Paper: The Intonational Structuring Of Discourse

ACL ID P86-1021
Title The Intonational Structuring Of Discourse
Venue Annual Meeting of the Association of Computational Linguistics
Session Main Conference
Year 1986

We propose a mapping between prosodic phenomena and semantico-pragmatic effects based upon the hypothesis that intona- tion conveys information about the intentional as well as the atten- tional structure of discourse. In particular, we discuss how varia- tions in pitch range and choice of accent and tune can help to con- vey such information as: discourse segmentation and topic struc- ture, appropriate choice of referent, the distinction between 'given' and 'new' information, conceptual contrast or parallelism between mentioned items, and subordination relationships between proposi- tions salient in the discourse. Our goals for this research are prac- tical as well as theoretical. In particular, we are investigating the problem of intonational assignment in synthetic speech.