Querent Intent in Multi-Sentence Questions

Laurie Burchell, Jie Chi, Tom Hosking, Nina Markl, Bonnie Webber

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


Multi-sentence questions (MSQs) are sequences of questions connected by relations which, unlike sequences of standalone questions, need to be answered as a unit. Following Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST), we recognise that different ``question discourse relations'' between the subparts of MSQs reflect different speaker intents, and consequently elicit different answering strategies. Correctly identifying these relations is therefore a crucial step in automatically answering MSQs. We identify five different types of MSQs in English, and define five novel relations to describe them. We extract over 162,000 MSQs from Stack Exchange to enable future research. Finally, we implement a high-precision baseline classifier based on surface features.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th Linguistic Annotation Workshop
Place of PublicationBarcelona, Spain
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781952148330
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020
EventThe 14th Linguistic Annotation Workshop - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 12 Dec 2020 → …
Conference number: 14


ConferenceThe 14th Linguistic Annotation Workshop
Period12/12/20 → …
Internet address


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