Accession Number : ADA188907

Title :   The Linguistic Discourse Model: Towards a Formal Theory of Discourse Structure.

Descriptive Note : Technical rept.,

Corporate Author : BBN LABS INC CAMBRIDGE MA

Personal Author(s) : Polanyi, Livia

Report Date : NOV 1986

Pagination or Media Count : 152

Abstract : This paper reports on the development of a computational linguistic theory of discourse structure. The Linguistic Discourse Model (LDM) is a comprehensive theory of the structural, semantic and pragmatic relations obtaining among clauses in a discourse which has as its goal to account for how a semantic and pragmatic interpretation of a discourse may be built up from its constituent clauses on a left to right, clause by clause basis. The model consists of a set of discourse grammars which specify the constituent structure of possible linguistically and socially significant discourse units including 'plans', 'lists', 'elaborations', 'stories', 'narratives', 'conversations', 'planning sessions', 'doctor/patient interactions', etc. A set of recursive rules of discourse formation specifies how units may relate to one another and a set of semantic interpretation rules assigns a semantic and pragmatic interpretation to each clause and to the emerging discourse. Under LDM analysis, discourse is shown to have a hierarchical structure: units which interrupt the forward development of units already begun are uniformly analyzed as embedded relative to those power of the theory is demonstrated with reference to numerous examples. Special attention is paid to the narrative.

Descriptors :   *LINGUISTICS, *ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, *SEMANTICS, COMPREHENSION, COMPUTATIONS, INTERACTIONS, PATIENTS, PHYSICIANS, POWER, RECURSIVE FUNCTIONS, THEORY, STATE OF THE ART, COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE.

Subject Categories : Cybernetics
      Linguistics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE