Interpreting vague utterances in context

David DeVault, Matthew Stone

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We use the interpretation of vague scalar predicates like small as an illustration of how systematic semantic models of dialogue context enable the derivation of useful, fine-grained utterance interpretations from radically underspecified semantic forms. Because dialogue context suffices to determine salient alternative scales and relevant distinctions along these scales, we can infer implicit standards of comparison for vague scalar predicates through completely general pragmatics, yet closely constrain the intended meaning to within a natural range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2004
Event20th International Conference on Computational Linguistics, COLING 2004 - Geneva, Switzerland
Duration: Aug 23 2004Aug 27 2004


Conference20th International Conference on Computational Linguistics, COLING 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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