Annotating Participant Reference in English Spoken Conversation


Niekrasz John, Moore Johanna D. Annotating Participant Reference in English Spoken Conversation, in Proceedings of the Fourth Linguistic Annotation Workshop, Association for Computational Linguistics, pp. 256-264, 2010.


In conversational language, references to people (especially to the conversation participants, e.g., I, you, and we) are an essential part of many expressed meanings. In most conversational settings, however, many such expressions have numerous potential meanings, are frequently vague, and are highly dependent on social and situational context. This is a significant challenge to conversational language understanding systems — one which has seen little attention in annotation studies. In this paper, we present a method for annotating verbal reference to people in conversational speech, with a focus on reference to conversation participants. Our goal is to provide a resource that tackles the issues of vagueness, ambiguity, and contextual dependency in a nuanced yet reliable way, with the ultimate aim of supporting work on summarization and information extraction for conversation.

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