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Solt S.,Zentrum fur Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Journal of Semantics | Year: 2015

The adjectives of quantity (Q-adjectives) many, few, much and little stand out from other quantity expressions on account of their syntactic flexibility, occurring in positions that could be called quantificational (many students attended), predicative (John's friends were many), attributive (the many students), differential (much more than a liter) and adverbial (slept too much). This broad distribution poses a challenge for the two leading theories of this class, which treat them as either quantifying determiners or predicates over individuals. This article develops an analysis of Q-adjectives as gradable predicates of sets of degrees or (equivalently) gradable quantifiers over degrees. It is shown that this proposal allows a unified analysis of these items across the positions in which they occur, while also overcoming several issues facing competing accounts, among others the divergences between Q-adjectives and 'ordinary' adjectives, the operator-like behavior of few and little, and the use of much as a dummy element. Overall the findings point to the central role of degrees in the semantics of quantity. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Source

Mayr C.,Zentrum fur Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Journal of Semantics | Year: 2014

By discussing a novel paradigm, it is shown that the likeliness of an operator to trigger an intervention effect in a wh-in-situ question is determined by the logical properties of that operator (contra Beck 1996a, 2006, for instance). A new empirical generalization accounting for the differences between operators in their ability to cause intervention and improving on existing analyses is suggested. This generalization is fully predictive and allows one to not have to list in the lexicon whether an intervener is problematic or not. It is implemented as a formal condition on wh-questions in a version of Hamblin 1973's/Karttunen 1977's question semantics that makes crucial use of Chierchia 2006's domain alternatives. © The Author 2013. Source

Nouwen R.,University Utrecht | Van Rooij R.,University of Amsterdam | Sauerland U.,Zentrum fur Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft | Schmitz H.-C.,Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2011

One could define vagueness as the existence of borderline cases and characterise the philosophical debate on vagueness as being about the nature of these. The prevalent theories of vagueness can be divided into three categories, paralleling three logical interpretations of borderline cases: (i) a borderline case is a case of a truth-value gap; it is neither true nor false; (ii) a borderline case is a case of a truth-value glut; it is both true and false; and (iii) a borderline case is a case where the truth-value is non-classical. The third of these is proposed in the fuzzy logic approach to vagueness. Three-valued approaches have only as a value in addition to the standard values 1 and 0. These approaches can be interpreted either as allowing for gaps or gluts, depending on how the notion of satisfaction or truth is defined. If a sentence is taken to be true only if its value is 1, it allows for gaps, but if it is taken to be true already if its value is at least it allows for gluts. The most popular theories advertising gluts and gaps, however, are supervaluationism and subvaluationism, both of which make use of the notion of precisifications, that is, ways of making things precise. Truth-value gaps in supervaluationism are due to the way truth simpliciter, or supertruth, is defined: A proposition is supertrue (superfalse) if it is true (false) at all precisifications. This means that a proposition can be neither true nor false in case there exist two precisifications, one of which make it true and one of which makes it false. Conversely, in subvaluation theory, the same scenario would lead to a truth-value glut. That is, the proposition would be both true and false. This is because subvaluationism defines truth simpliciter as being true at some precisifcation. © 2011 Springer-Verlag. Source

The paper presents analyses and first conclusions on the acquisition of the discourse structuring function of personal and demonstrative pronouns (er, sie, es vs. der, die, das). Additionally, it is investigated what kind of difficulties children with specific language impairment (SLI) experience in this domain. Therefore, the production of the two pronoun types in a child with SLI was compared to the data from normally developing two- and five-year-old children. Results show that normally developing children start to differentiate the anaphoric function of both the personal and the demonstrative pronoun during their third year of life. However, the demonstrative pronoun is used as a default then. At age five the function of the personal pronoun, i.e. continuation of the topic, is well established. On the contrary, the child with SLI does not produce personal pronouns in its third year of life. At age five, production of personal pronouns quantitatively reaches the level found in normally developing two-year-old children. The demonstrative pronoun replaces other pronouns. However, the acquisition of the discourse function of personal pronouns is more developed in the five-year-old SLI-child than in the two-year-old controls, though target anaphoric use of personal pronouns only appears in main clauses. Source

Bertomeu Castello N.,Zentrum fur Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Communications in Computer and Information Science | Year: 2012

This paper presents an approach for finding optimal presentation sequences in conversational Recommender Systems. The strategies simultaneously pursuit the goals of acquainting the user with the different possibilities, successfully accomplishing the task in the shortest possible time, and obtaining an accurate user model. The approach is modeled as an MDP where the states include belief states about the acceptability of the different alternatives, modeled as Bayesian networks. © 2012 Springer-Verlag. Source

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