Corpus-based Semantics of Concession: Where do Expectations Come from?

Livio Robaldo, Eleni Miltsakaki, Alessia Bianchini


Abstract
In this paper, we discuss our analysis and resulting new annotations of Penn Discourse Treebank (PDTB) data tagged as Concession. Concession arises whenever one of the two arguments creates an expectation, and the other ones denies it. In Natural Languages, typical discourse connectives conveying Concession are 'but', 'although', 'nevertheless', etc. Extending previous theoretical accounts, our corpus analysis reveals that concessive interpretations are due to different sources of expectation, each giving rise to critical inferences about the relationship of the involved eventualities. We identify four different sources of expectation: Causality, Implication, Correlation, and Implicature. The reliability of these categories is supported by a high inter-annotator agreement score, computed over a sample of one thousand tokens of explicit connectives annotated as Concession in PDTB. Following earlier work of (Hobbs, 1998) and (Davidson, 1967) notion of reification, we extend the logical account of Concession originally proposed in (Robaldo et al., 2008) to provide refined formal descriptions for the first three mentioned sources of expectations in Concessive relations.
Anthology ID:
L10-1088
Volume:
Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'10)
Month:
May
Year:
2010
Address:
Valletta, Malta
Venue:
LREC
SIG:
Publisher:
European Language Resources Association (ELRA)
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URL:
http://www.lrec-conf.org/proceedings/lrec2010/pdf/140_Paper.pdf
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http://www.lrec-conf.org/proceedings/lrec2010/pdf/140_Paper.pdf