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Title:Some Aspects of Optimality in Natural Language Interpretation
Authors:Reinhard Blutner
Abstract:Some Aspects of Optimality in Natural Language Interpretation

Reinhard Blutner

Humboldt University Berlin

In a series of papers, Petra Hendriks, Helen de Hoop and Henriƫtte de

Swart have applied optimality theory (OT) to semantics. These authors

argue that there is a fundamental difference between the form of OT as

used in phonology, morphology and syntax on the one hand and its form

as used in semantics on the other hand. Whereas in the first case OT

takes the point of view of the speaker, in the second case the point

of view of the hearer is taken. The aim of this paper is to argue that

the proper treatment of OT in natural language interpretation has to

take both perspectives at the same time. A conceptual framework is

established that realizes the integration of both perspectives. It

will be argued that this framework captures the essence of the Gricean

maxims and gives a precise explication of Atlas & Levinson's (1981)

idea of balancing between informativeness and efficiency in natural

language processing. The ideas are then applied to resolve some puzzles

in natural language interpretation.
Type:Paper/tech report
Article:Version 1