LKE/KDSL Guest Lecture


Dr. Alexis M. Palmer will give a LKE/KDSL guest lecture on August 5th, 2014.

Title: Situation Entities and Discourse Modes

Abstract: As readers we are sensitive to various levels of structure within texts. The line of research described in this talk addresses two levels: the contribution of individual clauses and that of an intermediate level of text structure -- passages of several sentences or more. We follow Smith (2003) in discussing the Discourse Modes of individual text passages. Smith introduces the five modes of Narrative, Description, Report, Information, and Argument/Commentary and further identifies specific linguistic correlates of these different modes. One group of correlates points to the contributions made to the discourse by individual clauses of text. As a first step toward Discourse Mode classification, we address the problem of identifying and classifying references to situations expressed in written English texts. The situation entity (SE) classification task as construed here is the classification of clauses according to the type of entity they introduce to the discourse. The classification scheme we use includes, among others, events, states, abstract entities, and generic sentences.