Semantics for Textual Inference


Natural Language Technology is moving from text retrieval and search applications to tasks that require genuine understanding of natural language as well as the interaction between language understanding and reasoning. Within the linguistic computational world a common perspective has emerged on what is common to these natural language understanding tasks under the heading “textual inferencing”. The aim is to develop systems that can decide when given two natural language statements, what the inferential relation between the two is. Textual inference simplifies the general language understanding problem by limiting its interest to direct inferences avoiding complicated chains of inferences and specialized world knowledge. Semantics as practiced by linguists could play a role in the development of textual inference systems, but most of current work in linguistic semantics has a very different focus. This workshop aims to bring together researchers interested in semantics, “lexical" and “formal", and in computational textual inference to discuss the virtues and drawbacks of various semantic approaches. The aim of the workshop is to make the community of semanticists more aware of the computational issues in natural language understanding and to expose computer scientists to a variety of semantic approaches.


Program for the workshop can be downloaded here.


  • Cleo Condoravdi,condoravdi AT parc DOT com
  • Annie Zaenen, azaenen AT earthlink DOT net