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Pronoun Resolution and the Influence of Syntactic and Semantic Information on Discourse Prominence

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Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNAI,volume 4410)

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.

Keywords

  • pronoun resolution
  • Discourse Prominence Theory
  • repeated-name penalty

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Rose, R. (2007). Pronoun Resolution and the Influence of Syntactic and Semantic Information on Discourse Prominence. In: Branco, A. (eds) Anaphora: Analysis, Algorithms and Applications. DAARC 2007. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 4410. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-71412-5_3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-71412-5_3

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

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