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date: 20 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Temporality in computational linguistics and natural language processing can be considered from two aspects. One concerns the use of linguistic and philosophical theories of temporality in computational applications. The other concerns the use of computational theory in its own right to define new kinds of theories of dynamical systems including natural language and its temporal semantics. As in the case of nominal expressions in natural language, we should be careful to distinguish temporal semantics, or the question of what kinds of objects and relations temporal categories denote, from the question of temporal reference to particular times or events that the discourse context affords. It is useful to draw a further distinction within the semantics between temporal ontology, or the types of temporal entity that the theory entertains, such as instants, intervals, events, states, or whatever, temporal quantification over such entities, and the temporal relations over them which it countenances, such as priority or posteriority, causal dependence, and the like. This article examines computational linguistics, focusing on temporal semantics, and also considers ontologies, quantifiers, relations, and temporal reference.

Keywords: temporality, computational linguistics, natural language processing, computational theory, temporal semantics, temporal ontology, temporal quantification, temporal relations, temporal reference

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