From: Tillmann Pross <tillmann.prossphilo.uni-stuttgart.de>
Subject: Grounded Discourse Representation Theory: Towards a semantics-pragmatics interface for human-machine collaboration
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Institution: Universität Stuttgart
Program: Institute for Natural Language Processing
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2009
Author: Tillmann Pross
Dissertation Title: Grounded Discourse Representation Theory: Towards a semantics-pragmatics interface for human-machine collaboration
Dissertation URL: http://elib.uni-stuttgart.de/opus/volltexte/2010/5096/
This study introduces Grounded Discourse Representation Theory
(GDRT), a formalism for the semantics-pragmatics interface of a robot
in the framework of goal-oriented human-machine collaboration. The
theory of GDRT as developed in this thesis aims at a uniform
processing of speech, thought and action, of object recognition, motor
control and natural language meaning, of semantics and pragmatics.
Developing a formalism that enables a robot to naturally engage in joint
interaction is a demanding enterprise which combines major problems
from areas such as computer science, linguistics, robotics, logics,
psychology and philosophy. The prominent aspect highlighted in this
thesis is that the combination of insights from research in these
different areas leads to a revised and novel picture of the standard
conceptions of meaning, reference and model theory.
From a technical point of view, GDRT embeds the established
formalism of Discourse Representation Theory (DRT) into a system of
Computational Tree Logic and the Procedural Reasoning System. The
main technical innovations of GDRT are the consequent use of
anchors to model the referential relations between semantic
representations, planning and reality and the introduction of a
normative account of pragmatic interpretation to the framework of truth-
conditional formal semantics. The definition of an interface between
action theory (pragmatics) and natural language (semantics) as
proposed with GDRT allows for the elegant treatment of phenomena
which constitute the core concepts underlying the intentional use of
language: propositional attitudes, planning and practical reason.
This thesis can also be understood as an attempt to break the ground
for other areas of application to DRT (in the sense of a 'language of
thought' that fills in the gap between linguistics and robotics) without
loss of the ability to process the wide range of natural language
phenomena DRT has been designed for.
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