Paper: Interpreting Vague Utterances In Context

ACL ID C04-1181
Title Interpreting Vague Utterances In Context
Venue International Conference on Computational Linguistics
Session Main Conference
Year 2004

We use the interpretation of vague scalar predi- cates like small as an illustration of how system- atic semantic models of dialogue context en- able the derivation of useful, fine-grained utter- ance interpretations from radically underspeci- fied semantic forms. Because dialogue context suffices to determine salient alternative scales and relevant distinctions along these scales, we can infer implicit standards of comparison for vague scalar predicates through completely general pragmatics, yet closely constrain the in- tended meaning to within a natural range.