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NL-KR Digest Volume 4 No. 23

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NL-KR Moderator Brad Miller

Mar 10, 1988, 10:26:00 PM3/10/88

NL-KR Digest (3/10/88 22:24:55) Volume 4 Number 23

Today's Topics:
on-line dictionary
Phonetics Font
References Wanted
In Search of a Search Engine
perfect language

From CSLI Calendar, February 25, 3:19
BBN Lang. & Cognition Seminar
SUNY Buffalo Semiotics Colloquia
BBN AI Seminar -- Walter Hamscher
UB Graduate Conference on Computer Science
Buffalo Logic Collquium

Submissions: NL...@CS.ROCHESTER.EDU
Requests, policy: NL-KR-...@CS.ROCHESTER.EDU

Date: Wed, 2 Mar 88 18:19 EST
From: Parvin <>
Subject: on-line dictionary

I am looking for an online dictionary for unix or MSDOS enviroment.
If you have any information please replay to



Date: Thu, 3 Mar 88 14:44 EST
Subject: Phonetics Font

Does anyone know of a downloadable phonetics font that will work
on either an Epson LQ 800 or an HP LaserJet II? I *really* don't
want to design my own (I'd rather spend my time using it). I am
willing to spend some money, but preferably not the >$180 that I
believe Fancy Font costs. I use Nota Bene, which permits relatively
easy font switching.
Geoff Nathan,
Linguistics, Southern Illinois University
3 March 1988


Date: Sat, 5 Mar 88 11:05 EST
Subject: References Wanted

I would be interested in hearing about references on the structure,
parsing, interpretation, and knowledge representation of compound nominals and
adjectivally modified nominals.

David D. Lewis CSNET:
COINS Dept. BITNET: lewis@umass
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003
Motto: "Response in kind if requested, net post if sufficient interest."


Date: Sun, 6 Mar 88 01:24 EST
From: Robin C. Cover <ZRCC1001@SMUVM1>
Subject: In Search of a Search Engine

I'm looking for a search engine which probably does not exist, but
I would like advice from those more knowledgable about text retrieval
systems. It is a text retrieval system optimized for literary-critical
and linguistic study. The major requirements for the search engine are
as follows:

(1) Literary texts should be "understood" by the system in terms of the
individual document structure, as indicated by markup elements. The user
should be able to specify within a search argument that proximity
values, positional operators, comparative operators and logical
operators govern the search argument and the textual units
DOCUMENT. That is, if a document is composed of books, chapters,
pericopes, verses and words, then expressions within the search argument
must be able to refer to these particular textual units. If another
document (or the *same* document, viewed under a different hierarchical
structure) contains chapters, paragraphs, sub-paragraphs, (strophes),
sentences and words, then expressions in the search argument should be
framed in terms of these textual units. To borrow a definition of
"text" from the Brown-Brandeis-Harvard CHUG group: the text retrieval
system must be capable of viewing each of its documents or texts as an
"ordered hierarchy of content objects (OHCO)."

(2) The database structure must be capable of supporting annotations
(or assigned attributes) at the word level, and ideally, at any higher
textual level appropriate to the given document. Most record-based
retrieval systems cannot accommodate the word-level annotations that
textual scholars or linguists would like to assign to "words." More
commonly, if such databases can be modified to accommodate annotations
at the word level, the record-field structure is thereby contorted in
ways that introduce new constraints on searching (inability to span
record boundaries, for example). Preferably, even the definition of
"word" ought not to be hard-coded into the system. Hebrew, for
instance, contains "words" (graphic units bounded by spaces) which
represent three or four distinct lemmas. Minimally, the database must
support annotations at the word level (e.g., to account for the
assignment of lemma, gloss, morphological parse, syntactic function,
etc) and these annotations must be accessible to the search
engine/argument. Though not absolutely required, it is desirable that
attributes could be assigned to textual units above "word," and such
attributes should be open to specification in the search argument.
Linguists studying discourse, for example, might wish to assign
attributes/annotations at the sentence or paragraph level.

(3) The search engine should support the full range of logical operands
(Boolean AND, OR, NOT, XOR), user-definable proximity values (within the
SAME, or within "n" textual units), user-definable positional operators
(precedence relations governing expressions or terms within the search
argument) and comparative operators (for numerical values). The search
argument should permit nesting of expressions by parentheses within the
larger Boolean search argument. Full regular-expression pattern
matching (grep) should be supported, as well as macro
(library/thesaurus) facilities for designating textual corpora,
discontinuous ranges or text-spans within documents, synonym groups,
etc. Other standard features of powerful text retrieval systems are
assumed (set operations on indices; session histories; statistical
packages; etc).

