Published on Fri Aug 08 2008

Commonsense Knowledge, Ontology and Ordinary Language

Walid S. Saba

In this paper we hope to demonstrate that both trends are partly misguided. The time has come to replace logical semantics with an ontological structure that reflects our Commonsense view of the world.

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Abstract

Over two decades ago a "quite revolution" overwhelmingly replaced knowledgebased approaches in natural language processing (NLP) by quantitative (e.g., statistical, corpus-based, machine learning) methods. Although it is our firm belief that purely quantitative approaches cannot be the only paradigm for NLP, dissatisfaction with purely engineering approaches to the construction of large knowledge bases for NLP are somewhat justified. In this paper we hope to demonstrate that both trends are partly misguided and that the time has come to enrich logical semantics with an ontological structure that reflects our commonsense view of the world and the way we talk about in ordinary language. In this paper it will be demonstrated that assuming such an ontological structure a number of challenges in the semantics of natural language (e.g., metonymy, intensionality, copredication, nominal compounds, etc.) can be properly and uniformly addressed.