Pronoun resolution and the influence of syntactic and semantic information on discourse prominence

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Abstract

Beginning with the observation that syntactic and semantic information often coincide (i.e., subjects are often agents, objects often patients), this study investigates the possibility that preference to resolve a sentence-initial pronoun to a syntactically prominent antecedent might actually be better explained in terms of preference for resolving to a semantically prominent antecedent. The study takes Discourse Prominence Theory (Gordon and Hendrick [11, 12]) as an underlying framework. Results of three psycholinguistic experiments using a self-paced reading task show that both syntactic and semantic information guide readers' pronoun resolution preferences. This suggests a revised understanding of Discourse Prominence Theory in which the prominence of discourse referents is determined through a complex process depending on multiple linguistic factors. Results further show that the relative degree of prominence among competing candidates influences resolution processes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnaphora
Subtitle of host publicationAnalysis, Algorithms and Applications - 6th Discourse Anaphora and Anaphor Resolution Colloquium, DAARC 2007, Selected Papers
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Pages28-43
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783540714118
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jan 1
Event6th Discourse Anaphora and Anaphor Resolution Colloquium, DAARC 2007 - Lagos, Portugal
Duration: 2007 Mar 292007 Mar 30

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume4410 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Conference

Conference6th Discourse Anaphora and Anaphor Resolution Colloquium, DAARC 2007
CountryPortugal
CityLagos
Period07/3/2907/3/30

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Keywords

  • Discourse prominence theory
  • Pronoun resolution
  • Repeatedname penalty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

Cite this

Rose, R. (2007). Pronoun resolution and the influence of syntactic and semantic information on discourse prominence. In Anaphora: Analysis, Algorithms and Applications - 6th Discourse Anaphora and Anaphor Resolution Colloquium, DAARC 2007, Selected Papers (pp. 28-43). (Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics); Vol. 4410 LNAI). Springer Verlag. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-71412-5_3