Most commercial search engines I have evaluated support a subset of
the features in (3), but do very poorly in support of (1) and (2). The
text retrieval systems which claim to be "full text" systems actually
have fairly crude definitions of "text," and attempt to press textual
data into rigid record-field formats that do not recognize hierarchical
document structures, or are not sufficiently flexible to account for a
wide range of document types. Three commercial products which attempt
to support (1) are WORDCRUNCHER, Fulcrum Technology's FUL-TEXT and
BRS-SEARCH. I know of no systems which intrinsically support
requirement (2), though LBASE perhaps deserves a closer look, and a few
other OEM products promise this kind of flexibility. It may be possible
to press FUL-TEXT or BRS-SEARCH into service since both have some
facility for language definition. Another promising product is the PAT
program being developed by the University of Totonto in connection with
the NOED (New Oxford English Dictionary). But I may have overlooked
other commercial or academic products which are better suited for
textual study, or which could be enhanced/modified in some fashion other
than a bubble-gum hack. It is not necessary that a candidate possess
all of the above features, but that the basic design be compatible with
extending the system to support these functional specs, and that the
developers be open to program enhancements. Ideally, such a system
would work with CD-ROM, though this is not an absolute requirement. I
would like good leads of any kind, but particularly products that could
be leased/licensed under an OEM agreement...for microcomputers, I should

Thanks in advance to anyone who can suggest names of commercial
packages or academic software under development which meet the major
requirements outlined above, or which could be *gently* bent to do so.

Professor Robin C. Cover
3909 Swiss Avenue
Dallas, TX 75204
(214) 296-1783


Date: Thu, 10 Mar 88 15:02 EST
From: Russell Perry <>
Subject: perfect language

I am fascinated with language, though I have only taken one course in
Linguistics and no foriegn languages. Could anybody point out any good
books about language(s)?

And now my main reason for posting. People have tried to invent languages
before, with varying degrees of success. This got me curious. What would
a perfect language be like? I know this depends on definition of perfect.
That's what I want to hear. Please post ideas on aspects of a "perfect"
language, using examples from your favorite pet language or something you
feel languages should feature, but don't.

For starts, I would suggest that the language have a phonetic alphabet. In
my opinion, this is the only way to go, considering the ease of spelling and
reading (unknown words) and this also gives a small, manageable amount of
characters (no offense to the Chinese, but that system is too complex).

Please email book recommendations and post perfect language ideas. Note I
am interested in the whole shebang, written and spoken language, so include
ideas about stress, pitch, punctuation, the ability for the language to be
used for talk vs tech vs expression (poetry, song), etc, etc.
Russ Perry Jr 5970 Scott St Omro WI 54963
"Fill my brain with your so called standards--who says that I ain't right"
"Shpx vg nyy naq shpxvat ab ertergf" Metallica (Escape; Damage Inc) :-)


Date: Wed, 24 Feb 88 20:43 EST
From: Emma Pease <>
Subject: From CSLI Calendar, February 25, 3:19

[Extracted From CSLI Calendar]

Reading: "Babe Ruth Homered his Way into the Hearts of America"
by Ray Jackendoff, Brandeis University
Discussion led by Annie Zaenen
February 25

This paper is concerned with the mapping between syntactic structure
and semantic/conceptual structure. When the one doesn't reflect the
other in a direct way, one can either complicate the syntactic
structure (e.g., by assuming a deep structure that would reflect the
conceptual structure more directly) or one can complicate the
correspondence rules. Jackendoff starts from his own specific
assumptions about the conceptual structure (elaborated in his book
"Semantics and Cognition" (MIT Press 1983) and his paper "The Status
of Thematic Roles in Linguistic Theory" (LI,1987)) and discusses one
case in which the syntax/semantics mapping is not direct; the one
exemplified in sentences like `Babe Ruth homered his way into the
hearts of America.' He concludes that a syntactic solution to the
problem is not appealing but that one has either to claim that one has
a kind of idiom or that the correspondence rules have to be
complicated. The issue addressed arises of course in all theories
trying to spell out the syntax-semantics mapping; the assumptions made
here are different in their specifics from those that most of us would
make but are stated in a notation that is rather close to an attribute
value representation and they argue for a `surfacey' syntax, at least
in this case, so I hope they are sufficiently close to inspire people
to think about their own approaches to this and similar problems.

