Leerdoel: An overview over the kinds of underspecification which occur in natural language and esp. in natural language processing. Describing the types of formalims proposed and their descriptive and inferential power.
Most expressions in natural language do not translate uniquely into syntactic structures or semantic interpretations. Usually we have to cope with various sources of ambiguity simultaneously, which can lead to an explosion of non-equivalent readings of an expression. Ambiguitiy can be considerably reduced by taking the context into account. Underspecifying formalisms in syntax and semantics allow for the representation of ambiguous structures and avoid the need of representing a huge number of different readings in parallel. They support disambiguation by integrating context information and inferences from some or all readings.