Amir Zeldes "A multilayer view of discourse relation graphs"

Friday Nov 10   02:30 PM to 03:50 PM (1 hour 20 minutes)

WATCH VIDEO OF LECTURE ►  [Andrew ID login required to view video]


A multilayer view of discourse relation graphs

Discourse relations such as ‘contrast’, ‘cause’ or ‘background’ are often postulated to explain our ability to construct coherence in discourse. Within discourse analysis frameworks such as Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST), it is assumed that discourse relations can be structured hierarchically, forming a graph or tree of discourse units. In this talk I will empirically examine properties of discourse graphs using multifactorial methods. Taking advantage of the richly annotated GUM corpus (Zeldes 2017) with 64,000 tokens annotated for 4,700 instances of 20 discourse relations in four English genres, I will suggest refinements to proposed constraints on discourse structures. Using ensemble methods and RNNs trained on multiple annotation layers in the corpus, we can visualize ‘heat maps’ for areas of referential accessibility in discourse graphs, and identify and disambiguate discourse markers in a manner that is sensitive to utterance level context.

Amir Zeldes is assistant professor of Computational Linguistics at Georgetown University, specializing in Corpus Linguistics. He studied Cognitive Science, General and Computational Linguistics in Jerusalem, Potsdam, and Berlin, receiving his PhD in Linguistics from Humboldt University in Berlin in 2012. His interests center on the syntax-semantics interface, where meaning and knowledge about the world are mapped onto lexical choice and syntactic structure in language-specific ways. His most recent work focuses on computational discourse models of entity mentions and discourse relations which reflect common ground and communicative intent across sentences. He is also involved in the development of tools for corpus search, annotation and visualization, and has worked on the development of standards for the representation of textual data in Linguistics and the Digital Humanities.

Georgetown University
Assistant Professor

My Schedule

Add to Your Schedule