Natural Language Processing in Context: Perspectives for Text Interpretation

Some of the activities I have been involved in the last years seem to show a common pattern: progresses in understanding language need a strong consideration of the contextual aspects of communication. This pattern emerged both in the area of semantic inferences (i.e. textual entailment graphs), where the particular context of utterance introduces constraints on the interpretation process, and in the area of event interpretation, where there are evidences that written text itself does not provide crucial information (e.g. spatial and temporal information). These limitations suggest the need of a broader interpretation framework, where textual material is strongly aligned and complemented with background knowledge, pragmatic patterns, and audio and video analysis.