Article details

Research area
Natural language & AI

Location
Discourse Processes, Vol. 24 (1997), Issue 1, pp 87 - 117

Date
1997

Author(s)
Brigitte Grote, Nils Lenke, Manfred Stede

Ma (r) king concessions in English and German

Synopsis:

Natural language generation aims at automatically verbalizing a “deep” representation of
content, so that coherent and cohesive text originates. To produce such cohesive discourse,
it is important to signal many of the relations holding between text segments to the reader by
means of cue words, which we call discourse markers. Current generation systems usually
do this in a simplistic way, eg, by using one marker per relation. In reality, however,
language offers a wide range of markers from which informed choices should be made.Natural language generation aims at automatically verbalizing a “deep” representation of content, so that coherent and cohesive text originates. To produce such cohesive discourse, it is important to signal many of the relations holding between text segments to the reader by means of cue words, which we call discourse markers. Current generation systems usually do this in a simplistic way, e.g., by using one marker per relation. In reality, however, language offers a wide range of markers from which informed choices should be made. This paper suggests a method for equipping generators with the knowledge to select the most appropriate discourse marker from a set of candidate expressions. We concentrate on one area of discourse relations, the CONCESSION family, and identify its underlying semantics and pragmatics. On the basis of extensive corpus studies, we propose a new classification of CONCESSION markers in English and German, and then suggest a generation model for producing bilingual text that can incorporate marker choice into its overall decision framework.

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