MoL-2001-04: On Optimization in Discourse Generation

MoL-2001-04: Mattausch, Jason (2001) On Optimization in Discourse Generation. [Report]

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The purpose of this paper is to investigate generative strategies for maximizing coherence in discourse. We will outline a description of a generative procedure for anaphoric substitution using the Optimality Theory framework of Prince and Smolensky [P&S93] that is loosely based on earlier attempts by Hendriks and de Hoop [H&H00] and, in particular, Beaver [Beaver00] to apply that framework to anaphora resolution and generation, paying particular attention to recent proposals by Blutner et al. related to bidirectionality and the interdependence of linguistic interpretation and production. We will argue that the notion of bidirectionality ought to be modified to reflect an asymmetry in that interdependence as opposed to the symmetric, mutual reliance defended or assumed in contemporary definitions thereof. Using the same constraint-based framework, and exploiting the notion of discourse relations expounded in Asher [Asher93] and Asher and Lascarides [A&L93b] et al., as well as the linguistic and non-linguistic knowledge bases that are assumed to underlie a hearer's determination of those relations, we extend the account to a description of restrictions on textual order, basic syntactic operations such as conjunction and relativization, and the distributional behavior of tense constructions that will, again, depend heavily on insights related to the interface of interpretational and generative constraints and to our own claims about interpretational precedence. Finally, we return briefly to the subject of anaphora and, armed with the aforementioned insights regarding the utility of non-linguistic information in interpretation, give an account of some cases that are recalcitrant for our original, syntactic account.

Item Type: Report
Report Nr: MoL-2001-04
Series Name: Master of Logic Thesis (MoL) Series
Year: 2001
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2016 14:38
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2016 14:38

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