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Journal of Inforamtion Science and Engineering, Vol.5 No.4, pp.379-394 (October 1989)
Computer Interpretation of Chinese Declarative
Sentences Based on Situation Semantics*

Hsi-Jian Lee and Chun-Hsiao Lee
Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering
National Chiao Tung Uuiversity
Hsinchu, Taiwan 30050, Republic of China

In this paper, we present a method for interpreting Chinese declarative sentences by Head-driven Phrase Structure Crammer (HPSG), a unification-based grammatical formalism with situation semantics as its semantic theory. The primary reason for using this approach is that HPSG performs syntactic and semantic analysis in an integrated way and situation semantics provides a realistic and sound theoretic foundation. Two kinds of feature structures, basic and complex, are used in the semantic representation of words, phrases and sentences. The basic types are quantifier, indexed-object, circumstance, and description types. They are used to represent the meanings of lexical signs and unquantified phrasal signs. The complex types are quantifiedobject types and quantified-circumstance types. Complex types are for representing quantified phrasal signs. The process of semantic interpretation is carried out by combining the semantic representations of heads and complements/adjuncts according to their types and by generating a new semantic representation for the larger phrase. A practical system is described with a set of examples.

Keywords: situation semantics, semantic interpretation, head-driven phrase structure grammar, unification

Received September 28, 1989; revised November 16, 1989.
Communicated by Keh-Jiann Chen.
*The research work was supported by a grant from the National Science Council of Republic of China under contract NSC78-0408-E009-15.