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A computational account of comparative implicatures for a spoken dialogue agent

Luciana Benotti and David Traum

Eighth International Conference on Computational Semantics (IWCS-8 2009)
Tilburg University, Netherlands, January 7-9, 2009


Comparative constructions are common in dialogue, especially in negotiative dialogue where a choice must be made between different options, and options must be evaluated using multiple metrics. Comparatives explicitly assert a relationship between two elements along a scale, but they may also implicate positions on the scale especially if either information about the position of one of the compared items or constraints on the possible values are present. Dialogue systems must often understand more from a comparative than the explicit assertion in order to understand why the comparative was uttered. In this paper we examine the pragmatic meaning of comparative constructions from a computational perspective.

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