[developers] ICONS and generation

Ann Copestake aac10 at cam.ac.uk
Sat Feb 6 10:26:25 CET 2016

Briefly (more this evening maybe) - I don't see a particular problem 
with filling in the ICONS since what you describe are relationships that 
are overt in the *MRS anyway, aren't they?  I thought, in fact, that 
these are pretty clear from the DMRS graph - which is why Sanghoun uses 
it to describe what's going on.

I believe we can build the DMRS graph direct from the TFS, incidentally 
- don't need to go via MRS ...



On 05/02/2016 23:40, Dan Flickinger wrote:
> As I understand the Soon and Bender account, an MRS for a sentence 
> should include in the ICONS list at least one element for each 
> individual (eventuality or instance) that is introduced.  In the ERG 
> this would mean that the value of each ARG0 should appear in at least 
> one ICONS entry, where most of these would be of the maximally 
> underspecified type `info-str', but possibly specialized because of 
> syntactic structure or stress/accent or maybe even discourse structure.
> I see the virtue of having these overt ICONS elements even when of 
> type `info-str', to enable the fine-grained control that Stephan notes 
> that we want for generation, and also to minimize the differences 
> between the ERG and grammars being built from the Matrix which embody 
> Sanghoun's careful work.
> If the grammarian is to get away with not explicitly introducing each 
> of these ICONS elements in the lexical entries, as Sanghoun does in 
> the Matrix, then it would have to be possible to predict and perhaps 
> mechanically add the missing ones after composition was completed.  I 
> used to hope that this would be possible, but now I'm doubtful, 
> leading me to think that there is no good alternative to the 
> complication (maybe I should more kindly use the term `enrichment') of 
> the grammar with the overt introduction of these guys everywhere. 
> Here's my reasoning:
> I assume that what we'll want in an MRS for an ordinary sentence is an 
> ICONS list that has exactly one entry for each pair of an individual 
> `i' and the eventuality which is the ARG0 of each predication in which 
> `i' appears as an argument. Thus for `the cat persuaded the dog to 
> bark' the ICONS list should have four elements: one for cat/persuade, 
> one for dog/persuade, one for bark/persuade, and one for dog/bark. Now 
> if I wanted to have the grammar continue to only insert ICONS elements 
> during composition for the non-vanilla info-str phenomena, and fill in 
> the rest afterward, I would have to know not only the arity of each 
> eventuality-predication, but which of its arguments was realized in 
> the sentence, and even worse, which of the realized syntactic 
> arguments corresponded to semantic arguments (so for example not the 
> direct object of `believe').  Maybe I give up too soon here, but this 
> does not seem doable just operating on the MRS resulting from 
> composition, even with access to the SEM-I.
> So if the necessary ICONS elements have to be introduced overtly by 
> the lexicon/grammar during composition, then I would still like to 
> explore a middle ground that does not result in the full set of ICONS 
> elements Soon and Bender propose for a sentence.  That is, I wondered 
> whether we could make do with adding to the ERG the necessary 
> introduction of just those ICONS elements that would enable us to draw 
> the distinctions between `unmarked', 'topic', and 'focus' that we were 
> used to exploiting in the days of messages.   But since pretty much 
> any preposition's or adjective's or verb's complement can be 
> extracted, and any verb's subject can be extracted, and most verbs' 
> direct and indirect objects can be passivized, I think we'll still end 
> up with an ICONS entry for each eventuality/argument pair for every 
> predication-introducing verb, adjective, and preposition in a 
> sentence, and maybe also for some nouns as in "who is that picture 
> of?".  This still lets us exclude ICONS elements involving adverbs and 
> maybe also the arguments of conjunctions, subordinators, modals.  If 
> we went this route, I think it would be possible to make modest 
> additions to certain of the constructions, and not have to meddle with 
> lexical types, to get these ICONS elements into the MRS during 
> composition.
> Such a partial approach does not have the purity of Soon and Bender's 
> account, but might be more practical, at least as a first step, for 
> the ERG.  It would at least enable what I think is a more consistent 
> interpretation of the ICONS elements for generation, and should give 
> us the fine-grained control I agree that we want.  Thus to get the 
> generator to produce all variants from an MRS produced by parsing a 
> simple declarative, one would have to remove the info-str ICONS 
> element whose presence excludes the specialization to focus or topic 
> because of our friend Skolem.
> Counsel?
>  Dan
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* developers-bounces at emmtee.net <developers-bounces at emmtee.net> 
> on behalf of Ann Copestake <aac10 at cam.ac.uk>
> *Sent:* Friday, February 5, 2016 1:43 PM
> *To:* Emily M. Bender; Stephan Oepen
> *Cc:* developers; Ann Copestake
> *Subject:* Re: [developers] ICONS and generation
> Thanks!
> On 05/02/2016 21:30, Emily M. Bender wrote:
>> Not sure if this answers the question, but a couple of comments:
>> (a) I do think that written English is largely underspecified for 
>> information structure.
>> It's part of what makes good writing good that the information 
>> structure is made apparent
>> somehow.
> OK.  should I understand you as saying that composition (as in, what 
> we do in the grammars) leaves it mostly underspecified, but that 