Implementing a BDI Agent
Robert C. Moore
February 25

The BDI (Belief-Desire-Intention) model of rational agency is a
familiar one around CSLI, having been the focus of the RATAG project
for about three years. As part of the ICA (Intelligent, Communicating
Agents) project, we are attempting to do a complete implementation of
an agent based on the BDI model. As always, implementation forces us
to confront issues that we had previously overlooked. This talk will
focus on a number of those issues including:

a formal semantics for desire that can be used to motivate action;

extending the notion of dependency-directed belief revision
("truth maintenance") to include the dependency of intentions on
desires and beliefs and the dependency of beliefs on intentions;

combining inference and planning by treating intentions as
"assumable" propositions that one encounters in trying to infer
that one's beliefs will be satisfied.

Intelligent Communicating Agents III: Communication
Phil Cohen
March 3

In this talk I will describe some of the kinds of communicative acts
needed by autonomous agents. Specifically, I will sketch a formalism
in which to describe informative, directive, and commissive acts that
will be required to get cooperative behavior. The definitions of the
actions will be varied as we allow various possibilities for agents'
being insincere, uncooperative, etc. Finally, if there is time, I
will explore what it takes for agents to act jointly, and how
communication fits in.


Date: Mon, 29 Feb 88 08:41 EST
From: Dori Wells <DWE...@G.BBN.COM>
Subject: BBN Lang. & Cognition Seminar

BBN Science Development Program
Language & Cognition Seminar Series


Professor Bipin Indurkhya
Computer Science Department
Boston University

BBN Laboratories Inc.
10 Moulton Street
Large Conference Room, 2nd Floor

10:30 a.m., Wednesday, March 9, 1988

Abstract: In past years a view of cognition has been emerging in which
metaphors play a key role. However, a satisfactory explanation of the
mechanisms underlying metaphors and how they aid cognition is far from

In particular, earlier theories of metaphors have been unable to account
for how metaphors can "create" new, and sometimes contradictory, perspectives
on the target domain.

In this talk I will address some of the issues related to the role metaphors
play in cognition. I will first lay an algebraic framework for cognition,
and then in this context I will pose the problem of metaphor. Two mechanisms
will be proposed to explain the workings of metaphors. One of these
mechanisms gives rise to what we call "projective metaphors", and it is
shown how projective metaphors can "create" new perspectives and new
ontologies on the target domain. The talk will conclude with a brief
discussion of some further implications of the theory on "Direct Reference
vs. Descriptive Reference", "Is all knowledge metaphorical?", and
"Induction and Analogies", among other things.


Date: Wed, 2 Mar 88 15:01 EST
From: William J. Rapaport <rapa...@cs.Buffalo.EDU>
Subject: SUNY Buffalo Semiotics Colloquia

SUNY Buffalo


present the following events:

NEIL HERTZ, Johns Hopkins University

"Some Words in George Eliot: Neutral, Nullity, Numb, Number"
Thursday, March 3, 3:00 p.m., 640 Clemens

"DeMan's Lurid Figures"
Friday, March 4, 1:00 p.m., 640 Clemens

Co-sponsored with the Program in Comparative Literature
STEPHEN RUDY, Dept. of Slavics, New York University

"The Moscow/Tartu School of Semiotics"

Friday, March 11, 3:30 p.m., 684 Baldy

Refreshments will be served
KAJA SILVERMAN, Simon Fraser University

"Make-Believe: Hollywood, World War II, and Male Subjectivity"

Screening of _The Best Years of Our Lives_ (dir. Billy Wilder)

Wednesday, March 16, 7:00 p.m., 410 Clemens

Thursday, March 17, 12:30-5:00 p.m., 608 Clemens
Friday, March 18:
9:30 a.m.-noon, 102 Park
1:30-5:00 p.m., 108 O'Brien

Co-sponsored with the Graduate Group in Feminist Studies, the Department
of English, and others.
MICHEL GRIMAUD, Wellesley College

"Proper Naming:
Psychological and Semiotic Aspects of Reference and Address"

Friday, April 15, 3:30 p.m., 684 Baldy

For further information, contact Paul Garvin, SUNY Buffalo Dept. of
Linguistics, 685 Baldy, (716) 636-2177.


