11.2.1 A First Example

An example DRS.

Let's go through some examples to get a view of what it is to think in terms of these Discourse Representation Structures. Here is a first example:

``A woman walks. She smokes.''

As can be seen from this first example, a DRS is presented as a box-like structure, with so-called discourse referent s in the top part of the box and conditions upon these discourse referents in the lower part of the box. There are two discourse referents in this example (x and y), denoting ``a woman'' and ``she'', respectively. Discourse referents are entities mentioned in the discourse to which pronouns potentially can refer to. In our example, an anaphoric link has been established between ``she'' and ``a woman'' by virtue of the condition y=x.

One intuitive way of thinking of DRSs is to view them as partial descriptions of situations. In the example above we have a DRS describing a situation with two entities denoting the same object, an object which has the properties of being a woman, walking, and smoking.

Aljoscha Burchardt, Stephan Walter, Alexander Koller, Michael Kohlhase, Patrick Blackburn and Johan Bos
Version 1.2.5 (20030212)