Human beings can debate and discuss structural similarities between narratives, stories, takes and myths. They can notice parallels in the Deluge Myths of the Bible, the Puranic story of Manu and the Gilgamesh epos and compare them; they can debate whether two movies have 'the same plot' or not. It is part of the human intellect to see and compare structure; what structural properties of narratives make them resemble? This big question about human understanding was addressed by the structuralists, but the admirable AI research on Story Understanding got bogged down in the detailed and complicated analysis of natural language used to tell the stories. Roughly, this distinction of the structure of a story versus the detailed account of the story corresponds to the narratological distinction of 'story' versus 'discourse'. In our project, we propose to return to the big question by means of comparatively simple, logic-based description languages that are developed in very close contact with an empirical basis of actual narratives. The project is supposed to provide a formal background for comparing narratives and a first corpus that can be used to test the framework.
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