Paper: Identifying Topic And Focus By An Automatic Procedure

ACL ID E93-1022
Title Identifying Topic And Focus By An Automatic Procedure
Venue Annual Meeting of The European Chapter of The Association of Computational Linguistics
Session Main Conference
Year 1993

An algorithm for automatic identification of topic and focus of the sentence is presented, based on dependency syntax and using written input, which is much more ambiguous than spoken utterance. 1. The dichotomy of topic and focus, based, in the Praguean Functional Generative Description, on the scale of communicative dynamism (underlying word order), is relevant not only for a possible placement of the sentence in a context, but also for its semantic interpretation. The underlying word order differs from • the surface one especially in that the verb stands moreto the right than all its complementations belonging to the topic of the sentence (or to the local topic of the clause headed by the verb), and more to the left than those belonging to the focus. Using a dependency grammar (or, mo...