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Title: Controlled natural language with temporal features
Author: Adeniyi, Ayoade
ISNI:       0000 0005 0289 7488
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2018
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A controlled natural language (CNL) is a subset of a given natural language with explicitly regimented syntax and vocabulary such that member sentences are unambiguously translated to some formal logic. Initially created to serve as a tool for teaching non-native speakers of a give natural language, CNLs have more recently served as an interface between natural languages and formal languages. Quite a number of CNLs have been defined over the past two decades, these CNLs have varied domains of application such as software and hardware specification, ontology authoring and editing, air traffic control etc. Controlled natural languages have gradually gained some popularity in the real world. From a survey of existing CNLs, we observe the lack of a controlled natural language such that member sentences contain temporal expressions. In order to be able to provide correct syntactic structures and corresponding semantic interpretations for these temporal expressions, we consider thousands of generated sentences analysing the various tense, aspect, aspectual class and temporal modifier configuration. We also analyse sentence extracts from the Brown corpus from which we are able to define semantic interpretations for the various temporal modifiers of interest, taking into consideration how these interpretations are affected by the sentence tense and aspect and aspectual class configuration. From this analysis, we are able to provide syntactic rules defined with definite clause grammar. Natural languages are intuitive, evolving naturally without definitive grammars. Representing their syntactic structure with a definite clause grammar would require consideration of factors other than syntactic categories. In order to be able to cater for these other syntactic restrictions, for example, tense and number agreement, we define features and a range of values for each terminal and non-terminal symbol in our grammar. We can, therefore, define rules to satisfy these syntactic restrictions. We recursively generate the semantic interpretations of structures in our language applying Montague semantics.
Supervisor: Nenadic, Goran ; Pratt-Hartmann, Ian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Semantics ; Grammar ; Temporal modifiers ; Aspect ; Formal logic ; Syntax ; controlled natural language ; Tense