Natural language plurals in logic programming queries
Covington, Michael A.
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This paper presents a representation for natural language plurals in knowledge base queries, implementing collective, distributive, cumulative, and multiply distributive senses of the plural by means of higher predicates. The underlying semantics is based on Franconi’s theory of collections. The collective reading of a plural applies the predicate to the whole collection; the distributive reading applies the predicate to all of the elements; and the cumulative reading says that each element either satisfies the predicate, or belongs to some collection that does so. Implicit in the cumulative reading is the notion of element– property, the property of belonging to some collection that satisfies a given predicate. Another reading of the plural, here termed the multiply distributive, requires a straightforward extension of the system to allow simultaneous distribution over more than one variable at once, with none of the distributions having scope over any other. Simultaneous distribution is implemented as a metalogical predicate that transforms queries before executing them.