Kent, Stuart and Pitt, J.V.
Feature-based and Model-based Semantics for English, French and German Verb Phrases.
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This paper considers the relative merits of using features and formal event models to characterise the semantics of English, French and German verb phrases, and con- siders the application of such semantics in machine translation. The feature-based ap- proach represents the semantics in terms of feature systems, which have been widely used in computational linguistics for representing complex syntactic structures. The paper shows how a simple intuitive semantics of verb phrases may be encoded as a feature system, and how this can be used to support modular construction of au- tomatic translation systems through feature look-up tables. This is illustrated by automated translation of English into either French or German. The paper contin- ues to formalise the feature-based approach via a model-based, Montague semantics, which extends previous work on the semantics of English verb phrases. In so doing, repercussions of and to this framework in conducting a contrastive semantic study are considered. The model-based approach also promises to provide support for a more sophisticated approach to translation through logical proof; the paper indicates further work required for the fulfilment of this promise.
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