> discourse level factors make it apparent?  or that it really is 
> underspecified?
>> (b) I think the "I want only the unmarked form back" case might be 
>> handled by either
>> a setting which says "no ICONS beyond what as in the input" (i.e. 
>> your ICONS { }) or
>> a pre-processing/generation fix-up rule that takes ICONS { ... } and 
>> outputs something
>> that would be incompatible with anything but the unmarked form.  Or 
>> maybe the
>> subsumption check goes the wrong way for this one?
> Yes, I think the ICONS {} might be a possible way of thinking about 
> it.  I should make it clear - I don't think there's a problem with 
> constructing an implementation that produces the `right' behaviour but 
> I would much prefer that the behaviour is specifiable cleanly in the 
> formalism rather than as another parameter to the generator or whatever.
>> I hope Sanghoun has something to add here!
>> Emily
>> On Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 1:01 PM, Stephan Oepen <oe at ifi.uio.no 
>> <mailto:oe at ifi.uio.no>> wrote:
>>     colleagues,
>>     my ideal would be a set-up where the provider of generator inputs
>>     has three options: (a) request topicalization (or similar), (b)
>>     disallow it, or (c) underspecify and get both variants.
>>     we used to have that level of control (and flexibility) in the
>>     LOGON days where there were still messages: in the message EPs,
>>     there were two optional ‘pseudo’ roles (TPC and PSV) to control
>>     topicalization or passivization of a specific instance variable.
>>      effectively, when present, these established a binary relation
>>     between the clause and one of its nominal constituents.  if i
>>     recall correctly, blocking topicalization was accomplished by
>>     putting an otherwise unbound ‘anti’-variable into the TPC or PSV
>>     roles.
>>     could one imagine something similar in the ICONS realm, and if
>>     so, which form would it have to take?
>>     best wishes, oe
>>     On Friday, February 5, 2016, Woodley Packard
>>     <sweaglesw at sweaglesw.org> wrote:
>>         I can confirm that under ACE, behavior is what you indicate,
>>         i.e. generating from parsing the topicalized
>>         feline-canine-playtime I get just the topicalized variant
>>         out, but when generating from parsing the ordinary word order
>>         I get all 5 variants out.
>>         I believe this was designed to imitate the long-standing
>>         condition that the MRS of generation results must be subsumed
>>         by the input MRS.  The observed behavior seems to me to be
>>         the correct interpretation of the subsumption relation with
>>         ICONS involved. Note that an MRS with an extra intersective
>>         modifier would also be subsumed, for example, but such MRS
>>         are never actually generated since those modifier lexical
>>         entries never make it into the chart.
>>         It’s certainly reasonable to ask whether (this notion of)
>>         subsumption is really the right test.  I’ve met lots of folks
>>         who prefer to turn that subsumption test off entirely.  I
>>         guess it’s also possible that the subsumption test is right
>>         for the RELS portion of the MRS but not for the ICONS, though
>>         that seems a bit odd to consider. However, given that we
>>         don’t have many ideas about truth-conditional implications of
>>         ICONS, maybe not so odd.
>>         I don’t really have much to offer in terms of opinions about
>>         what the right behavior should be.  I (believe I) just
>>         implemented what others asked for a couple years ago :-)
>>         -Woodley
>>         > On Feb 5, 2016, at 8:03 AM, Ann Copestake
>>         <aac10 at cl.cam.ac.uk> wrote:
>>         >
>>         > I'm part way through getting ICONS support working in Lisp,
>>         testing on the version of the ERG available as trunk. I have
>>         a question about generation.  If I implemented the behaviour
>>         described in http://moin.delph-in.net/IconsSpecs there
>>         doesn't seem to be a way of specifying that I want a `normal'
>>         ordering for English.
>>         >
>>         > e.g., if I take the MRS resulting from
>>         >
>>         > that dog, the cat chased.
>>         >
>>         > without ICONS check, there are 5 realizations, including
>>         the `null ICONS' case `The cat chased that dog.'  With an
>>         exact ICONS check, I can select realizations with the same
>>         ICONS (modulo order of ICONS elements, of course, in the case
>>         where there's more than one element).  But with the
>>         http://moin.delph-in.net/IconsSpecs
>>         <http://moin.delph-in.net/IconsSpecs> behaviour, there's no
>>         way of specifying I want a `normal' order - if I don't give
>>         an ICONS, I will always get the 5 realisations. In fact, as I
>>         understand it, I can always end up with more icons in the
>>         realisation than in the input, as long as I can match the
>>         ones in the input.
>>         >
>>         > So:
>>         > - is the IConsSpec behaviour what is desired for the ERG
>>         (e.g., because one can rely on the realisation ranking to
>>         prefer the most `normal' order)?
>>         > - or does the ERG behave differently from Emily and
>>         Sanghoun's grammars, such that different generator behaviour
>>         is desirable? and if so, could we change things so we don't
>>         need different behaviours
>>         >
>>         > Ann
>>         >
>>         >
>>         >
>> -- 
>> Emily M. Bender
>> Professor, Department of Linguistics
>> Check out CLMS on facebook! http://www.facebook.com/uwclma 
>> <http://www.facebook.com/uwclma>

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