Alignment in Interactive Reference Production: Content Planning, Modifier Ordering, and Referential Overspecification

Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (2):269-289 (2012)
Psycholinguistic studies often look at the production of referring expressions in interactive settings, but so far few referring expression generation algorithms have been developed that are sensitive to earlier references in an interaction. Rather, such algorithms tend to rely on domain-dependent preferences for both content selection and linguistic realization. We present three experiments showing that humans may opt for dispreferred attributes and dispreferred modifier orderings when these were primed in a preceding interaction (without speakers being consciously aware of this). In addition, we show that speakers are more likely to produce overspecified references, including dispreferred attributes (although minimal descriptions with preferred attributes would suffice), when these were similarly primed.
Keywords Referring expressions  Overspecification  Algorithms  Modifier orderings  Content determination  Alignment
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DOI 10.1111/j.1756-8765.2012.01186.x
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