Extended centering mechanism for interpreting pronouns and zero-pronouns

Shingo Takada, Norihisa Doi

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Zero-pronouns and overt pronouns occur frequently in Japanese text. These must be interpreted by recognizing their antecedents to properly `understand' a piece of discourse. The notion of 'centering' has been used to help in the interpretation process for intersentential anaphors. This is based on the premise that in a piece of discourse, some members have a greater amount of attention put on it than other members. In Japanese, the zero-pronoun is said to have the greatest amount of attention put on it. But, when there are more than one zero-pronoun in a sentence, only one of them would be accountable using centering. Overt pronouns and any other zero-pronouns may as well have appeared as `ordinary' noun phrases. In this paper, the notion of centering has been extended so that these can also be interpreted. Basically, zero-pronouns and overt pronouns are treated as being more 'centered' in the discourse than other `ordinary' noun phrases. They are put in an ordered list called the Center List. Any other noun phrases appearing in a sentence are put in another list called the Possible Center List. Noun phrases within both lists are ordered according to their degrees of salience. To see the effect of our approach, it was implemented in a simple system with minimal constraints and evaluated. The result showed that when the antecedent is in either the Center List or the Possible Center List, 80% of all zero-pronouns and overt pronouns were properly interpreted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-67
Number of pages10
JournalIEICE Transactions on Information and Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1995 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence

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