Cognitive States, Discourse Structure and the Content of Dialogue

Alex Lascarides, Nicholas Asher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

In this paper, we focus on two puzzles concerning anaphora in dialogue. On the basis of these puzzles we argue for three criteria for solving them: the representation of dialogue content must include rhetorical relations since they impose different constraints on the antecedents to anaphora; for discourse interpretation to be computable, it must be highly modular, for example the logic for discourse update and the logic for cognitive modelling must be separate; but these different modules must be allowed to interact in complex ways. We specify an account which meets these three criteria within Segmented Discourse Representation Theory (SDRT: Asher, 1993). We illustrate our approach by first using principles or rationality and cooperativity to derive principles for computing discourse content---in particular, the rhetorical connections between the propositions. We then exploit these cognitively-motivated but discourse-level axioms to account for the puzzles concerning anaphora.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Amsterdam Dialogue Workshop, Amstelogue-99
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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