Robin Cooper


2021

pdf bib
Dogwhistles as Inferences in Interaction
Ellen Breitholtz | Robin Cooper
Proceedings of the Reasoning and Interaction Conference (ReInAct 2021)

In this paper we will argue that the nature of dogwhistle communication is essentially dialogical, and that to account for dogwhistle meaning we must consider dialogical events in which dialogue partners can draw different conclusions based on communicative events. This leads us to a theory based on inference. However, as identified by Khoo (2017) and emphasised by Henderson & McCready (2018), a problematic aspect of this approach is that expressions that have a similar meaning are analysed as generating the same dogwhistle inferences, which appears not always to be the case. By modelling meaning in terms of intensional types in TTR, we avoid this problem.

2020

pdf bib
Personae under uncertainty: The case of topoi
Bill Noble | Ellen Breitholtz | Robin Cooper
Proceedings of the Probability and Meaning Conference (PaM 2020)

In this paper, we propose a probabilistic model of social signalling which adopts a persona-based account of social meaning. We use this model to develop a socio-semantic theory of conventionalised reasoning patterns, known as topoi. On this account the social meaning of a topos, as conveyed in a argument, is based on the set of idealogically-related topoi it indicates in context. We draw a connection between the role of personae in social meaning and the category adjustment effect, a well-known psychological phenomenon in which the representation of a stimulus is biased in the direction of the category in which it falls. Finally, we situate the interpretation of social signals as an update to the information state of an agent in a formal TTR model of dialogue.

2019

pdf bib
Proceedings of the Sixth Workshop on Natural Language and Computer Science
Robin Cooper | Valeria de Paiva | Lawrence S. Moss
Proceedings of the Sixth Workshop on Natural Language and Computer Science

pdf bib
Distribution is not enough: going Firther
Andy Lücking | Robin Cooper | Staffan Larsson | Jonathan Ginzburg
Proceedings of the Sixth Workshop on Natural Language and Computer Science

Much work in contemporary computational semantics follows the distributional hypothesis (DH), which is understood as an approach to semantics according to which the meaning of a word is a function of its distribution over contexts which is represented as vectors (word embeddings) within a multi-dimensional semantic space. In practice, use is identified with occurrence in text corpora, though there are some efforts to use corpora containing multi-modal information. In this paper we argue that the distributional hypothesis is intrinsically misguided as a self-supporting basis for semantics, as Firth was entirely aware. We mention philosophical arguments concerning the lack of normativity within DH data. Furthermore, we point out the shortcomings of DH as a model of learning, by discussing a variety of linguistic classes that cannot be learnt on a distributional basis, including indexicals, proper names, and wh-phrases. Instead of pursuing DH, we sketch an account of the problematic learning cases by integrating a rich, Firthian notion of dialogue context with interactive learning in signalling games backed by in probabilistic Type Theory with Records. We conclude that the success of the DH in computational semantics rests on a post hoc effect: DS presupposes a referential semantics on the basis of which utterances can be produced, comprehended and analysed in the first place.

2017

pdf bib
Incrementality all the way up
Ellen Breitholtz | Christine Howes | Robin Cooper
Proceedings of the Computing Natural Language Inference Workshop

pdf bib
An overview of Natural Language Inference Data Collection: The way forward?
Stergios Chatzikyriakidis | Robin Cooper | Simon Dobnik | Staffan Larsson
Proceedings of the Computing Natural Language Inference Workshop

2015

pdf bib
Probabilistic Type Theory and Natural Language Semantics
Robin Cooper | Simon Dobnik | Shalom Lappin | Staffan Larsson
Linguistic Issues in Language Technology, Volume 10, 2015

Type theory has played an important role in specifying the formal connection between syntactic structure and semantic interpretation within the history of formal semantics. In recent years rich type theories developed for the semantics of programming languages have become influential in the semantics of natural language. The use of probabilistic reasoning to model human learning and cognition has become an increasingly important part of cognitive science. In this paper we offer a probabilistic formulation of a rich type theory, Type Theory with Records (TTR), and we illustrate how this framework can be used to approach the problem of semantic learning. Our probabilistic version of TTR is intended to provide an interface between the cognitive process of classifying situations according to the types that they instantiate, and the compositional semantics of natural language.

2014

pdf bib
Proceedings of the EACL 2014 Workshop on Type Theory and Natural Language Semantics (TTNLS)
Robin Cooper | Simon Dobnik | Shalom Lappin | Staffan Larsson
Proceedings of the EACL 2014 Workshop on Type Theory and Natural Language Semantics (TTNLS)

pdf bib
A Probabilistic Rich Type Theory for Semantic Interpretation
Robin Cooper | Simon Dobnik | Shalom Lappin | Staffan Larsson
Proceedings of the EACL 2014 Workshop on Type Theory and Natural Language Semantics (TTNLS)

pdf bib
Propositions, Questions, and Adjectives: a rich type theoretic approach
Jonathan Ginzburg | Robin Cooper | Tim Fernando
Proceedings of the EACL 2014 Workshop on Type Theory and Natural Language Semantics (TTNLS)

2013

pdf bib
Spatial Descriptions in Type Theory with Records
Simon Dobnik | Robin Cooper
Proceedings of the IWCS 2013 Workshop on Computational Models of Spatial Language Interpretation and Generation (CoSLI-3)

2012

pdf bib
Book Review: Computational Semantics with Functional Programming by Jan van Eijck and Christina Unger
Robin Cooper
Computational Linguistics, Volume 38, Issue 2 - June 2012

2009

pdf bib
Towards a Formal View of Corrective Feedback
Staffan Larsson | Robin Cooper
Proceedings of the EACL 2009 Workshop on Cognitive Aspects of Computational Language Acquisition

2002

pdf bib
Towards a Web-based Centre on Swedish Language Technology
Petter Karlström | Robin Cooper
COLING-02: The 2nd Workshop on NLP and XML (NLPXML-2002)

2001

pdf bib
Resolving Ellipsis in Clarification
Jonathan Ginzburg | Robin Cooper
Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

2000

pdf bib
GoDiS- An Accommodating Dialogue System
Staffan Larsson | Peter Ljunglof | Robin Cooper | Elisabet Engdahl | Stina Ericsson
ANLP-NAACL 2000 Workshop: Conversational Systems

1994

pdf bib
Incremental Interpretation: Applications, Theory, and Relationship to Dynamic Semantics
David Milward | Robin Cooper
COLING 1994 Volume 2: The 15th International Conference on Computational Linguistics