Empirical Investigations of Anaphora
and Salience

Vilem Mathesius Lectures, Prague, December 6th-8th 2006

 Massimo Poesio, University of Essex / Universita' di Trento

Wednesday, 11:30-13

Thursday and Friday, 9:30-11

Web address: cswww.essex.ac.uk/staff/poesio/Prague

Instructor Contact

Class Schedule


Course Description

In this course we discussed the use of annotated corpora to study anaphora and anaphora resolution. After briefly reviewing the semantics and pragmatics of anaphoric  expressions, we discussed first of all the problems involved in creating a corpus annotated with  anaphoric information. We then discussed work concerned with using corpora to explore  theories of salience (such as Grosz and Sidner's theory and Centering theory) and the empirical evidence concerning their claims. We then discussed the use of corpora to develop computational models of anaphora resolution, with particular concern for bridging references. 

Instructor Contact

Massimo Poesio poesio at essex dot ac dot uk

Class Schedule





[December 6th]

Introduction to the course. The linguistics of anaphora.  Creating an anaphorically annotated corpus. 

Powerpoint presentation

Powerpoint presentation (mhtml version)

Poesio and Vieira (1998)

Poesio (2004)


[December 7th]

Empirical investigations of salience. Centering Theory. The Grosz and Sidner framework.

Powerpoint presentation


Powerpoint presentation (mhtml version)

Grosz, Joshi & Weinstein (1995)

Poesio, Di Eugenio, Hitzeman, and Stevenson (2004)

Poesio, Pantel, and Di Eugenio (2006)


[December 8th]

Empirical investigations of anaphora resolution: the case of definite descriptions. Bridging references. Discourse-new detection. 

Powerpoint presentation

Powerpoint presentation (mhtml version)

Vieira & Poesio(2000)

Poesio, Mehta, Maroudas, and Hitzeman (2004)

Poesio, Kabadjov, Vieira, Goulart, and Uryupina (2005)


Byron, D. 2002. Resolving Pronominal reference to Abstract Entities. Proc. of the ACL, 2002.

Garnham, A. 2000. Mental Models and the Interpretation of Anaphora . London: Psychology Press.

Grosz, B., Joshi, A., and Weinstein, S. (1995). Centering: A framework for modeling the local coherence of discourse. Computational Linguistics , 21, 203-226.

Gundel, J. (1998). Centering theory and the givenness hierarchy. In M. Walker, A. Joshi & E. Prince (eds.), Centering Theory in Discourse , Oxford University Press, 183-197.

Poesio, M., Di Eugenio, B., Hitzeman, J., and Stevenson, R. (2004). Centering: A Parametric theory
   and its instantiations.
Computational Linguistics, 30(3),  309-363

Poesio, M. and Vieira, R. (1998). A corpus-based investigation of definite description use. Computational Linguistics , 24(2), 183-216.

Tetreault, J. (2001). A corpus-based evaluation of Centering and pronoun resolution. Computational Linguistics , 27(4), 507-520.

Vieira, R. and Poesio, M.. (2000). An empirically-0based system for processing definite descriptions, Computational Linguistics , 26(4) , 539-593.