A Formal Interpretation of Relations and Quantification in HPSG

Frank Richter, Manfred Sailer, Gerald Penn

In: Gosse Bouma, Geert-Jan M. Kruijff and Richard T. Oehrle (Eds.), Proceedings of the FHCG-98, Saarbrücken (Germany), August 1998, pp. 268-278

The task of this paper is threefold:

First, by quoting examples from (Pollard and Sag 94) and others, we intend to bring to the reader's attention that an adequate formal language for HPSG grammars not only needs a means to express true relations and true negation, but also explicit quantification over substructures.

Second, we define a formal language, RSRL, that provides these means and has the linguistically desired kinds of models, namely exhaustive models.

Third, we point to some potential mismatches between the apparent intended use of feature-based languages in current HPSG theory and computational considerations for languages underlying practical systems. We claim that, for HPSG, conceived of as a theory of language rather than as a theory of parsing, RSRL is the formal language which is by far the closest to the language implicitly used by most HPSG linguists.

A substantially revised and extended version of this paper is going to appear in Gosse Bouma, Erhard Hinrichs, Geert-Jan M. Kruijff, and Richard T. Oehrle (eds): Constraints and Resources in Natural Language Syntax and Semantics. CSLI Publications. Until publication, it is available here.

Bibtex entry:

          author    = {Frank Richter and Manfred Sailer and Gerald Penn},
          title     = {A Formal Interpretation of Relations and 
                       Quantification in {HPSG}},
          booktitle = {Proceedings of the {\it FHCG-98},
                       14--16 August 1998, Saarbr\"ucken},
          editor    = {Bouma, Gosse and Kruijff, Geert-Jan M. and 
                       Oehrle, Richard T.},
          pages     = {268--278},
          year      = {1998}

Frank Richter
Last modified: Fri Apr 9 14:00:42 MET DST 1999