Paper: Coherence in Spoken Discourse

ACL ID P98-2211
Title Coherence in Spoken Discourse
Venue Annual Meeting of the Association of Computational Linguistics
Session Main Conference
Year 1998

This paper explores the possibilities and limits of a discourse grammar applied to spontaneous speech. Most discourse grammars (e.g. SDRT, Asher, 1993; RST, Mann & Thompson, 1988) tend to be descrip- tive theories of written discourse which presuppose a coherent structure. This structure is the outcome of a goal directed planning process on the part of the producer. In order to obtain a better understand- ing of the planning process we analyse spoken dis- course elicited in an experimental setting. Subjects describe the pixel-per-pixel development of sketch- maps on a computer screen. This forces the speak- ers to conceptualise the perceived state of affairs, plan their discourse, and produce a description of the drawing at the same time. Thus we find evi- dence for the planning process in...