Paper: Using Syntax to Disambiguate Explicit Discourse Connectives in Text

ACL ID P09-2004
Title Using Syntax to Disambiguate Explicit Discourse Connectives in Text
Venue Annual Meeting of the Association of Computational Linguistics
Session Short Paper
Year 2009
Authors

Discourse connectives are words or phrases such as once, since, and on the contrary that explicitly signal the presence of a discourse relation. There are two types of ambiguity that need to be resolved during discourse processing. First, a word can be ambiguous between discourse or non-discourse usage. For example, once can be either a temporal discourse connective or a simply a word meaning “formerly”. Secondly, some connectives are ambiguous in terms of the relation they mark. For example since can serve as either a temporal or causal connective. We demonstrate that syntactic features improve performance in both disambiguation tasks. We report state-of- the-art results for identifying discourse vs. non-discourse usage and human-level performance on sense disambiguation.