A declarative formulation of discourse representation theory

Mark Johnson, Ewan Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


DRS theory, as formulated by Hans Kamp and others, is specified in terms of a procedure that constructs representations of natural language discourse by processing a sentence in a left to right fashion. In this paper we present a completely declarative formulation in a PATR-like feature terminology that produces "standard" DRSs, but which avoids mention of left to right processing. Right to left anaphoric dependencies are modelled by treating each sentence as a compositionally derived function that maps the set of possible antecedents made available by the preceding discourse into another set of possible antecedents made available to anaphora in following sentences by the preceding discourse and this sentence combined. Finally, we show that our theory can be translated into Prolog form in a fairly direct manner, and we discuss a Prolog implementation that functions as either a parser, a generator, or a combination of both.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)846
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Symbolic Logic
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes


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