Paper: Temporal Ontology In Natural Language

ACL ID P87-1001
Title Temporal Ontology In Natural Language
Venue Annual Meeting of the Association of Computational Linguistics
Session Main Conference
Year 1987
  • Marc Moens (University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh UK)
  • Mark Steedman (University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh UK; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA)

A semantics of linguistic categories like tense, aspect, and cer- tain temporal adverbials, and a theory of their use in defining the temporal relations of events, both require a more complex structure on the domain underlying the meaning representa- tions than is commonly assumed. The paper proposes an ontology based on such notions as causation and consequence, rather than on purely temporal primitives. We claim that any manageable logic or other formal system for natural language temporal descriptions will have to embody such an ontology, as will any usable temporal database for knowledge about events which is to be interrogated using natural language.