dreaded lectures when the speaker mumbles!; If you buy
an old car, don’t expect the air conditioning to work.
LEIAs can carry out this same kind of reasoning if
their ontologies are supplied with scripts — that is,
typical sequences of events and their participants
(Schank and Abelson 1977). In order to find a script-based justification for a the-phrase, the agent must
search its ontology for all of the events mentioned in
the immediate context and see if the given object is
listed among the participants. Finding one both justifies the use of the and suggests a literal interpretation of the object in the context. If, by contrast, the
agent does not find a strong coreferent for bucket, it
will happily use the idiomatic reading (DIE) that does
not require one.
Leveraging Rules of Thumb
When recorded constraints, reference resolution, and
ontological scripts are still not sufficient to disam-
biguate an input, rules of thumb can sometimes help
— as long as they are appropriately understood as
defeasible preferences. Consider the sentence My
grandmother saw her doctor yesterday. Outside of con-
text, the default interpretation is that my grand-
mother attended a medical consultation provided by
her doctor. However, my grandmother could also
have simply caught sight of her doctor, an interpre-
tation preferred if we add the modifier at the beach.
Moreover, if we really beef up the context, we can
turn grandma into the person providing the professional consultation: My grandmother is the leading
lawyer in the city. Everybody looks to her for advice. In
fact, she saw her doctor yesterday and Dad’s chiropractor
day before, both of whom were dealing with malpractice
Consider how a LEIA can use rules of thumb to
help its understanding of these contexts. Among the
many senses of see in the OS lexicon, three are relevant here. Informally, they are depicted in figure 4
(note that I saw my doctor and My doctor saw me can
mean the same thing in the professional-consultation
Figure 4. Three Senses of See in the OS Lexicon.
1. Definition: A professional advises someone.
Example: My doctor sees patients every day from 8 till 5.
Constraints: The subject indicates a PROFESSIONAL and the direct object indicates a HUMAN.
2. Definition: Someone consults with a professional.
Example: I see my doctor regularly.
Constraints: The subject indicates a HUMAN and the direct object indicates a PROFESSIONAL.
3. Definition: Someone visually perceives something.
Example: I see a blue car.
Constraints: The subject indicates an ANIMAL and the direct object indicates a PHYSICAL-OBJECT.