Technical Report LCL9801

Title: Bilattices and the Semantics of Natural Language Questions
Authors: Rani Nelken and Nissim Francez
Abstract: We propose a novel semantic theory of NL questions in a Montogovian framework. This theory is composed of a compositional translation method into a formal logical meaning representation language, and a model-theoretic interpretation of this language. The main innovation is in the interpretation of type t as a bilattice, instead of the traditional boolean interpretation. This novel account is shown to satisfy a set of adequacy criteria imposed on the semantics of questions by (Groenendijk and Stokhof 1997), while being simpler than existing accounts. It provides a straightforward analysis of complex questions including coordinated questions, combined indicative and interrogative sentences, quantifying into questions, and functional questions.
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