If you are sitting in a basement room without a view — not to mention the
bars in front of the windows — and writing a book, then you better have
good company. I had the best company you could imagine. Waltraud Hiltl,
Katja Markert, Martin Romacker, Klemens Schnattinger, Andreas Klee and I
shared very little office space, but plenty of chocolate, coffee, champagne, and
enthusiasm for our research. North German coolness and creativity sprang
mostly from my colleagues in the second floor. I learned a lot from and
laughed a lot with Nobi Br¨oker, Susanne (Sue) Schacht, Manfred Klenner,
Peter Neuhaus, Stefan Schulz, and Michael Strube.
I thank my friend and partner Angela R¨osch for motivational and technical
support and for living together with someone who cares about strange
things, works too much and does not improve in any way over the years.
Special thanks go to my family who sometimes wondered what was going on
when I started talking enthusiastically about “semantics”, but they never let
wane their encouragement for me.
Kornel Marco provided great service by implementing parts of the system
presented in this book. Joe Bush helped me polish up the text with his
capabilities as an American native speaker. Remaining errors are entirely my
fault and due to my lack of diligence.
This book would not have seen the light of day without the dissertation
grant through the Graduiertenkolleg “Menschliche & Maschinelle Intelligenz”
funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).
Mostly, however, I must thank my advisor Udo Hahn. My perspective on
research in Artificial Intelligence, Computational Linguistics, and Cognitive
Science grew under his auspices. He fostered the work reported in this book
in so many ways that I cannot name them all.