A Unified Annotation Scheme for the Semantic/Pragmatic Components of Definiteness

Archna Bhatia, Mandy Simons, Lori Levin, Yulia Tsvetkov, Chris Dyer, Jordan Bender


Abstract
We present a definiteness annotation scheme that captures the semantic, pragmatic, and discourse information, which we call communicative functions, associated with linguistic descriptions such as “a story about my speech”, “the story”, “every time I give it”, “this slideshow”. A survey of the literature suggests that definiteness does not express a single communicative function but is a grammaticalization of many such functions, for example, identifiability, familiarity, uniqueness, specificity. Our annotation scheme unifies ideas from previous research on definiteness while attempting to remove redundancy and make it easily annotatable. This annotation scheme encodes the communicative functions of definiteness rather than the grammatical forms of definiteness. We assume that the communicative functions are largely maintained across languages while the grammaticalization of this information may vary. One of the final goals is to use our semantically annotated corpora to discover how definiteness is grammaticalized in different languages. We release our annotated corpora for English and Hindi, and sample annotations for Hebrew and Russian, together with an annotation manual.
Anthology ID:
L14-1133
Volume:
Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'14)
Month:
May
Year:
2014
Address:
Reykjavik, Iceland
Venue:
LREC
SIG:
Publisher:
European Language Resources Association (ELRA)
Note:
Pages:
910–916
Language:
URL:
http://www.lrec-conf.org/proceedings/lrec2014/pdf/1194_Paper.pdf
DOI:
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PDF:
http://www.lrec-conf.org/proceedings/lrec2014/pdf/1194_Paper.pdf