Reasoning dynamically about what one says

Nicholas Asher, Alex Lascarides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article we make SDRT’s glue logic for computing logical form dynamic. This allows us to model a dialogue agent’s understanding of what the update of the semantic representation of the dialogue would be after his next contribution, including the effects of the rhetorical moves that he is contemplating performing next. This is a pre-requisite for developing a model of how agents reason about what to say next. We make the glue logic dynamic by using a dynamic public announcement logic (PAL). We extend PAL with a particular variety of default reasoning suited to reasoning about discourse—this default reasoning being an essential component of inferring the pragmatic effects of one’s dialogue moves. We add to the PAL language a new type of announcement, known as ceteris paribus announcement, and this is used to model how an agent anticipates the (default) pragmatic effects of his next dialogue move. Our extended PAL validates certain intuitive patterns of default inference that existing PALs for practical reasoning do not. We prove that the dynamic glue logic has a PSPACE validity problem, and as such is no more complex than PAL with multiple \square operators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-31
Number of pages27
Issue numberSupplement 1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


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