The University of Edinburgh -
Division of Informatics
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PhD Thesis #9514

Title:Generation of Anaphors in Chinese
Date: 1995
Abstract:The goal of this thesis is to investigate the computer generation of variouskinds of anaphors in Chinese, including zero, pronominal and nominalanaphors, from the semantic representation of multisentential text. Thework is divided into two steps: the first is to investigate linguisticbehaviour of Chinese anaphors, and the other is to implement the result ofthe first part in a Chinese natural language generation system to see how itworks.The first step is in general to construct a set of rules governing the useof all kinds of anaphors. To achieve this, we performed a sequence ofexperiments in a stepwise refined manner. In the experiments, we examinedthe occurrence of anaphors in human-generated text and those generated byalgorithms employing the rules, assuming the same semantic and discoursestructures as the text. We started by distinguishing between the use ofzero and other anaphors, termed non-zeroes. Then we performed experimentsto distinguish between pronouns and nominal anaphors within the non-zeroes.Finally, we refined the previous result to consider different kinds ofdescriptions for nominal anaphors. In this research we confine ourselves todescriptive texts. Three sets of test data consisting of scientificquestions and answers and an introduction to Chinese grammar were selected.The rules we obtained from the experiments make use of the followingconditions: locality between anaphor and antecedent, syntactic constraintson zero anaphors, discourse segment structures, salience of objects andanimacy of objects. The results show that the anaphors generated by usingthe rules we obtained are very close to those in the real texts.To carry out the second step, we built up a Chinese natural languagegeneration system which is able to generate descriptive texts. The systemis divided into a strategic and a tactical component.

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