On Resolving Ambiguous Anaphoric Expressions in Imperative Discourse

  • Vasanth Sarathy Tufts University
  • Matthias Scheutz Tufts University


Anaphora resolution is a central problem in natural language understanding. We study a subclass of this problem involving object pronouns when they are used in simple imperative sentences (e.g., “pick it up.”). Specifically, we address cases where situational and contextual information is required to interpret these pronouns. Current state-of-the art statisticallydriven coreference systems and knowledge-based reasoning systems are insufficient to address these cases. In this paper, we introduce, with examples, a general class of situated anaphora resolution problems, propose a proof-of-concept system for disambiguating situated pronouns, and discuss some general types of reasoning that might be needed.

AAAI Technical Track: Natural Language Processing