Computational Models Of Referring: A Study In Cognitive Science by Kees Van DeemterComputational Models Of Referring: A Study In Cognitive Science by Kees Van Deemter

Computational Models Of Referring: A Study In Cognitive Science

byKees Van Deemter

Hardcover | April 29, 2016

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An argument that computational models can shed light on referring, a fundamental and much-studied aspect of communication.

To communicate, speakers need to make it clear what they are talking about. The act of referring, which anchors words to things, is a fundamental aspect of language. In this book, Kees van Deemter shows that computational models of reference offer attractive tools for capturing the complexity of referring. Indeed, the models van Deemter presents cover many issues beyond the basic idea of referring to an object, including reference to sets, approximate descriptions, descriptions produced under uncertainty concerning the hearer''s knowledge, and descriptions that aim to inform or influence the hearer.

The book, which can be read as a case study in cognitive science, draws on perspectives from across the cognitive sciences, including philosophy, experimental psychology, formal logic, and computer science. Van Deemter advocates a combination of computational modeling and careful experimentation as the preferred method for expanding these insights. He then shows this method in action, covering a range of algorithms and a variety of methods for testing them. He shows that the method allows us to model logically complicated referring expressions, and demonstrates how we can gain an understanding of reference in situations where the speaker''s knowledge is difficult to assess or where the referent resists exact definition. Finally, he proposes a program of research that addresses the open questions that remain in this area, arguing that this program can significantly enhance our understanding of human communication.

Kees van Deemter is Professor and Chair in Computing Science at the University of Aberdeen and the author of Not Exactly: In Praise of Vagueness.
Title:Computational Models Of Referring: A Study In Cognitive ScienceFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:350 pages, 9 X 7 X 0.94 inShipping dimensions:350 pages, 9 X 7 X 0.94 inPublished:April 29, 2016Publisher:The MIT PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0262034557

ISBN - 13:9780262034555

Appropriate for ages: All ages

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Editorial Reviews

Van Deemter''s entertaining and narrative style makes this book a rare computational-linguistic page-turner. It also contains a very lucid summary of Clark and Marshall''s 1981 paper on definite reference. Every cognitive scientist interested in language and communication should read this book.

-J. P. de Ruiter, Chair of Psycholinguistics, Bielefeld University