Paper: Modelling Discourse Relations for Arabic

ACL ID D11-1068
Title Modelling Discourse Relations for Arabic
Venue Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing
Session Main Conference
Year 2011

We present the first algorithms to automat- ically identify explicit discourse connectives and the relations they signal for Arabic text. First we show that, for Arabic news, most adjacent sentences are connected via explicit connectives in contrast to English, making the treatment of explicit discourse connectives for Arabic highly important. We also show that explicit Arabic discourse connectives are far more ambiguous than English ones, making their treatment challenging. In the second part of the paper, we present supervised al- gorithms to address automatic discourse con- nective identification and discourse relation recognition. Our connective identifier based on gold standard syntactic features achieves almost human performance. In addition, an identifier based solely on simple lexi...