Discovering Pronoun Categories using Discourse Information

Naho Orita, Rebecca McKeown, Naomi H. Feldman, Jeffrey Lidz, Jordan Boyd-Graber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Interpretation of a pronoun is driven by properties of syntactic distribution. Consequently, acquiring the meaning and the distribution are intertwined. In order to learn that a pronoun is reflexive, learners need to know which entity the pronoun refers to in a sentence, but in order to infer its referent they need to know that the pronoun is reflexive. This study examines whether discourse information is the information source that the learner might use to acquire grammatical categories of pronouns. Experimental results demonstrate that adults can use discourse information to accurately guess the referents of pronouns. Simulations show that a Bayesian model using guesses from the experiment as an estimate of the discourse information successfully categorizes English pronouns into categories corresponding to reflexives and non-reflexives. Together, these results suggest that knowing which entities are likely to be referred to in the discourse can help learners acquire grammatical categories of pronouns.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCooperative Minds
Subtitle of host publicationSocial Interaction and Group Dynamics - Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2013
EditorsMarkus Knauff, Natalie Sebanz, Michael Pauen, Ipke Wachsmuth
PublisherThe Cognitive Science Society
Pages3193-3198
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780976831891
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society - Cooperative Minds: Social Interaction and Group Dynamics, CogSci 2013 - Berlin, Germany
Duration: 2013 Jul 312013 Aug 3

Publication series

NameCooperative Minds: Social Interaction and Group Dynamics - Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, CogSci 2013

Conference

Conference35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society - Cooperative Minds: Social Interaction and Group Dynamics, CogSci 2013
Country/TerritoryGermany
CityBerlin
Period13/7/3113/8/3

Keywords

  • Bayesian modeling
  • language acquisition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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