A computational account of syntactic, semantic and discourse principles for anaphora resolution

Journal of Semantics 6 (1):309-344 (1988)
Abstract
We present a unified framework for the computational implementation of syntactic, semantic, pragmatic and even “stylistic” constraints on anaphora. We build on our BUILDERS implementation of Discourse Representation (DR) Theory and Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG) discussed in Wada & Asher (1986). We develop and argue for a semantically based processing model for anaphora resolution that exploits a number of desirable features: (1) the partial semantics provided by the discourse representation structures (DRSs) of DR theory, (2) the use of syntactic and lexical features to filter out unacceptable potential anaphoric antecedents from the set of logically possible antecedents determined by the logical structure of the DRS, (3) the use of pragmatic or discourse constraints, noted by those working on focus, to impose a salience ordering on the set of grammatically acceptable potential antecedents. Only where there is a marked difference in the degree of salience among the possible antecedents does the salience ranking allow us to make predictions on preferred readings. In cases where the difference is extreme, we predict the discourse to be infelicitous if, because of other constraints, one of the markedly less salient antecedents must be linked with the pronoun. We also briefly consider the applications of our processing model to other definite noun phrases besides anaphoric pronouns
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Paul Dekker (1993). Existential Disclosure. Linguistics and Philosophy 16 (6):561 - 587.
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