Genre distinctions for discourse in the Penn TreeBank

Bonnie Webber

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


Articles in the Penn TreeBank were identified as being reviews, summaries, letters to the editor, news reportage, corrections, wit and short verse, or quarterly profit reports. All but the latter three were then characterised in terms of features manually annotated in the Penn Discourse TreeBank --- discourse connectives and their senses. Summaries turned out to display very different discourse features than the other three genres. Letters also appeared to have some different features. The two main findings involve (1) differences between genres in the senses associated with intra-sentential discourse connectives, inter-sentential discourse connectives and inter-sentential discourse relations that are not lexically marked; and (2) differences within all four genres between the senses of discourse relations not lexically marked and those that are marked. The first finding means that genre should be made a factor in automated sense labelling of non-lexically marked discourse relations. The second means that lexically marked relations provide a poor model for automated sense labelling of relations that are not lexically marked.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Joint Conference of the 47th Annual Meeting of the ACL and the 4th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing of the AFNLP: Volume 2 - Volume 2
Place of PublicationStroudsburg, PA, USA
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)978-1-932432-46-6
Publication statusPublished - 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'Genre distinctions for discourse in the Penn TreeBank'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this