Discourse Structure Effects on the Global Coherence of Texts

TitleDiscourse Structure Effects on the Global Coherence of Texts
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsSagi, E
EditorFinlayson, M
Conference NameComputational Models of Narrative, Papers from the 2010 AAAI Fall Symposium

Many theories of discourse structure rely on the idea that the segments comprising the discourse are linked through inferred relations such as causality and temporal contiguity. These theories suggest that the resulting discourse is represented hierarchically. Two experiments examine some of the implications of these hierarchical structures on the perceived coherence of texts. Experiment 1 shows that texts with more levels to their hierarchical structure are judged to be more coherent. Experiment 2 demonstrates that these effects are sensitive to the genre of the text. Specifically, narratives seem to be more affected by manipulation of the discourse structure than procedural texts.

Refereed DesignationRefereed