Problem Set 2

Assigned: Feb. 4
Due: Feb. 11.

Problem 1

Consider the following sentence from the New York Times, Feb. 2, 2014:

Insurgent conservatives seeking to pull the Republican Party to the right raised more money last year than the groups controlled by the party establishment, whose bulging bank accounts and ties to major donors have been their most potent advantage in the running struggle over the party's future, according to new campaign disclosures and interviews with officials.

A. In this text, identify:

(The line between lexical ambiguity and non-literal usage here is not very clearly demarcated; don't worry about it.)

B. In three of the ambiguities you've identified in (A), describe how you could rule out one incorrect reading. Be as specific as possible about the technique and how it is used.

Problem 2

Consider the story in the handout on text interpretation.
John bought two oranges at the store yesterday. When he got home, he found that they were moldy. He brought them back and demanded his money back.
Suppose we now add a sentence at the end, "They refused."

A. How would the representation be extended?

B. Discuss the difficulties in doing this extension and how they could be met in an automated system.