The Problem of Reference – David McAllester (Toyota Technical Institute)
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This talk will present an approach to the semantics of natural language focusing on the problem of reference. Phrases of natural language refer to things in the world such as “Obama”, “Air Force One”, “the disappeared Malaysian airliner” or “the annexation of Crimea”. Sampled sentences will be used to argue that resolving reference is essential to any treatment of semantics. The discussion of natural language semantics will include both philosophical considerations, such as the notion of “a thing in the world” and the problem of grounding, as well as concrete engineering problems such as achieving good performance on the CoNLL 2012 shared task coreference evaluation. A new grammar formalism for modeling reference — entity grammars — will also be presented.
All PRELIM Seminars will be held in Room S9, 1st Floor.