Logical Form and Knowledge Representation: Towards a Reconciliation

Enrico Franconi

This paper arguments - unlike (Allen 1993) - in favor of a logical ]orrn as a basis for semantic interpretation in natural language processing. To this purpose, a knowledge representation formalism that fully paxallels the logical form is introduced - allowing for both underspecified semantic representations and encapsulation of contextual knowledge in the form of meaning postulates. In this way, the gap between researchers in computational linguistics - interested in expressiveness and in computing explicit derivations - and re-searchers in knowledge representation - interested in devising rigorous logic-based representations with robust and complete computational properties - can be filled. This paper tries to give an answer to most of the problems presented by (Allen 1993). As a matter facts, the approach advocated here is exactly along the lines indicated by Allen. However, Allen’s conclusions were in the direction of forgetting about logical forms, and of representing the literal and contextual meanings of utterances in a suitable NL-oriented knowledge representation formalism. I will show how such a formalism can be directly designed starting from logical forms. This paper does not examine the technical aspects of the devised knowledge representation - the reader should refer to the cited bibliography. The scope is only to demonstrate how it is possible to justify such a knowledge representation.

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