Download PDF by Manfred Stede: Discourse Processing

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He opened the door slowly. Interpreting a pronoun means identifying its antecedent expression, which is most often found in the same or the previous sentence; thus a pronoun can create a strong link to the previous 7 For an in-depth study of this metric and a proposed modification, see [Pevzner and Hearst, 2002]. 8The classical linguistics textbook on cohesion is [Halliday and Hasan, 1976]. 20 2. LARGE DISCOURSE UNITS AND TOPICS discourse. ) When material is elided, the effect is even stronger—but more difficult to recognize automatically.

11 Recall that for this text, we take paragraph boundaries to be the gold standard topic boundaries. The good news is that indeed all pronouns have their antecedents within the same paragraph (and, actually, either within the same sentence or in the immediately preceding sentence), so they function as cohesive devices in the expected way. 1). 2). 3 LEXICAL CHAINS The closed-class items we just discussed can provide hints, but their frequency of occurrence is far too low for them to be decisive in a topic segmentation procedure.

Hence, we have a final parameter for the procedure, n. Hearst advises against simple thresholds depending solely on text length or something similar, and instead suggests defining the cutoff as a function of the depth score range, using their average s and standard deviation σ (under the assumption that they have a normal distribution). One such function would assign a boundary only if the depth score exceeds s − σ . , to enforce a minimum distance between the boundaries. As the final step, we have to revert the initial decision of using ‘pseudosentences’: Our computed topic boundaries will usually be in the middle of actual sentences of the text, so we have to calculate for each boundary the closest “real” sentence break to the right or left of the pseudo-boundary we found.

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Discourse Processing by Manfred Stede


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