review quote

'This study presents a dynamic semantic framework called Segmented Discourse Representation Theory ... where the interaction between discourse coherence and discourse interpretation is explored in a logically precise manner.' Studia Logica

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About Nicholas Asher

Nicholas Asher is Professor of Philosophy and of Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests include formal semantics and pragmatics, discourse processing and various topics in philosophical logic. He has published over eighty articles and is the author of Reference to Abstract Objects in Discourse (1993). Alex Lascarides is Reader in the Division of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. Her research interests include theoretical and computational linguistics, particularly semantics, pragmatics and discourse processing. She has published over forty research articles.

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Table of contents

Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. Motivations; 2. Semantic models of discourse interpretation; 3. Pragmatic models of discourse interpretation; 4. The logical form of discourse; 5. Building logical forms for discourse; 6. The lexicon and discourse structure; 7. Discourse relations for dialogue; 8. Disputes in dialogue; 9. Cognitive modelling; 10. Some concluding remarks: A. Objections and replies; B. Notation index; C. The semantics of DRT; D. Glossary of discourse relations; E. Summary of discourse update; F. Some proofs in the glue logic; References; Indexes.

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