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date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

When do speakers produce ambiguous expressions? How do comprehenders interpret such expressions to infer a speaker’s intended meaning? This chapter reviews a body of work on pronoun production and interpretation, considering a number of computational, linguistic, and psycholinguistic frameworks and the factors that have been posited to drive pronoun use. These factors include surface structural elements (grammatical role, syntactic parallelism), information structural cues (topichood), lexical semantics and real-world knowledge (thematic roles, causality), as well as aspects of the larger discourse (recency, rhetorical structure, coherence relations). The chapter then turns to a more general model of message production and interpretation that incorporates elements of existing pronoun models using a Bayesian approach.

Keywords: pronouns, discourse coherence, information structure, Bayesian inference, topichood, generative model

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