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Deriving rhetorical complexity data from the RST-DT Corpus

By Sandra Williams and Richard Power

Abstract

This paper describes a study of the levels at which different rhetorical relations occur in rhetorical structure trees. In a previous empirical study (Williams and Reiter, 2003) of the RST-DT (Rhetorical Structure Theory Discourse Treebank) Corpus (Carlson et al., 2003), we noticed that certain rhetorical relations tended to occur more frequently at higher levels in a rhetorical structure tree, whereas others seemed to occur more often at lower levels. The present study takes a closer look at the data, partly to test this observation, and partly to investigate related issues such as the relative complexity of satellite and nucleus for each type of relation. One practical application of this investigation would be to guide discourse planning in Natural Language Generation (NLG), so that it reflects more accurately the structures found in documents written by human authors. We present our preliminary findings and discuss their relevance for discourse planning

Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:oro.open.ac.uk:10333
Provided by: Open Research Online

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