Guess Who’s Coming (and Who’s Going): Bringing Perspective to the Rational Speech Acts Framework.


We present a Rational Speech Acts approach to modeling how conversation participants reason about perspectival expressions. The in- terpretation of perspectival expressions, such as the motion verbs come and go, depends on the point-of-view from which they are evaluated. In order to interpret a perspecti- val expression, the listener must jointly rea- son about the speaker’s intended message and their choice of perspective. We propose a Bayesian approach to this inference problem and describe an extension of the Rational Speech Acts model that incorporates perspec- tive. We lay out three sets of predictions that this model makes relating to the lexical se- mantics of go, the cost of non-speaker per- spectives, and marginal inference over worlds.

Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics (SCiL) 2019, 185-194