Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
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Contact Info

2151 Beckman Institute
University of Illinois
405 N. Mathews
Urbana, IL 61801


Department of Linguistics
4016E Foreign Languages Building
707 S. Mathews
Urbana, IL 61801



Georgia M. Green

Cognitive Science


Georgia Green received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1971. She is a professor in the UIUC Department of Linguistics and a full-time faculty member in the Beckman Institute Cognitive Science Group. Her fields of professional interest are syntax (the study of sentence structure) and pragmatics (the study of how the interpretation of the contexts of statements contributes to their meaning).

Honors and awards: Program Committee, Linguistic Society of America (1999); Associate (1986) and Fellow (1970-71), UIUC Center for Advanced Study; Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University (1978-79).




Recent, Representative Publications

Green, G., co-editor, with R. D. Levine (1999), Studies in Contemporary Phrase Structure Grammar (Cambridge University Press).

Green, G. (1999), "HPSG," in F. Keil and R. Wilson, eds., MIT Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science (MIT Press).

Green, G. (1998), "Modelling Grammar Growth," in A. Sorace, C. Heycock, and R. Shillcock, eds., Proceedings of the GALA '97 Conference on Language Acquisition (Edinburgh: Human Communication Research Centre, University of Edinburgh), pp. 338-345.

Green, G. (1998), "Unnatural Kind Terms and a Theory of the Lexicon," Studies in the Linguistic Sciences, 28/1, pp. 1-26.

Green, G. M. (1996), "Ambiguity Resolution and Discourse Interpretation," in K. van Deemter and S. Peters, eds., Semantic Ambiguity and Underspecification (Stanford: CSLI Publications), pp. 1-27.

Green, G. M. and Morgan, J. L. (1996), "Auxiliary Inversions and the Notion 'Default Specification'," Journal of Linguistics, 32/1, pp. 43-56.


Beckman Institute Research

Key Words: Natural language understanding, inference, constraint-based syntax, grammar development, pragmatics

Georgia Green's work at the Beckman Institute is concerned with the nature of syntactic constraints and semantic and pragmatic interpretation in natural language understanding. In addition to theoretical work, she has explored applications to resolving disputes about the interpretation of both recorded conversation and the language of legal statutes, and to the generation and recognition of natural language in computer-based information delivery systems.

Work on syntactic constraints explores the criteria for an optimal description of the syntax of natural languages. Recent research has involved generating natural language sentences from semantic specifications and describing acquisition of first-language competence with a minimum of apriori assumptions.

Green's work on the nature and analysis of implicated meaning, some of which is done in collaboration with J. Morgan, explores the relationship between what is said and what is conveyed that was first broached in Grice's seminal work on logic and conversation. It suggests that Grice's programme has explanatory value over a much broader domain than many commentators have given it credit for, including referential meaning and social aspects of language use. Current projects involve modelling natural language dialog in human-computer interactions.

Green's research contributes to the Institute's Biological Intelligence theme in its concern with the character of knowledge of syntax and of the principles that govern semantic and pragmatic interpretation in natural language understanding.


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