Tense Interpretation in the Context of Narrative

Fei Song, Robin Cohen

This paper presents an algorithm which makes use of tense interpretation to determine the intended temporal ordering between the states and events mentioned in a narrative. This is done by maintaining a temporal focus and interpreting the tense of each new statement of the narrative with respect to this focus. In particular, we propose heuristics for determining the temporal ordering and constraints for characterizing coherent tense sequences. The algorithm is further defended through experiments with naturally occurring examples.


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