LINGUIST List 6.390

Sun 19 Mar 1995

FYI: New WWW server, Comp. Semantics, News from IPPE

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Caroline Heycock, New WWW server at the University of Edinburgh
  2. , FRACAS project (Computational Semantics) - Deliverables, WWW Home Page
  3. , News from the IPPE (08 Mar 95)

Message 1: New WWW server at the University of Edinburgh

Date: Tue, 7 Mar 95 09:46:04 GMTNew WWW server at the University of Edinburgh
From: Caroline Heycock <>
Subject: New WWW server at the University of Edinburgh

The Linguistics Department at the University of Edinburgh now has a www
server. The URL is

Information is available about the department, about staff and student
research interests, ongoing projects, undergraduate and graduate study.
There are also links to our anonymous ftp server, where various research
papers are available on-line, and to other related departments and
centres at the University of Edinburgh.

 --Caroline Heycock
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Message 2: FRACAS project (Computational Semantics) - Deliverables, WWW Home Page

Date: Thu, 9 Mar 95 17:21:28 GMTFRACAS project (Computational Semantics) - Deliverables, WWW Home Page
From: <>
Subject: FRACAS project (Computational Semantics) - Deliverables, WWW Home Page

We would like to announce the World Wide Web page of the FRACAS Project,
at URL:

FRACAS - A FRAmework for ComputAtional Semantics - is a two-year, LRE-funded
project studying theories of semantic interpretation and their application in
natural language processing. The participants in the project are CWI Amsterdam,
SRI Cambridge, and the Universities of Edinburgh, Saarbruecken, and
Stuttgart. The deliverables produced in the first year of the project are
available: from our WWW site; by ftp at, directory
pub/FRACAS; or by sending mail to (A list of the
deliverables is enclosed below.) Our WWW site includes pointers to the
deliverables, to the WWW pages of the participating sites, to other projects in
computational semantics, and to sites involved in research in natural language
processing. For more information on the FRACAS Project, contact:

 The FRACAS Project Administrator
 University of Edinburgh
 Centre for Cognitive Science
 2 Buccleuch Place
 Edinburgh EH8 9LW, Scotland, UK

 The members of the FRACAS consortium.

 Recent FRACAS deliverables

Deliverable D7, December 1994: Harmonizing the Approaches

 Our preliminary work towards harmonizing the approaches to semantics that are
studied in FRACAS has led, on the one hand, to the compilation of a list of
basic linguistic phenomena that a semantic theory has to account for;
this list has been used to arrive at the in-depth comparison among the semantic
theories under study presented in Deliverable 8. On the other hand, we
identified a set of basic semantic tools such as generalised quantifiers
theory or abstraction that all of the theories under discussion make use of,
although very often these tools are interpreted in different ways in the
theories under discussion (e.g., although all theories have a notion of
abstraction, the actual properties of the abstraction operation in these
theories differ widely). Both the list of basic linguistic phenomena and the
set of basic semantic tools are discussed in this deliverable.

We also address the issue of whether the problems that are important from a
technical point of view are also important from the point of view of Natural
Language Processing applications, by identifying a set of forms of natural
language use that one could reasonably expect an NLP system will have to deal
with, and by verifying whether the technically challenging data can be
encountered in these forms of text.


Deliverable D8, December 1994: Describing the Approaches

This deliverable contains a detailed discussion of the semantic tools
used by the five semantic theories studied in the FRACAS project -
Discourse Representation Theory, Update and Dynamic Logic, Monotonic
Semantics, Property Theory, and Situation Theory - together with a
presentation of the syntax / semantics interface adopted by each


Deliverable D9, December 1994: The State of the Art in Computational Semantics:
Evaluating the Descriptive Capabilities of Semantic Theories

In this deliverable we discuss the analyses of the linguistic phenomena
discussed in deliverables D7 proposed by the five semantic theories studied in
the FRACAS project and presented in deliverable D8.


Deliverable D10, January 1994: Evaluating The State of the Art

 In this deliverable we discuss the themes of the interface to
 semantics, underspecification, contextual reasoning, inference, and
 lexical semantics. We present a brief survey of some implemented
 systems that are based at least in part on some of the approaches to
 semantics that we have described in deliverables D8 and D9. In order
 to ground discussion of the various themes and approaches in this
 deliverable we include an annotated text ("Eurodisney") that
 illustrates the range and variety of semantic phenomena to be found
 even in the simplest newspaper article. We classify the phenomena
 illustrated by this text so as to give some idea of what is within the
 state of the art, and what areas still require a good deal of
 research. The final section amplifies this latter theme, trying to
 summarise the future directions that computational semantics might
 need to take in order to achieve some of the goals sketched out
 earlier in the document.
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Message 3: News from the IPPE (08 Mar 95)

Date: Fri, 10 Mar 95 20:10:03 +0News from the IPPE (08 Mar 95)
From: <>
Subject: News from the IPPE (08 Mar 95)

 News from the IPPE -- 7 Mar 95

 World Wide Web access redesigned
 -------------------------------- In support of the mission of the
International Philosophical Preprint Exchange to facilitate the exchange
of working papers between philosophers world-wide, Carolyn Burke of the
IPPE has recently redesigned our World Wide Web access, making it much
easier to use, and enabling philosophers to locate papers of interest to
them in the IPPE's collection with greater ease than ever before.

The IPPE's World Wide Web service supplements the previous methods of
access via Gopher, ftp, and automated email (see the end of this
newsletter for details on all these access methods).

The IPPE's WWW service is available by opening the URL using Netscape, Mosaic,
Lynx, or any other WWW browser (we recommend Netscape).

 Status Report
 ------------- The IPPE continues to enjoy a rate of access of
over 100 users per day at our main site in Japan. Additional
accesses to the many North American and European sites mirroring the
IPPE collection probably greatly exceed this number, but are difficult
to quantify.

In addition, the rate of submissions to the IPPE has climbed steeply in
recent weeks. We are delighted by this trend, and encourage all
philosophers to submit their manuscripts to the IPPE in order to benefit
from the commentary of their peers.

 Call for Volunteers
 ------------------- The IPPE seeks motivated and enthuiastic volunteers
to assist in the areas of administration, publicity, and technical
support. We especially seek persons able to carry out some or all of
the following tasks:
 - liason with the IPPE's international user population of professional
 philosophers, graduate students, the editorial staffs of
 philosophical journals, and the staffs of other on-line projects
 in the humanities and social sciences
 - editorial work on the newsletter and publicity materials
 - administrative activities (regarding funding, etc.)
 - computer support work: UNIX and CGI scripting and related activities.

 The IPPE Staff
Coordinators: Dr. Syun Tutiya (Chiba University) and Dr. Richard Reiner
 (visiting in '95 at the Center for Philosophy of Science,
 University of Pittsburgh).
Adminstrator: Carolyn L Burke (CMU).
Board members: Dr. George Gale (University of Missouri, Kansas City), Andrew
 Burday (McGill University), Istvan Berkeley (University of
 Alberta), Stephen Rice (York University).

 Accessing the IPPE
To access the IPPE, proceed as follows:

By www: Open the URL
By gopher: Use Gopher to go to either or
By ftp: ftp to either, or
By email: Mail to

To place a paper or comment on the IPPE: see pub/submissions/README.
If you have questions: send mail to Carolyn Burke at the address
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