[developers] Wish for scoped MRSs in the LKB

Emily M. Bender ebender at u.washington.edu
Thu May 11 19:47:44 CEST 2006

Does this solution scale to cases with more than two quantifiers?


On Thu, May 11, 2006 at 01:02:03PM +0000, Francisco Costa wrote:
> Hi,
> I would like to send in a wish for the LKB.
> As far as I can tell from experimenting with it, asking for scoped MRSs 
> does not perform unification operations on the handles that end up being 
> merged.
> I'm trying to do the following. When you have a sentence like `all men 
> love a certain woman', the existential quantifier must outscope the 
> universal one. So I tried this: (1) add a feature SCOPE to handles, of a 
> type *scope* which has two subtypes *widest* and *non-widest*, (2) 
> constrain the LBL of the `a certain' quantifier to have SCOPE *widest* 
> and (3) constrain the BODY of the `all' quantifier to have a SCOPE 
> *non-widest*.
> They do not unify (and manual unification in the AVMs fails), so I was 
> hoping that the reading *all_q(x1, ..., a+certain_q(x2, ..., ...))* 
> would not come up when you ask for scoped MRSs, but it does. Using 
> subtypes of *handle* instead (no feature SCOPE) doesn't do it either.
> Is it possible/feasible to have an algorithm for scoped MRSs that 
> performs unifications on handles? I think I've read somewhere that it's 
> already exponential on the number of NPs, but I guess feature structures 
> of type *handle* will never be very big.
> Thank you in advance,
> Francisco Costa

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