Date: Thu, 3 Mar 88 15:14 EST
From: Marc Vilain <MVI...@G.BBN.COM>
Subject: BBN AI Seminar -- Walter Hamscher

BBN Science Development Program
AI Seminar Series Lecture


Walter C. hamscher

BBN Labs
10 Moulton Street
2nd floor large conference room
10:30 am, Tuesday March 15

Model based troubleshooting is fundamentally about modeling. Its goal
is to apply a general troubleshooting engine to a new domain by
providing only a new domain model, so it is essential to know not only
what relation the model should bear to the real physical device being
diagnosed, but also what features the resulting model should include by
virtue of its intended use in troubleshooting. Since every model
embodies some abstractions, this is just another way of saying that it's
essential to know the useful abstractions for the task at hand.

This talk presents a methodology for model based troubleshooting of
board-scale digital circuits that emphasizes the importance of
appropriate temporal abstractions for coping with behavioral complexity.
The result is a remarkably coarse representation for digital circuit
behavior that often yields as much diagnostic resolution as traditional
circuit models, in spite of its simplicity. In the same spirit, the
importance of appropriate representation of circuit organization is
emphasized, and the result is a primary representation of the physical
organization of the circuit, along with a more familiar representation
of functional organization.


Date: Thu, 3 Mar 88 17:04 EST
From: William J. Rapaport <rapa...@cs.Buffalo.EDU>
Subject: UB Graduate Conference on Computer Science




University at Buffalo Graduate-Conference
on Computer Science

8:00 Registration

8:30 Introduction

8:45 Kulbir Arora, SUNY at Buffalo
Dimensional Analysis: A Tool to Augment Qualitative

9:15 Hoang Pham, SUNY at Buffalo
Reliability Analysis of Digital Data Systems

9:45 Brian Marsh, University of Rochester
Psyche: A NUMA Operating System Kernel

10:15 Break

10:30 Ted Pawlicki, SUNY at Buffalo
A Fast Neural Network System for Handwritten Digit

11:00 Susan McRoy, University of Toronto
Race-Based Syntactic Attachment

11:30 Eric Neufeld, University ol Waterloo
On the Relation Between Defaults and Probabilities

12:00 Luncheon

1:30 Scott Lagona, SUNY at Buffalo
Generating Run-Time Code for a Forward-Chaining Rule

2:00 Jim DesRivieres, University of Toronto
The Flow of Information in Simple Machines

2:30 Bruce Spencer, University of Waterloo
Parallelism, Prolog and the ATMS

3:00 Break

3:15 Deepak Kumar, SUNY at Buffalo
Discussing, Using, and Recognizing Plans in SNePS

3:45 Elizabeth Hinkelman, University of Rochester
How to Do Things with Words, Computationally

4:15 Arun Jagota, SUNY at Buffalo
ATL - A Testing Language / Interpreter

4:45 Reception

Tuesday, March 15, 1988
8:00 - 5:00
Center for Tomorrow
Amherst Campus, SUNY at Buffalo
For further information, call (716) 636-2464


Date: Mon, 7 Mar 88 12:35 EST
From: William J. Rapaport <rapa...@cs.Buffalo.EDU>
Subject: Buffalo Logic Collquium




Department of Philosophy
SUNY Fredonia

Reflections on the Logic of the Confirmation of Mental States

In this paper, I address the question of how we would confirm a
machine's, or any entity's, "understanding". I argue that knowledge of
the internal properties of an entity--as opposed to "external" proper-
ties and relations, such as to a linguistic or social community, or to
abstract entities such as propositions--may not be sufficient for the
justified attribution of understanding. I also argue that our knowledge
of the internal construction or of the origin of an artificial system
may serve as defeating conditions in the analogical reasoning that oth-
erwise supports the claim of a system's understanding. (That is, the
logic of the confirmation of understanding is itself non-monotonic!)
These issues are discussed within an analysis of the complex fabric of
analogical reasoning in which, for example, the Turing Test and Searle's
Chinese Room counterexample are merely examples of larger issues. No
previous contact with the logic of analogy, artificial intelligence, or
the philosophy of mind (other than having one) is assumed. [Shorter
summary: Will we (ever) be able justifiably to say that an artificial
system has "understanding"? Probably not.]

Tuesday, March 15, 1988
4:00 P.M.
Fronczak 454, Amherst Campus

For further information, contact John Corcoran, (716) 636-2438.


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