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Et Tu, Brute? Topic Maps and Discourse Semantics
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Et Tu, Brute? Topic Maps and Discourse Semantics

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This paper proposes how to propositional, grammatical, modal and textual meaning may be encoded using a layered approach.

This paper proposes how to propositional, grammatical, modal and textual meaning may be encoded using a layered approach.

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  • 1. Et Tu Brutus? Topic Maps and Discourse Semantics TM as a semantic technology
  • 2. Brutus killed Cesar with a dagger. Clearly, although Cesar must have seen, when entering the Senate in Rome on the Ides of March in 44 BC that Brutus, aka Marcus Junius Brutus, was cheesed off because he had chatted up Porcia, Brutus’ wife, he did not expect that he might be brutally murdered by Brutus with a dagger. He had, therefore, not bought Band-Aid at Forum Romanum, although the market was open on that day, it being a weekday.
  • 3. Modeling discourse: information about • Some possible world or domain • Some speaker’s or writer’s view of that world • And the way this speaker or writer has chosen to structure and convey this information on a particular occasion.
  • 4. Discourse meaning • Propositional meaning • Grammatical meaning • Modal meaning • Textual meaning
  • 5. Discourse meaning • Propositional meaning typically involves real world entities, events and situations and should therefore, as default, be encoded using topics and associations. • Grammatical meaning typically represents properties of real world entities, events and situations and should therefore, as default, be encoded using internal occurrences. • Modal meaning typically reflects the validity of statements on the part of the speaker or writer and should therefore, as default, be encoded using scope. • Textual meaning is typically used to facilitate the elaboration, enhancement or extension of information and should therefore, as default, be encoded using reification.
  • 6. Propositional meaning I Brutus killed Cesar mercilessly with a dagger in the Senate on the Ides of March kill(agent : brutus, goal : cesar, instrument : dagger, manner : mercilessly, place : senate, time : ides)
  • 7. Propositional meaning II Brutus killed Cesar mercilessly with a dagger in the Senate on the Ides of March Brutus killed Cesar mercilessly with a dagger on the Ides of March in the Senate * Brutus killed Cesar in the Senate on the Ides of March with a dagger mercilessly
  • 8. Propositional meaning III a) kill(agent : brutus, goal : cesar) ~brutus-kill-cesar #Brutus kill Cesar b) proposition(nucleus : brutus-kill-cesar, manner : mercilessly, instrument : dagger) ~brutus-kill-cesar-mercilessly-with-a-dagger #Brutus kill Cesar mercilessly with a dagger c) proposition(nucleus : brutus-kill-cesar-mercilessly-with-a- dagger, time : ides, place: senate) #Brutus kill Cesar mercilessly with a dagger on the Ides of March in the Senate
  • 9. Grammatical meaning kill(agent : brutus, goal : cesar, instrument : dagger ~instrument-dagger) ~brutus-kill-cesar-with-dagger brutus-kill-cesar-with-dagger tense: "past"; aspect: "imperfective". instrument-dagger is a dagger definiteness: "definite". dagger.
  • 10. Modal meaning I kill(agent : brutus, goal : cesar) ~brutus-kill-cesar @probability brutus-kill-cesar tense: "past ". #Brutus may have killed Cesar kill(agent : brutus, goal : cesar) ~brutus-kill-cesar @likelihood brutus-kill-cesar tense: "future". #Brutus will probably kill Cesar
  • 11. Modal meaning II No way, Brutus may have killed Cesar
  • 12. Textual meaning I a) Brutus was cheesed off because Cesar had chatted up Porcia. b) Cesar expected an attack. Therefore, he had bought Band-Aid. c) Brutus killed Cesar. Then he fled Rome. It was one mistake after another.
  • 13. Textual meaning II Brutus was cheesed off because Cesar had chatted up Porcia. cheesed-off(subject : brutus, reason : cesar-chatting- up-porcia)
  • 14. Textual meaning III Cesar expected an attack. Therefore, he had bought Band-Aid reason-result(reason : cesar-expecting-attack, result : cesar-buying-band-aid)
  • 15. Textual meaning IV Brutus killed Cesar. Then he fled Rome. It was one mistake after another. time-sequence(before : brutus-killing-cesar, after : brutus-fleeing-rome) ~brutus-killing-cesar-and-then- fleeing-rome evaluation(evaluated : brutus-killing-cesar-and-then- fleeing-rome, evaluation : one-mistake-after-another)
  • 16. Other discourse phenomena • Appositions and genitives (e.g. Cesar had chatted up Porcia, Brutus’ wife) • Cohesion (e.g. the fact that the Ides of March in 44 BC, on that day and it refer to the same thing and that Forum Romanum is also the market)
  • 17. Reifying role playing topics Cesar chatted up Porcia, Brutus’ wife married(husband : brutus, wife : porcia ~wifeporcia) chat-up(agent : cesar, goal : wifeporcia) ~cesar- chatting-up-porcia
  • 18. Why encode discourse in TM? • Discourse as topic maps (i.e. discourse is prior to the topic map). • Topic maps as discourse (topic map is prior to discourse)