The project Anaphoricity in connectives: From corpus analysis to lexical description and consequences for discourse parsing deals with non-structural discourse connectives in German and English. Discourse connectives are linguistic elements connecting two propositions (examples are but, because, however, etc.), and are thus essentially two-place predicates. The group of connectives is typically divided into structural and non-structural connectives, where the structural connectives take their arguments based on syntactic constraints, while for non-structural connectives one argument can be inferred from the discourse, hence be anahporic. This project focuses on the latter group, and addresses the following key problems:

Project goals

The project seeks solutions for the above mentioned problems by systematic studies of non-structural connectives in authentic contexts, i.e, based on corpora.

We see a bilingual approach of our project as important: Subclassifications of connectives in terms of discourse-structural features, for example, are much more informative when performed parallel on more than one language. Compared to English, the relatively free word order in German renders many phenomena with non-structural connectives more challenging. Specifically, the goals of this project are the following. (1) and (2) amount to the core tasks of linguistic investigation, which will address the problems P1-P4 summarized above, and (4) seeks to exploit the results for discourse parsing.

More information on the project can be found in the grant proposal.

Project team

Peter Bourgonje
Yulia Grishina
Prof. Dr. Manfred Stede