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Retrieving meaning via Relevance to QUD and DomGoals


Asher, Nicholas (2004) Discourse Topic. Theoretical Linguistics 30:163-202.

Asher is critical of the idea that there is a given Topic of discourse (intuitively serving the role of the QUD in Roberts 1996. See the replies by Kehler, Oberlander, Stede and Zeevat (listed here), and Ashers response, just below. Asher’s work with Alex Lascarides (see Asher & Lascarides 2003 and other papers cited in section 6.1 below) represents one of the most detailed, extended investigations of pragmatic phenomena in the literature, based on a wedding of Rhetorical Structure Theory with Structured Discourse Representation Theory, and worked out in careful formal detail.

Asher, Nicholas (2004) Troubles with Topics: Comments on Kehler, Oberlander, Stede and Zeevat. Theoretical Linguistics 30:255-262.

Ginzburg, Jonathan (1994) An Update Semantics for Dialogue. Proceedings of the Tilburg International Workshop on Computational Semantics.

Ginzburg independently proposes that the question under discussion is an organizing factor in discourse. This idea is extended in the other papers listed just below, and especially in Ginzburg (2012), where he focuses on the ramifications for this approach in the treatment of non-sentential utterances.

Ginzburg, Jonathan (1995) Resolving questions, Part I and Part II. Linguistics and Philosophy 18:5:459-527 and 18.6:567-609.

Ginzburg, Jonathan (1996) Dynamics and the Semantics of Dialogue. In Jerry Seligman & Dag Westerstahl (eds) Language, Logic and Computation. Stanford, CA: CSLI.

Ginzburg, Jonathan (2012) The Interactive Stance: Meaning for Conversation. Oxford University Press.

Groenendijk, Jeroen & Floris Roelofsen (2009) Inquisitive Semantics and Pragmatics. In J.M. Larrazabal & L. Zubeldia (eds.) Meaning, Content, and Argument: Proceedings of the ILCLI International Workshop on Semantics, Pragmatics, and Rhetoric.

Groenendijk and his colleagues are exploring the logical structure of the relationships between questions and assertions in discourse, assuming that questions are central, much as in Roberts (1996). See also many related papers at: www.illc.uva.nl/inquisitive-semantics.

Grosz, Barbara, & Candice Sidner (1986) Attention, intentions, and the structure of discourse. Computational Linguistics 12:175-204.

Grosz & Sidner’s conception of the intentional structure of discourse was an important source for the intentional structure for the context of utterance proposed by Roberts 1996, 2004, 2011.

Jasinskaja, Ekaterina (2007) Pragmatics and Prosody of Implicit Discourse Relations. Ph.D. thesis, University of Tübingen.

Jasinskaja proposes that we can derive rhetorical relations via mediation by the topical (QUD) structure of discourse. She investigates this idea in detail, considering a variety of cues to and defaults for this structure that determine the defaults in rhetorical relations, as well as constraining what the topical structure itself can felicitously be. The next paper presents an abbreviated version of this approach.

Jasinskaja, Ekaterina (2010) Modelling Discourse Relations by Topics and Implicatures: The Elaboration Default. In Benz, Kühnlein & Sidner (eds.) Constraints in Discourse 2: pp. 61-79. John Benjamins.

Kadmon, Nirit (2001) Formal Pragmatics. Blackwell, London.

Kadmon works through the basics of Heim’s File Change Semantics and Kamp’s Discourse Representation Theory, using them as the foundations of a general formal theory of pragmatics. She illustrates this approach with detailed discussions of scalar implicature, presupposition projection and the role of prosodic focus in interpretation.

Kehler, Andrew (2004) Discourse topics, sentence topics, and coherence. Theoretical Linguistics 30(2-3):203–211. DOI: 10.1515/thli.2004.30.2-3.203.

Krifka, Manfred 2008. Basic notions of information structure. Acta Linguistica Hungarica 55, 243–276.

Oberlander, Jon (2004) On the reduction of discourse topic. Theoretical Linguistics 30(2-3):213–225. DOI: 10.1515/thli.2004.30.2-3.203.

Roberts, Craige (1996) Information Structure in Discourse: Towards an Integrated Formal Theory of Pragmatics. In Jae Hak Yoon and Andreas Kathol (eds.) Ohio State University Working Papers in Linguistics Volume 49.

The most commonly circulated version was revised in 1998, and this is the version to appear in Semantics and Pragmatics.

Roberts, Craige (2004) Context in dynamic interpretation. In Laurence Horn and Gregory Ward (eds.) Handbook of Contemporary Pragmatic Theory, Blackwell, 197-220.

Here I argued for the generalized intentional structure of discourse presented in the Afterword to the 2012 version of Roberts 1996, and proposed that rhetorical relations might be thought of as particular types of strategy of inquiry.

Roberts, Craige (2011) Solving for interpretation. Manuscript of a paper given at the Workshop on Meaning and Understanding at the Centre for Advanced Study, Oslo, June, 2011. Available at http://www.ling.ohio-state.edu/~croberts/.

van Rooij, Robert (2003) Questioning to resolve decision problems. Linguistics and Philosophy 26:727-763.

van Rooij’s general approach to interpretation in discourse is based on Game Theory, and the assumption that interlocutors in discourse are engaged in a game. The overall body of work offers an extended exploration of the utility of game theory in the investigation of pragmatic issues. See references to the work of van Rooij and his colleagues in all of sections 2-9 below.

van Rooij, Robert (2003) Asserting to resolve decision problems. Journal of Pragmatics 35: 1161-1179.

van Rooij, Robert (2003) Negative polarity items in questions, strength as relevance. Journal of Semantics 20:239-273

van Rooij, Robert (2003) Relevance and bidirectional OT. In R. Blutner & H. Zeevat (eds.) Pragmatics in Optimality Theory. Palgrave Macmillan, pp.173-210.

van Rooij, Robert (2004) Utility of Mention some Questions. Research on Language and Computation 2:401-416.

Stede, Manfred (2004) Does discourse processing need discourse topics? Theoretical Linguistics 30(2-3):203–211. DOI: 10.1515/thli.2004.30.2-3.203.

Stone, Matthew (2004) Communicative intentions and conversational processes in human-human and humancomputer dialogue. In Trueswell and Tanenhaus (eds.)World-Situated Language Use, 39-70, MIT Press.

Stone is a computer scientist who works on artificial intelligence with a special focus on how agents collaborate in linguistic interpretation. He uses tools from planning theory to show how tasks and goals come to bear on interpretation. See his work with DeVault and Thomason on presupposition accommodation (section 8 and 9 of this bibliography) and the rich body of published work on interpretation on his website: http://www.cs.rutgers.edu/~mdstone/publist-by-date.html.

Stone, Matthew (2004) Intention, interpretation and the computational structure of language. Cognitive Science 28(5):781-809, 2004

Zeevat, Henk (2004) Asher on discourse topic. Theoretical Linguistics 30(2-3):203–211. DOI: 10.1515/thli.2004.30.2-3.203.