Towards a Multidimensional Semantics of Discourse Markers in Spoken Dialogue

TitleTowards a Multidimensional Semantics of Discourse Markers in Spoken Dialogue
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsPetukhova V, Bunt H
Conference NameEighth International Conference on Computational Semantics (IWCS-8)
Date Published01/2009
PublisherTilburg University, Department of Communication and Information Sciences
Conference LocationTilburg
Keywordsannotation, discourse markers, multidimensionality, semantics

The literature contains a wealth of theoretical and empirical analyses of discourse marker functions in human communication. Some of these studies address the phenomenon that discourse markers are often multifunctional in a given context, but do not study this in systematic and formal ways. In this paper we show that the use of multiple dimensions in distinguishing and annotating semantic units supports a more accurate analysis of the meaning of discourse markers. We present an empirically-based analysis of the semantic functions of discourse markers in dialogue and show that the multiple functions that a discourse marker may have, are automatically recognisable from utterance surface features using machine learning techniques.